Author Topic: UK Budget...for real!  (Read 9156 times)

Rightflyer

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UK Budget...for real!
« on: June 14, 2016, 06:26:40 AM »
In March we came here looking for feedback on questions about UK living budgets/land/housing etc. It was all in an effort to help us with our decision to move to the UK.

The responses and advice were incredibly helpful...Thanks so much guys. It was really appreciated.

So, we put our place up for sale last week and are now getting ready for the big move. Hopefully moving by the fall if all goes well.

Now I have another ask. Given what we got from you folks and what we could glean from the interweb we got down to some serious budgeting.

Can you UK folks cast your local eyes over the "necessities" budget below and give us your feedback, good and bad?

Item                        GBP/mth   Notes/Source
Rent                        900.00    2 bedroom detached in Stroud area
Council tax               133.33    from Stroud District Council site
Water                    45
Gas                       40.00            from moneysupermarket.com
Electric                40.00            from moneysupermarket.com
Internet/Landline   35.00            from moneysupermarket.com
TV Licence              13              paid yearly/amortized monthly
Netflix UK              7.49            netflix
Mobile              15.00            from moneysupermarket.com
Food                      265.00            compared our current spend with Numbeo, confirmed average week on mysupermarket.co.uk
Booze              100.00     mysupermarket.co.uk&bighospitality.co.uk
Meds                      35.00            assumed same pharmaceutical costs
Dog                      30.00            mysupermarket.co.uk
Auto                      234.75           from AA cost of auto ownership driving 5,000 miles/year, petrol @ 1.29/L, includes depreciation on 13,000 purchase price (the lowest band that that the table covers)
Misc                      100.00    
Total Monthly    1993.57    for 2 people and 1 dog

Edit: revised adding water and TV licence.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2016, 10:41:37 AM by Rightflyer »

Fig

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2016, 07:22:30 AM »
That's an exciting decision! Most of your estimates roughly match our costs as a two person household - we spend quite a lot less on food and drink (but don't eat out much) and a bit more on our two mobiles. I can't comment on the cost of running a car, but some other costs to consider:

- Water supply - we pay approx 28/month
- TV licence - approx 12.50/month
- Home contents insurance? 16/month
- Meds - depends what this covers and if you'll have access to the NHS. This would pay for a few NHS prescriptions a month, but worth remembering that dental and optical check ups/treatment need to be paid for too.

Hope this useful... Good luck :)
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 07:24:31 AM by Fig »

cerat0n1a

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2016, 09:17:50 AM »
Water costs? (Or are they covered by rent?) I recall that South West Water is one of the more expensive - 2% of the population but a third of the coastline to keep clean. TV Licence, home insurance, as Fig said.

For meds, look into a NHS prepayment certificate - basically a 3 month season ticket which is cheaper than individual prescriptions if you take multiple medicines long-term.

Car costs look slightly high to me, but I guess it very much depends on what you drive. Petrol is more like 1.10/litre currently, I average 55mpg over the course of a year, which is 9.1 pence per mile for fuel. I pay ~200pa for car insurance, 130pa road tax, ~400pa for maintenance costs (less than that in reality, but some provision for unexpected big costs.) and I allow ~700pa for depreciation (based on a buying a 3 year old car for 7000 every 10 years.) You may find that you pay significantly more than a British person would do for car insurance in your first couple of years, due to lack of no-claims bonus.


shelivesthedream

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2016, 01:56:55 AM »
That's a bit higher than our two-person budget but we don't have a car or dog, so I'd say that's not unreasonable.  You don't seem to have budgeted anything for clothes or fun - but maybe that's under misc or booze?

Torran

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2016, 02:31:46 AM »
Looks great to me.

265 a month for food for 2 people is impressive in my opinion. If you shop in Lidl and Aldi I guess this is more than reasonable. You could probably include all kinds of Lidl Luxuries in that sort of budget, depending on whether you enjoy cooking weird and wonderful things :)

I would love to find out how you get on - please keep us updated.

shelivesthedream

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2016, 05:58:01 AM »
Looks great to me.

265 a month for food for 2 people is impressive in my opinion. If you shop in Lidl and Aldi I guess this is more than reasonable. You could probably include all kinds of Lidl Luxuries in that sort of budget, depending on whether you enjoy cooking weird and wonderful things :)

I would love to find out how you get on - please keep us updated.

As in it's too much or too little?

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2016, 06:31:19 AM »
@Fig Yes, we're pretty stoked about the move. We're calling it the "Beginning of the rest of our lives". (I know, technically every day is the beginning of the rest of our lives but this seemed to have a whiff of profoundness to it.)
Water...we hadn't considered that. (We have had a well forever...) I'll add that in.
TV Licence. We don't have cable or satellite...we'd only use the internet (Netflix etc). Would we still be forced to get a TV Licence?
Insurance. Something we will need to consider (our junk personal stuff isn't that good!) . I'll add it in the budget. Do most renters have it? 
Meds. Yes, we will have access to NHS.   

@ceratonia Thanks as always for the reply.
We'll check into the NHS prepayment certificates.
The auto expenses were straight from the AA. Ours would likely be closer to yours, but I might move that to GBP200 a month. What are you driving that gets 55mpg??? (I guess we are amazed due to the fact that our super-duty, V8, 4-wheel drive pickup truck gets closer to 11 mpg. BTW: no face punches required. We live in the country, in snowy climes, on an acreage...)

