Cost of Living in Britain

Britain can be your choice of destination for living or for studying. If you have planned to move to Britain, one of the things you might be wondering about will be the cost of living in Britain. Your food, accommodation, boarding and lodging, utilities, entertainment, and a lot of other local expenses can add up to the whole cost. Apart from the basic necessities, other miscellaneous expenses may further add to your budget. It is always a good idea to have a realistic view of the expenses in a new place so that you can make the most of what the country has to offer.

Is it expensive to live in Britain? Below we will try to get a snapshot of the general life in the country and what your monthly expenses can be like.

Is living in Britain expensive?

Britain has a lot to offer despite the price tag. The country has got an impressive infrastructure and an advanced transport system. Another attraction is the NHS or the National Health Service, which is public-funded. The cost of living in the United Kingdom is rather high, but the wages you get there are high as well. London, Milton Keynes, Bath, and Reading are among the top 5 expensive places to live in Britain. Aberdeen, Cambridge, Oxford, Portsmouth and Edinburgh are relatively affordable cities, while cities like Derby, Belfast, Newcastle, Cardiff, Liverpool and Sheffield are relatively low on the cost of living index.

Many factors determine your cost of living in this country. It is often a good idea to determine your living expenses based on today’s pound rate. A good metric gives a better measurement as to which city is cheaper or expensive to live in.

Expatistan, a data comparison website, gives the average UK cost of living as:

  • 2,224 GBP for a single person monthly, and
  • 3,826 GBP for a family of four monthly

This website has ranked Britain as the 14th most expensive country to live in.

Cost of Living in Britain images

Your place of living determines your cost of living

Whether you are going to Britain as a student or as an employee, or just planning to settle down in the country, your cost of living will be significantly impacted by the place you choose to live. For example, people who choose to live in London will have a higher living cost than someone staying in Sheffield or other parts of the country.

One of the most intimidating financial aspects is how pricey it is to buy or rent accommodation. Northern England is less expensive than in Southern England cities. Like in any other country in the world, the differences in living costs in various parts of the country are significant.

Here is the average rent for the major cities in Britain at a glance:

  • The British capital, London, is one of the most expensive places to live in the world. It has the highest cost of living with the rent for a one-bedroom apartment up to 36,000 GBP a year!
The average monthly rent for a 900 sq ft furnished area is around 1200-2000 GBP. The average monthly rent of 450 sq ft furnished area in a studio apartment is around 1000-1200 GBP.
  • If you include the energy costs in the rent, these figures may further increase.
  • Shared accommodation for students is relatively cheaper as accommodation and utilities will be cut in half.

Other significant expenses in your cost of living in Britain

  • Utilities: The total for utilities, including gas, electricity, and water, per month is about 100-155 GBP.
  • Travel Costs: Most people in Britain use public transport as it is much affordable. They will buy passes instead of having a vehicle. This is because it leads to a faster commute, and one can travel over distances for much less. One can easily secure a monthly pass for most services at an average of 65 GBP. Students can avail themselves of more generous discounts on the travel passes.
  • Mobile Phone Plan: The average mobile phone bill in Britain is around 45 GBP. It depends on the mobile network you can choose, the tariff plan, and the services you select.
  • TV License: For anyone watching TV in Britain, whether on television, computer or smartphone, there is a television license payment. The cost of the license is £157.50 per year for color television. This is payable per home, so if you share accommodation, it gives you the opportunity to split this cost.
  • Council Tax: Anyone who stays in Britain has to pay council tax. It is calculated based on the place of living and the number of members living in that place. It usually averages about 25 GBP per week or 100 GBP monthly.
  • Food– Food is available at relatively cheaper rates in Britain than in most other countries. A person, on average, may spend 40 GBP on food per week. This includes groceries and dining out. If you consider the annual cost of food, it comes around 3,224 GBP on groceries and 1,581 GBP on restaurants and takeaways per household in Britain.

Cost of Education in Britain

England has excellent educational facilities. Education is compulsory for children in the age group of 5 -17 years. Education starts at the age of 5 years and finishes at the age of 16 or 17, after completing their GCSEs.

  • Public schools are free, while education in private schools is expensive.
  • The average annual cost for private schooling is around 14,000 GBP for day school and 33,000 GBP for boarding school.
  • University fees range from 10, 000 GBP to 20,000 GBP. For professional degrees, the fees may be higher.

Summing Up

The cost of living in Britain also includes other miscellaneous costs, like those for the internet, books, toiletries, clothes, recreation and entertainment, tours and travel, and other items and services you may need. Your budget should also be accommodating health care and insurance costs, emergency issues, or any excess school costs. If you are relocating to Britain or planning to stay there for some time, make sure to estimate your living costs and accordingly plan your budget to enjoy a good, quality life there.

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