Getting here - Finance

Moving to the U.K. and settling in is an exciting experience, but it is also an expensive endeavor. Be sure to have a good amount of money available for security deposits and other registration fees that are required up front.

Ask your sponsor for more details about costs you'll likely incur during those first few weeks. It helps to do some financial planning before you move and make sure you have some cash set aside to cover these costs.

The Military Homefront Site has a comprehensive list of things to consider before your move.

Currency exchange
Money can be changed from pounds to dollars and vice-versa at the community bank, credit union or clubs on base. In addition, some base concessions and activities will accept in either currency. Currency can also be exchanged at off-base banks.

Credit cards can be used to withdraw pounds from both on- and off-base automatic teller machines along with bank debit cards linked to stateside banks and received the best exchange rates. Credit cards are accepted at many establishments off-base and most on-base facilities.

Point of Sale systems are also available at the commissary, base exchange and many service facilities, allowing the use of debit cards linked to stateside banks.

The United Kingdom monetary unit is the pound Sterling, and like dollars, is available in both paper and coin. The dollar-to-pound exchange rate varies daily with international events.

Paper money comes in 5-, 10-, 20- and 50-pound notes. There is no 1-pound note. Unlike the states, the paper currency is not all the same size. The size of the note increases with the value of the note.

As the dollar is divided into 100 cents, the pound is divided into 100 pence. There are two copper coins, one and two pence; and four silver coins, 5, 10, 20 and 50 pence; plus one- and two pound coins.