You’ve Been Offered 80K. Is 80K a Good Salary in London?

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In this article, I would like to share with you some insights on the lifestyle you can have in London with 80,000 a year. So… imagine. You’ve been offered 80K GBP a year. Is 80K a good salary in London? Will you be rich? The answer is: depends if you live alone or have a family (and, of course, what rich means to you).

Here’s what you can expect to find in this post:

What kind of jobs pay 80K and more in London?

There are plenty of jobs that pay over 80K in London – from medical jobs (e.g. GP) and law jobs to managerial roles (e.g. Marketing Director or Head of Sales) to Software Developer jobs. While, as you can see, for some jobs you need to be in a managerial position to have that level of remuneration; for some others, it can be almost a starting salary! I always check salaries on either Glassdoor or LinkedIn – make sure to check them out if you are looking for well-paying jobs!

It’s definitely not impossible to get a job paying over 80K in London. Jose, my husband and co-founder of this blog can tell you that in his field (Software Development), 80K is an average salary.

Will an 80K salary in London make you rich?

If you’re wondering whether an 80K salary will make you rich in London, well, absolutely not! London is an incredibly expensive city. In fact, London is one of the most expensive cities in Europe, and its property prices are among the highest in the world. Don’t expect to live next to HM the Queen or anywhere in the city centre.

Actually, if you’re wondering, £80,000, a year salary ends up (after paying all the taxes) being just £4,550 per month. If you also pay circa 5% pension contribution, that’s going to be even less – £4,320 per month.

Most probably, you will have a very nice lifestyle on an 80K salary in London, but you won’t be able to afford that many luxuries.

However, to be able to show you what you can afford on an 80K salary in London, I’ll do a breakdown of costs for three different life scenarios.

Let’s look at three different scenarios:

  • You live alone
  • You live with a partner who also works and earns money
  • You have two kids, and your partner is a stay at home parent

Of course, there are many more possible scenarios (e.g. you have 1,3,5,10 kids) or you’re a single parent, or your spouse works and earns more than you, however, I wanted to specifically focus on these scenarios, as they are quite common.

Central London without tourists

Scenario 1: You have a salary of 80K in London, and you live alone

Alright, let’s consider the first scenario. You have a salary of 80K in London, and you live alone.

You make £4,350 after paying all the taxes and pension contributions.

You can definitely afford an apartment in a good area of London. A one-bedroom apartment in a new build in a nice place would cost you £1,700-£2,300. Of course, you can also find much cheaper apartments. On average, it costs around £1,700 to rent a one-bedroom flat in London. However, if you want to live in a building with a concierge, gym and maybe even a swimming pool, prepare to pay at least £2100 per month. However, with your salary, you can definitely afford it. Besides, you can save money on a gym membership!

Make sure to add to that the bills: electricity, gas, Internet and council tax – on average, it would be extra £300 per month.

If you’re paying that much for an apartment, most probably, you live close to the city centre or your work. However, let’s factor £156 for a monthly transport travel card.

If you work from the office, you will, most probably, eat your lunch outside. You can spend anything from £190-300 a month on lunches.

Groceries can cost you anything from £200 to £500 per month depending on what and where you buy. Some stores are more expensive than the others (e.g. Waitrose, Wholefoods are quite pricy).

Subscriptions (phone, Netflix, Spotify etc.) can cost you an additional £50 per month.

After all these spendings, you can find yourself with around £1300 in your pocket (or even more if you rent a cheaper apartment, not for £2000 accounted in this calculation), which you can spend on going out, travelling and investing (or anything else you have in mind).

Scenario 2: You live with a partner who also works and earns money

In this scenario, you make £80K, and you live with a partner who also works. Let’s imagine your partner has an average salary – around £40K per year. That’s extra £2400 per month after all the taxes and contribution. So your combined income is now £6750.

Even if you rent a two-bedroom apartment, your rent increase won’t be that significant – you might pay just £200-300 extra (£2300 in total plus bills – £2600)

Your grocery bill, however, will increase and so will your transport costs. However, after paying all the bills and expenses, you both will be left with around £3200 in your accounts (combined) that you can spend on anything you want.

