Friday, October 21, 2011

What It Costs To Live In London

The hard numbers behind our four months in London:

Rent: We spent £750 per month on our small, furnished studio flat in the Cricklewood area (Zone 2, midway between Kilburn and Willesden Green tube stations).  This included mediocre Wi-Fi internet access and utilities (less electricity).

Electricity: We averaged about £40 per month, including television usage.

Television: A television licence cost us £29.10 per month

Entertainment: Our entertainment costs averaged £55 per month.  This included Buckingham Palace, Zoo Lates, outdoor film screenings, and an Elton John concert (and festival).

Travel: We averaged £370 per month.  This included our weekly Oyster card top-up (£28 per person for unlimited travel, Zones 1-2) plus our train rides to Eastbourne, Oxford, Hatfield, Brighton, and Bath.

Food: We went out a lot, especially during the last half of the summer.  We averaged £475 per month on dining out costs (including pints) and £160 per month on groceries.

I found London to be very affordable.  Although I was disappointed with our flat, at least we were able to find one within our budget which got us there (and the neighbourhood was safe and fun and convenient).  Once there, we found living expenses to be low.  There are plenty of dining options across the economic spectrum and we were always checking out new places.  There are also many attractions that are free (parks, museums, Thames Walkway, etc.) making entertainment very affordable.  Other necessities, like groceries and public transportation, are completely reasonable and, in both cases, cheaper in London than in Dundee (though public transportation isn't as necessary in Dundee).

Yes, you can definitely spend a lot of money in London.  But, the fact that we averaged only £2000 per month for all expenses, doing everything we wanted to do, shows that spending a lot of money isn't necessary to enjoy yourself.


  1. I'm convinced that we could live anywhere in the world on the cheap, as long as you're in charge of the budget. You are a budget genius!



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