Hey there! Got your acceptance letter from your dream university in the UK? Exciting times ahead!

We can only imagine how ecstatic you must be about the incredible opportunities that await you. But, before you prepare everything, let’s talk about something essential – living expenses in UK for international students.

As you know, studying abroad can be expensive, and it’s crucial to plan your finances and make the most of your money. So, in addition to your tuition fees and other study-related expenses, you must budget wisely and make the most of your resources.

Don’t worry, though. To help you with your budgeting, we’ve broken down the expenses and gathered real-time, crowd-sourced data to help you calculate the cost of living in the UK. With this information, you can plan ahead and make informed decisions about your finances.

So, get ready to make the most of your time in the UK by planning your finances smartly. Good luck in advance. Have a wonderful journey ahead!


What is the Average Expense for International Students in London and outside London?

As an international student commencing your study program in Great Britain, you need to have a thorough understanding of your living expenses. With this knowledge, you can effectively manage your finances and guarantee a comfortable stay during your studies. 

Moreover, keep in mind that the cost of living differs depending on which city you choose to live in. London is considerably more costly than other regions.

Here are the average living expenses in London and outside London for international students, as suggested by the UK government (excluding tuition fees): 


  • The Cost of Living in London

The UK government advises that if London is your chosen place of residence for over 50% of your study time, expect to shell out around £1,265 every month. Nevertheless, you must take note that this sum might not be enough to cover all your monthly expenditures, as the typical cost of living in this city can fall between £1,300 and £1,400 per month. 

Also, bear in mind that these estimated costs are inclusive of accommodation fees, bill expenses, grocery transportation costs, and miscellaneous items, among others.


  • Living Expenses Living Outside London

Students who get enrolled in universities outside London can expect to spend relatively less on their monthly expenses. On average, staying outside London can cost you £1,015 every month. Nevertheless, these costs are subject to change and are dependent on your lifestyle and the location where you choose to stay. 

To give you a precise idea, you can anticipate spending anywhere between £900 to £1,300 every month to cover essentials such as accommodation fees, utility bills, food, and transportation charges while living away from London’s metropolitan area.


What are the Basic Components of Living Expenses in UK for International Students Per Month?

Here we have broken down monthly living expenses that you can bear per month as a foreign student in the UK so you can precisely budget your finances: These expenditures usually include:


  • Accommodation

You can either rent a flat in the UK on your own or share it with other students, or you can reside in the accommodation provided by your university. The choice is solely yours. If you are residing in the UK expect to spend £848 monthly on your housing. However, if your housing is outside the UK, you may incur charges of around £664.


  • Other Expenses

Essential services can include power, gas supply, water provision and internet connectivity. Students in London spend a monthly cost of £140 for these services, whereas in the rest of the UK, the average cost is around £80.


  • Groceries

The expenses related to food and domestic necessities are referred to as groceries. In London, you may end up spending £155 on your monthly groceries. In the rest of the UK, the grocery expenses are approximately £116 for a month.


  • Public Transportation

The costs usually spent on public transport amount to £103 per month, whereas for the rest of the UK, it might be around £54

Note: Full-time students enrolled in UK universities receive a 30 per cent discount off standard tube and bus fares with a Student Card. 


  • Miscellaneous Charges

Also set aside some pounds for miscellaneous charges that may include recreation, amusement, products related to personal care and unpredictable situations.


How Important is Financial Planning and Budgeting for Foreign Students?

When you are studying abroad, the most important thing to do is to manage your finances way ahead of time. This will help you maintain stability during your time in the UK or any other country and focus on what truly matters – your studies. 

Hence, calculate all expenses, including tuition fees and compare them with the funds at your disposal. This will help you identify any potential deficits so you can make informed decisions regarding additional funding or acquiring part-time employment to support your stay in this country.


Tips to Minimize Living Expenses in UK for International Students

Here are some useful tips that can let you save plenty of your expenses in the UK, allowing you to boost your bank balance for those rainy days:


1. Shop at Low-Cost Supermarkets

If you are facing some budget constraints while studying in the UK, it is important to shop strategically. Local smaller stores will often be a lot more expensive, so we recommend going to low-cost supermarkets. Morrisons, Lidl and Aldi – are three of the most student-friendly supermarkets in the UK. A basic weekly shopping from these places can cost as little as £20 to £30.


2. Buy in Bulk and Shop at Store Closing Times

Another effective tip to keep your grocery costs down is to organize your meals in advance, make a shopping list and buy in bulk if it makes sense for you. Try not to go shopping when you’re hungry and go to the supermarket at the end of the day or just before closing to see what’s in the reduced section. To save further, try to buy supermarket-own brands as they are much more cost-friendly.


3. Prepare Food at Home and Cook Your Own Meals

If you want to save hundreds if not thousands of pounds per academic year, start preparing most of your meals at home. It will bring your costs down immediately and if you don’t already cook, you’ll pick up a new life skill. 

For some, cooking is not just good for the bank balance – but is preferable as you can choose what you cook, when, and make it exactly to your taste and specific diet. There are lots of student recipes available online to help you cook quickly, healthily and on a budget,


Allow Us to Help You

To have a successful academic pursuit as an international student in the UK, understanding and properly managing your living expenditures is crucial. If you are feeling a bit confused about your budget planning in the UK, without any hesitation contact us at StudyWise

Our proficient student counselors will give you the right advice regarding the living expenses in UK for international students. As a result, after gaining these insights, you will be better equipped to make the right decision and start your budget planning in advance. This will, in turn, lead to a more gratifying and comfortable study experience, maximizing every opportunity during your stay in the UK.


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How much does a UK student spend a month?

The average living expenses in UK for international students come to £1,078 per month. The average amount students pay for rent in the UK is £439 a month, 41% of their total spend. Moreover, students usually spend almost £133 on groceries in a month.

How much can an international student expect to earn in the UK per month?

Students aged between 18 and 20, can earn a minimum wage of £7.49 per hour. Those aged 21 and over can earn £10.18 per hour in the UK. On average, they can earn around £100 to £200 per week. However, if a student possesses advanced skills, he may earn even more, ranging from £300 to £400 per week.