Moving Abroad From Germany On A Tight Budget
When you decide to move abroad from Germany, it can be a daunting prospect, especially on a tight budget. But whether you’re moving for personal or professional reasons, with your family or alone, it’s possible to make the move without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll cover the best tips for helping you plan your move abroad from Germany, looking at things you need to cancel before you go and how to save money on affordable shipping costs to get you there.
Giving your notice early
When you’re planning to move abroad from Germany, whether as a national citizen or a long-term visitor, you’ll need to give notice in writing on many things well in advance. In most cases, this will be 3 months, but make sure you confirm any current notice period, which will usually be specified in each contract. Here are two examples of where you should send your notice letters:
To end your rental contract with your landlord, you’ll need to give written notice at least three months before your fixed-term or open-ended rental agreement ends. You may be able to leave your property sooner, but you might be charged a fee. If you can suggest a new tenant who can move in, that fee might be waived, but it would still need to be approved by your landlord.
German tenants are well protected by law, so giving notice on your rental agreement will usually be straightforward. You should receive your deposit back in full, though there may be deductions concerning damage or repairs.
Under German law, you can only hand in a formal letter of resignation to your boss by written letter, which should be printed and signed. Check your employment contract’s termination section to confirm your notice period. This period is usually 3 months, effective until the end of a month, but maybe less if you’re still within your probationary period. If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to inform the tax office that you’re leaving the country and ensure you have no outstanding taxes.
Deregistering your German life
When moving abroad from Germany permanently, there’s a legal requirement to deregister yourself from the system and serve notification you’re leaving the country. You can do this once you’ve arrived at your new destination, but it’s far easier to complete the process while still in Germany. However, your timeframe for deregistering in most cities is short – usually 1 week before you leave or 2 weeks after you leave.
When deregistering, there can be multiple forms and documents to complete at appointments with your local citizen’s office, but this must be completed. If you don’t deregister correctly, you may still need to pay tax! Here are some institutions you’ll need to deregister from:
- Your school (if you have children)
- Your home address
- Your TV licence fee (rundfunkbeitrag)
- Your car(s), whether you take it with you or not
Cancelling service or utility contracts
You’ll also need to cancel any utility service contracts you have. Cancellation periods may differ from provider to provider, and again, many agreements require 3-month notice periods. Check your account details for each one and get them cancelled at the right time, in the correct order – you may need your deregistration certificates for this. Here are some services you’ll need to cancel contracts and accounts with:
- Electricity, water, and energy
- Home Internet
- Mobile phone
- Insurance (for home contents, car, health etc.)
- Gym, sports, or other club memberships
Your bank account(s) is another important thing to close – but only if you need to. It’s worth keeping it open with funds to ensure any final demands can be paid out or reimbursements paid in, as this might happen several months into your new life abroad.
And remember to set up a mail forwarding service. No matter how proactive you’ve been in informing people, businesses, and institutions of your new address, mail will probably still arrive at your old address. You can set up a mail forwarding service and redirect your mail to your new address for up to 12 months, though fees will apply.
Plan your travel arrangements in advance
Wherever you’re moving abroad to in the world, it always pays to plan your travel arrangements in advance. Planning ahead will go a long way towards reducing the stress and uncertainty of moving abroad from Germany, allowing you to focus on other important tasks and avoid last-minute problems before moving to your new country. Here are some suggestions on what to check and how to ensure everything is organised well ahead of your moving date.
Passport and visas
Your passport is essential to travelling and you won’t be able to go anywhere without it. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months before and after your travel date so you can avoid any issues in returning to Germany if you need to. If your passport is valid for less than 6 months before your travel date, apply for a new one as soon as possible, remembering that it can take up to 12 weeks to arrive.
Many countries beyond the EU will also require a visa for entry. As you’ll need your passport, alongside supporting documents and photos, for any visa, you should apply for this at least one month in advance. You can find out what the visa requirements are for your new country by checking their government website.
Flights and luggage
If you’ve planned well in advance, you’ll be able to choose your flight date to suit your itinerary. Or you might have a brand new job waiting for you when you land, in which case you should already know the date when you start and when you ought to arrive in the country.
It’s a good idea to book your flights around 2 months in advance, especially if you want to travel during peak travel seasons like summer or Christmas or on popular routes. This booking should give you the best chance of finding the lowest fares and getting flight times that suit you on your preferred airline. Compare costs on the airline’s websites and travel and online agents.
And when it comes to luggage, have a checklist of everything you need to take, including clothes, shoes, toiletries, and essentials such as medication. The rest of your possessions can be transported beforehand via international shipping to arrive shortly after you do.
Money and budget
Moving abroad from Germany can be expensive, and costs can quickly spiral depending on how many people are making the move with you and how many possessions you need to move. Moving abroad without knowing how much it will cost will blow a hole in your budget much quicker than if you stick to your budget from the outset – whatever it is – especially if money is tight.
Having a realistic budget in place should help you save money and stop you from spending too much. By already considering your flight costs and any passport or visa costs, any remaining budget should go towards the actual cost of moving.
Knowing what you want to move is a great start and will give you an understanding of how much you can afford to take with you – and what you might need to sell beforehand – helping you budget accordingly without any unnecessary expenses. Our volume calculator will give you an approximate total volume in cubic feet of your items.
Once you know this, you can begin looking into affordable international shipping costs from movers who support budget-friendly moves abroad. But looking for a company that can offer you what you need and be good value for money, rather than just going for the cheapest option, is essential.
Explore affordable international shipping options
Once you’ve identified at least three companies that suit your needs based on their shipping options, get a detailed quote from each of them before making a choice. Don’t forget to check the reviews of each company and look at their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision based on the services they offer and other people’s experiences with them.
While air and sea shipping options are available for international moves, air freight can increase your costs as it’s quicker to ship. If you have no time constraints or plan and book in advance, choosing the slower option of sea freight shipping can be far more cost-effective if you’re sticking to a tight budget.
You can even choose a shipping container that best suits you and your items. Sea freight options include Full Container Load (FCL), where everything inside is yours, and Less Than Container Load (LCL) where you share container space with other customers for an even cheaper shipping rate.
Let UPakWeShip EU help you move abroad from Germany
Moving abroad from Germany can be daunting, especially if you’re on a tight budget. But at UPakWeShipEU, we can help you make that process much easier – and more affordable too.
With moving and shipping services from Germany to the USA, Canada, or anywhere else in the world, UPakWeShipEU makes shipping easy. We offer affordable rates for anyone on a tight budget, no hidden fees, and a sound reputation for moving precious possessions safely and efficiently to wherever you’re moving.
Contact UPakWeShip EU today on +31(0)6 21 61 76 19 or email email@example.com to ask us anything and get your free quote.