Author Topic: Cost of Living in UK for a family of 4  (Read 1164 times)

Jacinle

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Cost of Living in UK for a family of 4
« on: August 13, 2019, 12:05:33 AM »
Hi

I am considering relocating to UK.  What is the cost of living for a family of 4?  My kids are 4 and 8.   

My husband and I both work in tech roles and we don't have any job offer yet, so I am thinking any larger cities that are family friendly, asia-friendly like Glasglow, London and Cambridge.  Any recommendations on other city I could take a look?
I have tried to look at the relocation guide but only Cambridge is being mentioned

J

Rightflyer

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Re: Cost of Living in UK for a family of 4
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2019, 02:25:25 AM »
Not sure if this helps...

For 2 adults and 1 dog we are just over 30K/yr in total expenses.

That also includes house rent and council tax, holidays, entertainment and hobbies.

If you need more, fire away.


brunetteUK

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Re: Cost of Living in UK for a family of 4
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2019, 03:56:44 AM »
Hey @Jacinle !

I live in London, zone 2 and spend around £26k including all bills and luxuries, but I'm a single person.

I'd recommend the websites below, they are pretty spot on:
https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/London  you can select other cities
and this for a cost of living estimator:
https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/city-estimator/in/London

Also, this one for a salary estimator:
https://www.payscale.com/index/UK

Where to live depends on your priorities, London has an infinite amount of cultural activities, restaurants, multicultural people and so on. I wouldn't trade the city life for the countryside anytime soon. But it's expensive. Loads of people work in London for the higher salaries and use high speed trains to live in cheaper, greener areas further out. Personally, seems like a sad life choice, you commute 3 hours a day. If bigger house, slower pace of life is high on your priority, I'd get a job in another of the main cities. Then you only suffer when you need to get to Heathrow to fly out to Asia (not sure what asia-friendly means). I'd think anywhere you'd find attractive tech work would be reasonable big and welcoming to different nationalities/backgrounds.

I'd personally only suggest you live in London if you are making a ton of money otherwise the lifestyle compromise might not be worth it. You will get somewhat less money outside London but have a much nicer quality of life/entertainment/housing etc.

I'm sorry I can't point out any cities in particular as I'm a bit allergic to the countryside although Bristol seemed nice.

Good luck!


former player

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Re: Cost of Living in UK for a family of 4
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2019, 03:57:09 AM »
The cost of living in the UK is reasonably standard throughout with the big exception of housing.  Housing a family in London or Cambridge is just about as expensive as it gets.  Everywhere does have more expensive and less expensive housing, and particularly if you are looking at private schools rather than local authority schools you don't need to worry about school catchment areas, which push up house prices in areas with great local authority schools.

Check out www.rightmove.co.uk for the costs of buying or renting in different areas.

A big (for the UK) city with lower housing costs, a sizeable (south) Asian population and decent access to London/Heathrow would be Birmingham.

I would hope that "asia friendly" means everywhere in the UK, although there are also idiots everywhere.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 04:00:23 AM by former player »

SuseB

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Re: Cost of Living in UK for a family of 4
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2019, 05:23:19 AM »
Hi there,

London and Cambridge, as former player noted, are the two most expensive areas in the country to live. My brother lives in Cambridge so I have a handle on living costs there - they spend a lot on their mortgage - expect £400,000 to buy a small-ish Victorian terraced house with no parking. The same house in the Midlands, where I live (Nottingham or Derby) would cost about £160,000 in a nice area! I would think it would be worth considering the Midlands/North, or other outside London areas for tech, my DH is a software engineer and there are quite a few firms outside the major cities. Consider Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby, York, Bristol, Manchester - all would have great areas to raise a family in. We are a family of 5 and our food bills are approx £100/month, property tax on a 5 bedroom house is £1600 per year, schools and healthcare are generally state provided. We live very well (and save 40-50%!) on joint salary of approx £50-60k. My brother in Cambridge has a joint salary of near £120k and doesn't have a lot of surplus after childcare, mortgage, living costs and one holiday a year - they are not currently investing/saving. HTH!

afterthedark

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Re: Cost of Living in UK for a family of 4
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2019, 05:29:37 AM »
Hi there,

London and Cambridge, as former player noted, are the two most expensive areas in the country to live. My brother lives in Cambridge so I have a handle on living costs there - they spend a lot on their mortgage - expect £400,000 to buy a small-ish Victorian terraced house with no parking. The same house in the Midlands, where I live (Nottingham or Derby) would cost about £160,000 in a nice area! I would think it would be worth considering the Midlands/North, or other outside London areas for tech, my DH is a software engineer and there are quite a few firms outside the major cities. Consider Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby, York, Bristol, Manchester - all would have great areas to raise a family in. We are a family of 5 and our food bills are approx £100/month, property tax on a 5 bedroom house is £1600 per year, schools and healthcare are generally state provided. We live very well (and save 40-50%!) on joint salary of approx £50-60k. My brother in Cambridge has a joint salary of near £120k and doesn't have a lot of surplus after childcare, mortgage, living costs and one holiday a year - they are not currently investing/saving. HTH!

Your food bill is £100pm for 5, ie £20 per person? Wow, I need to have another look at my food spend.

SuseB

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Re: Cost of Living in UK for a family of 4
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2019, 06:25:52 AM »
Argh, typo. Food spend £100 per week!

afterthedark

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Re: Cost of Living in UK for a family of 4
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2019, 02:00:18 PM »
Argh, typo. Food spend £100 per week!

Phew, maybe Iím not totally spendypants then, although it is probably time for me to review my food spend, itís the sort of thing that creeps up over time.

Jacinle

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Re: Cost of Living in UK for a family of 4
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 01:46:01 AM »
Thanks everyone , you have really given me a lot of different ideas.

Re asia friendly, I am actually worried if the school is not multi-cultural, then my kids would have difficulty fitting in and making new friends.  I am perhaps over worried because a lot of my friends move abroad and they didn't seem to have any issues. 

My kids will be in local authority schools so I prefer to rent an apartment/house in a good catchment area, with family friendly facilities like libraries and parks.

I prefer a slower life so that's why I put Glasglow.  I would never want to commute for 3 hours daily though !!!  But after the point about Healthrow is good, I think I might have to stay closer, perhaps outer london.  Any other medium to large city , with good schools and low crime rates and good employment prospect in IT?

My expense currently, converted to pounds, is 26k a year , excluding rent and tax.

 food + utilities ~15k
commute  2k (we mostly walk as school, libraries, parks, shops are within 10min)
school related + child care 6k (tuition is free but as we are double income family , so after school care)
one vacation 2k
~various 1k

We are living in HK , so the mortgage/rent is expensive, I guess comparable to UK.

If we move, we plan to have a parent look after the kids and the other earn the bread and butter.

Using the info given by other readers, it looks like we would be under roughly the same expense