The Cost of Living in London

Our son has been making noises of returning to London after the completion of his second Masters at Fudan University in Shanghai in 2017. Sure, sounds great, but as mindful parents, we worry about the cost of living there.

Right now, he is still at the London School of Economics (LSE) and enjoying his student life (more or less, depending on his course work) with the costs of tuition, accommodations, and spending money being taken care of.

Holborn, London

Holborn, London

For working in London, and making ends meet, I shared with him the basic rule of salary division: 1/3 for cold rent, 1/3 for utilities, groceries, etc. and 1/3 for fun, holidays, and savings.

When I saw this article Rents In London? If You Have to Ask… in the International Herald Tribune, I forwarded it to him to bring him down to earth, so to speak.

Based on my calculation of a monthly GBP 800 contribution in sharing rent, this would require a first-year salary of GBR 28.000 in net pay. Young people often have to make do with less, and he could do it on maybe half his pay going for rent. But like many parents, we had hoped for the financial support to stop at some point in our life.

We finally decided to consult a friend, whose daughter had found a job and a flat to share in London. We inquired how she was getting on in regards to the financial side of things. This was his reply:

She is getting along fine with the cost of living in London. Her parents, who are financing it, not so well. She shares an apartment with a friend in East London which costs us around 800 pounds a month.

Well, we shall see.

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