Economy and Finance in the UK
Managing their finances is often one of the biggest challenges for expats in the UK: from choosing the right bank, over transferring one's money to a UK account all the way to choosing a payment method for their regular and day-to-day expenses. Moreover, it makes sense to be well-informed about the cost of living in the UK and how the current economy might affect your budget.
Banking, Money Transfer, and Payment Methods
Most people choose one of the top five banks in the UK: HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, or Standard Chartered. However, it pays off to take a closer look at smaller banks. Their services might be exactly what you are looking for. While UK banks offer great services, they are usually not the best place to turn to if you want to move your money to the UK. It's often expensive and takes far too long. Foreign exchange companies usually offer better services. Although you may prefer using your credit cards to pay for your shopping or your bills, there are other methods of payment that are common in the UK. Cheques and debit cards are rather popular for every day purposes, while standing orders and direct debits are used for regular bills.
Economy and Cost of Living
Unfortunately, the cost of living in the UK is exceptionally high. Since 2008, the cost of living has increased four times faster than the average income. This particularly applies to energy and car insurance fees. Expats are often confronted with additional costs upon arrival. This is why you should calculate your budget well and ask yourself if you can afford the same amenities as you did before. Although the UK economy is one of the largest in Europe, the country was hit hard by the financial crisis in 2008. Ultimately, the government had to cut back on public spending and raise taxes to get the country's economy back on track.