Cost of living in England

Hi everybody,

It would be very interesting / helpful to start a topic about the cost of living in England.

Don't forget to mention where you are living

Let's compare the:

> accommodation prices (how much does it cost to rent or to buy an accommodation in England?)

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)

> food prices(per month, how much does it cost you?)

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)

> eduction prices (if you need to pay)

> energy prices (oil, electricity)

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant

> prices of a beer and or a coffee in a regular pub

> price of the cinema

Did I forget something or is this list complete enough?

Thanks in advance for your participation!

Sent by Rajunek in oct 2006

Reading, England, United Kingdom
(60km west London)
(prices in euros)

> accommodation prices: 1 bedroom appartment in town centre, 1,000 euros + 100 euros in council tax (mandatory), so 1,100 euros/calendar month

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...) I only use train to a nearby town, 7 euros return ticket. To London on peak time is around 30 euros return ticket. (expensive!!)

> food prices(per month, how much does it cost you?)
An average of 300 euros, including some "expensive" products such as wine or olive oil.

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)
health is free in the UK, and most of companies include a health insurance as a benefit when employed.

> eduction prices (if you need to pay)
I am single and with no children, so I don't know. As far as I know it can be as expensive as you want (I've heard about tuition fees of 40,000 eur per year and kid)

> utility prices (oil, electricity)
water has a flat rate, so it doesn't matter how much water you use. I'm paying around 25 eur per month.
Electricity, around 15 eur per month
Gas, around 15 eur per month (up to 30 in wintertime)

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)I've got a single bill for telephone line rental, unlimited national and international calls to fix numbers and broadband for 35 eur per month, which is not a bad deal... broadband speed sucks.
TV Licence: you must pay, but I didn't yet. It is something like 150 eur a year
mobile phone: there are very good deals in contracts, but you won't get one unless you proof you've been living here for some time. 30 eur/month plan should allow you to talk 200 mins, send more text messages than you will need and have a very nice handset for free.

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant
A dinner for two in a nice typical English pub, with two courses, wine and dessert for one may go up to 40-50 euros/person easily.
A regular dinner  in a non-fast food restaurant may cost 30 euros (with a couple or beers included)

> prices of a beer and of a coffee in a regular pub
A pint of lager costs around 4.5 euros cheers
A coffee is around 3 euros

> tobacco
American tobacco, 20 cigarettes for almost 8 euros  blink
(it is cheaper to go on vacation to Spain and buy the cigarettes there... 1 return ticket to Alicante + 4 marlboro big packets = 4 marlboro big packets bought in the UK)!!!!

London and it's influence area is expensive, but I must say that salaries for educated professionals are pretty good as well.

Regads,
a Spanish guy

Sent by ksarant in dec 2006

Hello I live in London (12 minutes away by train from central London)

- accommodation prices: My one bedroom flat costs £740 per month + £120 for the council tax every month

- public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)
One bus ticket before 9.30 am costs £1.10 if you ve got an oyster card or £1.50 normal price. After 9.30 am with the oyster card, it is only £0.80 or £1.10 normal price.
I never take the tube but I know that if you want to buy a single ticket by tube in zone 1 only, a ticket costs now £4 ! The best is to take a dayly or a weekly travelcard.

- food prices(per month, how much does it cost you?): In UK, food is cheap , I spend approx £25 per week

- health prices (for those who need medical insurance)
If you are registered with a general practitional, healthcare is free, the same with hospital. However with this service and it quite difficult to have an appointement for the same day . Dentists charge approx £75 for a filling.

> eduction prices (if you need to pay)
An MA fees cost around £4000/ year

> energy prices (oil, electricity)
My electricity bille is £230 approx every 3 months.

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)
Internet+ telephone line+ digital TV costs only £30

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant
Approx £15 per head

> prices of a beer and of a coffee in a regular pub
a pint pf beer costs around £3.00, coffee is £1.60

That's all folks!

Sent by TwoCrabs in Jan 2007

I live in the heart of London so we pay more than the average. All prices below in British Sterling Pounds

Accommodation prices: Our two-bedroom flag with huge living room, kitchen and HUGE terrace costs £1490 per month + £100 for the monthly council tax.

