5 Money Saving Tips for Making the Move to the UK

Contributed by Solution Loans, 01 December, 2016

Moving house comes with any number of challenges – and when you're making the move to another country, this can be a particularly stressful and expensive time. From tackling unexpected visa costs and travel fees to opening a bank account and negotiating your monthly bills, in today's post, we're breaking down ways that expats can make the transition from their home country across to the UK without breaking the bank.

1. Learn the legalities

Before you move forward with any employment opportunities or look to find somewhere to buy or rent, it's essential that you know the legalities surrounding living and working in the UK. Firstly, visit gov.uk to find out if you need a UK visa. You can quickly and easily find out which, if any, visa you're required to hold before you move to the UK and any of the terms related to working rights. At present, any person who belongs to the European Economic Area (EEA) has the right to live and work in the UK. However, Britain's decision to leave the EU could influence this once Brexit comes into full effect in coming years – so make sure you stay up-to-date on the latest information.

2. Find cheap ways to travel

From the initial flights to the UK to figuring out your day-to-day commute once you arrive, travel can be one of the most costly aspects of moving to another country. Once your plans are finalised, your new home in the UK is confirmed and all aspects of the removals process are taken care of, it's time to book your flights. The earlier you can book the better, as you're more likely to receive a discount on your flights. When you arrive in the UK, visit local council and transport websites to find travel options in your area. Whether it's by train, bus or tube, you might find that public transport is more cost-effective than running a car.

3. Get a bank account

Setting up a bank account should be one of your main priorities when you arrive in the UK. From having the necessary details ready to present to your employer and paying your rent to setting up utility bills and shopping online, a bank card will make your life in the UK a lot easier.

All you'll need to open your bank account is proof of identity (a passport, birth certificate or driving licence) and a bill that displays your new UK address. It might seem like a small task, but failing to open a bank account can lead to financial trouble and a bad credit score, and ultimately cause you problems in the long term.

4. Negotiate your bills

As a nation, we're notoriously bad at negotiating better prices on our monthly bills, but you can get your new life in the UK off to the right start by haggling with your phone, broadband, gas and electricity providers. In fact, any bills you pay on a monthly basis can probably be reduced with some clever negotiating. Start by calling each provider individually and asking them to match any better offers that you've discovered elsewhere or enquire about switching to more affordable tariffs.

5. Shop savvy

Whether you're a day-to-day shopper or prefer to tackle your grocery shop in bulk, buying food is one area where it's difficult to trim back on your outgoings. It will be almost impossible to set a budget until you get used the price difference in the UK and match it up with your income. Once you have a better idea of your average grocery spend, you'll be able to set a budget that you can stick to. In the meantime, sign up for loyalty and reward cards wherever possible. This way, you'll benefit from any special offers and discounts in your local supermarkets, and be able to put any savings to one side.

Upping sticks can be a stressful time in a person's life but, by following these 5 handy tips, you can minimise your money worries when you make the move to the UK.

Tags: Europe | budget | food | fees | tariffs |



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