Working as a crew member on a superyacht can be an absolute whirlwind. Short breaks, no sleep, and intense pressure can leave yacht crew with no time to think about money. And when you don’t think about money, you spend it!
It’s good practice to be more mindful of your income and begin thinking of a financial plan to benefit you when you eventually leave the yachting industry. Yacht Crew financial specialists CrewFO gave us five simple tips for superyacht crew wanting to stop wasting money and start saving!
1. Make sure your bank account uses the same currency as your salary.
The poor currency exchange rates banks offer can be one of the biggest (and most unnecessary) drains on your earnings. Additionally, you might be using a bank card that is tied to a different currency. Although your card may not have any foreign transaction fees, it is still not as cost-effective as using a card in the correct currency. These extra expenses can end up costing you one month’s salary per year, so please don’t make these mistakes! Thankfully, there’s a very simple solution to this: making sure your bank account and salary are in the same currency!
2. Be Wary of Banking Offshore
Banking offshore has the one benefit of a Euro or USD card, and that’s where the advantages end. Many yacht crew are advised to open up an offshore bank account by other crew members. This is not something we recommend. Offshore banking results in high card charges and monthly fees, earning no interest, and needing a minimum balance requirement. Also, it doesn’t help your credit rating, and contrary to popular belief you cannot hide your money there. In fact, an offshore account attracts more interest from the taxman than any other. Banks in most countries offer accounts in many currencies, so do your research and don’t bank offshore.
3. Avoid Savings Accounts
Savings accounts serve a purpose; they’re certainly better than keeping your money in a current account. However, there are better ways of getting the most out of your hard-earned money. The issue is the low-interest rates most savings accounts offer (often less than 3%). This can leave your cash sitting stagnant when it could be invested elsewhere, making you money in the process. Learning how to invest your money wisely is worthwhile and can help set you up for your life after yachting. If the idea of investing is daunting, services like CrewFo are there to help you start making smarter investment choices and getting the most out of your money.
4. Keep on Top of Your Taxes
The topic of taxes is nothing short of uninspiring, however, you still need to take them seriously. Being unorganised with your taxes can end badly, and getting caught out can be very expensive. Far more costly than just doing them properly in the first place. Keeping on top of your taxes opens up many investment opportunities, such as mortgages and pensions. Such investments can be crucial to a superyacht crew’s financial stability, so do your taxes to ensure you have access to them.
5. Don’t Get Carried Away.
Working on superyachts… being surrounded by infinite wealth and luxury… These things make it hard not to get carried away with the yachting lifestyle. But remember, you don’t own the yacht. You just work on it! There’s a balance between letting loose and keeping a level head you should aim to strike. This is the balance of allowing yourself to have a much-needed break and some wild nights out and knowing when it’s time to stop. Sorry for the buzzkill!
More advice for yacht crew wanting to save money can be found on our crew finances page.