- public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)
Same as previous reader said. I take the bus more than the tube. The bus is 80 pence with an Oyster Card...a MUST item even if you are just visiting London as a tourist. One Tube ride is 1.20. Another great thing about the Oyster card is that you never pay more than a certain cap amount; in central London once you reach about £6 in a single day, you won't pay anything else above that daily cap amount for any further journeys you take.

- food prices(per month, how much does it cost you?): Probaby about £50 per week for a couple. You can save a lot by shopping in the many outdoor markets.

- health prices (for those who need medical insurance). NOTHING. NADA. ZIPPO.  ZERO. We have Nationalized health care. I've never had a problem with it. The only thing we pay for is prescription drugs, which cost about £6 apiece.

> eduction prices (if you need to pay)
No idea; we're not students

> energy prices (oil, electricity)
Our electric bill was about £85 for three months. The gas bill is much cheaper, about £40 for three months.

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)
Same as previous reader. We pay £30 for combined Internet+ telephone line+ digital TV with 40 channels through TeleWest.  Also my neighborhood has FREE wi-fi internet on the entire mile-long road, but it is so slow I rarely use it.

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant
Approx £15 per head

> prices of a beer and of a coffee in a regular pub
Fellow reader must go to some expensive pubs!  A pint of beer in my local is about £2.50, and as cheap as £1 during happy hour.  Coffee is about £1 at a local British cafe (pronounced "caff") or £1.50 at Starbucks.  I have a very bad Starbucks Cafe Mocha habit, which are about £2.20 apiece.

Sent by ghoti in march 2008

Currently living in Bristol, United Kingdom. Costs given in Euros.

Let's compare the:
> accommodation prices
1100,- Euro for one room studio flat (L-shaped with kitchen/living room/bedroom all in one) in the city centre;

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)
I don't take any, however, single starts with 2,50 Euro and roundtrip to outskirts up to 5,- Euro

> food prices(per month, how much does it cost you?)
I'm looking after what I spend and most of my shopping I do in ASDA, but still - around 200-250 Euro a month

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)
NHS. No costs so far. [touchstone]

> eduction prices (if you need to pay)
-

> energy prices (oil, electricity)
Not sure to be honest since I don't drive and for my housing it's included.

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)
30,- Euro for 10 MB/s cable broadband;
140,- Euro per year for TV license;
40,- Euro a month for mobile phone (400 mins/200 sms/120 Mb GPRS/insurance etc)

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant
Starting at 12 Euro (like Sunday roast)

> prices of a beer and of a coffee in a regular pub
Beer - 4,- Euro a pint
Coffee - 2,- Euro a pint

We're living close to Notting Hill Gate tube, just off Ken Church St - so our costs listed below will be higher than the UK average:

> accommodation prices
we pay the average rent for Ken & Chelsea (c. £1,700 pm + £150 council tax) for our huge 1 bed flat (it's a remodeled 2 bed) - it's a lot, but we're paying a premium for location and a really quick commute to work

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)
we get weekly Oyster cards - £23.20 pw for a zone 1-2 (for him) and £43.40 pw for a zone 1-5 (for me, I work out in the sticks); it's a huge cost, but we don't have a car (don't need one in London) so we're saving at least £2,500 pa in registration and insurance fees (not to mention fuel costs!)

The benefit of getting the weekly / monthly travel passes on Oyster is that you get free bus travel thrown in for the duration of the pass, so that works out really well.

> food prices(per month, how much does it cost you?)
we spend about £50 - £60 pw on food, with another £20 - £30 on other h/hold incidentals

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)
n/a - we pay our National Insurance and make use of the NHS :D
Having said that, we couldn't get in to see an NHS dentist, so see a private one

> eduction prices (if you need to pay)
n/a - we're not students & don't have kids

> energy prices (oil, electricity)
We pay c. £35 pm for electricity, British Gas has stuffed up our account somehow so we get quarterly bills for about £1.50 (WTF?)

