An average London salary pays you £13,212 more than the same job in most of the UK, say the experts, but how many of you will earn the average salary (£43,284) as you compare your travelling costs and time to get in and out of London? Most of the UK’s highest paid jobs are in London so looking at averages is pointless. The only sensible comparison is if you look at what’s actually going in to your current account and then compare the expenditure of living in London to the cost of living in your current town…
… of course, this is also easier said than done!
The reduced commute might not save you time unless you find a location in London that gives you easy access to the Tube, because relying on taxis will eat way at your salary quicker than the Inland Revenue.
15% Higher Cost Of Living
London is just outside the tenth most expensive city in the world to live in. It’s full of millions of tourists which explains why the cost of a brown fizzy drink could set you back five pounds in some areas while your home town would have sold you the same can in a superstore for less than 50p. On average, a weekly shop will set you back an extra 15% in London compared to your old town.
The cost of living is London is down to how much you ask around for the best deals and what you’re prepared to do for fun. There is affordable living if you know where to look. Cheap nights out are everywhere, but you need to know where to look. There are so many choices of places to eat that you don’t need to break your budget to eat well, but be aware that you’ll lose a month’s salary if you make a wrong choice and pick the place the rich and famous list as their favourite eatery. And if you are slightly short for the month you may like to look at Payday Loans as an option.
Travel into London
If you travel for an hour by train into London, a return ticket bought on the day will cost you around £50. A weekly season ticket will cost about £133, while monthly the cost will set you back £510. Assuming you have a month’s holiday, then the train is going to cost you £6,630 a year. If you do the mathematics for the costs of running your car to London and back for eleven months of the year, including gas, extra servicing, depreciation and parking, you’ll soon see that it will cost you more than your train fare to get your vehicle in and back from London. Don’t forget to count your car parking fees at your local train station.
If you know where to park, you can park for free all day in London. Alternately, you might end up with expensive parking which can easily reach £40 a day.
So moving to London will save you the cost of your car. Perhaps all your car costs may disappear as you might decide to simply hire a car when you leave London to see your friends. Insurance (£1-3,000) and car tax savings can be considerable. You might just go by train to your old home and hope your friends pick you up from the station.
What about House Prices?
Moving home to London can be a problem as the cost of housing can easily be twice that in your home town. The average in Northampton is £180,000, but if your current preference is Swindon, Southend or Brighton, you’re looking at an average cost of £255,000. The London average is £440,000, and you don’t get much for a £300,000 budget. If you need to live close to the centre of London you’ll need to be a millionaire and even then you might not get what you need. Adding a garage in London can increase housing purchase costs by £30,000. Still need the car?
There is no easy answer to the question of whether it’s better to travel to London each day or to move to the capital permanently. You’ll need to consider all the different expenses relative to your specific circumstances and make sure you have the best financial services to maximise your savings.
One aspect which might change your view is the amount of time you might save by not commuting long hours every day. An added benefit is that there are so many theatres, cinemas and concert halls in London not to mention the wonderful museums that your quality of life will improve. You will even get to see your family in the evenings.