To calculate the average cost of living in UK, students need to consider expenses related to accommodation, food, transportation, entertainment, etc. Get complete details about average monthly costs of living in the UK and effective tips to reduce the overall costs.
The average cost of living in UK per year is around £12,000 for international students. The living expenses include accommodation costs, food expenses, transportation charges, etc. You must create a proper budget in order to manage your finances while studying in the UK.
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As mentioned earlier, international students have to spend around £12,000 per year to bear living costs in the UK. Moreover, they can expect the undergraduate tuition fees to be around £ 10,000 – £ 30,000 per year for full-time courses. Whereas the average tuition fees for full-time postgraduate programs range from £10,000 - £13,000. For laboratory and research-oriented programs, the average annual tuition is £14,000. Medical degrees typically cost between £22,200 and £58,000 annually.
A budget of £1,334 per month is required for your studies in London according to the UK Visa and Immigration. This is the minimum amount that you need to show if you want to get a visa for studying in London. The amount will be lower for other places in the UK. You will need a minimum of £1,023 per month to study outside London. The average weekly rent for accommodations is $150. In addition to rent, it is estimated that you will need an additional £104 per week to cover other living expenses. Living costs are dependent on your lifestyle, spending habits, social activities, and budget. Based on the length of time you decide to stay in the UK, you can calculate your estimated costs.
Living Expenses in the UK
It is common for international students to be confused about which expenses to include in the budget. Apart from the day to day expenses, there are some additional costs that they might overlook. Therefore, it becomes important to organize your expenses into different categories. The average cost of living in UK for international students can be divided into the following six categories:
The cost of accommodation in the UK is determined by the type of accommodation you choose for yourself. The cost may also differ depending on the city you live in. Being a capital city, London is more expensive than its neighbouring towns and cities.
International students in the UK can choose to live in university residences or dorms or opt for private apartments or shared housing. Most universities in the UK offer on-campus housing. Residence halls are close to campus, so you will not have to worry about transportation. You may choose to reside with a roommate or have your own room with an en-suite bathroom. Another advantage of living on-campus is that the cost of living usually includes food and utilities. Therefore, you will be relieved of the hassles of grocery shopping, cooking, and paying for electricity, gas, and water.
Private housing is the most appropriate option for those who desire true independence. If you choose to live in a private rental home in the UK, the cost of living will vary. In most cases, renting a flat or house will include an agreement that lasts longer than the university term of the student. Therefore, sharing accommodation with other students is a smart way to manage this. Sharing rent, food, and utility bills allow you to build friendships while saving money. Additionally, you should also pay attention to the council tax. Council tax is used to pay for waste management and maintenance in the UK. However, students are only required to pay a small amount as council tax. So, make sure you contact the local council and ask about discounted rates. Let us find out the monthly accommodation costs in London as well as other cities through the table given below:
|Type of Accommodation||London||Other Cities|
|University Residence||727 £||515 £|
|Private Housing||848 £||505 £|
|Utility Bills||45 £||40 £|
Transportation costs will be your second-highest expense while calculating your average cost of living in UK. These costs vary by city and mode of transportation. Besides walking and cycling, you also have the option of taking the bus or the train. Students usually get discounts on public transportation, and you might want to consider getting a railcard to lower the overall living costs in the UK. Taxis are quite expensive, so hiring one can mess up your budget. International students are recommended to use travel cards when travelling between cities.
