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New research reveals a third of Londoners are unable to afford basics

Published 30 May 2015 by

If you live in London and find managing your budget really difficult, you’re not alone! A third of Londoners don’t have sufficient money coming in pay for a decent standard of living because of how much they have to spend on housing, transport and childcare.

So many struggling

Research commissioned by the poverty and inequality charity, a Trust for London, looked at the minimum income you would need to pay for basics like food, shelter and clothing. They then added in items such as buying your child a birthday present or paying for a cheap meal out twice a month. The figure was then compared to the average Londoners income to see if it matched up.

They found that one third of Londoners are living below their calculated minimum income standard (compared to 27 per cent nationally). Mubin Haq, Director of Policy and Grants at Trust for London comments: “This is not about just food, clothing and having a roof over your head. It’s about the difference between people being able to participate in society or not. It raises important questions about whether London is for everyone or does it become a city for the wealthiest.”

The report, conducted by researchers at Loughborough University, found that a single adult of working age in inner London needs a weekly budget of £410 to have a decent standard of living. This drops slightly to £376 in outer London, but this is still high, compared to the UK average of £279.

Living wage not national wage needed Trust for London believe that employers should pay at least the living wage — currently £9.15 an hour in London and £7.85 in the rest of the UK – as the national minimum wage of £6.50 doesn’t allow people to have a decent standard of living.

Being given the living wage can transform people’s lives. Take Zena for example, she lives in London and had to do several jobs just to scrape enough to get by until she got a cleaning job with CTS Solutions. Listen to her story below or visit the Living Wage Foundations website..

Are you an Endie?

In 2014, the phase 'Endie' was coined to describe those who are employed in London but have no disposable income or saving. If you’re an Endie and the idea of moving outside of London isn’t something you want to consider, you could ask your boss for a pay rise. If that’s a no-go, why not think about finding a better paid job or you could apply for a position that saves you money on your travel costs.

And, there’s a housing crisis going on at the moment, so if you have a space room you could consider letting it out. Just last week someone listed a campbed in their kitchen for rent for £400 a month on Of course, we’re not suggesting you follow suit (who would want to live next to a fridge!) but if you own your home and you’ve got a spare bedroom or lounge you could repurpose, why not? You could earn quite a bit of extra money, but don’t forget your utility bills will go up and there are other things you might want to consider, like having to share your bathroom in the mornings. So we’d advise you think carefully before you decide on this option.

If that’s still not enough to get-by, you may have to accept that you’re going to have to move out of London. It doesn’t have to be forever, so it could offer a good temporary solution and, you never know, once you’re out, you may never want to go back!