I thought I would do a quick post about the cost of living in the UK to show that cost of living is pretty good here. To start off, it's important to remember a few things which we pretty much take for granted in the First World but which may seem foreign for someone living in a developing country:
1) There is National Health Service which is absolutely free for emergencies should you have the misfortune to need it. The hospitals are top class, matching and exceeding private health care in ZA. Most wards will not only provide top notch medical attention, but also frills such as TV and Internet access at your bedside. The NHS is also pretty good for other day to day medical cares.
2) You are entitled to work. If you want to work, there will be a job for you, even at minimum wage of £5.94 per hour
3) If you cannot work or are made redundant, you have the right to social benefits. This guarantees that you will be able to claim around 60% to 70% of what you have previously been earning if you should need it...
4) If you have children under sixteen you are automatically favoured for housing benefits and everything is free for them (as examples my daughter obtained 100% cover for orthodontic treatment that would have cost me £2100 and also prescription spectacles that would have cost me over £250)
5) Public schooling is free and of a good standard.
So here is a simple budget, which I have based on an average income for a mid thirties couple with two kids. The couple do not have degrees but are hard working and upwardly mobile:
Husband monthly income - £1800 (TAKE HOME - £1350)
Wife monthly income - £1350 (TAKE HOME - £1000)
Combined take home salary - £2350
Now the expenses:
Rent - £700
Council tax - £130
Gas - £30
Electricity - £30
Food & Groceries - £250
TV Licence - £10
Telephone/ Broadband/ Sky Box - £50
Car Instalment £120
Petrol - £180
So there you have it. Plenty of disposable income for all the goodies: XBox, Wi, I-phone, laptop, Flat Screen telly, you name it, we buy it!