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)
we've got a package deal from Virgin Media for cable TV / landline / internet that works out at about £48 pm (incl. Sky Sports & phone calls); mobile bills ... approx. £10 pm pre-paid

Ok - a great international calling service is Telediscount (www.telediscount.com) ~ use it and abuse it! We use it all the time for 1p per minute calls to Australia, 2p per minute calls to Switzerland. Everyone should know about this website!

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant
I'd be happy with entrees priced at £7 - 10 and Mains £12 - 20

> prices of a beer and or a coffee in a regular pub
coffee - approx. £2; beer - approx. £3 (but varies according to location of pub, on-tap vs. bottled, 'regular' vs. 'exotic', etc)

> price of the cinema
rarely go - too expensive unless the movie's really good. we tend to order movies as pay-per-view through our cable TV service


Hope this helps some of you budding Londoners work out your likely cost of living :cool:

Here's an article from a website I found about life in the UK. Hope it helps!

okinuk.co.uk/My-Money/Cost-of-Living.html

Hello,

Would you please tell me the for the community primary school (public school) lists in london and the public house around the central london???

Thank you all of you!

Hi !

cost of living in Wolverhampton (West Midlands, 20mn far away from Birmingham by train) :

> accommodation prices
share house (one housemate), £250 per month (15-20mn far away from the city centre by foot)

> public transportation fares
bus (for an adult person) £1,5 single ticket (more than 2 stops otherwise : 1,1), £3 day saver (for all the day), £2 night saver (fare from 6pm)
all fares and journeys can be found to the following websites :
http://www.travelwm.co.uk/
http://www.travelinemidlands.co.uk/

> food prices
asda (for two people) £240

> health prices /none

> eduction prices /none

> energy prices
not already received utility bills !

> common bills
Internet : 3G key with three (cost of the key : £50) / top up £10= 1GB allowance, £15= 3GB, £20= 7GB for 30 days television, telephone, mobile phone)

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant
£15-20 per person (except wine)

> prices of a beer and or a coffee in a regular pub
coffee : average of £1,1-1,3
beer : average £3-4

> price of the cinema
£6 per adult

Thanks, great information. A lot of people need that.
My opinion is that England is quite an expensive country. It may be me, but this is how I see things there. I have visited it twice.

I'm in northern Lancaster, near Cumbria.   Thought someone might appreciate hearing about prices OUTSIDE of London.


> accommodation prices (how much does it cost to rent or to buy an accommodation in England?)

My 1000 sq. ft. home typically would cost someone about £600 a month for mortgage.  (We pay half that because we bought it before things skyrocketed.)

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)
No tube in this part of the country, but a bus fare is more than you'd pay in a lot of American cities.  Usually, it's not more than a couple of pounds, but bear in mind it's a small town.  A ten minute cab ride is about £7.

> food prices(per month, how much does it cost you?)
The local farmer's market is much cheaper than the grocery stores.  I can buy a bag of produce heavy enough to bruise my shoulder on the walk home for under £5.  It rules, seriously.  People do tend to cook at home much more often here, so roll with it and you'll save a ton.   The quality of the food is really great, too.  It tends to come from local farms and is very fresh, and the meat here is free range almost 100% without fail.

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)
Anyone living legally in the UK may use the National Health Service.  You can get private insurance, too, but even the locals I know use the NHS and trust it.  The NHS is free.  You do not pay a copay or get billed for anything later.  If you get a prescription for something, it's about £7 at the moment, but is free for children, seniors and people on benefits. 

> energy prices (oil, electricity)
My water bill is something ridiculously tiny like £3 per year.  I have no idea why that is but it's true.  The electric is about £30 a month.  We do most of the heating with the downstairs fireplace (as do many people here) and the fuel for that is under £50 a month.  (Less, if you save your burnable paper instead of throwing it out or recycling it, haha.)  Any other heating is radiant, which is paid for in with the electricity and water bills.

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)
My iPhone is about £30 a month, including data, and the phone was free with my plan.  (This was a pleasant surprise after coming from the states!)

