Pocket Money: UK Move Guide


You’ve finally bagged that Employer interview. Timer starts now. If you’re still currently working like myself while processing my papers for the UK, time is going to fly by so quickly, it’ll be disorientating.

The big question: How much pocket money are you going to need?

When you ask your friends who are already here, you’re going to get a variety of estimates. Here’s my take on the issue before you head to the Bank.


US $1,000 

This is the standard. When traveling to anywhere for whatever reason for however long, I always feel that the default pocket money is US $1,000 per person travelling.

(1,000 US$ = 46,629 PHP) (1,000 US$ = 800 £ GBP)



You’re probably balling your eyes out right now thinking “DUDE! That’s why I’m going there to Work! I didn’t know you needed a fortune to do just that!”

Calm down! Relax! Take a Chill-Pill! This isn’t a Hard Set Rule! So let’s get down to the deets [details].



Usually, your employer will pay you back for the exams you took and other processes you undertook. In my case, I was reimbursed for the UKVI (The IELTS you use to register for the NMC) PHP 16,000. So for the love of god, keep your receipts, or at least don’t delete your email receipts. As promised, I was also reimbursed for the Visa Fast Track fee of PHP 10,000. This gave me a whopping PHP 26,000! ($500) That added to my UK pocket money!

Because my agency and yours are POEA certified, you now become an official registered OFW! FREE TERMINAL FEE, and your airfare is free too! So ABSOLUTELY nothing to pay for prior to your international flight! (If you’re flying from Cebu to Manila to connect to your International flight, then naturally you will pay for your terminal fee in Cebu.)

This means you’re already half-way to the standard pocket money!



You get more for your Peso in buying GB Pounds back home than over here in the UK.

I went to this FOREX station in the City to exchange my Peso. This is how much the rate was: PHP 72 = GBP 1. (Actual exchange rate back home is PHP 60 = GBP 1). There’s a big difference. Do the math.

The usual exchange rates of US $ for currency vendors is $1.40 = GBP 1. You get more for your benjamins at either the Post Office (in the UK) or the Bank. But I’ve recently discovered that the latter gives you more for your dollars! (US $ 1.25 = GBP 1).




£ 500

PHP 29,500

(08 July 2016)

Given on the day of Arrival in the UK.

This is Cash Advance to assist you with your initial needs here in the UK. (Not free money. This will be salary deducted after a year of working with the Trust/Hospital)

£ 1,168

PHP 67,744

(05 August 2016)

First prorated pay for July but paid late due to cut off date issues.


TIP: Do not re-arrange the contents in the Brown Folder HR gives you.

Read all the documents once you receive them. Comply with their requirements and bring them all on the designated HR day to prevent any pay delays.

£ 1,686

PHP 97,788

(24 August 2016)


First complete Pay on Pay day.


Tax free because we do not have our PIN yet (haven’t passed the OSCE)

Pay day is ONCE A MONTH! On the 24th of each month. This is usually the same for all NHS trusts. So don’t go ONE DAY MILLIIONAIRE on PD or else you’re screwed for the entire month!

This amount is probably standard for all of your batch mates.

-£ 17/night

-PHP 986

(20 August 2016)


This is paid weekly. Not automatically deducted from your salary.


[GBP 527 for 31 days]

You have 6 weeks of free accommodations starting from your arrival. Beyond that, you’re expected to pay.


You cannot stay indefinitely. The room you are in will be used for the next batch of hires.


*YOU MUST be aggressive and PROACTIVE in finding a new place starting on DAY ONE! Not being able to find a place yet isn’t excusable. (Another article on this issue.)

-£ 535

-PHP 31,030

*My future rent for a cluster room.

Rents are usually paid on the 1st of every month. But they do have weekly payment options, same as other places as well.

Shared Kitchen but I have my own bath and toilet. Think proper university dormitory. This includes water, council tax and a weekly cleaner.

This does NOT include electricity and WIFI.

-£ 25

-PHP 1,450

*Monthly Pre-Paid Mobile Network with UNLIMITED DATA! Carrier: THREE

The only network that offers this. People here are 100% dependent on mobile data.


-£ 20

-PHP 1,160

*Average monthly Electricity cost. But this could go up during winter due to heating.

There’s a meter in each room that is tap-able at GBP 5/card. I tap GBP 5 a week.


EST £ 1,800 +

EST PHP 104,400 +

*Estimated monthly salary after taxes once you get your pin.


This estimate does not include over time pay.

You can choose to work over-time, which they call BANK SHIFTS to earn extra money. An estimated GBP 200 + is earned per bank shift.


*This table is based on my current experience and feedback from associates.


There is no one answer for what the ideal amount of cash you should take with you, but this should give you a better idea as to what to expect and in coming to conclusion for your answer.

Stay tuned for upcoming related posts about daily expenses and accommodation issues to help financially prepare you for your move to the UK.


Thanks for taking the time. Cheers!



2 thoughts on “Pocket Money: UK Move Guide

  1. Daniel Go says:

    Hi Sam!
    Unfortunately I don’t have an article about a daily-weekly food budget, Yet. However, my best advice to you is this: There’s no other way to bring the costs down than by cooking your own food. The Good News for You is I’ve recently purchased a “George Forman” Electronic Griller and IT IS A GODSEND! Many of the Filipino dishes I have been craving for such as Grilled Pork Belly is now an everyday reality! AND it only takes less than 7 minutes to cook! The griller cost me GBP 20. (Definitely a bargain). I buy rice which I cook manually, and this save loads of money compared to buying microwavable rice. A kilo only costs about GBP 2, while a small bag of single serving ready to eat rice cost the same.

    Cook a lot during your days off, then microwave throughout the week! You will cut your food costs to more than half of what you’re currently spending on take-aways and cafeteria food 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s