Plenty of work opportunities made possible by the UK’s robust economy attract thousands of people from around the world who see it as a place where they can succeed financial success. However, the cost of living in the UK might be higher than in most other countries. As an international student, you should be aware of the Expenditure in the UK which will greatly affect your daily life. Therefore, it is essential to understand what goes into living expenses and utility bills.
You will spend a lot more money than anywhere else in the country if you decide to live in London as a student. One of the ten most expensive cities in Europe to live in in 2020 was London. Of course, there are ways to reduce some costs, but the price will still be substantial. Let’s explore some important factors about this from which the average cost of living value can be considered.
1) You could decide to live in the North of England instead of renting a house in the South of England, which would be more expensive everywhere for example. In general, costs vary widely across the UK, making it difficult to establish a baseline for the cost of living. The UK has both its most expensive and affordable regions, just like any other country in the world. As a result, the cost of living in different parts of the country varies, just like in the UK.
2) The typical weekly budget for the cost of living for a single student in the UK should be around £240.89 (US$317.92), which includes the rent for your student accommodation in the UK. Depending on the apartment you rent, you could live on less or more than this, on average £12,000 to $15,000 per year (excluding school fees).
3) You have to pay council tax if you live in the UK. They determine how much you have to pay annually based on where you live and how many people you share your home with (if you live alone it will be much less). This fee contributes to the funding of the police, street maintenance and garbage collection. Typically, this costs around £25 (USD 40) per week.
4) Money has a big impact on the cost of living. To send and receive money, pay fees and pay bills if you plan to move to the UK, you need to open a new bank account. Depending on the UK bank you choose, charges can add up, especially if you transfer the money.
5) If you watch TV in the UK, whether on a computer or tablet or not, you must obtain a TV licence. For a color TV, the annual fee is £157.50 ($207), while black and white TVs cost £53 ($70). Luckily this is per residence and not per individual so if you are sharing a space with someone else you are simply sharing those UK living costs.
6) You will probably get a local phone number while you are in the UK so you can contact friends, family and other people. You have a variety of mobile network options; some are more affordable than others, depending on the services they provide. You can also choose to receive an international SIM card from Ocxee for free, subject to certain limitations and conditions.
7) Buying passes is a common alternative to owning a car in the UK. You can go further for much less money, and the journey is accelerated. The average cost of a monthly subscription for most services is £55; however, students can often qualify for significant discounts. Learn more about pick up and drop off service here to enjoy a hassle-free journey.
8) Utility bills in the UK often include charges for water, gas, electricity and sometimes sewage. When you look at your utility bills, you will constantly find that they fall into two categories, namely fixed and permanent charges.
- Fixed charges are the pre-determined rates that must be paid in advance monthly or quarterly to use a service; these payments are non-negotiable as they cover costs such as staff billing, maintenance of pipes and cables, etc.
- Each time an individual uses their supply, a flat fee called “permanent fee” will be applied. Depending on the amount of energy used during each billing month, the ongoing charges can vary, meaning those using more may pay more per unit spent than those using less (although most people will find that their levels of use fall somewhere between these extremes). Ongoing charges also help cover expenses for call center support, labor costs for meter readings and other services, maintenance of devices used by customers, and more.
9) Gas bills, which are calculated based on usage, are included in your utility bills. It’s more crucial than ever to monitor your usage in light of recent price increases. Gas consumption can be calculated manually by keeping track of the amount of gas consumed each month (this is called meter reading) or electronically using an electronic meter that periodically sends information on your consumption to your supplier.
Most individuals set up direct debits with their energy supplier to pay their gas bill each month. If this applies to you, make sure you know the date payments are deducted so they don’t bounce back because they were taken too soon or too late – your bank may levy a charge for this!
10) The price of your electricity is determined by the amount of energy you consume. If you want to save money, turn off lights and other gadgets when not in use and use energy efficient equipment. Using a smart meter to track your consumption and avoid overspending on electricity will also help you save money. You can monitor your electricity consumption using the meter number. An annual electricity bill can range from £75 to £150.
Tips that can help reduce spending in the UK
- The cost of lodging and rent in the UK can be almost half of your monthly budget. To circumvent this problem, sharing an apartment is common practice in the UK.
- When you have a local bank account, everything can become quite simple. Once in the UK you can easily get one; just a few documents. First get housing and the documents you need to open a bank account locally.
- It is possible to reduce overall utility costs for items such as electricity, heaters and air conditioners by managing overall usage. Try to wear them warmly, like in winter, rather than turning up the heat all the time.
- When you frequently dine in restaurants and cafes, you cannot afford to spend so much money on high-end food and services. As you search for more reasonably priced restaurants with great meals, take advantage of sales and promotions. Wait until the end of the day and choose things with bright yellow stickers if you want to save some money. You can also buy ready-to-eat foods from supermarkets.
Understanding your utility bills, the cost of living in the UK and some tips on how to save money there should have improved after reading this article. Remember that ever-changing service providers will prevent service providers from overcharging you and ensure that your expenses are as low as possible. To learn more, use Ocxee’s consulting services.