@shelivesthedream Good eye.
We spend very little on clothes, so yes that can easily be covered by the Misc.
Our fun "at home" costs very little (gardening, drinking too much wine, building, drawing, cooking, entertaining etc.) Our fun outside consists of travel, which we weren't including in the necessities budget.

@Torran Thanks.
Wasn't quite sure if by impressive you meant impressive high or impressive low?

We'll keep posting as we move along the journey.
Hope you folks don't mind more questions as we flail our way around.

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2016, 06:34:03 AM »
Looks great to me.

265 a month for food for 2 people is impressive in my opinion. If you shop in Lidl and Aldi I guess this is more than reasonable. You could probably include all kinds of Lidl Luxuries in that sort of budget, depending on whether you enjoy cooking weird and wonderful things :)

I would love to find out how you get on - please keep us updated.

As in it's too much or too little?

We wondered that as well. I assume Aldi and Lidl are the cheaper end of the spectrum?

shelivesthedream

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2016, 07:01:15 AM »
Looks great to me.

265 a month for food for 2 people is impressive in my opinion. If you shop in Lidl and Aldi I guess this is more than reasonable. You could probably include all kinds of Lidl Luxuries in that sort of budget, depending on whether you enjoy cooking weird and wonderful things :)

I would love to find out how you get on - please keep us updated.

As in it's too much or too little?

We wondered that as well. I assume Aldi and Lidl are the cheaper end of the spectrum?

We budget 200/month for the two of us and shop mainly at Tesco and Sainsburys. (This does not include: alcohol, coffee, tea or hosting friends). I've never lived near an Aldi or a Lidl but I wish I did because the few times I've been in them I've found some really tasty things like cheeses or salami! I've not bought "ordinary" things in them like vegetables, though. We do eat mostly vegetarian, though, and while we sometimes have to watch our spending if we buy a lot of meat or cheese we generally eat well and allow any unspent money to carry over to the next week.

cerat0n1a

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2016, 07:05:11 AM »
What are you driving that gets 55mpg??? (I guess we are amazed due to the fact that our super-duty, V8, 4-wheel drive pickup truck gets closer to 11 mpg. BTW: no face punches required. We live in the country, in snowy climes, on an acreage...)

Honda Civic, which is nothing special for fuel consumption, certainly a smaller car would do better. I do little urban or motorway driving, both of which would bring it down a bit. I know UK gallons are bigger than US gallons, not sure which way Canada goes on that.

MostlyBearded

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2016, 07:33:23 AM »
Used to do all shopping at Tesco but we're fully converted LIDLers now. As well as slashing the prices, I think they have much nicer food and always running different promotions on certain foods. Eg. they are currently selling a lot of French products - we picked up some snails(!) and a few cheeses on our last trip. Last month I think it was Greek.

We buy a lot of fresh fruit and veg and quality is reasonable.

Torran

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2016, 08:56:08 AM »
Looks great to me.

265 a month for food for 2 people is impressive in my opinion. If you shop in Lidl and Aldi I guess this is more than reasonable. You could probably include all kinds of Lidl Luxuries in that sort of budget, depending on whether you enjoy cooking weird and wonderful things :)

I would love to find out how you get on - please keep us updated.

As in it's too much or too little?

We wondered that as well. I assume Aldi and Lidl are the cheaper end of the spectrum?

We budget 200/month for the two of us and shop mainly at Tesco and Sainsburys. (This does not include: alcohol, coffee, tea or hosting friends). I've never lived near an Aldi or a Lidl but I wish I did because the few times I've been in them I've found some really tasty things like cheeses or salami! I've not bought "ordinary" things in them like vegetables, though. We do eat mostly vegetarian, though, and while we sometimes have to watch our spending if we buy a lot of meat or cheese we generally eat well and allow any unspent money to carry over to the next week.

Oops sorry wasn't clear - I meant impressive as in it's quite low. I am impressed with the frugality muscles. However I wasn't meaning to rain on your parade, it does sound like a do-able number.

My food budget for 1 person is usually at about 200 a month. This is just me being overly spendy though - I do love a fancy new delicatessen.

The lowest I've been able to get it is 100 a month. 25 a week for absolutely all my food, shopping in Lidl. I found that, to be honest, a bit difficult and stressful. It involves a lot of 'bulking up' of dishes, e.g making stew and then adding heaps of potatoes and tinned chickpeas to stretch it out, which can get pretty boring after a while tbh.

I guess it just depends on your tastes. Also this website, although it hasn't been updated since 2014, has some excellent tips for shopping, cooking, and living a good life on a very low budget (and it's British so he mentions shops you may find in your area).

http://www.theskintfoodie.com/mid-week-meals-for-the-time-poor.html

Most of all though I was just offering admiration for the frugality :) And best wishes!

Torran

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2016, 08:57:20 AM »
Used to do all shopping at Tesco but we're fully converted LIDLers now. As well as slashing the prices, I think they have much nicer food and always running different promotions on certain foods. Eg. they are currently selling a lot of French products - we picked up some snails(!) and a few cheeses on our last trip. Last month I think it was Greek.

We buy a lot of fresh fruit and veg and quality is reasonable.

Oh I love their ranges from different countries! I also love how these things are only available for a short time so you can have an exciting Sushi night or Greek night or whatever, just depending on what's in Lidl. So exciting to see which country they're going to cover next.

The Italian range was a particular highlight :)

Ease

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2016, 09:42:39 AM »
Your bills are all sorta high.

