There’s a lot to think about when it comes to moving cross-country, let alone moving to a new country. When it comes to finances especially, you may be feeling a little lost. There are surprising expenses that can crop up everywhere.
If you’re financially prepared, you can save yourself a lot of stress in the long run. Check out our tips here to help your big move go that much more smoothly.
Financial Tips for Moving To England
First and foremost, make sure you have some savings to rely on. You may dream of simply picking up your bags and moving to one of England’s beautiful cities but having some savings with you will ensure that you’re prepared for possible eventualities.
This is why it’s important to plan early regarding the UK tax year before you move. You may be able to gain significant tax savings later on.
You’ll need at least a couple thousands of pounds for the first month’s rent in some areas. However, before you even think about the rent, you need to pick a place to live in. To start, think about how long you will be living in England.
Maybe you’re just going for a short trip, or maybe you want to live there forever. Either way, you still need to fund your lifestyle. Check on the cost of living, along with the tax regulations that will affect your pay check.
Choose a place to live that won’t break the bank and that may reduce the amount of money you need to spend on transport. Your main expenses which are food, rent and transport are usually your largest expenses, so reducing them will save you a lot.
Don’t forget that you may have to set up electricity, gas and water too.
Before you move, check in with your bank to see if they have a branch overseas. Your rates for using your card can vary depending on your current bank. While this may seem like a small inconvenience, even small fees may add up.
It’s a good idea to open a UK bank account for this reason. Make sure that you have your ID and your proof of address, along with evidence of employment. Your options might be limited when you first arrive, since you lack credit history.
However, after a short amount of time, you should be able to upgrade to a better bank if you would like.
Pay Attention to Taxes
If you’re not a resident of the UK, you will be taxed based only on the fact that you’re an income earner in the UK. The tax year will run from April to April, but you’ll need a National Insurance Number to pay tax.
Many companies will remove your taxes for you before giving you your check. However, always check for it to be sure you’re getting taxed correctly. As a self-employed person, you’ll have to set up your taxes yourself.
Use the tax breaks you earn in order to produce some healthy savings. Income Tax allowances and Capital Gains Tax allowances can all help to reduce your bill annually.
Some assurance bonds or non-UK pension schemes can help deliver a stream of income during retirement, depending on what you choose.
What to Expect
You’ve got your finances in order and are ready to move to the UK. Even with all the financial preparations you’ve done though, you may still find yourself feeling lost and unsure when you arrive.
There’s quite a learning curve when moving so far from home, but here’s a little bit of what you can expect.
The UK speaks the same language as the US, so you may not feel as out of place if you’re coming from the US than if you didn’t speak the language at all. However, that doesn’t mean the culture won’t throw you a little.
Certain words and sayings are different and ways of doing things may seem strange at first. For instance, remember that many people drink tea in the UK, unlike many people in the US who prefer coffee. Make sure you know what you’re ordering when you step in a restaurant or café.
You’ve probably heard that it rains in the UK all the time – that’s not a joke. Rainfall isn’t restricted to one season or time of the day. A day might begin with sun but end up with a downpour. It’s always smart to have an umbrella with you at all times.
Renting a Home
Check on your rent status before you make your move. The right to rent laws in the UK might be a problem when you have to prove that you have a legal right to live in the country.
You’re only entitled to 6 months initially, so check with your rental agency to make sure that if you’re signing a lease, you have the right to live there.
Mind Your Manners
Politeness is very serious in the UK. Manners are an important part of the culture, so you’ll probably hear a lot of polite phrases and small talk. Try and get used to the way people speak and the humour you encounter too.
Moving is difficult, especially when you’re moving across the country. When you have your finances in order though, even moving to England shouldn’t cause you too much undue stress.
Follow our financial tips to make your move to the UK that much easier, as you take a look at your expenses, your living arrangements and even your future taxes.