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Moving 2 Scotland for 1 year? Have 2 questions about handling money from U.S.?

Moving 2 Scotland for 1 year? Have 2 questions about handling money from U.S.?

Dec 25th, 2001, 01:11 PM
  #1  
Steve
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Moving 2 Scotland for 1 year? Have 2 questions about handling money from U.S.?

My family will be moving to Scotland in about 4 months to live for 1 year. Any suggestions about handling money from U.S. bank? Some have suggested cash advances through ATM. Do any have any suggestions. Also, any advice about shipping minor belongings like clothes, computer equip (business), books, files, etc. will be helpful or even websites that help in this area?? thank you & Merry Christmas!!!!
 
Dec 25th, 2001, 02:13 PM
  #2  
janis
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It mostly depends on where your income is coming from. If it is being direct deposited into a US bank - then just continue and use your ATM for regular withdrawals(not cash advances but withdrawals). I would also open a small account in a UK Bank - Clydesdale or Royal Bank of Scotland come to mind - for when you must write a "crossed" UK check.

If your income is in GBP from a UK source - then open an account in a UK bank.
 
Dec 25th, 2001, 08:29 PM
  #3  
Nigel Doran
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If you do open a U K account, consider opening an internet-based one. Interest rates are low here, but cahoot.co.uk or smile.co.uk have decent rates for savings and cheque accounts. Overdrafts of up to £1000 can be arranged really easily and you will find that banks will not charge you for taking out cash from cash machines, even those belonging to other banks, and for cheques. Incidentally, cheques are not used that often here because most people use debit cards like Visa Delta or Switch.
 
Dec 26th, 2001, 12:28 AM
  #4  
Sheila
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I slightly disagree with Nigel on the cheques issue. mant bil, when not on standing order or direct debit are still paid by cheque. And a lot of smaller retailers do not yet have the facility to deal with debit cards, tho' that number reduces all the time.

I can't help with shipment information, but if there's anything Scotland based, I can help with, please feel free to ask
 
Dec 26th, 2001, 04:16 AM
  #5  
Craig
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ATMs -- if you draw on your ATM while here in Europe check for transaction fees, most likely on the order of 5$/transaction© So withdraw large amounts©

I would suggest getting any sort of checking account© Transfering via wire from your home bank or vice versa is not too dificult and gives you a cheaper transaction than with an ATM© If you go to a large banking institution they will be more flexible when it comes to expatriot situations in general©

Bring the essential kit ¥winter/summer clothes, computer, valuables¤with you on the plane© Get the limits from the airline and go get yourself cardboard boxes that fit just within the limits© fill 'em up & weigh them© If there are things left over from this start asking about the charges for air freight and ask yourself "is this pile of summer clothes worth 200$ to me in Scotland for the next 3 months?"

Pile up the rest of your stuff that is unessential for the first 3 months and have it shipped ¥8 to 16 weeks, but much cheaper¤© Check with any local movers to get the contact information for overseas movers, I think I've used one called RuleWave, but I'm not sure they would handle your area©

Good Luck,
Where in Scotland are you moving too?

Craig
 
Dec 26th, 2001, 05:56 AM
  #6  
john
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My suggestion would be to open an Credit Union account in the states and then use your ATM card to withdraw the money. I found that there are no transaction fee when using my CU/ATM card in the UK.
 
Dec 26th, 2001, 06:17 AM
  #7  
BTilke
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Since we live overseas but keep our U.S. bank accounts active, just a few insights from our experience:

1. Continue using your ATM for cash withdrawals, but try to limit the number of withdrawals to avoid having the fees for overseas use pile up. Don't do a lot of small withdrawals--$50 or less--or the fees will start to accumulate significantly.

2. Check with your bank about setting up wire transfers for larger sums of money. Our U.S. bank only charges about $10 for a wire transfer to our bank in Europe. We took care of the paperwork in the U.S. at our local branch, even though the transfer is handled at a central location (the local branch manager will make sure your paperwork goes to the right person in wire services and doesn't get lost in the shuffle). We don't use wire transfers very often, just for sums above $1500 or so.

