Time to move? These are the 10 least affordable cities for Brits on minimum wage

If you’re planning to move, it might be important to note the least affordable cities for Brits on minimum wage as well as the most affordable.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

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The pandemic has put a strain on everyone’s finances, and it’s particularly hit those on minimum wage. If you’re on a low income and planning to move, it could help to be aware of the least – and most – affordable cities for Brits on minimum wage.

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How much is the minimum wage?

The minimum wage you receive depends on your age. According to the gov.uk website, the current minimum wage rates are as follows:

  • 23 and over: £8.91
  • 21 to 22: £8.36
  • 18 to 20: £6.56
  • 16 to 17: £4.62
  • Apprentice rate (for apprentices under the age of 19 or over in the first year of apprenticeship) – £4.30

Keep in mind that these rates are reviewed annually. Also, it’s worth noting that while the age to begin earning the full minimum wage is currently 23, it may come down to 21 by 2024.  

What are the least affordable cities for Brits on minimum wage?

Comparison and reviews website investing reviews carried out research to find out how far the minimum wage stretches in different cities alongside pension contributions and the cost of living. Here are the top 10 least affordable cities for Brits on minimum wage.

 

 

Expendable income

Total monthly cost of living

(including rent)

23 & over

(£1,294 net monthly pay)

21-22

(£1,233 net monthly pay)

18-20 (£1,033 net monthly pay)

Under 18

(£760 net monthly pay)

Apprentice

(£708 net monthly pay)

1

Westminster

£3,449

-£2,155

-£2,216

-£2,416

-£2,689

-£2,741

2

London

£2,443

-£1,149

-£1,210

-£1,410

-£1,683

-£1,735

3

St Albans

£1,917

-£623

-£684

-£884

-£1,157

-£1,209

4

Bath

£1,736

-£442

-£503

-£703

-£976

-£1,028

5

Brighton & Hove

£1,615

-£321

-£382

-£582

-£855

-£907

6

Edinburgh

£1,556

-£262

-£323

-£523

-£796

-£848

7

Durham

£1,545

-£251

-£312

-£512

-£785

-£837

8

Oxford

£1,534

-£240

-£301

-£501

-£774

-£826

9

Cambridge

£1,500

-£206

-£267

-£467

-£740

-£792

10

York

£1,431

-£137

-£198

-£398

-£671

-£723

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What are the most affordable cities for Brits on minimum wage?

Investing reviews also identified the top 10 most affordable cities for Brits on minimum wage alongside pension contributions and the cost of living. Here are the findings.

 

 

Expendable income

Total monthly cost of living

(including rent)

23 & over

(£1,294 net monthly pay)

21-22

(£1,233 net monthly pay)

18-20 (£1,033 net monthly pay)

Under 18

(£760 net monthly pay)

Apprentice

(£708 net monthly pay)

1

Bradford

£1,015

£279

£218

£18

-£255

-£307

2

Stoke-on-Tent

£1,024

£270

£209

£9

-£264

-£316

3

Kingston upon Hull

£1,038

£256

£195

-£5

-£278

-£330

4

Aberdeen

£1,072

£223

£162

-£39

-£312

-£364

5

Wakefield

£1,082

£212

£151

-£49

-£322

-£374

6

Gloucester

£1,092

£202

£141

-£59

-£332

-£384

7

Derby

£1,094

£200

£139

-£61

-£334

-£386

8

Worcester

£1,105

£189

£128

-£72

-£345

-£397

9

Dundee

£1,131

£163

£102

-£98

-£371

-£423

10

Sheffield

£1,142

£153

£91

-£109

-£382

-£434

 

What were the criteria used to collect the data?

Investing reviews looked at a total of 45 UK cities and collected the monthly cost of living for a single person in a one-bedroom house or flat. The company also considered an average working week to constitute 40 working hours, which gave an average of 173.33 hours a month.

These hours were then multiplied by the minimum wage rate for each age group to give the gross monthly pay. Investing reviews then used the MoneySavingExpert’s tax calculator to find the net monthly income and added a 5% pension contribution.

Take away

With rental prices increasing, pay cuts looming and unemployment rising, it’s not surprising that many people on minimum wage are having difficulties finding an affordable place to live. The figures above offer insight into what you might need to consider before renting and what could be the most affordable cities, especially if you’re on minimum wage.

You may also want to check whether you’re eligible for any government benefits. They can help with living costs, making it more affordable for you to live in a particular area.

Additionally, it’s important to factor in other financial commitments beyond living costs and pension contributions. You may have debt that needs to be accounted for, as well as financial goals like building an emergency fund.

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