It's good to realize that you will have to pay a license to have a television in the UK.  It costs £142 a year at the moment.  I thought this was a joke when I first came over but now I realize it's really worth it, as it means less commercials and a very unbiased news source.  British television is pretty awesome because they get this money. 

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant

£10 a head for a main course in a decent place, easily twice that in some place fancy.


I don't go to the pub or cinema much.  :)


I would remind people that although this is a very expensive place to VISIT, when you live here, your paycheck is also bigger.  The pound is very strong against other currencies most of the time and so it's not hard to make ends meet.. at least, no harder than anywhere else.  Once you cover your initial relocation expenses, it's easy peasy.  The upswing to this is that when you earn a british paycheck, all your visits to other countries seem ridiculously cheap.

Hope that helps!

This info is about Sheffield, South Yorkshire, mainly for living as a student with limited budget:

Accommodation prices: Around university it is 50-60 pounds per room per week in shared house. Around 600-900 pounds per house/flat per month depending on size. Studio flats for around 400 pounds per month. The farther from uni, the cheapest (usually).

Public transportation fares: tram 3 pounds for a day rider, buses from 50p for students in the main routes.

Food prices: My partner and I spend about 65 pounds a week in groceries.

Health prices: students are entitled to National Health Service

Education prices: for overseas students (outside the EU) Ph.D. fees are above 12,000 pounds per year. It is considerably less for EU students. I believe it is around 3-4000 per year.

Energy prices: Gas- 150 pounds per quarter year, Electricity- 100 pounds per quarter year, but it mainly depends on what your heating is running on and how much you use it. I rather put a sweater on than turning the heating on and hang around in summer clothing.

Common bills: most satellite TV companies offer all-inclusive promotions for 25-35 pounds for TV, broadband and phone. Telephone line rental is 11 pounds a month. TV license is about 150 pounds per year. (This is some sort of tax that mainly (or maybe totally) goes to mantain the BBC which has no commercials). Mobile phone companies are very competitive so if you don't rush you will for sure find a good deal with free texts o free minutes for example.
For calling abroad I would recommend Telediscount. Find the connection numbers online for any country in the world. Calls to Europe are about 1p per minute and to Mexico are 4p per minute.

Prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant: 20 pounds for two maybe three courses if lucky but without alcoholic drinks. A pub meal (which would be the traditional style) can be as cheap as 5 pounds and in a good pub around 10 pounds for a nice main dish.

Prices of a beer and or a coffee in a regular pub: Pint of beer from 2 pounds, Coffee from 1.50 pounds

Price of the cinema: regular price is around 6 pounds, cheaper for students and children. Orange mobile company has a good promo for 2x1 tickets on Wednesday in cinemas across the country. The big chains offer memberships for 12 pounds a month and you can see any movie, any time, as many times as you want.

Petrol: as of September 2009 the liter is about 1.1 pounds, diesel is a bit more expensive

Motorways: Free!!! (except for the very, very odd ones)

Hope you have found this helpful!!!
:)

Not strictly related to cost of living itself but very important to be aware of when you are trying to work out if your British salary will allow you to maintain your standard of living: the definition of gross salary - which tends to be the only amount a UK employer will ever mention - is completely different from that used in some other European countries. A British gross salary is exactly that, i.e. gross, absolutely nothing has been subtracted yet. For an average salary you will end up paying about 30-35% taxes, social contributions etc. This in sharp contrast to e.g. France, where gross salaries are an awful lot lower but you never get to see most of the social contributions (already accounted for even in the "gross" salary) and where you end up paying only 10-15% taxes. This is yet another reason why you need to be very careful when comparing the salary you are offered in England to what you earn in your home country.

Hi....if im earning about 2200 pounds per month , and have 2 teens ...am i going to survive? The accommodation seems pricey for 3 bedrooms in Hampshire...approx 1000 pounds.....your comments would be appreciated...

Supero: in my opinion there is no way you will survive on that kind of money, not even without kids. For even the tiniest of 3 bedroom appartments in Hampshire you will indeed be paying at least GBP 1000 (add another GBP 100 or so for counsil tax). Hampshire is still within the London area of influence, which means prices are absolutely bonkers. With anything below GBP 3500-4000 / month you might as well move to the third world.

