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Hello All,

We are a family of three, my wife, 2 yrs old son and I. My wife and I are employees at oil and gas and moving to Aberdeen for an assignment. I have been reading some posts about Aberdeen and the expenses there but the posts were a little too old (2008 to 2010). Can you guys help us on certain questions I have?

1) What is the minimum salary package you would expect for decent living in Aberdeen for a family of three?
2) How does the rental market look like? We would like to get into a small 2 to 3 bed house in family oriented area, how much would that cost? What areas should we look at for houses? I think our work will be in Dyce.
3) How are the electricity, gas, water and trash charges covered?
4) Any information on council tax
5) Can someone suggest on buying a car? Diesel or Petrol? Used or New? How does financing work?

Really appreciate your help!!
 

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Rental agencies want your rent to be not more than 40% of your gross income. So you could work it backwards by looking online at housing at rightmove.co.uk and zoopla.co.uk and see what the sorts of housing that you like will cost. Others will be able to suggest neighbourhoods to explore. The lower the percentage of your gross income that goes to housing the better your lifestyle will be.

People say that childcare is expensive, so look into that as well via Google.

Council tax is set by the local council. and it can vary from one council to the next, so it's good to know if one council is much pricier than the next one.

You can also look at the cost of food by doing some online window shopping. Try
http://www.aldi.co.uk
Our Offers - Lidl UK
Morrisons
Tesco.com - online shopping; bringing the supermarket to you - Every little helps

Cars are expensive, fuel even more so. Diesel cars are much more common in the UK than they are in the US because they get such better mileage. When you decide where to live, keep in mind that having a large transportation expense can be a budget buster. It's much more common to shop for food frequently and to take busses and trains or walk rather than drive. This is a big difference from the US, but I think most people like it better once they get used to it.
 

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Thank you for your quick response and those websites for food...I have been checking asda as well..I will wait for other members to comment on neighborhoods...Reading some blogs I realized its not common to just drive to grocery stores but will get used to it I hope..
 

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Someone on here who moved back to Colorado commented about how hard it was to go back to driving everywhere... I suspect that the interactions that pedestrians have with each other are friendlier overall compared to the interactions between drivers. And it's much easier to stop and say hello to someone you know when you are on foot.
 
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Welcome to the most beautiful country in the world!

Hello All,

We are a family of three, my wife, 2 yrs old son and I. My wife and I are employees at oil and gas and moving to Aberdeen for an assignment. I have been reading some posts about Aberdeen and the expenses there but the posts were a little too old (2008 to 2010). Can you guys help us on certain questions I have?

1) What is the minimum salary package you would expect for decent living in Aberdeen for a family of three?
2) How does the rental market look like? We would like to get into a small 2 to 3 bed house in family oriented area, how much would that cost? What areas should we look at for houses? I think our work will be in Dyce.
3) How are the electricity, gas, water and trash charges covered?
4) Any information on council tax
5) Can someone suggest on buying a car? Diesel or Petrol? Used or New? How does financing work?

Really appreciate your help!!
I have been in Scotland for a little over a year and love it. That is not to say that there isn't a TON of adjustments that you will have to make....but it is a great place to live.

One source of helpful information is a blog done by an American who now lives in Aberdeen: My Life in Scotland She has a lot of helpful tips and observations about the area. She also has a young son.

Council tax is determined by the value of the property you rent, and can vary quite a bit. You can read more about the rates by going to the website: Council Tax and Benefits. This covers your water and trash charges. Recycling is HUGE here and you will get different bins for different kinds of trash. When looking at rental listings, be sure to note which "Council Band" the property comes under, then you will know how much to add on to the rent for your monthly expense budget.

Electricity and gas will depend on the property. Some are all electric. When looking at rentals, check for good thermal windows and central heat (radiators in each room). (Some heating systems are heat-storage units and my experience with them was that they don't provide even heating.) There can be a wide range in prices here too. I used a newsletter for comparison shopping: Money Saving Expert: Credit Cards, Shopping, Bank Charges, Cheap Flights and more. You can sign up for an alert that notifies you when there are other cheaper offers available. As long as you choose a provider plan with no fee for changing, you can switch to lower rates as they are available.

Don't bother to bring furniture or electronics (other than a laptop maybe) with you. The voltage and plugs are completely different and it is easy to blow things up (ie: my almost new blu-ray player :( ). Houses are much smaller, doorways are narrow, and some stairways are nearly impossible to maneuver furniture through. It is much more fun to shop the numerous and readily available charity shops for things when you get here.

