Get a stable job and income.
Finding a stable job and income is vital. You won’t be able to save if you’re always getting a different salary or income every few weeks. You need to find a job that will guarantee X amount per month – even if that means taking less money per hour.
Open an interest earning savings account.
There are many banks like Techcom Bank and Vietcom Bank which offer interest earning accounts. Find something around four to six percent and you will see your money add up. My goal is to put 50% into my savings account every month. I try to do this at least ten times a year. The money adds up and every couple of months I get a nice little cash influx.
If a savings account is out the question, you should buy a safe and put the money in there. You can’t spend any money if you put it in the safe. You might not earn interest, but it’ll always be yours. If the money is in your debit/atm or pocket, it would be a lot easier to unnecessarily spend it.
Work hard but don’t over do it.
A lot of expats don’t make enough with one job to really save money. It might be necessary to pick up another part-time job to be able to save money. You need to sacrifice a little personal freedom if you want to save. Just make sure you don’t overdo it because the last thing you can afford is getting sick and your body shutting down.
You will need insurance especially if you’re working harder than usual. Chances are as you get older you will need to visit a doctor or hospital once a year. You can find affordable plans which might save you a small fortune in case you get sick or have an accident. Last thing you need is to spend all your savings because you didn’t want to spend $300 on insurance when you had the chance.
I wanted to ask a person who really understands the ins and outs and to give you more insight about insurance in Vietnam. Here’s what Quinn Miller, Managing Partner, Tenzing Pacific Services had to say.
“It’s very important to have a plan that protects you while living abroad and while travelling around SE Asia. Unexpected medical costs happen all the time, whether you’re at home or living abroad, but many people go without any coverage in Vietnam, where they don’t have the same safety net as back home which puts them and their family at financial risk. At minimum you should at least protect yourself from big ticket items by having a good inpatient/emergency plan. The good thing about the insurance market is there are hundreds of options to match any budget.”
– Quinn Miller
Make sure to email Quinn if you have any questions: Quinn.firstname.lastname@example.org and mention me as a reference if needed.
Buy a motorbike, don’t rent.
You have a few extra hundred dollars. You can either rent a motorbike for $50-$100 a month or buy a bike. You might not want to, but buying the bike will save you a lot of money and you can always sell it back to close to full value when you finally decide to leave Vietnam. Just do the math: renting for 24 months at $75 or buying a bike for a few hundred. It’s a no brainer.
Get in a stable relationship.
You might not realize or think about this seriously, but finding a stable relationship and being with someone who has their own job is essential for saving money. Serial daters tend to spend a lot more because they are constantly dating and trying to impress different people all the time. The bills will add up quickly.
Set a spending budget.
Saving at least 50% of every paycheck is ideal. This might not be feasible for you, but if you can save close to this percentage, it will put you at an advantage over others. Spend about the other remaining 50% on rent, bills etc. and spend 25% of that on food and entertainment.This is to ensure you dont overspend or underspend.
If you allow $100 spending every week, then at least you’re aware of how much you’ve overspent this week so you can try to lessen the allocation for next week. If you don’t do this, then it’s really hard to save money. At the end of the month you’d wonder why all your cash is gone and you wouldn’t remember what you’ve spent that money on.