|City||Average Monthly Transport Costs|
Living on campus saves you money on food, while students living in private rentals need to consider their food costs. Getting grocery store cards can help you shop more conveniently. Locals can often provide you with helpful suggestions. Set a shopping list, create a menu, and shop the right items from the right places to save time and money. You may enjoy eating out every now and then, but preparing your food at home is the most cost-effective option. Try to avoid buying luxury items and imported ingredients. Given below are the estimated prices for some common grocery items:
|Bread||1 pack||0.71 £|
|Milk||1.13 L||0.81 £|
|Chicken||300 g||1.57 £|
|Rice||1 kg||1.51 £|
|Cooking Oil||1 L||1.11 £|
|Water||1.5 L||0.81 £|
University life is not all about textbooks, tests, and exams. You will be building social connections and would require money for spending your leisure time. This is why entertainment expenses should also be taken into account when calculating the cost of living for students in the UK. Depending on how you intend to enjoy your free time, the costs may vary. Some common options and their costs are listed below:
|Movie Ticket||10.12 £|
|Concert or Theatre Ticket||50.57 £|
|Restaurant Table for Two||40.46 £|
The desire to stay connected to family and friends is higher than ever while studying abroad. Due to the growing popularity of social media, international students will also need to buy a SIM card with a call and data package, Wi-Fi, and television fees. Make sure you shop around for the best deals and cheapest mobile service providers. You should also compare rates before purchasing a Wi-Fi connection. In order to gain a better understanding, let's look at some of the basic costs:
|Connectivity||Average Monthly Cost|
|Pre-paid SIM package||10.12 £|
|TV License||156.25 £|
|TV + Wi-Fi package||50.54 £|
|Call Costs||0.15-0.46 £|
Even when you strictly adhere to a budget, you'll be surprised at how much you'll spend on the "extra stuff". During your stay in the UK, you will most definitely purchase some new clothing and household items. Hence, these miscellaneous items should be added to the average cost of living in UK. Consider the following expenses when making your budget:
|Miscellaneous Items||Once Off Cost|
|Household Items||30.34 £|
Tips to Reduce Cost of Living in the UK
As a university student, managing finances is a big step that could be difficult if not done carefully. The following tips on managing finances in college will help you reduce your living costs in the UK and plan ahead for any extra costs that you may incur:
- Make a Note of your Expenditures
- Save on Food Shopping
- Consider Student Discounts for Outings
- Discount Cards and Flea Markets
- Transportation Membership Cards
- On-Budget Student Accommodation in the UK
Make a Note of your Expenditures
In order to manage money effectively, this is the first and most important step. Students may think that this step is easy, but budget planning cannot be done without this first step. Create a notebook specifically for tracking your expenses so you can compare them to the estimated amount you should spend on each aspect. Some international students do it each week, while others do it each month, but it must be done.
Save on Food Shopping
The best deals can be found at large supermarkets. Also, you must purchase one item at a time so that you don't throw items away when they reach their expiration date.
During a few days each week, you can opt to be vegan and get all your protein from vegetables. Also, you should consider freezing any leftovers that could be used in another meal. Take advantage of student discounts in the UK. Additionally, look for vouchers, special offers, and loyalty cards from the local supermarket.
Consider Student Discounts for Outings
Students are advised to aim at discounts for outings. Find tickets to the movies and other entertainment venues at a discount. In addition to this, get some discount vouchers for high-street restaurants. By registering your email address on your favourite restaurants' websites, you will receive all their exclusive offers.
Discount Cards and Flea Markets
Whenever you purchase clothes, check for student discounts and make sure you are using your NUS card. There are various flea markets that are available on specific dates. Find the nearest ones near you, and you will discover hidden treasures that students prefer because they are often cheaper and better options.
International students struggle with the high cost of college books. If you want to save some money, consider buying second-hand books. Alternatively, you can borrow the books from your older colleagues if they have any, or ask them where to find the books. You can also check out your local library, as well as your university's library, to find out what kind of books are available. It is also a good idea to read through e-books available on online websites.
Transportation Membership Cards
There are student discounts on all transportation in the UK, so get an Oyster card and utilize it wisely. A '16-25 railcard' is available to full-time students and anyone from 16 to 25 years of age. The railcard allows you to reduce rail travel costs throughout the UK.
Ride a bicycle to save time, money and stay physically fit. Make sure the student accommodation in the UK that you stay in has a proper bike storage area.
On-Budget Student Accommodation in the UK
Finding student housing that perfectly fits your lifestyle and needs in the UK isn't an easy task. There are many factors to consider, such as location, cost, facilities, and transportation options. By considering these factors, you will save tons of money. Living near your university/college will make travelling seamless and cost-effective. To ensure that your budget plan is effective, select a student accommodation that has all-inclusive bills, which means you will not have to pay any additional charges for electricity, food, and water.
Students face significant hurdles in studying overseas, but one of the substantial roadblocks in their dream is finding accommodation in a foreign country. Even if they find it, the issue of amenities, sanitisation, security, and rent creeps in. That's where Amber steps in by providing affordable accommodation from student housing to New York to student accommodation in London and ensuring that hygiene, security, and amenities are all according to International standards.