London is the fifth most expensive city in the world, according to new research.A survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit shows are more costly to live in and visit.

london - the most expensive in the European Union - was given its highest ranking in a decade. It previously came in at number eight.

I'm considering getting a live-in-nanny job in England, so I wouldn't have to pay for a room -it's included, so is food.

I would be making about 150 pounds a week, which would mostly be pocket money, maybe pay for internet bill and other personal needs.

I'm wondering if this would be a reasonable amount to live with there

Hi...
I am planing to move to Surrey UK from India and i have been offered a job. Please give some realistic figures of Income (salary) i should get to survive with my family (2 people including myself). I also want to know about the tax % for expats on salary.


Also please update the below cost of living questions
Hi everybody,

It would be very interesting / helpful to start a topic about the cost of living in England.

Don't forget to mention where you are living

Let's compare the:

> accommodation prices (how much does it cost to rent or to buy an accommodation in England?)

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)

> food prices(per month, how much does it cost you?)

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)

> eduction prices (if you need to pay)

> energy prices (oil, electricity)

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant

> prices of a beer and or a coffee in a regular pub

> price of the cinema

Did I forget something or is this list complete enough?

Thanks in advance for your participation!


Thanks
Flash

Hi,

I would like to know whether a family of 4 (i.e 2adults and 2 kids) is sufficient with a salary of 2.5k pounds per month(net) with out accomodation. And also i would like to know the rental rates, food expenses, water, electricity, gas, landline or mobile(which would be preferable), taxes, medicals, education etc., and what would be the saving potential with the above said salary.

hi every body i am looking for an english for coresponding because i am preparing to move in england but i dont know anything there and anybody neither so i would like to be a friend of someone who know better london or somewhere else helping me to get a flat and you name it thanks you can write me soon my email is   ziza611[at]hotmail.com  thank ....bye

Hi zigui! You are :offtopic: . Could you please start a new discussion on the England forum.

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewforum.php?id=268

Thank you!

Hi to every body this is John peter form India. I had completed BBA. in pondicherry university Right now I looking for a Job in London. any one kindly help me what is process of getting visa and what are the kinds of job as BBA. graduates can have there.

My email ID is I am planing to do all the process in the next 10 months.

Hi John Peter! You are offtopic . Could you please start a new discussion on the England forum.

Thank you!

Young professional living in Leeds! Here goes...

> accommodation prices (how much does it cost to rent or to buy an accommodation in England?)
There is a wide variety of accommodation available, and it would depend on your preference and affordability. If you are on benefits or housing allowance you will have a budget from £80 - £120 per week for housing, which can get you in some mid terraces around the city, but not particularly upmarket areas! Student lets are widely available in the areas of Woodhouse, Headingley and Far Headingley, as well as a few blocks around the city centre. These range from £80 pw to £140 for studio flats. Professional lets cost a little more, but are generally found in the city centre, or a little further out with benefits such as off street parking garages etc.. Family houses vary considerably, but you can expect to pay around £800 pcm for a modest sized and located house.

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)
A daily bus pass for the green zone, which extends as far as student/professional areas such as Headingley costs £3.20, and can be used all day. An all day pass for the whole of Leeds is close to £5. Weekly passes are £10 for green zone, or about double that for unlimited travel anywhere in Leeds.
First Yorkshire, the bus company, also run deals between York, where daily shopping trips can cost as little as £2 return.

> food prices(per month, how much does it cost you?)
Weekly shops for someone in my position (single and young(ish!)) can be around £20, with a further £15 - £20 spent eating out or getting sandwiches. If you have some spare time or you're a little more skilled in the kitchen I'm sure you could feed a couple easily for £100 pcm, or a family of 5 for around £150 - £180.

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)
There are a range of insurers available, as long as you're healthy you shouldn't have to pay more than £35 per month at the maximum. Many insurance firms are actually located in Leeds due to it being the financial centre of the North.

