It is not a mystery that living in the UK is quite expensive. It is one of the most expensive countries in the world, according to a great number of surveys. Additionally, London is constantly ranked as one of the most expensive cities in Europe. However, just like in any other nation, your lifestyle and income will play a major role in determining both the costs and the savings. The expenses of relocating to some other countries, as well as the costs of living there, can be difficult to predict. So, we have prepared an article that will help you learn about living expenses in the United Kingdom. Here, we will present you with the costs of accommodation, life, and groceries. Let’s dive in.
General Expenses of Living in the United Kingdom
Before you make your final decision and relocate to the United Kingdom, you should have a sense of the country’s real living expenses. The information we will put here was obtained in March 2022, and according to the data, the estimated monthly costs of living for a family of four exceeded 2,273.10 pounds a month (without rent). On the other hand, living expenses for a single person exceed $653.37 a month (without rent). Of course, these expenses may vary depending on the person and the family, but generally, the costs of living without rent are not lower than 500 pounds. Groceries, accommodations, transportation, and even money transfers can be expensive. However, when it comes to money transfers, there are some benefits you can take advantage of. For instance, you can send money to Poland for just £1, while some other service providers can charge much higher rates. Also, entertainment, booze, and eating out can significantly impact your monthly budget.
If you decide to relocate to the United Kingdom, naturally, you will need a place to stay. The prices of accommodations can vary widely depending on the number of rooms in the apartment. Hence, an apartment with a single bedroom in the city center costs 769.36 pounds, while an apartment with a single bedroom outside of the city center costs 633.81 pounds. If you are looking for somewhat bigger apartments, you will need to spend much more money. For you to rent a 3-bedroom apartment in the city center, you will need as much as 1,200 pounds.
On the other hand, if you are looking for the same apartment outside of the city center, the price goes over 1000 pounds. However, new residents have found some creative ways to deal with the issue of housing and the exceptionally high rents. Some of them are flat-sharing apartments on the edges of town, and some even rent boats and barges. Namely, a shared room will cost you about 500 pounds per month, and it is a pretty decent price to pay, although you can get lucky and find even cheaper accommodations. You should also do thorough research and find less popular neighborhoods where rents are slightly lower. A great number of Londoners are renting the rooms so they can make ends meet.
One of the ways to find cheaper places to stay is to use tube maps, which were created for people who are looking for accommodation based on their monthly incomes. This map specifically will show you the places that you can afford depending on your salary. The results are not so encouraging unless you are looking for a retirement home, but even then, the options you have are quite slim. If you are a student, you should check to see if there are exemptions for the council taxes.
How to Handle the Transportation?
Transport in big cities is also a huge factor, especially if you are living on the outskirts of the capital. You will spend a lot of money on your accommodations, but you will also notice that spending money on transportation is also a major expense. You will feel this much better if you are living on the outskirts and the job is located somewhere in the center. So, for you to reduce your travel expenses, you need to look for travel cards or get the Oyster card and figure out what are the most economical options for you.
Food and Eating
For you to live, you will obviously need something to eat, and you will also like to have a social life as well. When we are talking about buying groceries, you will be offered a whole variety of different shops. It is much cheaper to buy your food in big towns than in rural areas, which either have no shops at all or are super expensive and have limited choices. In some areas of big cities, you will also find shops representing various ethnic communities that will offer you a whole range of vegetables and some other items. Also, you will be able to find smoked meat, cheese, and jams. In mainstream supermarkets such as Aldi or Lidl, you will find a lot of things on a budget and of great quality. So, think about it. When it comes to eating out, it is usually pretty expensive. However, if you do extensive research, you can find a couple of places where you can get good food for relatively low prices.
We have already mentioned that having a social life is also an aspect of living, and entertainment in the UK is not necessarily super expensive. There are a whole bunch of free museums, film events, and street events where you can have fun on a budget. Festivals such as the East End Film Festival have free movie screenings, or you can even exchange food for a ticket. The UK is a lively country; there is always something going on, so the chances for you to be bored are quite low. Another form of entertainment, such as gym memberships, can be quite pricey, but there are a couple of ways to exercise for free. You can jog and take long walks. Also, there are parks and areas where you can find machines where you can do pretty good workouts.
Living in the UK as an ex-pat can be quite costly if you do not know how to calculate your living expenses and do not listen to the tips of people who are already living there. However, with the previously mentioned methods, you will be able to live a decent life and stay on a budget all along.