Develop a budget
Having a healthy savings account is great, but if you don't have an accurate sense of the cost of living in your host country, you might blow through it faster than anticipated.
Before you go, identify the costs of housing, food, education, entertainment, transportation, utilities and insurance in your target country. From these figures, create a monthly budget based upon your income and projected expenditures.
"Don't forget to figure the costs of going back to the 'old country' for special occasions or emergencies," says Dan Prescher, special projects editor of InternationalLiving.com.
Prescher, himself an expat residing in Ecuador, says you can find sample budgets for many countries on the International Living website. Expat blogs and online cost-of-living calculators are also key sources of information. "Run your budget for a few months and adjust as needed," Prescher says. "Things always change once you're on the ground."