Who would ever get tea to go?!?!?
@cmcm Oh yeah! I do my student loans through HiFX, who do a direct debit out of my bank account every month and transfer it to my US bank account at a set exchange rate ($1.50/£1). The set exchange rate is a little less than market rate, but it's set for a year (for me, or however long you are willing to commit to a direct debit) and there are no fees.
@questingbeast Marriage is by far the easiest (and cheapest) way to stay, although it's still really quite hard, and they're making it more difficult by introducing restrictive minimum income requirements for the British partner. Here's a fun article about it: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22868332 - which has my all-time favourite quote on the issue, "If it wasn't for the immigration rules I wouldn't have had an abortion." THANKS GOVERNMENT! HELPING PEOPLE MAKE GOOD DECISIONS THAT ARE RIGHT FOR THEIR LIVES.
@mlh Yeah, we do have to file taxes even if we don't actually have to pay any, and it's a giant PITA and every American expat I know hates it.
Haha oh god, this is literally what I did, from taking out giant US student loans when the dollar was US$2.00/£1, and now having to pay it back when it's like $1.50/£1 and crying BITTER TEARS, to doing the Post-Study Work Visa and being around when the government was like "Ha ha, just kidding, you have to make LOTS MORE MONEY NOW if you want to stay and also you have three months to figure it out!" The difference is that I wasn't able to pull £15k of income out of nowhere in that time (I was on a £20k salary) and so my boyfriend and I decided to get married, which was (a) really amazing and great and is still really amazing and great, but also (b) massively emotionally stressful for both of us, and, ha! I have many stories about vomiting from anxiety during those five-six months, let me tell you! I got permanent residency this spring, and I am also ambivalent about citizenship. This is mostly because, like you say, the only major benefit I can see is voting, and I'm in a pretty solid Labour ward (although I almost certainly will get it before the 2015 general election). And it costs almost £900, and, you know? There are better things I could be spending £900 on. LIKE STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS *SOFT WEEPING* Sometimes when I get down about how much my master’s cost me, or how much money I lost in the exchange rate, I remind myself that I couldn’t be living here now if I hadn’t gotten my master’s degree. I couldn’t have predicted the financial crisis which ended up devaluing the pound, or predicted that the Government that’s currently in place would hate immigrants and try to dissuade us from staying here by making the visa process so expensive and difficult. Yeah.
@Bill Fostex You joke, but The Rock doing befuddled middle-class middle-manager Winston Smith would be amazing.
I'm on pay-as-you-go plus unlimited internet - around £10-15 a month, depending on how many minutes I use.
I take public transport nearly everywhere (live in London). My annual travelcard, which covers Zone 1-3 (ie inner London basically) is £108/month, so around $165 I think? On top of that I sometimes venture...OUT OF THE ZONE...and take day trips to places outside London, which is probably around £10-30 a month. So...$180-$200?
@Quinn A@twitter I could believe both a high mortgage and a low income - a lot of people are underemployed these days. That's a good point about debt, though.
Man, making vastly different amounts of money than your partner is really hard, but that is a ridiculously terrible way to handle it. I'd suggest spreadsheets and proportions of income but that guy just sounds like a douche.