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Conquering the Cost of Living: Managing Finances as an Indian Expat in the UK

25 Apr 2024

According to a report by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, around 1764000 Indians live in the UK. The impetus behind transferring to the UK from India is to get sustainable jobs so that you can send money to India from UK to assist your family financially.

Another reason is to get a top-notch education, which the UK is largely famous for.  

But where the robust UK economy welcomes job-seekers from India and other countries, you must grapple with one challenge. Want to know what it is?                                          

Well, it is the cost of living in the UK and how to beat the exponential cost of living in the UK, considered one of the most expensive countries worldwide.        

Let’s understand the cost of living in the UK and tips to bring it down.

Breaking Down the Cost of Living in the United Kingdom

To say the UK is the most expensive, or one of the most expensive countries in the world, may not suffice. You have to break down the cost of living that concerns you directly in several ways.

Only once you break down the living costs in the UK will you be able to beat them in a financially effective manner.

Take a look at the systematic breakdown of the cost of living in the UK below.

Living Cost in the UK for a Small Family

The average cost of living for a small family of four is between £4,000 and £4,500, including the rent. But you can bring it down to some extent if you live away from the main cities. Furthermore, this cost depends on how efficiently you manage your expenses, but, by and large, it will remain between the figures stated above.         

On the other hand, if you are coming alone to the UK from India, which is likely the case, to earn a living to send money online to India from UK, you can bring down this cost substantially.

Cost of Living in the UK for Two People   

This is an ideal proposition if you are coming to the UK alone. The average cost of living in the UK for two people who share their accommodation is between £2,500 and £3,000, including accommodation rent.  

Living Costs for the Students in the UK

The living costs for a student in the UK are between £1,000 and £1,600 per month, including rent. But again, it depends on which area you choose to live in and whether you live alone or share your accommodation with fellow students.

Average Rent in the UK

It will not be an exaggeration if housing rent is considered a big hole in your budget and financials. The average house rent in the UK in 2021 was £1,007 monthly. But remember that the closer you come to the main cities, the more it increases.  

Furthermore, the rent you pay largely depends on the type of residence you live in and how many people share the accommodation.  

Considering all the factors, the average rent remains between £750 to £950.

Study Cost and University Tuition Fee

University fees differ from institution to institution in the UK and are a subject of discussion due to the top-notch quality of education in the UK. For native students, the universities charge around £9,250 annually. International students, however, have to pay between £10,000 and £38,000 as tuition fees per year.   

The type of degree you pursue also impacts the tuition fees in the UK.

However, the best part for you as an international student is that you can waive tuition fees completely if you secure one of the best scholarships in the UK.

Read more about the following: What are some of the best scholarships to study in the UK?

Commuting Costs in the UK       

Most of the public transportation in the UK is owned by private companies with little interference from the government. Therefore, commuting in the UK can be somewhat costly. For example, a bus ride costs you £1.50 per hour in London. The average monthly expense for commuting in the UK is around £186. It has the highest commuting cost worldwide.   

Cost of Bills and Utilities in the UK

The average fuel cost in the UK is £1,131 per year, accounting for almost 4% of a household’s budget. The average electricity cost in the UK per month is around £34; whereas the cost of water varies and depends on usage, the estimated cost of water and sewerage is £400 per year. The Internet will cost you about £27.50. 

Tips to Beat the Cost of Living in the UK as an Indian Migrant

Do you have any other choice except to try everything within your control to beat the cost of living in the UK, given that you are there to earn a living to support your family back home in every money transfer from UK to India?   

Well, the answer is obvious! Therefore, look at the simple tips below to reduce the cost of living in the UK.  

Share a Flat and Distribute Bills

The first step is to live in a flat with your friends and colleagues and share the rent. It will not only help you share the rent but also help you with other expenses like food, bills, utilities and commuting.  

Slash Your Household Expenses

The next step is to cut your household expenses where possible. This is easy only if you create a budget and live on it. But the point is to keep recording every penny you earn and spend, regularly visit your expenses, and cut them where you can easily.             

Cook at Home

Try to stock the frozen food at home or the flat you live in and cook at home yourself. It is a sure recipe for saving money and beating the living cost in the UK. Bringing cooked food from outside can be financially burdensome.   

Dine Out Late at Night That is, If At All

If you must dine out for any reason, make sure to dine out late at night. The reason? Many eateries and restaurants in the UK cut their prices after peak hours to allow people to eat food at low rates and avoid wasting food.  

Sift the Market and Bargain

Make sure to sift the market thoroughly every time you are out shopping. Do more than just go to one shop and do the shopping. Also, learn to bargain while shopping and not just pay the price the shopkeeper asks for.  

Send Money Online with ACE Money Transfer and Save Large Amounts of Money    

If you choose ACE Money Transfer to make an online money transfer from UK to India you will be able to save a lot of money and beat the living costs.       

Remember that online money transfers are a recurring process and incur costs that are extracted from your budget. Right?        

Therefore, choosing ACE Money Transfer will help you pay a low fee, deliver funds safely and swiftly and get live and market-competitive currency exchange rates, which compensate you for whatever little charges you pay as fees!


What is the cost of living in the UK?

To understand the cost of living in the UK, you will have first to break down the costs in areas such as a small family of 4, a family of 2, commuting costs, utilities and bills, rents, living costs for the students, study and tuition fees, and cost of food. On average, you can expect to spend between £15,000 and £25,000 per month living in the UK.      

Is living in the UK cost-effective?

No. The UK is not a cost-effective place for you to live, particularly when you are there to earn a living. However, you can still manage to reduce costs in different areas while you choose to live in the UK. However, overall, the UK is an expensive country to live in the region.  

What can I do to beat the cost of living in the UK?

You can choose to share your residence, divide bills and utilities, live on a budget and reduce costs where you easily can cook at home, sift markets before shopping, learn to bargain before paying the price the shopkeeper asks for, and dine out at restaurants and eateries late at night.  

Why does the UK attract expatriates from other countries?

The UK is one of the best expatriate destinations in the world due to its robust economy and expansive and thriving job market. You can find jobs in almost every field in the UK, provided you have the required skills, degree, and experience. Another reason for the attraction in the UK is its top-notch and globally recognized education.         

How can I save money for online transfers from the UK to India?

Saving money in your online money transfers is critically important because it is a recurring process in which you repeatedly pay fees of different types. Therefore, choose a service provider like ACE Money Transfer that will charge you a low cost and offer live and market-competitive currency exchange rates to compensate you for the small amount you pay as fees.


Indians in the UK

(Population of Overseas Indians (

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