I currently pay 62 per month for electricity and gas combined, for a family of three in a three-bedroom house. You might find if you switch to a dual-supplier you can save some dosh, and try turning your heating down a degree or two.

Your internet is also high. SSE and Talktalk both offer fibre packages between 18 and 25 per month.

Furthermore, if you can walk to work: brilliant! If you're commuting, move closer? Or, move slightly further away to slash your rent. I used to live in Gloucester, which isn't far from Stroud, and paid 625 per month for a two-bed flat with a garage in a respectable area.

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2016, 10:08:34 AM »
What are you driving that gets 55mpg??? (I guess we are amazed due to the fact that our super-duty, V8, 4-wheel drive pickup truck gets closer to 11 mpg. BTW: no face punches required. We live in the country, in snowy climes, on an acreage...)

Honda Civic, which is nothing special for fuel consumption, certainly a smaller car would do better. I do little urban or motorway driving, both of which would bring it down a bit. I know UK gallons are bigger than US gallons, not sure which way Canada goes on that.

Got ya. Thanks.
In Canada it's Imperial gallons, but the mileage I quoted is in USG which I converted from metric. (It's all an odd byproduct of coming from a metric country that is a Commonwealth member but whose largest trading partner and neighbour has there own measurement system.)

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2016, 10:25:10 AM »
@Nameswhack
@Torran
You making us want to be there now. We love regional/ethnic foods. Great to hear they will available AND affordable.

@Shelivesthedream
Do grocery costs vary significantly from region to region? (Can I ask what area you are in?)
We eat a lot of meat/seafood and tend to buy whatever we fancy. That comes out at just over $400 CAD a month. Sounds like we may be able to live just as well over there.

@Ease
That's good news for us! Always nice to have room to cut. Thanks for the critical eye.
This is just a budget plan to make sure our pennies are going to go far enough. We are self-employed and semi-FIRE'd, as in we can work where and when we want. The car is mainly for personal travel and business travel. No fixed commute for us!
As for rent, we're used to owning our own houses that we have built or renovated. From what we saw on Rightmove, 800-1000 a month is a sweet spot that gets you a little country place with decent garden, parking and a couple of bedrooms. It also seems that there are more dog-friendly places in that range.
 

shelivesthedream

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2016, 11:16:18 AM »
@Shelivesthedream
Do grocery costs vary significantly from region to region? (Can I ask what area you are in?)
We eat a lot of meat/seafood and tend to buy whatever we fancy. That comes out at just over $400 CAD a month. Sounds like we may be able to live just as well over there.

Not sure, I'm afraid! I've only ever lived in the South East, which is supposed to be expensive, but I think the big supermarkets price the same across the country...?

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2016, 11:26:43 AM »
@Shelivesthedream
Do grocery costs vary significantly from region to region? (Can I ask what area you are in?)
We eat a lot of meat/seafood and tend to buy whatever we fancy. That comes out at just over $400 CAD a month. Sounds like we may be able to live just as well over there.

Not sure, I'm afraid! I've only ever lived in the South East, which is supposed to be expensive, but I think the big supermarkets price the same across the country...?

That jives with the norm here. Only the high street independents seem to vary.
Thanks.   

Fig

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2016, 12:37:50 PM »
@Fig Yes, we're pretty stoked about the move. We're calling it the "Beginning of the rest of our lives". (I know, technically every day is the beginning of the rest of our lives but this seemed to have a whiff of profoundness to it.)
Water...we hadn't considered that. (We have had a well forever...) I'll add that in.
TV Licence. We don't have cable or satellite...we'd only use the internet (Netflix etc). Would we still be forced to get a TV Licence?
Insurance. Something we will need to consider (our junk personal stuff isn't that good!) . I'll add it in the budget. Do most renters have it? 
Meds. Yes, we will have access to NHS.   

I think you will still need a TV licence, but it's worth checking online - the website is pretty helpful. Re insurance, my stuff isn't worth a huge amount but I'd hate to have to replace it all. A former colleague lost everything in a house fire and it sounded pretty awful.

Keep on posting and letting us know how your plans are going :)

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2016, 12:52:43 PM »
@Fig Yes, we're pretty stoked about the move. We're calling it the "Beginning of the rest of our lives". (I know, technically every day is the beginning of the rest of our lives but this seemed to have a whiff of profoundness to it.)
Water...we hadn't considered that. (We have had a well forever...) I'll add that in.
TV Licence. We don't have cable or satellite...we'd only use the internet (Netflix etc). Would we still be forced to get a TV Licence?
Insurance. Something we will need to consider (our junk personal stuff isn't that good!) . I'll add it in the budget. Do most renters have it? 
Meds. Yes, we will have access to NHS.   

I think you will still need a TV licence, but it's worth checking online - the website is pretty helpful. Re insurance, my stuff isn't worth a huge amount but I'd hate to have to replace it all. A former colleague lost everything in a house fire and it sounded pretty awful.



Keep on posting and letting us know how your plans are going :)

Yes. You are absolutely right. Looks like we will need a TV licence. I'll add 145.50 to our yearly budget.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2016, 12:54:30 PM by Rightflyer »

shelivesthedream

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2016, 03:46:12 PM »
@Fig Yes, we're pretty stoked about the move. We're calling it the "Beginning of the rest of our lives". (I know, technically every day is the beginning of the rest of our lives but this seemed to have a whiff of profoundness to it.)
Water...we hadn't considered that. (We have had a well forever...) I'll add that in.
TV Licence. We don't have cable or satellite...we'd only use the internet (Netflix etc). Would we still be forced to get a TV Licence?
Insurance. Something we will need to consider (our junk personal stuff isn't that good!) . I'll add it in the budget. Do most renters have it? 
Meds. Yes, we will have access to NHS.   

