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Expats step up focus on money management

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The rising cost of living is not an exclusively British problem, with the increasing price of various commodities creating financial pressures all over the world.

As a result, many expatriates from the UK have had to change their habits and make sure they manage their finances more effectively in order to get by.

A survey by NatWest International Personal Banking (NatWest IPB) found that being prudent with money is becoming more of a priority to this group of people.

For instance, 44 per cent of those surveyed were found to have cut the amount they spend on luxury goods in the last few months. This is up from 17 per cent in 2007-8.

However, expats still appear to be feeling prosperous, which suggests the amount of money being transferred to the UK by these individuals will not drop significantly in the near future.

Indeed, 83 per cent of respondents said they believe they are either "quite prosperous" or "comfortably off", despite the rising cost of living in recent years.

Dave Isley, Head of NatWest IPB, commented: "The global financial crisis has failed to dampen the spirits of expats who seem to have adopted the 'keep calm, carry on' philosophy.

"They are indeed our ambassadors abroad, which proves when the going gets tough, the tough get going."

Mr Isley noted that the number of expats saying they intend to come back to Britain at some point has actually gone down in the last five years.

This, he said, shows that factors such as their improved financial status and increased quality of life means many are "living their dreams" by residing overseas.

The findings back up an earlier study by the Post Office, which revealed most expats believe they made the right decision leaving the UK and think the reality of living abroad has met their expectations.

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