> eduction prices (if you need to pay)
I'll tell you now University for home students at the University of Leeds is £3225, however overseas students and Masters students ashould expexct to pay £12k - £20k.
Leeds Metripolitan University costs only £2000 per year for home students, and is one of the only Universities in the UK which do not charge the maximum amount allowed. There are local private grammar schools, priced at around £1k - £3k per term dependant upon age. State schools are obviously free!

> energy prices (oil, electricity)
Bills come cheap so long as you're not wasteful. I'm on an all inc. package so I don't see my bills, however I'd assume they are £10 - £15 per week. I live in a studio flat, but I'm relatively wasteful...

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)
Internet and TV through Sky Tv, £30 odd pcm. Telephone line rental is the same all over the UK, and phone plans are around £30pcm for mobiles with free handsets. 

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant
Local pubs serve massive plates of food geared towards students for as little as £2.99, and it isn't that bad! Decent city restaurants can set you back about £100 for a few courses and drinks.

> prices of a beer and or a coffee in a regular pub
£2.50 - however this varies considerably depending on where you're looking to live. Most pubs serve beer cheaper than tea, so drink that at home!

> price of the cinema
Around £6 for a ticket

Hope this helps!

hi to all,

my name is Andrea and I am going to start a Master in Mining Geology at the University of Exeter - Camborne School of Mine on October 4th and I would like to know how much is the living cost for a student in this area (Cornwall - Exeter - Bristol). Does it as expensive as London?

many thanks

Hi,

I live here and as a general rule. It all depends on your lifestyle. If you want to know there are some guides. For example:

Check these :
Cost of Living in London from TNT Magazine
Cost of Living in London from Stuck in London

andreabigo :

hi to all,

my name is Andrea and I am going to start a Master in Mining Geology at the University of Exeter - Camborne School of Mine on October 4th and I would like to know how much is the living cost for a student in this area (Cornwall - Exeter - Bristol). Does it as expensive as London?

many thanks

Living outside London cuts down the costs significantly specially for rent and transport

Hello, I posted a new topic called Stourbridge. I was wondering if anybody knew the costs (average) for Stourbridge. It's only 30 mins from Birmingham, so would it be about the same price as there? Thanks.

Hello all,

           My name is Bharath, I am currently working in Newcastle. I believe Newcastle is one of the cheaper places in England to live in.

I am originally from India, and i chose Newcastle specifically for this (comparitively cheaper)to start looking for work.

Have a good day,

Hiya,

I'm currently living in France but am moving to Cornwall soon and would appreciate some advice on costs etc. I know my rent is going to be £650 per month for a 2 bedroom flat, and my tv/phone/internet combined will be £51 per month, but I need to know some approx figures for shopping, gas/electricity etc. It will be 2 adults and 1 child.

I stayed in Edinburgh, Scotland. Really nice coutry and beautifull city. Honestly who is already in UK or planning to got there must travel to Edinburgh (if you like to see old fashion Scots style). Worth to see. Trust me!

Edinburgh, Scotland almost the same like in England

> accommodation prices: 1 bedroom from 500GBP

> public transportation fares: bus day ticket 3GBP, single:1,20GBP

> food prices: from ASDA around 300GBP

> health prices: doctors are for free is u are registered

> eduction prices: Full time education for free for EU citizens:)

> common bills: Internet 20GBP, television 30GBP

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant: 50GBP

> prices of a beer and or a coffee in a regular pub: from 3GBP

> price of the cinema: student 6GBP, adult 10GBP

Hi Jacek! :) Maybe you should start a new topic in the Edinburgh forum as well. This will definitely help other members.

Thank you,
All the best,
Christine

England is just way too expensive and london is just too busy and crowded.

Heya all,

England is expensive, but you can find lots of apartments or flats for rent at very good prices for students. I am curently living with my best friend in the centre of Leeds in an apartment in Leeds.  [Moderated]

It's really good and I enjoy it very much.

thanks for the full details

Hi all,

I just wanted to make it clear that people shouldn't base their opinion of living costs on London alone, because in London the cost of rent and food is absolutely ridiculous.  I know that most immigrants head for the jobs in the biggest cities, but just as an example, a normal rent for a tiny student flat in London is at least £300 a week, but in Leicester (East Midlands) my spacious end-terrace student house in a good central area costs me £260 a MONTH, and many of my friends pay only £50 a week.

