Depending on where you settle, the cost of living in the UK can be higher than in most other countries. To make your move easier, we have compiled a list of what a healthy monthly budget might look like in the city of London and the UK as a whole.

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* This article has been updated to reflect prices in 2022

The average cost of rent in London and the UK

London rent can be quite expensive, especially as you move towards the heart of the city. However, there are plenty of affordable places outside the city centre where people love to settle.

Many people in London choose to split rent with flatmates. If you choose to rent an apartment, the following table will give you a good idea of the average monthly costs. 

Property typeAverage price range per month* (GBP)

One-bedroom apartment, city centre

1,400 – 2,500 

One-bedroom apartment, outside city

1,400 – 1,700 

Three-bedrooms, city centre

2,500 – 6,000 

Three-bedrooms, outside city

1,700 – 3,000

*Source: Numbeo

See also: How much a UK visa will cost in 2022 

Average food cost per month in London

London has a fantastic range of supermarkets, restaurants and eateries to explore. The cuisine options are endless. These are some of the prices you can expect when shopping or dining out in London:

Restaurant type or item

Average price range (GBP)

Average restaurant meal             

10 - 30

Average meal for two in mid-priced restaurant

45 - 100

Pint of beer


Average bottle of wine in supermarket


Grocery Prices

Dining out can be expensive, so we've calculated the average cost of your staple 2022 grocery shop below.

Grocery item

Average price (GBP)

Average price range (GBP)

Average weekly grocery bill
 6555 - 75

Loaf of white bread


0.69 - 3

Milk (1L)


0.70 - 1.60

Eggs (12)


1.20 - 3.60

White rice (1kg)


1 - 3.90

Cheese (1kg)


2.50 - 15

Chicken fillets (1kg)


3 - 11

Beef (1kg)


5 - 20

Potatoes (1kg)


0.50 - 2.20

Onions (1kg)


0.65 - 2

Apples (1kg)


1 - 3

Bananas (1kg)


0.78 - 3

Oranges (1kg)


1 - 4

Tomatoes (1kg)


1 - 5             

Lettuce (head)


0.43 - 1.50

Water (1.5L bottle)


0.50 - 2

Wine (mid-range bottle)


5.95 - 15

Local beer (500ml bottle)


1.25 - 4

Box of 20 cigarettes (Marlboro)


11.50 - 15

See also: Which public funds are available to immigrants in the UK?

Public transport costs in the UK

Public transport is a popular and efficient way to get around the UK. You’ll have to use it when exploring, house-hunting, job-searching or travelling to and from work. These are the costs you can expect to pay for public transport:

Transportation type/item

Average price (GBP)

One-way ticket (Underground)


Monthly pass

160 (standard single, off-peak)

Train trip to Cambridge / Brighton

22 (standard single, off-peak)

Average mid-sized car rental for a weekend


Return budget flight to Spain

80 (economy)

Eurostar return ticket to Paris

120 (standard class)

Return flight to Ireland

125 (economy)

Cost of London entertainment and fitness

As a cultural and business centre, London has an incredible range of choices for entertainment. Keeping fit and healthy will also help alleviate the stress of moving to a new country: 

Entertainment type

Average price (GBP)



Monthly gym membership


Show on the West End


Club/pub entry

0 - 20

International live music concerts


Tipping in London and the UK

Waitrons are generally paid minimum wage, with much of their income coming from tips. If you eat in a British restaurant, a tip of at least 10% is seen as standard, unless the service was unsatisfactory. Some restaurants include a service charge on the bill, especially with larger dining groups, in which case leaving a tip is unnecessary.

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.

It is standard to tip hairdressers’ assistants if you are especially pleased with their service.

Bank account fees

Bank account fees vary by account type. You should be able to open a basic current account with no monthly fees. Premium accounts, however, offer additional services for a monthly fee. If you have recently migrated to the UK, you may not qualify for premium accounts due to eligibility requirements. With our 1st Contact service, you can easily open an account that suits your needs.

Another cost factor is ATM fees. You can usually withdraw money free of charge from your bank's ATMs. However, there are also ATMs that do not offer free withdrawals and charge you outrageous fees per transaction. Avoid unpleasant surprises by using your own bank's ATMs whenever possible.

See also: How to open a bank account in the UK 

Money and budgeting tips for London

London is known as one of the most expensive cities in the world. For an average day, we recommend you budget at least £55. A bit of sightseeing or a night out could easily add £35 to this. Outside of London, costs do drop quite quickly, especially if you have a transport pass and are able to cook your own meals.

For transport, get an Oyster card and use buses where you can as they are usually less expensive. You can also cut grocery costs by going to discounted supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi rather than the more expensive Waitrose and Marks and Spencer. 

Moving to the UK? Take the stress out of the process and hit the ground running when you arrive. Download your free UK Relocation Pack here.

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