3. If you want to do cash advances, rather than withdrawals, via ATM, make sure you get a pin number for your Visa, MC, Amex, whatever.

4. Regarding files, etc., shipping them will be expensive. One possibility is to scan as many documents as you can, put them on CD, and then print them out as needed once you have your computer set up in Scotland. It's also a good idea to have all your ID papers, etc., scanned on CD as well to serve as a backup in case your "hard copies" ever get lost or damaged.
 
Dec 26th, 2001, 10:45 PM
  #8  
UKBound
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Hi Steve,
I'd really like to relocate to London Edinburgh, but don't seem to be having any luck at finding a job over there. I'm just curious as to if you are being transferred with a US firm or if you found new employment over there? Where in Scotland are you moving? Is it fairly comparable in salary/cost of living as compared to living and working in the US? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
Dec 27th, 2001, 03:20 PM
  #9  
Steve
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Hey Everyone,

Thank you for all of your replys & suggestions . . . very helpful! Sorry it's taken me a little to respond - had to go out of town for a funeral. Anyway, in answer to several questioins, I am moving to Glasgow. As far as employment, I am doing missionary work & will be supported by churches, friends, family in U.S. with sponsorships & so in our case, it's a little different. So, UKBound, I don't know if I will be much help but feel free to email me again with any further questions!

Thanks again for all the suggestions!
Steve
 
Dec 27th, 2001, 04:11 PM
  #10  
John
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Steve, You might want to keep your funds in an interest-bearing account in the US, open a checking account in Edinburgh, then refill it from time to time by writing yourself a check. Keep an eye on exchange rates and move your dollars into Sterling when the rate is most favorable. Don't be like me and believe my (US) banker who told me when he sold me Pounds that "this is the best rate you're gonna see in years." It was the worst, which awoke me to the reality that bank foreign exchange officers don't know squat as a rule, or else they'd be paid more.

Regarding shipping, a couple of thoughts: (1) ask your airline about excess baggage charges or if they have an airfreight tariff for cargo accompanying ticketed passengers. Or, (2) you can contact a reputable airfreight forwarder and see what it might cost. You will pay either by the pound or the cubic foot/meter depending on which way works best for them. It's not cheap, but it's a lot faster than ocean cargo. You can also call the likes of FedEx or DHL et al yourself - they're accustomed to dealing with international shipping of personal effects.

An off-the-wall thought would be to travel over the water on a freighter (see http://www.freighterworld.com/) with your cargo accompanying. Takes about a week, and it's an ideal way to travel one way, if that's your plan.

 
Dec 28th, 2001, 03:13 AM
  #11  
Keith Legg
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Some banks in the UK accept cards based on the Plus and Cirrus networks (I think Abbey National might be one of them.) If your bank is on one of these networks then you should be able to withdraw cash from their machines.

One point - you may be charged for this. One way to reduce the charge if it's a flat fee is to open an account in the UK (unlike many US banks, you are usually able to get an account which doesn't charge hugely) and then withdraw large amounts from the US bank. This also works to some extent with a percentage fee.
 
Dec 28th, 2001, 03:18 AM
  #12  
Keith Legg
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Another point - if you're bringing your computer equipment over, there's two things you'll need to be aware of. Firstly, we use 240v current, so as well as an adaptor you will need a transformer to alter the current.

Secondly, if your PC has a modem you need to be sure that it is compatible with the UK telephone network. I'm no expert on PCs but I know that you can't buy a phone in the US and bring it to the UK to use, so you might need to buy a modem here if you want to use the internet. As a start for prices, you might want to have a look at www.pcworld.co.uk although there are other suppliers too.
 
Dec 28th, 2001, 07:18 AM
  #13  
Steve
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Thanks again for the suggestions. They are VERY helpful.

Steve
 

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