After moving to London, you’ll have to get to grips with the fact that you’re using a different currency with quite different values. When you negotiate your London relocation package you need to be aware of the exchange rate and just how expensive living in London can be. You may spend time comparing and converting for the first few months and wondering whether it’s cheaper here or in the US. London is not a cheap city in contrast and the cost of living for expats is a big consideration when planning on moving to London.
Moving to London can be costly depending on the area or location you choose to live in. Rentals on apartments or houses will obviously vary from area to area as well as the size of the property. Many Americans moving to London choose to use a professional relocation company to make sure that their relocation package will cover the costs of a new apartment and they’re not being ripped off by unscrupulous property owners. It’s well worth it.
Food prices vary depending on where you shop. A week’s groceries can cost you about £50. A MacDonald’s meal is around £4; a restaurant meal could cost you £15+ and a pub lunch £8-15. The same goes for drinks and entertainment. A beer at the pub can cost you around £3.50 compared to the cost of a six-pack at the liquor store, which is about £5-£6; supermarket wine goes for about £6. Clothing is also often reasonable, but again this depends on whether you’re wearing the local brand or designer wear. International fashion brands are very expensive because of import charges so sticking to locally made clothing and other products will help you get the most our of your relocation package.
If you are looking to go for a night out on the town after then be aware of how much entertainment will cost you. If you just want to relax in front of the big screen, movie tickets are from £5–£15, or if you want to indulge in one of the hundreds of live music concerts and gigs then you should look at ticket prices of £15-£30. Since you will needing transportation when you’re out then you will be spending £2 for a single bus journey and for a taxi or minicab, it can be anything from £5 – £34 depending on the meter reading or agreed fare.
You do need to keep an eye on your budget. It is expensive, and you need to make sure that you are not spending money on unnecessary items when you could be exploring and discovering everything that the city has to offer. Take care to plan your budget on your relocation package for the first few months before you arrive and consider using a professional to help you so you know what you’ll be paying.