I think you will still need a TV licence, but it's worth checking online - the website is pretty helpful. Re insurance, my stuff isn't worth a huge amount but I'd hate to have to replace it all. A former colleague lost everything in a house fire and it sounded pretty awful.



Keep on posting and letting us know how your plans are going :)

Yes. You are absolutely right. Looks like we will need a TV licence. I'll add 145.50 to our yearly budget.

You don't need a licence if you don't have an actual TV. We watch DVDs and iPlayer on our laptop. I'm sure you could watch Netflix on a computer too.

Fig

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2016, 12:13:16 AM »
You don't need a licence if you don't have an actual TV. We watch DVDs and iPlayer on our laptop. I'm sure you could watch Netflix on a computer too.

Ah, we link our computer to our TV. iPlayer may soon need a licence though, I'm afraid :(

www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-35708623

gldms

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2016, 01:07:33 AM »
It looks like you can rent some great places in Stroud for 900 a month (that would only get you a pretty shabby 2-bed or nice 1 bed flat in my neighbourhood).  Your utility and council tax estimates look spot-on except that you forgot water (35/month).   The cheaper broadband packages assume you'll also be paying line-rental for a phone.  Screw that. I pay 30 for Virgin broadband (very fast) and no phone.   I think your food+booze is probably too low even if you shop at Lidl.   My budget is 450/month for two and we never eat out or get takeaway. However, my girlfriend eats over 3 nights/week (now that I think of it..) and we eat very healthy with lots of salmon/chicken breasts etc. and fresh everything.  Also, I find myself shopping too much at Sainsbury's (about 35% more expensive than Lidl).  I reckon if you increased your food budget by 100/month and stick to Lidl as much as possible, you would eat very well.   Lidl is fantastic for booze.  Aside from your necessities, you'll also find that you want to save money for holidays etc. and you'll occasionally need to buy things (furniture/appliances) for the house.  I would add 200/month for all that.

Nevertheless, I think your budget is pretty realistic and you've done your research well.

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2016, 05:36:19 AM »
@Fig Yes, we're pretty stoked about the move. We're calling it the "Beginning of the rest of our lives". (I know, technically every day is the beginning of the rest of our lives but this seemed to have a whiff of profoundness to it.)
Water...we hadn't considered that. (We have had a well forever...) I'll add that in.
TV Licence. We don't have cable or satellite...we'd only use the internet (Netflix etc). Would we still be forced to get a TV Licence?
Insurance. Something we will need to consider (our junk personal stuff isn't that good!) . I'll add it in the budget. Do most renters have it? 
Meds. Yes, we will have access to NHS.   

I think you will still need a TV licence, but it's worth checking online - the website is pretty helpful. Re insurance, my stuff isn't worth a huge amount but I'd hate to have to replace it all. A former colleague lost everything in a house fire and it sounded pretty awful.



Keep on posting and letting us know how your plans are going :)

Yes. You are absolutely right. Looks like we will need a TV licence. I'll add 145.50 to our yearly budget.

You don't need a licence if you don't have an actual TV. We watch DVDs and iPlayer on our laptop. I'm sure you could watch Netflix on a computer too.

We bought a 50" plasma TV years ago and have gotten quite spoiled watching Netflix and Youtube on that. We'll probably just bite the bullet and get a licence (It seems like a bloody cheek though since you don't really get anything for it... do you?)

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2016, 05:54:19 AM »
It looks like you can rent some great places in Stroud for 900 a month (that would only get you a pretty shabby 2-bed or nice 1 bed flat in my neighbourhood).  Your utility and council tax estimates look spot-on except that you forgot water (35/month).   The cheaper broadband packages assume you'll also be paying line-rental for a phone.  Screw that. I pay 30 for Virgin broadband (very fast) and no phone.   I think your food+booze is probably too low even if you shop at Lidl.   My budget is 450/month for two and we never eat out or get takeaway. However, my girlfriend eats over 3 nights/week (now that I think of it..) and we eat very healthy with lots of salmon/chicken breasts etc. and fresh everything.  Also, I find myself shopping too much at Sainsbury's (about 35% more expensive than Lidl).  I reckon if you increased your food budget by 100/month and stick to Lidl as much as possible, you would eat very well.   Lidl is fantastic for booze.  Aside from your necessities, you'll also find that you want to save money for holidays etc. and you'll occasionally need to buy things (furniture/appliances) for the house.  I would add 200/month for all that.

Nevertheless, I think your budget is pretty realistic and you've done your research well.

Hello @gldms. Thanks for the thumbs up. The internet is an amazing tool.
I probably need to punch in a full months worth of directly comparable groceries into mysupermarket and see what the ratio is to us presently. just as a check, I had done an average weeks worth and it came out to around 75 IIRC. I need to do a little more work obviously.
Yeah, I see that we missed the water...it's in the revised budget now.
And you're spot on about the broadband. The package I used had unlimited weekend and evening local minutes as well. Seemed like a better deal all around.