Obviously this is a student house share which is always cheaper per person, but looking at non-student properties, my boyfriend and I are looking at renting a 2 bed flat near the city centre for £450 a month.  There are studio flats and 1 bed apartments available for £350 a month.  In addition, you can easily buy a 3 bed semi-detached house in the Leicester area for less than £100k.

The other thing to remember is that students don't pay council tax, and unless you earn over £6k a year you don't have to pay income tax, which helps me to live frugally.

Food: Me and the 3 people I share with shop together to save money.  We buy lots of veg from the market, we freeze any leftovers, and we cook with fresh food instead of buying expensive ready meals.  Overall I spend around £20 a week max.

Transport:  A bus ticket for the day costs around £3.60 in Leicester (for unlimited transport)  These prices have gone up lately but as I live close to the campus I mostly walk.

Health:  NHS is available for the overwhelming majority.  I pay something like £8 per prescription and certain services such as contraception are free.  The dentist can be more expensive if you need something done, there are 3 'tiers' of payment.  A filling would be £15, a root canal would be £45, and I believe there are some more expensive procedures at £120, but I've never had to have them.  If you are a student or have a low income you can apply for credits towards dental prescriptions and procedures, and these prices are still a lot lower than in many countries.  The only downside with the NHS is waiting times, and with the dentist they cannot afford to do 'preventative' treatments, so you only get your wisdom teeth removed if they are causing you a lot of distress for example. I know that in the Netherlands insurance costs and treatment costs are high, but at least when you go into the dentist they immediately prescribe you the best possible treatment, because they don't have to worry about costs!

> eduction prices:  For me these are around £3k a year, and I receive a maintenance loan to help me with living costs, and a grant.  The total of this loan and grant is around £6k a year, which just about covers it, but I also work part time to supplement my income. 

> energy prices: We have a four bed, large house to heat, and we get billed quarterly for gas and electric, which so far has averaged at about £100 a quarter (split between the 4 of us that is about £25 each per quarter), but we are very conservative with heating and save energy as much as possible.  Our water bill was £50 at the start of September and the next bill will be in March so I will have to wait and see.

> common bills: We split the cost of a tv license.  (It was £120 for 9 months) However, if you do not own a tv and do not watch any live television, you are not required to get a license.  The key thing is 'live' so you can watch catch up services online, but not when it is being broadcasted live.  Many students just do this.  We also have a freeview box which gives us access to digital tv (you just buy the box, which costs as little as £20)

  We are with Virgin, and split a £30 20mb internet bill monthly, which (if we wanted) would also give us free evening landline calls. 

I spend about £15 on a pay as you go mobile a month.

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant: Well, as a student I don't eat in fancy restaurants.  In Leicester pub meals are around £10 for a good meal and dessert and a drink. 

> prices of a beer and or a coffee in a regular pub: I don't drink but a coffee is about £2

> price of the cinema: it has gone up lately, it is now about £8 for a normal ticket, and I think £6ish for a student ticket.  We use 'Orange Wednesdays' which gives you a 2 for 1 deal on wednesdays if you are with a certain mobile provider.

I would just like to add that shops like Primark make buying clothes really cheap.  I don't know what the situation is in other places but the Netherlands seems to suffer from either incredibly expensive clothes, or really ugly cheap clothes.  Primark is not good quality, but it is fashionable and cheap.

So overall, it is very cheap for a student to live in Leicester.  When my partner moves here food costs will probably triple as he is used to living more luxuriously, and we will have to pay council tax, but my student status will give us a slight discount. He is also hoping to be able to support a car which obviously adds to expenses. I just wanted to show that not everywhere is expensive in England.

thanks rkdaldry for your post, and welcome to Expat.com :)

Thanks Julien, I am finding the website very interesting and helpful :)

hi every body. i'm linh and i'm vietnamese. every thing in viet nam are very cheap.:D

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