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Ghana to the UK: 10 Essential Steps to Get Your Finances in Order 

Relocating from Ghana to the UK can be an exciting yet challenging endeavor. As you embark on this journey, it’s crucial to get your finances in order to ensure a smooth transition and a strong financial foundation in your new home. 

Understanding the financial implications and making the right decisions from the outset can significantly impact your overall financial well-being.

That’s why we have created this comprehensive blog to guide you through the essential steps of getting your finances in order when making the move from Ghana to the UK.

If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

How can I effectively budget for my relocation from Ghana to the UK?

Moving from Ghana to the UK is a significant life event, and effective financial planning can make the transition smoother. Here are some things you should consider:

Understanding the Cost of Living in the UK

The cost of living can vary considerably between Ghana and the UK. To budget effectively, understanding the different aspects of the cost of living in the UK is crucial.


Housing in the UK, especially in major cities like London, is typically more expensive than in Ghana. Whether you decide to rent or buy, you’ll need to account for initial costs such as a security deposit or down payment, as well as ongoing costs like rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and home insurance.

Food and Groceries

Grocery prices in the UK may be higher than what you’re accustomed to in Ghana. However, supermarkets offer a wide range of products at varying prices, so you’ll likely find options that fit your budget.


If you’ll be living in a city, you may find public transportation sufficient, but in more rural areas, you might need a car. Consider costs such as fuel, insurance, and maintenance if you’re planning to drive.

Health Care

The UK has a public health care system, the National Health Service (NHS), which provides free healthcare for residents. However, you may choose to pay for private health insurance for more immediate access to certain treatments.


Public education in the UK is free for residents up to 18 years old. However, if you’re considering private schooling or higher education, you’ll need to account for these costs.

Creating a Comprehensive Relocation Budget

To budget for your move from Ghana to the UK, you need to consider all associated costs:

Immediate Expenses

These include the cost of flights, shipping personal items, visa fees, and any initial housing costs such as a security deposit.

Monthly Living Expenses

Factor in how much you’ll need to spend each month on housing, food, transportation, healthcare, and other necessities.

Emergency Funds

It’s always wise to have some money set aside for unexpected expenses. This can help you navigate any unexpected financial challenges that might arise during your relocation from Ghana to the UK.

Ghana to the UK
Ghana to the UK: 10 Essential Steps to Get Your Finances in Order  5

To budget for your move from Ghana to the UK, you need to consider all associated costs.

What should I know about UK banking and how can I open a bank account from Ghana?

The UK has a robust banking system with many international and local banks. Most offer a variety of services including checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and loans. Online and mobile banking are also widely available, making it easy to manage your money from anywhere.

Opening a Bank Account from Ghana

Opening a bank account in the UK from Ghana can be a bit complex due to regulatory requirements. However, some UK banks allow non-residents to open an account. You may be able to start this process online, but typically, you’ll need to provide:

  • Proof of identity (e.g., passport)
  • Proof of address (in the UK and possibly also in Ghana)
  • Immigration status documents

Alternatively, if your current bank in Ghana has a presence in the UK, they may be able to help you open a UK account. It’s recommended to begin this process well in advance of your move from Ghana to the UK to ensure you have access to your funds when you arrive.

What are the tax implications when relocating to the UK from Ghana?

Taxes are an essential aspect to consider when moving from Ghana to the UK, as the UK has different tax rules and regulations. In the UK, various taxes could affect you, depending on your income and spending.

Income Tax

Upon becoming a resident in the UK, you will be subject to income tax on your global income, including earnings from work, rental income, and income from investments. The tax is progressive, with rates ranging from 0% to 45%, depending on the amount of income.

Council Tax

Residents in the UK also pay council tax, a local tax used to pay for local services like rubbish collection and local education. The amount varies depending on where you live and the value of your property.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

VAT is a consumption tax added to the price of most goods and services in the UK. The standard rate is currently 20%, with certain items subject to a reduced rate or zero rate.

Double Taxation Agreement Between Ghana and the UK

One crucial consideration when moving from Ghana to the UK is the existence of a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) between the two countries. This agreement means that you won’t be taxed twice on the same income in both Ghana and the UK. Familiarizing yourself with this agreement can help you plan your finances effectively.

How can I transfer my assets from Ghana to the UK?

Transferring your assets from Ghana to the UK is a process that requires careful planning to ensure you minimize any potential losses due to fluctuating exchange rates and transaction fees.

To transfer your liquid assets from Ghana to the UK, you can use international money transfers. Several services facilitate this, including banks and specialized online transfer services. When choosing a service, consider factors such as exchange rates, transaction fees, transfer speeds, and the service’s reputation.

If you own real estate or other assets in Ghana, you may decide to sell these and transfer the funds to the UK. Consider the property market conditions, potential tax implications, and how this will affect your overall financial plan.

Ghana to the UK

The UK government offers various programs and benefits for immigrants that can help offset the costs of moving and living in the UK.

What financial assistance can I receive as an immigrant in the UK?

The UK government offers various programs and benefits for immigrants that can help offset the costs of moving and living in the UK. For instance, you might be eligible for housing benefits, jobseeker’s allowance, or income support, depending on your specific circumstances. Additionally, you can access the National Health Service (NHS) for healthcare needs.

Bear in mind that eligibility for some benefits may depend on your immigration status. Make sure you understand the conditions and requirements to apply for financial assistance as you plan your relocation from Ghana to the UK.

How can I establish credit in the UK as a newcomer?

When moving from Ghana to the UK, one crucial aspect to consider is how to establish a credit history. A good credit score is often necessary for securing loans, credit cards, or even rental agreements.

