Budgeting for a Long Term Stay in London

28 April 2017

Not many places in the world are as uniquely charming and exciting as London, so you’re among the lucky ones if you get to spend an extended time in The City so great it gets a capital “C.” But your luck could run out quickly if you don’t properly budget for your stay. Some of your income and expenses may be the same as home, while other finances are going to be very different from what you’re used to. Whether your stay in London is business or pleasure, a month or a year, make sure to account for these fiscal factors.

Lodging: The cost of long term accommodations will vary by neighborhood, but the typical range for a one-bedroom flat starts around $1400. You can cut rent in half by sharing a place with flat mates (rates run from $850 on up), but that’s not always practical for your needs. Plan on ponying up a refundable security deposit and first months’ rent when you do find the right fit.

Monthly Services: Some rentals will include basic utilities like power and water, while others don’t offer these services. Double check with your landlord or agency to determine whether internet access and cable is provided. And don’t forget about your smartphone: You should work out international coverage with your provider before you take off, or look into pay-as-you-go providers when you arrive in London.

Transportation: Driving around an unfamiliar town can be a harrowing experience, especially in a city the size of London – and especially if you’re used to driving on the right side of the road. Gas prices are just as scary: Expect to pay $1.50 per litre in gas, so multiply by four to get a rough idea of cost per gallon.

So if you’re like most London dwellers, you’ll use public transportation to get around. The most economical option is to purchase a Seven Day TravelCard, though One Day Anytime and One Day Off Peak cards are also available. The rates are based upon Zones: 1-4 are Central London and attractions, while 5-8 include all of the city and airports.

Of course, the budget for your extended stay in London will depend on why you’re there, the duration of your trip, and your lifestyle. What are some other things to factor in if you’re going on a long term stay? We’d love to hear your insights.