But What About My Finances Abroad!

But What About My Finances Abroad!

This was a very big concern for me before moving abroad and even up through the first couple of weeks.  My finances abroad.

What am I to do for money?  Cashflow?  What’s the best bank to use?  Does the bank have any affiliation with a U.S. bank?

Yes the U.S. dollar is accepted in Mexico and a lot of places will take credit cards…….  But what about those that don’t?  What to do?

I used Facebook expat sites to find out how those folks were coping with their finances.  Honestly, this wasn’t much help.  Lots of ambiguity and fear responses.

Should I roll the dice?  Take a chance?

But What About My Finances Abroad!

The first thing we did was had a sit down talk with our financial institutions in the U.S.  That went well.  In reality, things wouldn’t be much different than in the U.S.  All we had to do was to let the institutions what country and when.  Viola!

Seems simple enough.  They explained exchange rate fees along with limitations (which I often forgot about) to help us manage our traveling.

This is good.  With the exception of one thing which I’m having to deal with in a way I’m not quite sure of and I don’t want to get into any trouble.  That one thing is that my stock brokerage firm failed to tell me that in order to trade I had to reside in the U.S. for at least 6 months a year.  This presents a couple problems for me that I’m presently trying to work thru.  You see, I sold my house.  I know you’re thinking just give them an address of a relative.  Right?  Not quite as simple as that.  I’d be trading from abroad.  That trade can be tracked.

I know you’re thinking use of a VPN.  I’ve thought that too.  That could help but also cause a problem with me being deceitful and thereby compromising myself with the firm and the SEC (possibly. I’m still researching this matter).

I’d rather be safe than sorry.  I’ll research my options and get back to that later.

So, for the most part I feel like I’ll have adequate access to my finances…..thus far.

But What About My Finances Abroad!

Also, leaving the country with a financed car presents problems on both sides of the border.  The finance company mandates (as does the state of registration) that it be insured in the U.S. and then there’s the minor thing of the financing company having to deal with possible non-payment.  Then Mexico has it’s restrictions on a financed vehicle entering the country and insurance issue also!

Solved this issue swiftly and to my advantage.  I’d pay off the loan by borrowing my own money from me at a discounted rate and repay myself.  Viola!  Problem solved.  Next, I found an insurer in Mexico and that issue was put to rest.

Fast forward to crossing the border.  Anxious!  I don’t have the clear title yet on the car!  My insurance agent just contacted me that my policy doesn’t go into effect until tomorrow.  And, I’ve just ignorantly and clumsly exchanged dollars for pesos.

Here I go.

No problem……Mexican immigrations didn’t ask for a clear title or proof of insurance.  Nor was my items in my vehicle inspected.

So far, so good.

I was still a bit curious about the money thing.  Yeah, there’s ATM’s in Mexico.  There’s also skimmers in Mexico.  And just as in the U.S. bad hombre lurking near by.  The bad hombre isn’t much of a concern, just use an ATM in a busy enclosed area.  I did find out that even in a bank….somehow, a thief can insert a skimmer in an ATM (it happened to me).

I would run into 2 problems with ATM’s in Mexico.  One was the local bank’s limitation on my daily withdrawal and two was the ATM access fee.  This took a while of making mistakes (minor ones) to find the best options for myself.

But What About My Finances Abroad!

So far the only businesses that haven’t taken my credit cards are small mom/pop businesses.  Small businesses owned by U.S/Canadians require a minimum amount bill to process a credit card…..some businesses in the U.S. do this too.

Things have run smoother financially than I thought, other than the stock trading part.

I don’t use U.S. dollars here, I use pesos.  I don’t shop at tourist shops.  And I make sure that the shops have their prices posted in pesos (it’s the law here).  One other thing, I have a money exchange app on my phone to compare prices.  Oh, the exchange rate changes moment by moment but isn’t reflected in the price that way.

I’m sure there are horror stories out there.  I think one of the keys is to talk with you financial institutions back home and keep things private and as close to your wallet as possible.

Doing fine on the Caribbean coast of Mexico!

Peace, love, and beaches,


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