Re holidays/furnishings etc. The budget presented here is just the necessities budget. House furnishings, being more of a capital expenditure come out of a different budget...holidays come out of our fun money pile.


eljay

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2016, 06:06:26 AM »
Its probably the same in the US, but having a dog will restrict you to < 10% of the available rental properties you can see on Rightmove so you may need to be flexible on rental location/price. Even if they do say pets considered if the rental market is competitive you may very well lose out to someone without pets.

Eljay

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2016, 06:22:44 AM »
Its probably the same in the US, but having a dog will restrict you to < 10% of the available rental properties you can see on Rightmove so you may need to be flexible on rental location/price. Even if they do say pets considered if the rental market is competitive you may very well lose out to someone without pets.

Eljay

Yes, quite right. We ran across the same thing in Hawaii when looking for rentals. The vast majority of listings said no pets. However, what we did find, is that when we rocked up for the showing with our dog we explained the scenario that we had been home owners for most of our lives, we had been landlords for many years and would treat the house like our own. That and meeting the dog (well-behaved, mature) seemed to open a lot of doors. We ended up with an beautiful house on a gated golf course community that was "strictly no pets". Not sure if those tactics will work in England but fortune favours the brave I suppose.
If it doesn't work out we'll just dump the dog off on a country road somewhere...

cerat0n1a

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2016, 07:23:21 AM »
Yes, quite right. We ran across the same thing in Hawaii when looking for rentals. The vast majority of listings said no pets. However, what we did find, is that when we rocked up for the showing with our dog we explained the scenario that we had been home owners for most of our lives, we had been landlords for many years and would treat the house like our own. That and meeting the dog (well-behaved, mature) seemed to open a lot of doors. We ended up with an beautiful house on a gated golf course community that was "strictly no pets". Not sure if those tactics will work in England but fortune favours the brave I suppose.
If it doesn't work out we'll just dump the dog off on a country road somewhere...

I'm certain those tactics would work here just as well.

On the dumping the dog (appreciate you're joking), but just to point out that by law dogs have to be microchipped and have contact details (phone etc) associated with the chip. Also I assume you've done the research on bringing a dog into the UK - used to be months in quarantine, but now you just need a pet passport, proof of immunisations, microchip etc etc.

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2016, 08:03:03 AM »
Yes. Ms. Rightflyer has been working on all of the pet import issues. That is all lined up (microchip, accredited vets, validated records of rabies shots etc etc.).
 As an aside, she has done so much of this that she recently took all her notes, wrote them up and is putting it on a newsmagazine-type website that will be devoted to dog friendly travel. I think she wants to go live very soon (next week maybe).

Re: Dumping the dog. Yes. Joking. If that ever happened the missus would relieve me of manhood with a rusty knife just before bludgeoning me with a brick and burying me out in the country ...and that would be just for starters.

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2016, 08:36:54 AM »
Yes, quite right. We ran across the same thing in Hawaii when looking for rentals. The vast majority of listings said no pets. However, what we did find, is that when we rocked up for the showing with our dog we explained the scenario that we had been home owners for most of our lives, we had been landlords for many years and would treat the house like our own. That and meeting the dog (well-behaved, mature) seemed to open a lot of doors. We ended up with an beautiful house on a gated golf course community that was "strictly no pets". Not sure if those tactics will work in England but fortune favours the brave I suppose.
If it doesn't work out we'll just dump the dog off on a country road somewhere...

I'm certain those tactics would work here just as well.




Thanks ceratonia.That's comforting.

Any other UK opinions, guidance or comments on this? Landlords?
Any insight would be much appreciated.

shelivesthedream

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2016, 09:31:21 AM »
We'll probably just bite the bullet and get a licence (It seems like a bloody cheek though since you don't really get anything for it... do you?)

You get the BBC!!! We've never had an actual TV but I've often thought of getting a licence anyway because I listen to Radio 3 and 4 so much and watch iPlayer and read BBC News from time to time. I've just kind of never got round to it. I'm fully supportive of an iPlayer licence although I'll admit I secretly, sneakily hope they have a cheaper "iPlayer only" option. My cultural values and financial values tearing each other apart...!

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2016, 10:05:36 AM »
We'll probably just bite the bullet and get a licence (It seems like a bloody cheek though since you don't really get anything for it... do you?)

You get the BBC!!! We've never had an actual TV but I've often thought of getting a licence anyway because I listen to Radio 3 and 4 so much and watch iPlayer and read BBC News from time to time. I've just kind of never got round to it. I'm fully supportive of an iPlayer licence although I'll admit I secretly, sneakily hope they have a cheaper "iPlayer only" option. My cultural values and financial values tearing each other apart...!

LOL. Yes, I guess that is the acid test. Which trumps which.

(We could probably expand this to a whole new thread...ethical investing, leaving a legacy, philanthropy vs quality of life, stealing cable/music/books etc etc)

WELL...if we get the BBC then it is all worth it (and I am not being sarcastic)

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #32 on: June 16, 2016, 10:16:21 AM »
Okay. Went through another fake shop at ALDI.
"Bought" what we would have here this week.
Also included a few condiments to account for the slow drawdown of those supplies in real life (i.e. no ones buys ketchup every week unless you have kids).
Some of the items would also last more than a week...rice/flour/tinned tomatoes/butter/oil/vinegar etc

Came out at 58. That equals 251 a month.

Of course grocery bills are very dependent on personal eating habits, calorie requirement etc but as we are very average people this should be somewhat representative.

