Manchester named as one of the top 10 cheapest UK cities to live during the cost of living crisis



The cost of living crisis is happening all across the UK with energy bills, food and fuel prices soaring as well as national insurance rising. But according to research there are certain areas of the country where people are much better, or worse off, than others when it comes to the cost of living.

Taking into account basic costs such as transport, utility bills and rent and comparing them to the average salary, Budget Direct has worked out which cities are the most and least expensive to live across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in today’s current climate.

It turns out that Manchester is named among the top 10 most affordable cities to live, which is mainly down to its reasonable average salary.

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Research from the online database of cost-of-living statistics, Budget Direct, revealed that workers in Manchester are paid around £2,320 on average per month.

They also reported that each month the average city center resident spends around £916 on rent, £162 for the average utility bills, £71 on a monthly transport pass, totaling around ££1,150 per month.

This means that taking into account the average salary and the cost of living, Manchester is one of the cheapest places to live in the UK in comparison to other cities where salaries are much lower and the cost of living is much higher.

According to the data, the cheapest city to live in is Oxford due to its high average salaries and lower average living costs. Although it is one of the most expensive places to rent, the average pay per month in the city is £3,560 and the cost of living around £1,503 per month.

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The second most affordable cities to live in are Glasgow and Reading, with average monthly salaries close to £3,000 and the cost of living totaling around £1,100 per month.

Also in the list of the top 10 cheapest cities to live in are Bristol, Coventry, Derby, Southampton, Birmingham and Edinburgh. All these cities offer good salary prospects and low living costs on average.

Top 10 cheapest UK cities

City Avg monthly salary Rent 1-bed inner city utility bills Monthly transport pass Cost of living Cost of living – salary
Oxford £3,566.67 £1,300.00 £143.51 £60.00 £1,503.51 £2,063.16
glasgow 2,805.67 £776.92 £141.90 £65.00 £983.82 £1,821.85
Reading £3,010.76 £996.51 £172.72 £60.00 £1,229.23 £1,781.53
Bristol board £2,874.21 £998.33 £174.53 £73.91 £1,246.77 £1,627.44
Coventry £2,250.00 £550.00 £180.04 £50.90 £780.94 £1,469.06
Derby £2,225.00 £500.00 £209.95 £56.00 £765.95 £1,459.05
Southampton £2,350.00 £729.00 £137.16 £55.00 £921.16 £1,428.84
birmingham £2,285.83 £709.46 £159.41 £65.00 £933.87 £1,351.96
edinburgh £2,312.50 £869.58 £146.84 £60.00 £1,076.42 £1,236.08
Manchester £2,324.11 £916.36 £162.30 £71.74 £1,150.40 £1,173.71

On the other end of the spectrum, Budget Direct has revealed that Wolverhampton has the highest average cost of living with salaries being fairly low yet average costs for rent and transport are high.

Also on the list of the most expensive cities to live, but surprisingly not near the top of the list, is London which has some of the highest average salaries but overall costs being much higher than most cities on average.

Northern cities such as Sheffield and Leeds both are included in the top ten least affordable, as the average salaries are significantly lower than other major cities in the UK.

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Top 10 most expensive UK cities

City Avg monthly salary Rent 1-bed inner city utility bills Monthly transport pass Cost of living Cost of living – salary
wolverhampton £1,600.00 £800.00 £100.97 £127.50 £1,028.47 £571.53
swansea £1,499.00 £610.00 £148.57 £68.61 £827.18 £671.82
Norwich £1,714.50 £800.00 £129.61 £60.00 £989.61 £724.89
Liverpool £1,641.61 £663.41 £151.03 £68.57 £883.01 £758.60
leeds £1,781.40 £750.00 £166.64 £75.00 £991.64 £789.76
Belfast £1,744.30 £783.33 £68.00 £57.00 £908.33 £835.97
Sheffield £1,700.00 £633.33 £149.19 £65.00 £847.52 £852.48
Cardiff £2,002.39 £741.67 £200.20 £53.00 £994.87 £1,007.52
leicester £1,800.00 £583.33 £151.90 £54.00 £789.23 £1,010.77
London £3,199.93 £1,751.08 £236.87 £154.00 £2,141.95 £1,057.98

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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