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Scenario 3: You are the only breadwinner in a family with two kids

Finally, let’s consider a scenario where 80K isn’t that much money. That’s in the case when you’re the only breadwinner in a family with 1-2 kids and your partner being a stay-at-home parent.

In this case, you will probably rent a house in zones 3 – 5 of London or in a commuter town. You will probably pay around £2400 for your house or apartment, including all the bills. However, your transport bills will increase significantly – make sure to budget at least £250 per month on travel costs (unless you work from home most of the time). If you add Internet, phone, Netflix and other subscriptions, that’s another £70 a month.

Your food bill will be around £500-800 a month.

That’s already £3300 per month, which leaves you with £1000 to spend on other purchases (from clothes to school charges for your kids).

As you can see, £80K in London isn’t a very high salary for a family with two kids, where only one family member is working. However, if your partner would be working, you would probably spend the same amount on nurseries as their salary.

I hope you found this post useful.

Some other posts you might find interesting:

We bought our house (first-time buyers in London)

Is London worth it? Pros and cons of life in London

Non-touristy things to do in London

Average salary in London in 2023

12 thoughts on “You’ve Been Offered 80K. Is 80K a Good Salary in London?”

  1. Sorry but the prices you’ve put are ridiculous. Me and my partner live in a one bedroom flat, including all bills it’s £810 a month. We spend around £50 a week on food bought from Tesco. We both own cars, although I hardly use mine. I only spend 40% of my salary on all costs and I’m left with a huge amount of money each month.

    • Hi Jez – a friend of mine is renting a 1-bed flat for 4500 a month – that’s not an average price either 🙂 I’ve stated average prices in this article for someone, who wants to have a nice lifestyle. Super happy you were able to find something for £810 a month, but that’s definitely not a common price in London. Also, we spend 3x that on groceries per week

    • No offence Jez, but you must be one of the luckiest people in London if you’re paying £810 including bills a month. I couldn’t even find decent rooms near my place of work for less than £850 (not including bills) in 2019 not to speak of an entire apartment. In 2023 all my friends pay 1000+ for a double room and these places are zone 2-4. So it’s most certainly not ridiculous, and I’m frugal. I live with my partner and our flat costs £2000 a month (not including bills) and it wasn’t our choice to pay this high, especially, when there are not other options

    • You play £810 a month in London ! Are you sure you are living in london and not Birmingham or something? bruh !
      I find many of the numbers in this article quite accurate. Also it is important where you rent in london. Central definitly you have to pay around £2k or even more.

  2. Is 85k a good salary in Cambridge, UK for a family of 3 (including 1 child who is 9 year old)? I have no idea about tax system in UK, however I understand the tax would range somewhere between 32% – 40% approx. Please advise on this, as I will be relocating to UK by end of Dec 2022 or early Jan 2023.

    • @Liza, Thanks a lot for your reply. Do you have any suggestions for a decent place with fully furnished accomodation for us (3 members) in Cambridge, without paying to agency?

      • Dear Joseph,
        I have lived in Cambdridge just before and during the pandemic. You will find that it is quite expensive. But it does have a few good places to live, there are newly developed areas (near Trumpington, which is very convenient), which is just 3 miles south of city center. You can go north and prices will be a little lower. It all depends where you’ll work, etc. Also, if you have a car, you can live in the many lovely villages surrounding the town.
        Probably haven´t helped much, because there are many nice areas to live there.

  3. Finally a realistic post about money. I’m on £91,000 and my husband is on a salary of £80,000 with additional money from his side hustle (an extra £6,000) per year. We’re both individually in the top 5% in the U.K….right? Whilst we live comfortably, we sure as hell can’t afford luxuries so often. Our apartment is a 1 bed for £1400 (a bargain in our area!) and + bills come up to £200 extra. Then groceries….we shop at waitrose so that’s an added £300-400 per month. In the end, we do have a good amount left over. But considering we want to buy a house (so deposit savings), travel and I also financially look after my younger sister until she’s finished uni… doesn’t leave a lot to spend in the end…


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