According to iexpats.com, there are now more than 5.5 million Brits working abroad. According to the figures, Australia, interestingly, hosts the largest number of British ex-pats by some stretch, beating Spain by 539,000. That equates to 1 in 10 people who could be receiving a salary and compensation in a foreign currency. Working abroad typically means you are paid a salary in a currency that is different to that of your home currency. Whether you’re a programmer in the US, an English teacher in Australia, or a digital nomad working all over the world, you are likely to want to send some of your hard-earned income back at some point.

5 reason why people might need to send money home
  • Buying a house or making second home mortgage payments abroad
  • Funding student fees
  • Paying for utilities or maintenance for your house while you are away
  • Financial support for family members
  • Payment (maintenance, mortgage, student loan) of current bills

No matter your reason for sending money abroad, it pays to do your research and understand the pitfalls and options.

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What do you need to consider if you work overseas?

Aside from the opportunity to travel and develop a new cultural awareness, many ex-pats are attracted by an increase in salary and earnings, which are often derived from lower income tax rates. Whilst increasing the amount you earn brings initial benefits, what does it mean for your net value back in the UK?

It is important to know about the importance of currency exchange and how it can affect the value of your foreign transfer. Unless you intend to permanently relocate to your country of choice, fluctuations in the exchange rates could wipe out any material gains in your earnings.

Mortgage payments, school fees, investments and savings payments could all be impacted by a stronger sterling exchange rate. For example, if you moved to Australia but maintain regular mortgage payments, you may have sufficient savings to pay in GBP. However, if you need to repatriate money home or top up your savings, you may find the net-cost of your mortgage dramatically changes in price. GBP/AUD has moved 19% over the last 12 months – how would this impact your financial situation?

What is the best way to send money home?

There are many ways to send money abroad, or send money home, including banks, money transfer firms and foreign exchange (FX) brokers. However a wide range of products, fees, and exchange rates can make it feel tricky to work out.

The best way to send money overseas depends on a number of factors including:

  • How much you are sending
  • How much it is going to cost
  • How often you are sending it
  • How the person wants to receive it
  • How quickly the money needs to get there

Utilising a specialist foreign currency transfer company such as WordFirst can help you send money home easier than ever before –  with next day payments on common currency pairs, and fixed transparent pricing saving up to 85% on what you would be charged by high street banks, but with no hidden fees.

If you are paying weekly or monthly, setting up a scheduled transfer to send funds back to the UK on a periodic basis might be more convenient. You can set up a weekly or monthly transfers, taking the trouble out of making payments every month and leaving you to concentrate on your new job.

Securing a rate for the future

If you want to secure a rate but aren’t yet ready to make a transfer, you can choose a forward contract to fix a rate today for a specified date in the future. This can be especially useful if you have concerns about the exchange rate moving against you in the near future.

The great thing about a forward contract is that you know now exactly how much you’ll get when you’re ready to transfer, and only need a deposit to hold this rate, freeing up your cash flow. Read more about benefits and risks of forward contracts.

How WorldFirst can help

If you are transferring money abroad for any reason, WorldFirst can help you choose the right type of transfer that suits you and your needs – with a personal service and currency to support with more complex transfers or forwards contracts.

WorldFirst provides daily commentary on the currency markets, which helps you keep your finger on the pulse with regards to trends and developments that could impact your repatriation plans. Click here to subscribe to our daily update.

Having access to local settlement accounts can reduce the associated costs with repatriating money – WorldFirst have local accounts in Canada, America, France, Spain, Amsterdam, Australia, Poland, Hong Kong and New Zealand that you can pay into.

Regular transfers allow you to setup a recurring payment into your WorldFirst account, which will be automatically converted into your chosen currency. Sending money abroad? Check your chosen currency against other currencies before moving your money with our currency converter.

Forward contracts allow you to purchase your required currency for settlement in the future. If you’re thinking of a purchasing property overseas you could also consider a spot contract to facilitate the purchase for immediate settlement on the spot date.

Currency transfers are priced using a fixed fee or a spread/margin.  Click here to read more about our pricing structure.

Join WorldFirst

Whether you are buying or selling property overseas, making an overseas investment, or simply topping up your foreign bank account, our simple to use online platform makes it fast, secure and affordable to send money abroad.

Get in touch to find out more.

Sign up for a free Personal Transfer Account now

We value our customers, and our team of dedicated London-based relationship managers are here to support you from the start to the end of your transaction.


Account set up in 3 simple steps  
  1. Register for free: complete the simple online registration form. It takes 5 minutes. We’ll be in touch to verify some details and complete the process.
  2. Set up your payee: Send money to yourself or a third-party abroad, follow our simple step by step guide to set up a payee .
  3. Book a transfer: Select the currency you want to exchange, how much you’d like to send, who you want to send it to, and when you’d like to send it. It’s that simple. The rate you will receive will be clearly on display for you to accept.

Other blogs in this series:

Want to know about salary repatriation? Take a look at some of our other blogs:


Investing means your capital is at risk. We have a number of partners who may be able to offer suitable and regulated financial advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information published here is accurate, you should confirm the latest information with the sources outlined above and consider your needs prior to making a decision. The information published is general in nature only and does not consider your personal objectives, financial situation or particular needs.