Cost of Living in UK

April 25 , 2021 by: Amanda Goh

The cost of living in the UK is relatively high, as compared to other European countries. According to Expatisan, a single person is estimated to spend around £1,940 a month. Of course, this also depend on what lifestyle you lead while in the UK too.

If you are thinking of moving to the UK, it is important to consider the cost of living here, to have an idea of how much you will spend each month.

As UK’s global financial hub, London is known to be one of the most expensive places to live — not just in the UK but in the world. If you intend to live on a budget, cities such as Liverpool and Sheffield are known to be one of the cheaper cities to live in. As you go away from city centers and towards smaller towns and villages, your cost of living will be lower.

Take note that the UK’s official currency is Pounds Sterling, £. Some exchange rates are:

Read on to find out more about UK’s cost of living.


London is one of the popular destinations for expats to reside in. This means that housing will be easy to find. However, while easy to rent an apartment, the rent itself does not come cheap.

As mentioned, your rent may differ according to city and where you intend to reside in that city. Residing further from the city center will give you more budget friendly choices.

Residing in an expensive area may cost you up to £1,785 a month for a 900 sq ft furnished apartment. While a furnished studio in a cheaper area may cost up to £885 a month (480 sq ft). Utilities should not cost more than £200 a month.


Grocery costs can be fairly affordable, depending on which grocery store you shop at. Grocery stores such as Waitrose tend to be pricier than shopping at an Aldi.

Depending on your food preferences, your monthly grocery bill can add up to around £400 a month. This amount will also defer depending on where you are residing in the UK — cities such as London and Bath are more expensive in terms of grocery prices as compared to Cardiff and Liverpool.

London bus by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Public Transport

As roads in the UK are narrow and busy, taking public transport may be the ideal choice. Public transportation services in the UK is rather extensive, especially in larger cities, making it easy to travel. However, ticket prices may be costly.

A one-way bus or train ticket can cost around £2.50, depending on where you are going to and what city you reside in.

There are many ways to travel between cities. While taking the plane and train to another city may be quick, it may also be costly. Depending on where you are at and where you are going, tickets may cost up to £200 one way. Alternatively, you can rent a car or take a bus which will cost less.


The National Health Service (NHS) provides residents with access to free medical care. This means that the costs for any medical care, including doctor’s appointments and medical treatments will be covered. To access these treatments, you will need to register with a GP.

Overall Thoughts

While living in the UK may be costly, there are ways to live here on a budget. This may mean going to cheaper grocery stores and living in the outskirts of a city, nevertheless, it is possible to live in the UK on a budget.

If you intend to reside in the UK, it is important to know more about the city and how to get by without spending too much.


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