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Revealed: The UK cities with the most and least disposable income 2023

  • The average Brit living in a city has £782 a month in disposable income, £84 less than in 2022.
  • Nottingham residents have the least disposable income, at just £482 a month, 38% less than the UK average.
  • Meanwhile, those in Colchester have the most disposable income at £1,100 a month, 41% more than the UK average.
  • Londoners have seen a 44% drop in disposable income since 2022, losing £4,630 a year.

26 September, 2023, LONDON

Nottingham is the city where residents have the least disposable income in the UK, according to new research by personal finance comparison site finder.com.

Those living in Nottingham have an average of just £482 to spend (or save) per month after tax, bills and general (essential) outings such as travel and food. This is 38% below the national average of £782 per month.

Salaries in Nottingham were among some of the lowest in the cities analysed, but they still had higher living costs than 15 other cities.

Meanwhile, Colchester locals can enjoy disposable income of £1,100 a month, 41% higher than the national average.

The national average has dropped by 10% since 2022, when the average disposable income in the UK was £866 per month.

The analysis compared the average salaries of each city against rent costs and other standard monthly outgoings for 41 UK cities to find who has the most, and least, disposable income.

London residents see the biggest decrease in disposable income

Londoners have seen a dramatic drop of 44% in their disposable income since 2022, meaning they are now the city with the second lowest disposable income in the UK.

While residents in the capital would have had £886 to spare in 2022, higher than the national average for that year, they now have just £500 a month, which is 36% lower than the UK average. When totalled up over a year, this is a difference of £4,630 in disposable income.

Salaries in London remain the highest of the UK cities, but high rent prices and daily living costs have made it far more expensive to live in the capital. The average Londoner is shelling out £2,196 a month on rent and other essentials.

To see the research in full visit: https://www.finder.com/uk/disposable-income-around-the-uk

Top 5 cities for disposable income
RankingCityDisposable income
1Colchester£1,100
2Doncaster£1,068
3Milton Keynes£1,053
4Coventry£990
5Aberdeen£982
Bottom 5 cities for disposable income
RankingCityDisposable income
1Nottingham£482
2London£500
3Plymouth£574
4Manchester£580
5Leicester£589

Commenting on the findings, Kate Steere, banking expert at finder.com, said:

“People across the UK will be feeling the strain this year as the average disposable income is down by over £1000 a year when compared to 2022.”

“Salary disparity has had a big impact in some areas, as Nottingham residents’ wages are not keeping up with living costs, leaving them with a lot less in the way of spare cash. Although wages in London are higher than elsewhere, this has not been enough to keep pace with high rent prices and living costs in the capital, meaning those in London have a lot less to save for their future or spend on enjoying themselves each month.”

“If you are struggling with a limited amount of disposable income, you can consider using a budgeting app or getting a digital bank account that helps you track your spending and create money pots. You can also take advantage of offers like current account switching deals to make a little extra cash. With any money you can save each month, make sure it’s working hard for you by getting the best rates out there.”

Methodology:

The study looks at 41 cities in the UK that had accurate data on salaries and living costs. For rent, we found the total price per room of a 3-room apartment to get an approximate figure for the rent a single person could expect to pay. To get the disposable income figure for each city, we used ONS data to calculate the average monthly income in each city after taxes. Then, the monthly single person’s rent and living costs were subtracted from the average monthly income after tax. For our research, disposable income refers to the money left over after paying all essential costs, including taxes, rent, bills and living costs.

Data sources used: Numbeo and ONS.

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Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com's review pages for the current correct values.

About finder.com

finder.com is a personal finance website, which helps consumers compare products online so they can make better informed decisions. Consumers can visit the website to compare utilities, mortgages, credit cards, insurance products, shopping voucher codes, and so much more before choosing the option that best suits their needs.

Best of all, finder.com is completely free to use. We’re not a bank or insurer, nor are we owned by one, and we are not a product issuer or a credit provider. We’re not affiliated with any one institution or outlet, so it’s genuine advice from a team of experts who care about helping you find better.

finder.com launched in the UK in February 2017 and is privately owned and self-funded by two Australian entrepreneurs – Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia – who successfully grew finder.com.au to be Australia's most visited personal finance website (Source: Experian Hitwise).

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