I often get asked if it is financially affordable to live in the UK. So, I thought about sharing my own experience so far.
It has been exactly two months since I started working in the NHS. I have spent only £1,000 in total in these two months.
My takehome pay is £2,450 per month after income tax, national insurance, accommodation rent, utility bills and council tax deductions. The pay scale for junior doctors is around £2,500 to £2,700 per month and we get a little extra money during the first month or so (because it is tax-free).
Thus, I have already saved more than £4,000 in the first two months alone. This should encourage everyone who is worried about finances in the UK.
Breakdown of my Expenses
I have spent money mainly on groceries. The most expensive thing I have bought so far is my ePortfolio for £169. Overall, I have spent money on the following in these two months:
- ePortfolio – £169
- Initial groceries – £200
- Regular groceries – £250 (£30/week)
- Lunch/dinner/eating out – £80 (£4 per meal)*
- Bus tickets for each weekend – £32 (£4 per day)
- Return train tickets to London/Crewe (four trips) – £120
- Railcard – £30
- Provisional Driving Licence – £34
- PassMedicine – £25
- Monthly mobile data – £60 (£30 per month)
- Accommodation rent – £0.00**
- Bills – £0.00**
- Council tax and other taxes – £0.00**
- Total: £1,000
*I do not always eat out. I also cook at home or I buy frozen food. Thus, I have only spent £80 on meals/eating out in two months.
**Accommodation rent, utility bills and all taxes are taken from my salary. Thus, I do not have to pay anything for them.
This post only covers my experience. I have friends who have saved £15,000 in a year and I have friends who did not save anything during the year. Expenses depend on a lot of factors including the size of your family, whether you are sending money back home or not, accommodation choice, rent, city, pets, shopping choices. Overall, expenses depend on your lifestyle more than anything else. But the point is, if you want, you can save money no matter what your situation is.
You will earn more than enough to live a very comfortable life in the UK. You can choose to save money, you can choose to spend all of it, or you can spend it in moderation. You can do whatever you want. But you will not be short of money. You will have enough money to achieve everything you have ever dreamed of.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much do we earn in the UK?
After tax deduction, the salary is around £1,900/month without nights/banding and £2,700/month with nights/banding.
2. How much pay is enough?
It depends on your lifestyle and it depends on where you are living. For example, big cities like London and Manchester are more expensive than small towns like Blackpool. But the following might give you a general idea:
£1,900/month is more than enough for a single person and just enough for a couple.
£2,700/month would be more than enough for a couple.
3. Would I be Able To Save Money?
Again, that depends on your lifestyle and the area where you choose to live. And, of course, it depends on your salary. It also depends on you being single or living with a spouse.
As you can see, I have saved two-thirds of my earning so far. I have seen people with £2,700/month, save £1,000/month for a whole year and I have seen people with £1,900/month not save anything for a year. So it depends on each individual and how they live.
4. How much tax would I have to pay in the UK?
Depending on their grade, 20% to 25% of a junior doctor’s salary goes into taxation. Please read my post about taxation in the UK to get a more detailed understanding of taxation. In my opinion, considering the benefits we get, 20% to 25% is a very small amount of taxation and I pay my tax very happily.
5. Do I earn £2,450 before taxation, bills and rent or after?
I get £2,450 in my hand at the end of the month after all deductions. Tax, bills and rent have already been deducted from my salary of £2,450.