Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Life in the UK: Finances

I have never been so eager to receive a utility bill before in my life.   When we moved into our new home, we put the electricity bill in my name and I have been eagerly waiting for it ever since.


Because without a utility bill, I cannot open a bank account and apply for an ATM card.   I cannot apply for a credit card, a loan or a mortgage (not that I need any of those things).  Dear Hubby can't even change his bank account to a joint account and put my name on it simply because I don't have a utility bill in my name.  It doesn't matter that we have a marriage certificate and child(ren) and joint possessions.

Banking regulations in the UK require customers to provide proof of identity and residence.  This usually means a utility bill in your name.  You take that and another proof of identity such as a valid passport to the bank and then you CAN open a bank account.  This rule does not apply to foreign students in the UK though so those of you headed there for Uni or college can breathe easy.

For now, Dear Hubby has had to give me cash at the start of every week to spend.  Just like I'm back in school and Mum's handing me pocket money for the canteen.  I'm very wary each time I go shopping for groceries and I tote up my purchases as I put them in my basket because if I run out of cash, I'm kinda stuck.  Sure I can use my Malaysian credit card but that would mean a very unfavourable exchange rate for me plus charges on top!

So hurry up you electricity bill and appear in my post today!

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