Managing Money in the UK as a Migrant

The UK is a popular country for migrants and foreign workers, but it can be challenging to learn how to manage money in a new country, especially when you also need to manage money in your home country. Let’s take a look at the living cost in the UK so you can get a better understanding of how to budget, as well as some money management tips for migrants in the UK.

Average Cost of Living in the UK

The cost of living in England and across the UK can be high depending on where you choose to live, but that doesn’t mean it’s unaffordable. The average cost of living in the UK for one person is around £2,000 per month, and that’s taking into consideration only basic needs such as rent, utilities, transit, and food. But, this cost also depends on where in the UK you live. For example, in London, you can expect this number to jump up closer to around £3,000, while in cheaper cities like Birmingham, the average cost of living is closer to £1,500.

Living Expenses in the UK

It’s helpful to have an idea of average prices for everyday purchases so that you can find a city in the UK where the cost of living is comparable to the average across the country. Here are some average prices you can expect when living in the UK:

  • Rent: £800-£1,800 depending on where you live
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: £12
  • Beer: £4.00
  • Monthly public transit pass: £77
  • Milk: £0.92
  • Eggs: £2.49
  • Gas (1L): £1.24
  • Monthly utilities: £145 (including electricity, heating, and gas)

Where do Expats Live in the UK?

Where you live in the UK will have a big impact on how much you’ll need to spend each month, but can also affect how much you’re able to earn with higher-paying jobs often available in the bigger and more expensive cities. London is an obvious choice but comes with sky-high rent and comparatively expensive public transport. Aside from London, there are some other places where migrants have gravitated towards due to the more affordable cost of living and available work opportunities. Here are some you can consider: 

  1. Birmingham
  2. Brighton
  3. Glasgow
  4. Manchester
  5. Cardiff
  6. Bristol
  7. Leeds

These cities are also big metropolises but offer more affordable living costs. As a migrant, you want to still live in a big enough city where you’re able to connect with a community of other ex-pats and migrants and at the same time find steady work. Still, it is also important to be able to live comfortably within your means.

How to Manage Your Money as a Migrant in the UK

Creating a budget is essential to keeping track of your finances while you’re living and working abroad. Make sure to set an overall annual goal for spending and savings, and then break it down further to how much you expect to spend per month on basic living expenses.

In addition to creating a budget, look for ways you can save money, like cooking at home instead of going to restaurants and relying on public transportation. You should also try and meet other ex-pats in your region who might have helpful advice on how to create a budget and save money while living in the UK.

Finally, if you need to send money home, make sure you’re using a service that doesn’t have any hidden fees or high transfer rates. Some online international transfer services offer affordable set rates for sending money back home.

To Wrap Up

Living in the UK provides excellent opportunities for finding work and saving money, however, it can also be an expensive country. But, with the proper planning and budgeting, you’ll still be able to learn how to cover your expenses and save up enough to send some funds to your family and friends back home.