Am I missing something? is there a hidden food licence fee somewhere?

 

Doubleh

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2016, 11:03:30 AM »
I don't think you're missing anything! I looked back at our expenses for the last 12 months and groceries averaged about 340 per month. That doesn't include any eating out or bulk buys of booze, but does include a bottle or two of wine in a regular shop, plus entertaining guests at home which we do probably once or twice a month and tend to feed them very well.

Our household includes a picky toddler and for most of the last year an equally picky pregnant lady. We eat well and buy lots of fresh food, rarely trying to save on groceries. Most of our shopping is done at our local Lidl, or waitrose which is a combination that sometimes makes people laugh. So we're not really spending way more than you have budgeted, per head, and could certainly cut our bill pretty substantially if we needed to without major hardship. Plus we are in central London which is definitely more expensive that other parts of the country!

Overall I think your budget sounds well thought out and should be very achievable

Doubleh

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2016, 11:06:11 AM »
We'll probably just bite the bullet and get a licence (It seems like a bloody cheek though since you don't really get anything for it... do you?)

You get the BBC!!! We've never had an actual TV but I've often thought of getting a licence anyway because I listen to Radio 3 and 4 so much and watch iPlayer and read BBC News from time to time. I've just kind of never got round to it. I'm fully supportive of an iPlayer licence although I'll admit I secretly, sneakily hope they have a cheaper "iPlayer only" option. My cultural values and financial values tearing each other apart...!

You're not the only one! I don't have a TV and even only rarely watch Iplayer (Sherlock & Dr Who mainly) but listen to Radio 4 and its podcasts for multiple hours every day and would happily pay for a radio licence, not to mention the value I get from the BBC website.

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2016, 11:11:08 AM »
I don't think you're missing anything! I looked back at our expenses for the last 12 months and groceries averaged about 340 per month. That doesn't include any eating out or bulk buys of booze, but does include a bottle or two of wine in a regular shop, plus entertaining guests at home which we do probably once or twice a month and tend to feed them very well.

Our household includes a picky toddler and for most of the last year an equally picky pregnant lady. We eat well and buy lots of fresh food, rarely trying to save on groceries. Most of our shopping is done at our local Lidl, or waitrose which is a combination that sometimes makes people laugh. So we're not really spending way more than you have budgeted, per head, and could certainly cut our bill pretty substantially if we needed to without major hardship. Plus we are in central London which is definitely more expensive that other parts of the country!

Overall I think your budget sounds well thought out and should be very achievable

Thanks Doubleh. Appreciate the feedback and the thumbs up.

We also plan on getting a chest freezer when we finally land somewhere for a little while. Hoping we can stick up when things go on deep discount. Not sure if this is a thing in England but we will find out.

shelivesthedream

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2016, 12:10:28 PM »
I don't think you're missing anything! I looked back at our expenses for the last 12 months and groceries averaged about 340 per month. That doesn't include any eating out or bulk buys of booze, but does include a bottle or two of wine in a regular shop, plus entertaining guests at home which we do probably once or twice a month and tend to feed them very well.

Our household includes a picky toddler and for most of the last year an equally picky pregnant lady. We eat well and buy lots of fresh food, rarely trying to save on groceries. Most of our shopping is done at our local Lidl, or waitrose which is a combination that sometimes makes people laugh. So we're not really spending way more than you have budgeted, per head, and could certainly cut our bill pretty substantially if we needed to without major hardship. Plus we are in central London which is definitely more expensive that other parts of the country!

Overall I think your budget sounds well thought out and should be very achievable

Thanks Doubleh. Appreciate the feedback and the thumbs up.

We also plan on getting a chest freezer when we finally land somewhere for a little while. Hoping we can stick up when things go on deep discount. Not sure if this is a thing in England but we will find out.

Maybe I'm just living life in the wrong places, but the American way of discounting and stocking up and couponing everything just doesn't seem very applicable to British shops. I mean, you get a lot of BOGOFs (though fewer these days, I think) and there's always something on sale but it tends to be about 20% off, not the "100 crates of tomatoes for LITERALLY PENNIES!!!" that I see on American blogs. So I'd say a chest freezer will be worth getting but perhaps prepare to be slightly disappointed...

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #37 on: June 17, 2016, 11:17:14 AM »
I don't think you're missing anything! I looked back at our expenses for the last 12 months and groceries averaged about 340 per month. That doesn't include any eating out or bulk buys of booze, but does include a bottle or two of wine in a regular shop, plus entertaining guests at home which we do probably once or twice a month and tend to feed them very well.

Our household includes a picky toddler and for most of the last year an equally picky pregnant lady. We eat well and buy lots of fresh food, rarely trying to save on groceries. Most of our shopping is done at our local Lidl, or waitrose which is a combination that sometimes makes people laugh. So we're not really spending way more than you have budgeted, per head, and could certainly cut our bill pretty substantially if we needed to without major hardship. Plus we are in central London which is definitely more expensive that other parts of the country!

Overall I think your budget sounds well thought out and should be very achievable

Thanks Doubleh. Appreciate the feedback and the thumbs up.

We also plan on getting a chest freezer when we finally land somewhere for a little while. Hoping we can stick up when things go on deep discount. Not sure if this is a thing in England but we will find out.

