UK job site City Calling has announced the first annual stretch your salary index, an in-depth analysis of average salary figures set against cost of living data to determine the rank of the UK’s ten biggest cities according to their average disposable income.
Nottingham is the best place to stretch your salary due to relatively low rental and utility costs combined with the second highest average salary of the ten most populous cities, while London languishes in ninth place due to high rents, transport and leisure costs despite having the highest average annual salary.
The stretch your salary index takes into consideration people’s cost of living including rent, utilities, council tax, transport, eating out, fitness and a night out at the movies.
Bristolians fare the worst, with just £180 left over at the end of the month after essentials for leisure costs. The analysis shows that while Bristol typically bring home higher wages than cities including Liverpool and Leeds, average rental costs are second only to London and council tax prices are the highest overall. Therefore, Liverpool and Leeds are averagely left with nearly double the amount of disposable income to Bristol at the end of the month.
The study shows that while traditionally the capital’s higher than average salaries have made London attractive to job seekers, Belfast residents prove you can live to the same standard while earning an average of £10,000 less than Londoners.
Where you can stretch your salary
You could go to the cinema twice in Belfast and Cardiff for every film you see in London (£6 compared with £12).
In Glasgow and Cardiff you could buy three months’ worth of travel cards for every month in London (£145 compared with £45).
Londoners spend an average of £220 if they eat out four times a month, closely followed by Bristol and Glasgow (both £200).
The list for best places to stretch your salary puts Nottinghamk, Glasgow and Belfast above Cardiff and Leeds.
London and Bristol prop up the table below Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.
Paul David Munnelly, CEO at City Calling, says, ‘Salary growth has been slower since the economic downturn in 2008 coupled with the impact of Brexit. We are seeing more people than ever escaping to other regions of the UK where industries are on the rise and the cost of living hasn’t caught up, so incomes can stretch further.’
A recent study revealed that the soaring cost of house prices is driving people aged 30 and over to pack their bags and leave London. The development of the Crossrail means commuting to London will be easier and quicker, so people are getting more bang for their buck outside the capital. The big smoke might soon end up being the big nope.