Can You Live In London Under 20 – 25K a Year : How to Afford Tips

London is undoubtedly one of the greatest cities on earth, which implies thousands of people immigrating to the capital every year. Especially if you’re a young professional, London has everything you need: job opportunities, events, concerts, a dynamic nightlife and so many adventures.

If you’re looking to do the same, you must be aware that London is seriously pricey city to live in. Despite finding out that London is not in the top 10 most expensive cities to live in the world this year, a recent study has discovered the income required for a single individual to live alone in London is more than twice the average London wage.

So, can you live in London under 20-25k is the question that can never be ignored. Here is a detailed analysis of the cost of living in London and the approximate wage required to cover it.

 Cost of Accommodation

Housing cost in London is skyrocketing, but keep in mind that the closer you are to the city centre, the more expensive your accommodation is likely to be. London isn’t a small place, it’s made up of 32 boroughs plus the City of London, and so you have ample choices.

After hunting for long enough, you are bound to find a good deal. Renters have the hardest time of all, suffering the smallest pay rises and soaring housing costs. In fact, the most expensive London borough to settle down in is Kensington & Chelsea which has an average rental cost of £6.73 per square foot.

This means that your salary must be £116,838.60 to live there. The other expensive boroughs are Westminster, where you’d need £88,468.08 to live alone, and then the City of London, where an average salary of £71,684.64 is essential.

Tips to Choose Accommodation – Flat Sharing

It is quite common to share accommodation with others in London, as this works out to be significantly cheaper. Sharing a house or flat is rapidly becoming the only way average Londoners can remain in the city — that includes couples with children.

Those earning £21,000 can just afford house sharing in areas like Abbey Wood, South Hornchurch, and Welling while those with £25,000 could upgrade to Sidcup, Thornton Heath, Eltham or Southall. Perhaps, the fringes of east and south-east London accommodate those with tighter budgets.

The best way to find cost-effective accommodation is through accommodation finders, such as Arrive Homes and the Movebubble app. Also, visit websites like EasyRoommate and

Cost of Grocery

While talking of groceries, London has a large range of supermarkets for you to choose from. The more expensive supermarkets are Marks & Spencers, Waitrose and Whole Foods. Mid-range ones include Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.  Below are the average prices in London for popular groceries.

  • Bread– £1 Hovis sliced wholemeal loaf
  • Milk 1l– £0.93
  • Chicken Breast 350gm– £5.77 for 2 Tesco organic breast fillets
  • Mince Beef 500g– £4.50 for Tesco Organic Steak Mince
  • Lunch–£5 on a lunch time salad from Pret, Pod or EAT
  • Combo mealin a fast food restaurant – £5.99
  • Cold & Flumedicine – £3.50
  • Paracetamol– £0.50 for a pack of 16
  • Toilet paper 9 rolls– £3.50
  • Tampons– £2.85 for box of 32
  • Shampoo– £2.50 – £5 for Pantene, Tresemme, L’oreal
  • Deodorant– £2.50 Nivea Invisible 250mL aerosol
  • Wine– £7 – £10 p/bottle
  • Spirits– £13 – £20 p/bottle

To sum up, the average expenses per month on grocery is around £235 per person.

Tips to Lower your Grocery Bill

Shop in larger supermarkets like TescoSainsbury’sWaitroseAsda, and Morrison’s as they have many deals on offer. They also offer loyalty cards that help lower your monthly shopping bills. Also explore discount grocery stores such as Lidl and Aldi.

Cost of Eating Out and Nightlife

Hence, after paying your home and your food, for sure you will want to have some fun and enjoy London. But, how much does it cost?

Lunchtime menu – £8-£15.

Dinner in a Pub – £15-18 per person

Main course in a Restaurant – £10- £30

Cappuccino – £2-3

Beer in a pub£4-5 and a cocktail– £10

Entry fee in a Nightclub or a Bar – £5-£15, while for big clubs £25-30

Movie ticket – £12-15

Tips to lower Restaurant Bills

London also offers some pretty good chain restaurants that provide good quality food at reasonable prices. A meal at lunchtime in the business district of London will cost you around £11 while a combo meal in McDonalds can be enjoyed at just £5.46. Besides, check out websites such as Voucher CodeGroupon, and Money Saving Expert offering vouchers. Here you can find great deals as 2 for 1, free desserts, or meals for £10 in restaurants such as Ask ItalianPrezzo and Loch Fyne.

However, with all such cost effective options, you can have a decent lifestyle in London. Good luck with your new life in London!


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