Maybe I'm just living life in the wrong places, but the American way of discounting and stocking up and couponing everything just doesn't seem very applicable to British shops. I mean, you get a lot of BOGOFs (though fewer these days, I think) and there's always something on sale but it tends to be about 20% off, not the "100 crates of tomatoes for LITERALLY PENNIES!!!" that I see on American blogs. So I'd say a chest freezer will be worth getting but perhaps prepare to be slightly disappointed...

I can commiserate. We live in Canada, but right on the border with upstate New York. We don't get nearly the coupons, points perks etc here. We do keep our eyes on the flyers every Thursday though. If we see a great deal (defined by comparing it to our record low purchase prices), we go and buy as much as we are allowed. It means freezing 20 whole chickens sometimes but it sure does bring down the average spend.

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2016, 11:22:58 AM »
Things are progressing quickly.

We are now talking about a nominal departure date in the first week of September.

Since you folks have been superstars so far with all of the good help and advice, here we go again.

We will need a short term place to base ourselves out of so that we can then look at long term accommodations. We were thinking AirBnB/Homeaway type places for a month or 2. Yes, no, maybe?

Also, long term car rentals (1-2 months)?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. (Obviously we are hoping for mustachian options...!)

Cheers
 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 11:27:56 AM by Rightflyer »

gldms

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2016, 03:00:20 AM »
The chest freezer thing is great if you can do it.  When I had a large house with wife and 4 children, we had room in the garage for a chest freezer and we'd stock it with things I'd get at Costco.  However, that was a huge house by British standards (a similar house is worth 650K now).  We were living like normal piggy Americans.  Most British houses/flats in your price range are much smaller (my 2 bed place, renting for 1100 a month, is about 800 square feet or 59 square meters).  There is no garage (I have my bike locked to the railing outside).  Inside, there is almost no storage space:   there are no closets or even a place to put the vacuum cleaner.  The lack of storage space forces you to get rid of excess stuff, so thats good!  For groceries, it is very difficult to stock up on anything because there is no place to put it when you bring it home.   You will likely have a fridge about 1/3 the size of what you are used to (figure the kind of thing used for beer in a college dorm room..) and a tiny freezer.   Hence, you are forced to shop several times a week.  The lifestyle here is indeed very different from that in suburban (or even urban) N. America! 

You might want to scope out the cost of getting essential furniture if you're not shipping it over.   Of course, buy used! The UK equivalent to Craigslist is Gumtree.  If you google "Gumtree Stroud", you can see what might be available.  From what I can tell, even used furniture, though, is quite a bit more expensive than N. America.   At the moment, antique furniture is pretty cheap.   Oh, here's another pro-tip: if you have 110 volt power tools, bring  them along and use a transformer when you get here.  That's what many builders here do for safety reasons. I stupidly left all my power tools back in the US and had to buy new ones here (at twice the price).   Don't bother bringing other appliances, however.

As others have commented, the dog may be a big issue.  One thing I've noticed is that dogs in the UK tend to be VERY well-behaved.  In 22 years, I have never had a dog be aggressive (or even bark!) towards me here.  However, I spend a month every summer in the US and I invariably have an incident with a threatening dog (on hiking trails).  I don't know why American dogs are often so uptight and aggressive.  Anyways, they love dogs here, but it still will cause you a lot of trouble when finding a place to rent.   When you rent a place, you'll probably have to pay extra for the deposit.  Oh, by the way, be ready for the 1/2 month's rent in "letting fee" (non-refundable) along with the 1.5 month's rent as security deposit (refundable if you don't trash the place; you can take them to court if they don't refund it).  If you can find a place without going through a letting agency (for example, directly with the landlord via Gumtree) then you will avoid the letting fee.  However,  you are also making yourself a bit vulnerable to unscrupulous landlords..It can work out great, but be very careful.  Most places want you to sign a 6-12 month lease; getting a month-to-month arrangement is a bit harder.   Stroud is off the beaten path, but it's not far enough north to be cheap; there is a real housing shortage in most of the UK.

The first few weeks in the UK will be VERY expensive.  The cost of eating out and temporary accommodation will shock you (average AirBnB near Stroud is about 70 a day), so be prepared.   It will be difficult, but once you get your infrastructure together, things will calm down financially quite a bit. 

On the big plus side: you will never have to experience a hot, humid summer ever again!  Also, it really doesn't get cold.  It stopped snowing here a few years ago.  When the sun actually comes out, southern England is like Palo Alto California in April.  Perfect.

Alchemilla

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #40 on: June 18, 2016, 05:31:05 AM »
Exciting!

Stroud and the surrounding areas are lovely.

I hope you find somewhere lovely with your doggle.

You might find a holiday let at out of season prices while you look for something more permanent, worth enquiring anyway.

The TV licence is IMHO worth it for radio 4 alone.

Try to stay out of Waitrose, that will skyrocket your grocery bill.

Autoaid is much cheaper than AA, been using them for years.

If you wanted to aim more towards Devon, I've a lovely 4 bed detached to sell...

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #41 on: June 18, 2016, 08:10:13 AM »
The chest freezer thing is great if you can do it.  When I had a large house with wife and 4 children, we had room in the garage for a chest freezer and we'd stock it with things I'd get at Costco.  However, that was a huge house by British standards (a similar house is worth 650K now).  We were living like normal piggy Americans.  Most British houses/flats in your price range are much smaller (my 2 bed place, renting for 1100 a month, is about 800 square feet or 59 square meters).  There is no garage (I have my bike locked to the railing outside).  Inside, there is almost no storage space:   there are no closets or even a place to put the vacuum cleaner.  The lack of storage space forces you to get rid of excess stuff, so thats good!  For groceries, it is very difficult to stock up on anything because there is no place to put it when you bring it home.   You will likely have a fridge about 1/3 the size of what you are used to (figure the kind of thing used for beer in a college dorm room..) and a tiny freezer.   Hence, you are forced to shop several times a week.  The lifestyle here is indeed very different from that in suburban (or even urban) N. America! 

