Just how much is this expensive United Kingdom gonna cost me?
Are you ready for expensive United Kingdom?
The biggest factor I had to get my head around was how much everything in the UK costs. Of course I had done a bit of research into conversion rates and that kind of thing before I left Australia but I still didn't know what to expect. As I spent the first 6 months living in London I went through a lot more money than I had to. Compared to now when I travel to London (as with all places) I've become very adept at conserving my cash.
To say that the United Kingdom is probably the most expensive place you have ever been doesn't really prepare you for what to expect.
To give you a better (albeit very rough) idea I've compiled a list of random products and other things that cost money for you to have a quick look through. Although the figures may seem cheap keep in mind that working in a pub or restaurant in the UK you will most likely be earning around ₤6.19 an hour - it doesn't stretch very far.
I've created a simple table here of things you are
likely to buy at a supermarket to give you an idea of prices
“There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody.”
Adlai E. Stevenson
Luckily there are a few exceptions to the rule. Things that are actually cheaper than back home. These include things like body / hair products, fresh produce as well as supermarket alcohol – thank heavens! If you look around you can also find some affordable clothes outlets but in general they'll cost more too. As a bonus for Aussies and Kiwis, the fashion in the UK is a millennia ahead of the truly awful garbage available back home. So although it's an expensive United Kingdom, at least it's a well dressed one! :P
If you plan on working for a year or more in pubs in the UK then you will have to learn how to scrimp and save. Some people run out of money in a month – I've seen it happen – whereas others manage rather well. I got through it by keeping in mind how cheap it is to travel to other countries in Europe. If you're from down under, ask yourself when was the last time you flew to another country for 1cent? (excluding taxes of course) even if you only visit a couple of countries in your time away, think how much it would cost to do that from home and you have your justification for being ripped off everywhere else you may go in the expensive United Kingdom.
Of course you can find supermarkets where everyday items are cheaper – I spent 4 months living in Manchester where I could buy cans of baked beans or spaghetti for 13p, as well as loaves of bread for 17p at a supermarket called NETTO. I could buy a weeks worth of shopping for a tenner! But it is still best practice to watch your budget and expect things to cost a lot more than you might think – there is no harm in having too much money…is there?
Are you planning on applying for a UK working holiday visa and want to know a bit more about how much money you'll need? Then if you haven't already done so, you may want to check out:
Also if you're intending on getting a live-in pub job and you would like to know about how much you can expect to earn as well as what costs you a likely to incur, then you should read:
So think you are ready for the expensive United Kingdom now?
With everything in the UK costing so much, it's nice to know what you can expect to get for free - like this site for example :P plus it's reassuring to know that you will be taken care of if you are involved in an accident or emergency...
click 'next' to find out some very important Health & Medical Info