Most housing is connected, unless you can afford a detached cottage. A "flat" is an apartment on a certain floor in a multi-floored building (it is configured horizontally, elevators are rare!). A "terraced house" or "semi-detached" is often similar to the US townhouse (it is configured vertically). We rent a 3 bedroom end-terraced house, meaning that we share a wall with our neighbor, but we are on the end of the terrace (row), and we have 2 floors with the bedrooms on the second floor. Oh - that is another thing, here the elevators etc. count Ground Floor, then First and Second, etc. where in the US, the first floor IS the ground floor. (Confused yet?? :confused2::confused2: )

Quite a few medications are different too. Here, tylenol is called paracetamol. We do have ibuprofen. However, the packaging is miniscule compared to the US. I used to buy 2 large bottles of ibuprofen at Wal Mart but here, you can only buy a small box of about 15 or so, and only up to 2 boxes at a time. Last time I went back, I brought 2 bottles home with me. Pharmacies are called Chemists, and here in my little village, the doctor's office (Surgery) actually will deliver the prescription to the Chemist down the street and I can just walk in and pick it up. :)

You will have to get used to walking.....A LOT. This culture is completely pedestrian-oriented, meaning that there are walking paths everywhere, even complete with "overpasses" over the major motorways. The bus system is excellent and not too expensive. The trains look awesome, although I haven't gotten to try them yet. There are lots and LOTS of great parks to explore, along with fabulous beaches (this was a surprise to me). Bring good all-weather coats with hoods. Umbrellas are ok, but if you use one on a typically windy day, it will be trashed. Some storms here have winds of 60-80 mph as matter of course. :eek: The strollers here are like Rolls Royces, compared to those in the US, so if that is something you use, I'd recommend getting one here, complete with a clear plastic rain cover.

There is so much more......but this will give you a little idea of what's ahead. Mary's blog is very helpful. If you'd like to private message me once you have qualified here, I'd be happy to try to answer any other questions for you and your wife.

Laurel
 
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Thank you so much for your message!!! I will go through her blog and other details you have provided us and will defi touch base with you for any other questions..
 

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Thank you so much for your message!!! I will go through her blog and other details you have provided us and will defi touch base with you for any other questions..
I only now noticed where you are from!! I moved from Maine to Texas in 1980, and lived in the Dallas area until 1987 when we moved to Abilene. My daughter was born there in 1988. Following moves included OK and NC, before finally getting back to Maine in 2000.

Since I strongly doubt that you have sufficient cold weather gear, you will probably have to go shopping for that here (if you arrive this winter). I think winter is worse in the Aberdeen area than it is here in Fife (we are south of there), although not as bad as New England. It will begin to get dark around 3:30 - 4:00p in the middle of winter with the trade-off being that the sun doesn't set until about 10:30 - 11:00p in the middle of summer!!

One other bit of advice, if your wife is a larger lady, (like me) - UK sizes run smaller than the US. So, a US size 18 is a UK size 20, a US 20 = UK 22, etc. It is unfortunate, and I have found it difficult to find clothing in my size so if she is also a larger lady, she may want to order online in the US and bring it over with her. If she is lucky and wears smaller sizes, she shouldn't have any trouble, except that styles are a bit different here, but then she'll fit right in! :cool:

I'll be happy to help if I can. Good luck!!
Laurel
 
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Thank you Laurel!!

Laurel,

My wife and I want to say thank you for your elaborated message on life in Scotland. We have been following Mary's blog as well. Very good information!! We both are used to very harsh winters as we both went to school in Kansas..Kansas had harsh winters and summers so that will be something new to our son. We both are from India originally so walking to every place, flat system etc. sounds very similar. In all honestly 10 years in US did spoil us with bigger houses and cars :)

I am trying to do some research on neighborhoods in Aberdeen to live in for family. Most probably we would choose a house (townhouse or semi detached or detached if affordable). Any word of advice on neighborhoods?

Regards,
Harsh
 

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Laurel,

My wife and I want to say thank you for your elaborated message on life in Scotland. We have been following Mary's blog as well. Very good information!! We both are used to very harsh winters as we both went to school in Kansas..Kansas had harsh winters and summers so that will be something new to our son. We both are from India originally so walking to every place, flat system etc. sounds very similar. In all honestly 10 years in US did spoil us with bigger houses and cars :)

I am trying to do some research on neighborhoods in Aberdeen to live in for family. Most probably we would choose a house (townhouse or semi detached or detached if affordable). Any word of advice on neighborhoods?

Regards,
Harsh
You are quite welcome! I am not familiar with Aberdeen, but I will ask my husband if he has any ideas. You have lived in a wide variety of places!! That will help you too, as you are familiar with adjusting to new areas. I think more Americans should live in a different country for at least a couple of years, then they would be more appreciative of what they have - although I know that isn't feasible for most people. ;) Maybe high school students should do 1 year with community service in a less developed country? They would definitely have a change in perspective.
 
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