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Cost of living in the UK

While the UK is the perfect place to start your adventure, you will soon realise that London living can be quite expensive. In the weeks before you start earning Pounds, it will be important to manage the money you brought with you. To help make this easier, we’ve compiled a list to give you an idea of what you’ll spend in an average month.


Average cost of accommodation in London

One bedroom, city centre

£500 - £1,250

One bedroom, outside city

£400 - £1,000

Three bedrooms, city centre

£725 - £2,000

Three bedrooms, outside city

£600 - £1,500


Cost of food and drink

Average weekly grocery bill


Average pub meal


Average restaurant meal

£15 - £20

Pint of beer


Average bottle of wine in supermarket


Average meal for two in mid-priced restaurant



Cost of transportation

One-way ticket on local transport


Monthly pass

£125 (standard single, off-peak)

Train trip to Cambridge / Brighton

£21.20 (standard single, off peak)

Average mid-sized car rental for a weekend

£150 (budget carrier)

Return budget flight to Spain

£78 (standard class)

Eurostar return ticket to Paris

£100 (standard class)

Return flight to Ireland

£125 (economy)

Cost of entertainment


£9 - £10

Monthly gym membership


Show on the West End


Club/Pub entry


International live music concerts



Money tips

London is known as one of the most expensive cities in the world. For an average day, we recommend you budget at least £50.00 for basic survival, which includes a dorm room, a one-day travel card and food. A bit of sightseeing or a night out could easily add £30.00 on to this. If you are looking to stay in a modest hotel and eat restaurant meals, you should budget upwards of £90.00 a day. Outside of London, costs do drop quite quickly, especially if you have a transport pass and are able to cook your own meals.


If you eat in a British restaurant, a tip of at least 10% is seen as standard, unless the service was unsatisfactory.

Waitrons are generally paid minimum wage, with much of their income coming from tips. Some restaurants include a service charge on the bill, especially with larger dining groups, in which case leaving a tip is unnecessary.

It is standard to tip hairdressers’ assistants if you are especially pleased with their service. Tipping is always at your discretion – there is no need to leave a tip if you’ve simply had a pint poured at a pub, but the 10% recommendation stands at more upmarket cocktail bars.

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