close menu
Big Ben and traffic night

Cost of living in the UK

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. 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.

Everything you need to know about moving to the UK

South Africa

Cape Town

Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


25 Richefond Circle
Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8844

United Kingdom


One Croydon
12-16 Addiscombe Road
Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

We use cookies to provide the best website experience for you. Using this website means that you agree to this. How we use cookies.