You might want to scope out the cost of getting essential furniture if you're not shipping it over.   Of course, buy used! The UK equivalent to Craigslist is Gumtree.  If you google "Gumtree Stroud", you can see what might be available.  From what I can tell, even used furniture, though, is quite a bit more expensive than N. America.   At the moment, antique furniture is pretty cheap.   Oh, here's another pro-tip: if you have 110 volt power tools, bring  them along and use a transformer when you get here.  That's what many builders here do for safety reasons. I stupidly left all my power tools back in the US and had to buy new ones here (at twice the price).   Don't bother bringing other appliances, however.

As others have commented, the dog may be a big issue.  One thing I've noticed is that dogs in the UK tend to be VERY well-behaved.  In 22 years, I have never had a dog be aggressive (or even bark!) towards me here.  However, I spend a month every summer in the US and I invariably have an incident with a threatening dog (on hiking trails).  I don't know why American dogs are often so uptight and aggressive.  Anyways, they love dogs here, but it still will cause you a lot of trouble when finding a place to rent.   When you rent a place, you'll probably have to pay extra for the deposit.  Oh, by the way, be ready for the 1/2 month's rent in "letting fee" (non-refundable) along with the 1.5 month's rent as security deposit (refundable if you don't trash the place; you can take them to court if they don't refund it).  If you can find a place without going through a letting agency (for example, directly with the landlord via Gumtree) then you will avoid the letting fee.  However,  you are also making yourself a bit vulnerable to unscrupulous landlords..It can work out great, but be very careful.  Most places want you to sign a 6-12 month lease; getting a month-to-month arrangement is a bit harder.   Stroud is off the beaten path, but it's not far enough north to be cheap; there is a real housing shortage in most of the UK.

The first few weeks in the UK will be VERY expensive.  The cost of eating out and temporary accommodation will shock you (average AirBnB near Stroud is about 70 a day), so be prepared.   It will be difficult, but once you get your infrastructure together, things will calm down financially quite a bit. 

On the big plus side: you will never have to experience a hot, humid summer ever again!  Also, it really doesn't get cold.  It stopped snowing here a few years ago.  When the sun actually comes out, southern England is like Palo Alto California in April.  Perfect.

Thanks @gldms.

We get over to England every 1-2 years and the dog-friendly attitude is most refreshing. The long gardening season is a big draw as well.

The tip about the power tools could be huge. I was assuming I would sell them here. Can you point me to a make/model of the transformer your talking about?


Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #42 on: June 18, 2016, 08:12:02 AM »
Exciting!

Stroud and the surrounding areas are lovely.

I hope you find somewhere lovely with your doggle.

You might find a holiday let at out of season prices while you look for something more permanent, worth enquiring anyway.

The TV licence is IMHO worth it for radio 4 alone.

Try to stay out of Waitrose, that will skyrocket your grocery bill.

Autoaid is much cheaper than AA, been using them for years.

If you wanted to aim more towards Devon, I've a lovely 4 bed detached to sell...

Thanks for the best wishes Alchemila!
I'll check out Autoaid.

Devon eh? Hmmmm.

Rightflyer

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Moving to the UK...This time for real!
« Reply #43 on: May 06, 2017, 08:18:28 AM »
So it has finally come to pass that we are on our way to the UK.

The house is sold.
Flights are booked.
Last garage sale happening today.
Moving van booked.
Shipping space booked.
HSBC accounts opened.
Visa applied for.
etc
etc

We've a rental for a month in Shrophsire while we get our bearings.

I just wanted to thank the folks here that gave us such good advice last year during the planning phase of this adventure.







Al1961

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #44 on: May 06, 2017, 10:42:23 AM »
Exciting! Congrats.

Have you considered starting a journal? I'd be interested in following your progress as you settle in and adapt to life in the UK. It would be interesting to hear about those things that happen that you don't think to plan for in advance.

Rightflyer

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #45 on: May 06, 2017, 11:23:37 AM »
Hi Al.

Thanks very much.

I hadn't really thought about a journal... I assumed our adventures, missteps and pratfalls would only be interesting to us.

But yes, if there's interest, I think a journal would be a good idea.

Cheers

shelivesthedream

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #46 on: May 06, 2017, 11:48:32 AM »
Yes please! I'm intensely interested in the differences between the US, Canada and the UK. I would love to hear how you find us!

Al1961

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Re: UK Budget...for real!
« Reply #47 on: May 06, 2017, 12:10:10 PM »
Hi Al.

Thanks very much.

I hadn't really thought about a journal... I assumed our adventures, missteps and pratfalls would only be interesting to us.

But yes, if there's interest, I think a journal would be a good idea.

Cheers

There's a good chance that DW and I may spend a few years in the UK later in retirement. DW is a UK citizen by decent, so a longer-term visa for me should be doable. Your experiences would definitely be interesting to me.

DW has a lot of relatives in the northwest, but we would really like to spend the time to thoroughly tour the south, Wales, and the eastern coastal regions too.