All you need to know about organising your funds for your trip to the UK!
You’ve booked your trip to the UK and want to make sure you have all your ducks in a row in terms of organising your bank account, transferring funds, and making sure you don’t get caught short when paying for drinks at the bar.
So, here’s what to do when it comes to organising your money & planning for future overseas expenses…
Your current local bank accounts
Before jet-setting overseas, there are a couple of important steps to take with your local bank:
- First of all, let your local bank(s) know that you’re moving overseas!
- Secondly, make sure you increase your “daily limit” if you plan to make a large international bank transfer in the future, which may be likely.
Overseas Travel Card
It’s essential to plan how you are going to access your local funds whilst travelling.
Your local bank may offer an International Travel Card, which could be the best option for you.
However, there are some excellent alternatives out there that offer our Australian or New Zealand educators zero or low international transaction fees & also highly competitive exchange rates.
Many educators travelling abroad to the UK will choose any of the following options
- Citibank – Learn more here. (If based in Australia)
- ING – Learn more here. (If based in Australia)
- Wise – Learn more here. (If based in Australia or New Zealand)
- Cash Passport – Learn more here (If based in New Zealand)
Setting up a UK Bank account
Looking ahead to when you start earning the British Pound Sterling, you’ll need to have a UK bank account organised. Most UK banks require you to be in the UK to open an account.
To open a UK Bank account, there are three common options that we recommend for educators to consider choosing, which we’ll break down below:
- Monzo – Learn more here.
Monzo is an online bank where you can open an account within Australia & New Zealand OR wait until you arrive in the UK.
If you wanted to open a Monzo account before you get to the UK, you’ll need to have a trusted residential address (family or close friends) to send your bank card too.
Otherwise, you can simply apply once you get to the UK & have your own residential address.
- Revolut – Learn more here.
Very similar to Mozo, as it’s an online bank with One app, & all things money. We recommend waiting until you get to the UK to open up a Revolut account.
- HSBC – Learn more here.
HSBC is a large & reputable global bank with offices around the world, including the UK.
You cannot open an HSBC bank account before you arrive in the UK, so anzuk can assist you with opening a UK bank account when you first arrive to the UK.
We can refer you to the local HSBC branch near our London office with a ‘letter of employment’ following arrival in order for you to set this up easily.
Transferring your funds whilst overseas
Using a bank for international money transfers may seem like your easiest option, but it can be an expensive one. Banks publish a daily exchange rate for currencies even though the market exchange rate moves by the second.
Therefore, banks typically build in a margin of up to 5% on the daily exchange rate, which they pass on to you (on top of hefty transactions fees).
So, to avoid these fees, there are again two common options that we recommend for educators to consider choosing:
- OFX – anzuk have partnered with OFX, so you can transfer money faster and for a lot less, 24/7. We’ve also arranged for you to receive OFX fee free transfers above $250AUD, which put even more money in your pocket!
Click here to get started.
- Wise – Alongside offering an international travel card, Wise is an excellent platform to transfer money between international bank accounts & is unbelievably easy to navigate.
Click here to get started.
Applying for your National Insurance Number
It is also notable to mention since we’re talking about all things money-related, you will need to apply for a National Insurance Number when you get to the UK.
National Insurance Number (NIN) is a number provided to you by the UK government. It ultimately keeps track of your tax record and benefit entitlements and is a requirement to work in the UK.
It is super easy to apply for through this link but you are only able to apply for it once you have arrived in the UK (so no need to worry about it just yet!):
You can start work with anzuk in the UK without your National Insurance number, as long as you can prove your right to work (this will be your visa once it has been processed) but it is worth applying for your NIN shortly after your arrival in the UK.
Important expenses to plan for
Alongside paying for that round of drinks, here are some of the most important things you’ll likely need to pay for after you arrive in the UK:
- Your first months’ rent (est £600 – £1000)
- 6 weeks bond for your rental (est £800 – £1300)
- Weekend getaways less than £1,000 (estimated)
- Longer holidays roughly £1,000 per week (estimated)
If you are looking at living in London, we unpack this in greater detail in our blog, How much money do you really need to travel & live in London?
Claiming your Tax back when you leave the UK
The UK Tax return system is set up differently than many other countries, in which it’s most likely each year you WON’T apply for a tax return.
When it’s time to leave the UK, this is when you’ll likely be able to apply for a tax refund, and this can be done easily on the government website here: https://www.gov.uk/claim-tax-refund.
As always, feel free to ask your anzuk consultant if you need any help or tips when setting up your overseas accounts.
If you haven’t yet registered with anzuk please click on the following link & we can chat further about working & living in the UK.
Or, if you have any friends/peers who may be interested, we offer a $150 referral bonus following 10 days worked in the UK!