For most people, the UK has the notorious reputation of being one of the most expensive countries to live in. However, it may be less pricey than other developed nations.
According to the recent CEOWORLD ranking in 2020, Switzerland is the costliest place in the world. Coming in second place is Norway and then Iceland.
Some countries in Asia, like Japan, Israel, and South Korea, are actually less affordable than the UK. Where does it stand then? It occupies the twenty-seventh place, which means people are more likely to spend more if they live in the United States, Luxembourg, and even the Bahamas.
But even in the UK, the cost of living can widely vary, depending on many factors, including location. Take, for example, Leeds, a popular city in West Yorkshire County located north of England.
How Much Can a Person Earn in Leeds?
Before this article discusses the cost of living in Leeds, it helps to have some idea about how much one can earn here.
In the data shared by Cosmopolitan UK, the average wage for full-time workers from 2019 to 2020 was a little over £30,000, representing a nearly 4 percent increase than the previous year.
But those who live in London may be earning more than most people in the country. PayScale shared that the average take-home pay here is about £38,000. In other references, such as Salary Explorer, a person working in the city could earn a whopping £85,000 annually.
In Leeds, the average base salary (which doesn’t include other financial benefits) in the UK is around £33,500 a year. The average hourly rate is £16. Either way, a person may receive less if they work here.
However, usually in the UK, the wages are commensurate to the cost of living. While people in Leeds don’t get at as much as Londoners, they spend less on their regular expenses.
According to Numbeo, a one-bedroom apartment in the heart of Leeds could cost no more than £800 compared to over £1,500 if they decide to live in London. They can contact an estate agent, who can help find them a one-bedroom, one-bath property that costs no more than £500 monthly or £75 weekly.
A bigger space in Headingley may be worth £1,100 a month or £84 weekly—still way cheaper than renting a flat in London.
For those planning to stay in Leeds for over three years, they can consider buying a home than renting since it is more cost-effective in the long-term. A three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in 6 Stanmore View could cost £200,000. As shared by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average home price in the UK is about £267,000.
Food is also more affordable here than in London. In fact, it is at least 15 percent cheaper than London, according to Expatistan.
One of the possible reasons is the city’s manufacturing hub. Leeds is a well-known food manufacturing base for companies like Arla Foods, Northern Foods, and Unilever. It also has such a diverse economy that helps support the production and manufacturing of food.
How much can one expect to pay here? Details from Numbeo revealed that a meal in an inexpensive restaurant is about £3 less than dining in a similar place in the UK’s capital. A three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant can cost as much as £50, but it’s still 16 percent more economical here than in London.
Lastly, a 0.5-liter of domestic drought is less than £4 in Leeds while it can cost £5 in London. This could be because the city is famous for brewing, a tradition, culture, and business that has been around for decades.
According to Numbeo, a regular-priced monthly pass in Leeds can cost £61, while the price can more than double in London. Taxis are slightly cheaper here as well. The starting rate is only £2.20 compared to London’s £3.
When it comes to walkability, both London and Leeds are up to par, based on the survey by Living Streets. In 2017, about 59 percent found walking to shops easy, while 49 percent shared that parks were accessible. Over 70 percent cited the good condition of the streets.
On the other hand, 63 percent cited easy walk to the parks, and 67 percent lauded the quality of the pavements. Around 64 percent said shopping centers were accessible, and 72 percent claimed streets were in great condition.
London (and other cities in the UK) definitely have their respective draws that attract people to live and work there. But for those who want their salaries to go far, they can place Leeds number one on their list.