Perhaps you’re looking to live in London for study, work, to join family, or maybe your spouse has been reassigned to work in the UK capital. Whatever the reason, there are some common questions that immediately spring to mind about your new potential home location.
So let’s take a look at some of the most common and immediate questions that people ask when considering a move to one of the worlds most sought after locations…
Is It Expensive To Live In London?
London is an expensive city. In fact, financial website, This Is Money, reported recently that it has now become the most expensive city in the world to live and work.
However, don’t let this put you off, as the millions of people who are currently working, studying and living in the capital prove that this dream destination is within the realms of many. And you don’t need to be earning a six-figure salary to join them… Average prices of property, transport, food, clothing etc are provided on our cost of living page here.
When thinking about the cost of living, it’s necessary to consider the following:
- Housing (mortgage or rent)
- Clothing/personal care etc.
One of the largest monthly outgoings everyone has is their rent or mortgage. And yes, in the centre of town in areas such as Kensington or Chelsea, property prices are eye-wateringly high. But this can be overcome by living in an area that’s not quite so central.
The great thing about London is that the whole of the area is covered by public transport in the form of underground trains, overground trains and buses. So you can actually live quite a long way from the centre of the city, and still have an easy commute to work or college. For example, you could live in Acton, West London, and still have only a 24-minute tube ride right to Leicester Square. Other affordable areas include Catford, Enfield and Plaistow.
Rental and property prices can be investigated online using such websites as Zoopla, Right Move and BBC News. Currently a monthly rent for an average sized apartment in an expensive area of London will cost around £2,300 per month.
When it comes to socializing and entertainment, Central London is undoubtedly expensive. For example, the average price of a meal for two in a nice Italian restaurant would cost around £65 if you walk in off the street. However, thanks to the high competition, it’s now virtually unnecessary to ever pay full price for a meal again. Websites such as Groupon, Money Saving Expert and Voucher Codes all provide you with codes to get cheaper meals at restaurants throughout the capital.
Food can be expensive, but the canny Londoner knows where to shop to drive the prices down. Recently, supermarkets, Lidl and Aldi have brought their ‘no-frills’ shopping concept to the UK with a vengeance. These have proven extremely popular, and forced the regular supermarkets, such as Tesco, to bring their prices down in order to become competitive.
When it comes to clothing and personal care, once again, head to the supermarkets for cut price goods. Supermarkets such as Asda and Sainsbury’s now feature their own fashion brands of George and Tu, meaning you can buy affordable clothes for adults and children without breaking the bank.
What Is The Average Cost Of Utilities In London?
Utilities in London are, of course, dependent on how much you use and the size of your property. You need to budget for:
- Council tax
- TV License
The average cost for a 1-2 bed flat for gas per month is around £45. Electricity would be around £55 and water £35. Different utility companies charge different prices, so the canny Londoner ensures they’re getting the best deal by checking out comparisons using a site such as U Switch or Money Saving Expert on a regular basis.
Council tax is charged on the size of the property, and covers services such as street lighting, emergency services and rubbish collection. For a 1-2 bed flat, expect this to cost between £1000-£1700 per year. This payment can be paid monthly in order to spread the cost throughout the year.
Average Cost Of Living In London For A Family Of 4
According to Business Insider, a couple living in London with two children will need an income of at least £40,000 per year to maintain an ‘acceptable’ standard of living. And whilst this might seem a large amount, wages in the capital are greater to account for the higher cost of living.
But one thing that aspiring Londoner’s must ensure they look into is the possibility of gaining substantial tax credits from the UK government. These can make a huge difference to the monthly outgoings, and are the reason many people can remain living in the capital on an average wage.
How Much Is Enough To Live On In London For One Month?
Well, this question is a bit like ‘how long is a piece of string!’ Many factors will have an effect on your monetary needs, including the size of your family, your penchant for fancy restaurants or club nights, whether you drive a car… The list of variables is endless.
However, if you consider your rent, plus utilities, plus food and travel, then you’re looking at a figure anywhere from £1,500+ per month. On top of that, you need to include the cost of clothing and socializing. Average London salaries for various professions can be found on salary comparison sites such as Payscale.
In conclusion, although no-one can doubt that London is an expensive city in which to live, with a little careful budgeting it really is possible for many people to live, work or study in this wonderfully cosmopolitan city.