Coming to a new country is a challenge in many ways. You have to get used to people’s ways, their food and transport system, the workforce culture, and many others. To top all these, there is a challenge to your personal financial life.
Many of us come to a new country to build a dream yet sometimes we get caught up in the new lifestyle and build debt faster instead.
Here, we’ll offer some financial advice for new immigrants to help them get started on a healthy financial footing in their new home.
Build credit — and make it a good one
Building credit is important for you to set roots in your new country, especially here in the U.S. where some of the most important purchases involve good credit. With good credit, you can get better access to financial services like loans, not to mention perks, in terms of interest rates.
Maintain a good relationship with your lender by focusing on the biggest factors in building good credit:
- Payment history
- Credit utilization rate
Improve your market value
As a newcomer to the workplace, you have the burden of proof to your employer. Eyes will be on you but it’s also your chance to show that you are worth the monthly debit from their bottom line. Get better at what you do. Acquire practical skills to use at work. Soon enough, you will see the outcome on your paycheck.
And while you’re still working on it, don’t forget to…
Save, save, save
You can never go wrong by saving money. It’s a timeless value that extends far beyond just having money in the bank: it builds discipline, which has a far reaching effect in other areas of your life.
Yes, there may be a vast sea of opportunity ahead in your new home but until you catch something, stay low key. Don’t upgrade your lifestyle just yet. Make it a habit to save a certain percentage from your paycheck because who knows when you’re going to need it?
Learn from the lessons of others. You don’t need to go through the same difficulty, especially if it’s a costly process. A lot of other people take on huge purchases like big homes and fancy cars when they were confident about their employment status or held two or three jobs. Some of those who purchased huge homes ended up failing to make the mortgages when they lost their second job.
Unfortunately, there is no absolute certainty when it comes to employment. Stability in its purest sense is a fallacy. You have to be prepared all the time. That means you should save and avoid taking on debts that are obviously too huge to handle. These are debts that will choke your cash flow. You can’t save, you can’t invest. You go to work only to pay them off.
Have another source of income
If you have time to spare, why not hustle on the side to pad your income and increase your savings.
Or better yet, find a passive income stream. Passive income sources make money for you while you are on the beach sipping mojitos. Examples of passive income comes from renting out an apartment or a storage unit, a business partnership or owning preferred shares of a business.
Do you know that Asian Americans’ shopping habits make retailers’ eyes light up with dollar signs?
That seems to be the case according to a consumer research conducted by Nielsen last year. A large part of the Asian American demographic love branded items, the research says. We love to shop for clothes, smartphones, and whatnot.
The report even used the term “swayable shopaholic” to describe “informed shoppers” who are willing to switch brands if they believe another brand is of better quality. Forget price, we love brands.