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Clue: it isn't Central London...
It may not surprise you to hear that residents of our highly populated South East are up against it, financially. The latest research by life insurance company Beagle Street has revealed just how expensive life can be for folks in the Home Counties compared to other parts of the UK.
It also reveals where has the best cost of living. So if you’re sick of not having any money to treat yourself with at the end of the month, this is where you should move to and live a life of relative luxury.
The report looked at each regions full-time gross weekly earnings, then subtracted the average total weekly cost of living. Considering the notoriously costly housing, food, drink and transport (don’t even get us started) prices, it’s not all that surprising that South Eastern folk are saddled with an average deficit of £57.30 a week. That’s an eye-watering £245 a month.
By contrast, those up in the North East are positively laughing, with an average of £67 per week left over for non-necessities. Food and drink cost over 20 per cent less than the ‘spenny’ South East, and transport is over 10 per cent cheaper ‘up north’ than any other area.
Most affordable regions in the UK
- North-East: £67 (average difference between earnings and cost of living)
- Scotland: £55
- London: £48.8
- West Midlands: £42.7
- Wales: £39.7
- North-West: £21.6
- Yorkshire and the Humber: £12.8
- Northern Ireland: £4.1
- East: £-12.6
- South-West: £-15.5
- East Midlands: £-31.4
- South-East: £-57.3
You can discover the cost of living in your area through Beagle Street’s interactive map.
After all that, you’d think that those North Easterners would ferret something away for a rainy day, but not so. Of every region in the UK, they’re the least savvy when it comes to saving…
The UK’s best savers
- South-East: £29.50/£8.90*
- London: £27.60/£6.30
- East: £25.30/£6.80
- Scotland: £22.70/£5.10
- North-West: £21.40/£4.10
- East Midlands: £21/£6.40
- Yorskshire and Humber: £20.40/£6.40
- Wales: £18.80/£3.70
- West Midlands: £18.80/£3.40
- South West: £18.10/£7.70
- Northern Ireland: £18/£3.40
- North East: £17.30/£2.60
*Weekly contributions to life assurance and pension funds/general savings
Those in the North East put a measly £2.60 into their savings each week, and £17.30 into their life assurance and pension funds. Somehow, those in the South East are doing a lot better by amassing £38.30 in savings every week.
Of course, many of us are guilty of frittering away our earnings without really thinking about saving for a pension. A recent YouGov survey found that only 21 per cent of the adult population prioritise saving for a pension above anything else.