In the UK, your credit score is a numerical value representing your creditworthiness. It’s used by lenders, landlords, and sometimes even employers to evaluate your financial reliability. Your credit score is determined by your past financial behavior, including your ability to repay loans on time, the total amount of credit you have, and your use of it.

Building Your Credit Score as a Newcomer

Building a credit score when moving from Ghana to the UK as a newcomer can be challenging because you start with no credit history. Here are some strategies:

  1. Open a UK bank account: This demonstrates to credit rating agencies that you’re managing your money in the country.
  2. Register on the electoral roll: This provides proof of address and stability.
  3. Consider getting a credit card: Use it responsibly to build a credit history.
  4. Pay your bills on time: Regularly paying utilities and other bills demonstrates financial reliability.
  5. Consider using a credit builder credit card: These cards can help people with no credit history to build credit over time.

How does the pension system work in the UK, and how does it impact my retirement savings from Ghana?

If you’re planning to work and retire in the UK, understanding the pension system is crucial.

The UK has a three-tier pension system:

  1. State Pension: It’s funded by national insurance contributions while you’re working. You need at least 10 qualifying years to be eligible for a minimum amount and 35 years for the full amount.
  2. Workplace pensions: Employers must automatically enroll employees into a pension scheme and make contributions to the pension fund.
  3. Private pensions: These are personal or stakeholder pensions that you can set up yourself.

Transferring your retirement savings from Ghana to the UK can be complex due to the different pension systems. It’s essential to understand the tax implications, possible charges, and the potential impact on your retirement income. Consulting with a financial advisor could be beneficial to make the most out of your retirement savings when moving from Ghana to the UK.

What insurance policies should I consider in the UK?

Insurance is a crucial part of financial planning when moving from Ghana to the UK. It provides financial protection against unexpected events.

As you plan your relocation from Ghana to the UK, carefully consider which types of insurance are most relevant to your situation to ensure that you and your family are well protected. Here are the essential insurance policies in the UK.

Health Insurance

Although the UK offers free healthcare through the NHS, you might want to consider private health insurance for more immediate access to certain treatments or private care.

Car Insurance

If you plan to drive in the UK, car insurance is a legal requirement. The cost will depend on factors such as your age, driving history, and the type of car you drive.

Home Insurance

Whether you’re renting or buying, home insurance is essential to protect your home and belongings from events like fire, theft, or flooding.

Life Insurance

Life insurance provides financial support to your dependents should you pass away. The cost will depend on factors like your age, health, and lifestyle.

How can I financially prepare for potential emergencies while living in the UK?

Moving from Ghana to the UK involves many changes, and it’s essential to prepare for potential emergencies. An emergency fund provides a financial safety net for unforeseen expenses.

An emergency fund is a stash of money set aside to cover the financial surprises life throws your way. These unexpected events can be stressful and costly. Here are some examples: job loss, unexpected health expenses, major car repairs, or urgent travel. An emergency fund can cover these surprises without you needing to dip into your other financial goals or pile up debt.

How to Build an Emergency Fund in the UK

Here’s how you can go about building your emergency fund:

  1. Set a goal: Financial experts often suggest an emergency fund enough to cover 3-6 months of living expenses. Calculate your monthly expenses and multiply by the number of months you aim to cover.
  2. Create a savings plan: Determine how much from each paycheck you’ll allocate towards your emergency fund.
  3. Open a separate savings account: This reduces the temptation to dip into your fund for everyday expenses.
  4. Consider using a savings app: There are many apps in the UK that can help automate your savings.

Ghana to the UK

Building a credit score when moving from Ghana to the UK as a newcomer can be challenging because you start with no credit history.

What investment opportunities are available for immigrants in the UK?

As an immigrant from Ghana to the UK, you may be interested in investing as a way to grow your wealth.

The UK has a dynamic investment landscape with opportunities to suit different risk appetites and investment goals. Here are some popular options:

Stock Market

Investing in the stock market allows you to buy shares in companies. The UK’s primary stock exchange is the London Stock Exchange (LSE), where shares of many UK and overseas companies are traded.

Real Estate

The UK, especially London, has a robust real estate market. Investing in real estate can provide rental income and potential capital growth.


Bonds are relatively safe investments where you loan money to an entity (typically a government or corporation) in exchange for periodic interest payments plus the return of the loan amount when the bond matures.

Getting Started with Investing in the UK

Here are a few steps to help you get started with investing in the UK:

  1. Define your goals and risk tolerance: This will help you decide which investment opportunities are right for you.
  2. Educate yourself: Learn about different investment opportunities and understand their risks and potential returns.
  3. Consult with a financial advisor: They can provide personalized advice based on your situation.
  4. Open an investment account: This can be done through a brokerage or an investment platform.
  5. Start investing: Start small and gradually increase your investments as you become more comfortable.

Remember, all investments carry risk, and it’s possible to lose some or all of the money you invest. Diversification, or spreading your investments across different types of investments, can help manage this risk.

As you prepare for your move from Ghana to the UK, these financial considerations will ensure that you are well-prepared to make the most of your new life in the UK.


Understanding the cost of living in the UK, the tax implications, the process of transferring assets, and how to establish credit in the UK can help ensure a smooth transition. 

Being aware of the UK’s pension system, the various insurance policies, the importance of an emergency fund, and potential investment opportunities can help set you up for long-term financial success in your new home.

Ultimately, the key to financial success when relocating from Ghana to the UK lies in careful planning and taking proactive steps to understand and adapt to the new financial landscape. 

Whether you’re just beginning to plan your move from Ghana to the UK or you’re already in the process of transitioning, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice to help you make informed financial decisions.

Your journey from Ghana to the UK is not just a change of location—it’s an exciting new chapter in your financial story. 

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.



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