Learn How to Budget for an International Move
Creating and following a budget is one of the first steps to save on your cross-border move. A budget is simply a plan about how to allocate your income. We find that spreadsheets are a great way to budget as you can see your income and expenses and it’s easy to make changes to a spreadsheet.
Some of the categories that you’ll need to budget for include:
- Moving Company Fees: You’ll need to know exactly what is covered. Also, find out if you could be charged any extra fees at the end of your move.
- Extra Moving Insurance: Basic insurance may not be sufficient. So you may need to get extra moving insurance – especially for complex international moves.
- Tips: Good service deserves recognition. So budget for tips for the movers on both ends of your move (USA and Mexico).
- Shipping Container: Moving to any destination in Mexico means shipping your household goods across the border. So account for the cost of the shipping container that will include only your items.
- Additional Services: You will also need additional services like professional packers. They will help you secure your items for safe international transit.
- Storage Unit: You won’t be able to take everything from the USA to Mexico. So you’ll need a storage unit in your hometown in the USA to contain these items.
- Housing: Make sure that you set aside funds to get your new place in Mexico.
- Household Expenses: You will need to allocate money for food, bills, and some exploration activities in your new destination in Mexico. The best way to settle into a new location is to learn more about all that it has to offer.
Downsize and Sell Unwanted Stuff
The less stuff you have to ship, the cheaper your shipping costs will be. So downsizing is a must for your international move to Mexico.
We recommend that you go through your possessions and discard, recycle, donate, and sell some items. You definitely won’t need winter clothes in sunny Mexico – so don’t pack those items. As a rule of thumb, you should take half the stuff and twice the cash that you think you will need.
Are you taking your pets with you to Cabo San Lucas or San Miguel de Allende? Then make sure to arrange their vaccinations in time. Also, research the requirements for moving your pets to Mexico with little to no hassles at all.
Budget Enough Time
You need to set aside sufficient time for your relocation to Mexico. You need to schedule each phase of your relocation and allocate an expected time frame as well.
Also, you need to get the balance right between when you arrive in Mexico and when your household goods arrive in your new town. You don’t want to leave this process until it’s too late. You don’t want to fly your possessions at high prices or arrive several weeks ahead of your stuff.
So start contacting shipping companies at least three or four months before your planned moving date.
There are peak seasons for relocating so research and choose the best time for you and your family to relocate. You want to move when the weather is favorable and you can easily find housing and schools. Try not to move during any US or Mexican holidays as that can be quite hectic.
Beware of Hidden Fees
When it comes to relocating to Mexico, you have several service options for your move. There are door-to-door, door-to-port, port-to-port, air freight, and ocean freight, etc. to choose from. However, each of these options has different cost profiles that you need to evaluate.
You mustn’t get misled with deceptively cheaper moving quotes. Examine each moving quote closely. Are all services listed and priced? Is there an escalation clause that can result in a frighteningly huge moving bill at the end? Make sure that your moving quote is quite detailed to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Avoid Unnecessary Customs Duties
Getting your belongings through customs is not a simple process so you need to avoid mistakes with your paperwork. Also, make sure that you’re not packing items that are not allowed into Mexico (like firearms).
Almost all countries in the world require that you provide a detailed, itemized inventory of everything you want to bring into Mexico. Also, you need to ensure that you use the right packing to both protect your items and help customs to easily inspect your shipment.
However, if you hire an expert at Mexican relocation, then you can simply relax and let them handle it all.
Want to know how you can save on your international move to Mexico? Share a container! If you don’t have a lot of household items and you’re flexible about their delivery date to your new home, then save on shipping using this groupage method. You consolidate your shipment with other shippers and split the cost of the container.
Arrange Your Travel Details in Advance
Your plane tickets, hotel reservations, and travel documents can be quite expensive. However, if you acquire all your travel necessities in advance, then you can score some great deals.
When you choose to purchase your tickets and book your hotel reservations will influence your travel costs. Also, if you don’t mind more stops and long layovers, then you can save a lot. Make sure that you have all your travel documents in place to move to Mexico with little or no hassles.
Get Your Taxes in Order
The last thing you want to do is to pay income taxes in the USA and Mexico at the same time. So you need to get your taxes in order.
Many countries have a simple exemption process. However, if you earn interest from US-based accounts, you’ll need to make arrangements to avoid dual taxation as well. We recommend that you speak with your tax professional to ensure that all your documents are filed correctly.
Establish a Local Bank Account
Before you move to Mexico, you need to set up an international bank account. You can then pair the international account with a Mexican bank account. This allows you to transfer funds between the two accounts and avoid expensive international transfer fees. With the Mexican bank account, you have easy access to your funds after you’ve moved.
Think About Where You Will Live
Some cities in Mexico are more expensive than others. So you need to take this into account when you’re setting up your new home. What is your lifestyle like? What matters to you and your family? This will determine where you live and the cost of your housing and other related expenses.
Be Open-Minded About Housing
You’re moving to a new country, a new culture. That means that a lot of things will seem new and strange – including the housing options.
Housing is one of the largest costs that you will encounter in your Mexico relocation. So being flexible about where and how you live can help you save a lot of money during your stay. Be sure to contact a professional real estate agency or a local landlord in advance of your arrival. Always negotiate the price as you may be able to rent at a lower monthly rate for a longer lease. You may also be able to pay discounted rent by paying the landlord a year in advance.
Are you planning to buy a house instead? Then we suggest that you first live in Mexico for at least six months to get a better understanding of the area. You will learn where the best amenities are located, where you and your family enjoy living, and many more insights that will help you to close a cost-effective real estate deal. Also, if it’s taking a while to sell your home back in the USA, then consider renting it to help pay your mortgage.
If you’re planning to relocate to Mexico, then we suggest that you invest in an initial trip to survey the “lay of the land” in your chosen city. But try not to stay in a resort. Instead, stay in local short-term accommodations to get a better feel of the city from the perspective of a local.
Explore Your Local Area
If you want to learn more about your new home in Cabo San Lucas or any other Mexican city, then you need to connect with locals. Get familiar with your new environment and discover the best and most cost-effective way to shop and live in your new city. This will help you to reduce your costs now and in the future.
Carefully Arrange Your Healthcare
Maintaining the right healthcare coverage can be expensive in the USA and Mexico. Before you move, you need to research the type and costs of health insurance available in Mexico.
If you have children or a personal health concern, then also figure out where the reasonably priced pediatricians and health experts are located. You should get estimates of what dental, vision, and other services will cost.
If you are relocating to Mexico for work, then ask about the details of your new health insurance plan. If you are retiring to Mexico, then check the healthcare options for senior citizens.
Choose Sea Freight Over Air Freight
According to the World Bank, sea freight is usually 12 to 16 times cheaper than air freight. Therefore, choosing to ship your household goods to Mexico via ocean freight is far more economical.
Why is this the case? Currently, we have a lot of excess capacity in the international sea freight industry. Since supply exceeds demand, prices are quite low.
In contrast, air freight is expensive because it is a significantly faster transport method, so it’s in high demand. A container ship takes between 20 to 30 days to travel from China to the USA, while a freight plane can make the trip in just a 6-hour round trip.
Moving to Mexico? Then You Need US Border Movers!
We’ve shared some useful tips about how to save on your international move to Mexico. Are you relocating from the USA to a great Mexican destination like Cabo San Lucas, Merida, or Playa del Carmen? Then you need the experts in cross-border moves: US Border Movers!
Leave all the logistical details of your relocation to us – you’re in safe hands. We also provide a free estimate of the cost of your move. Choose US Border Movers for a hassle-free move to your new home in Mexico. Contact us today for more information.