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How much do you need to earn to live in London? This is what Londoners say

Written by
Megan Carnegie

Sometimes it feels as if all we talk about in London is how expensive it is: a travelcard, your rent, your mate’s rent, a pint, your mate’s pint… And it’s no exaggeration: London life does cost an arm and a leg. But 47 percent of you think that living here is worth the expense.

That’s just one of the nuggets of wisdom we uncovered from this year’s Time Out City Life Index: our huge, anonymous survey of 15,000 people in 32 cities. Smashing the British money taboo, we asked more than 3,000 Londoners how much they earn, plus how much they think they would need to earn to live comfortably in the city.

So, drum roll, please… the average Londoner thinks you need to earn £52,859.67 a year to live your best life in London. But that number varies a lot based on how much you actually earn. Londoners on less than £20,000 think you need £46,571, and those earning more than £100,000 think you need £79,576. So the more Londoners earn, the more they think they need to earn.

Not only that, but earning less money can have a genuine impact on your mental health. Nearly 85% of all the Londoners we surveyed said they’d felt happy in the last 24 hours, but among Londoners who earn more than £40,000, that number rose by 3.7%. Meanwhile, 50% of respondents told us they’d felt stressed in the last 24 hours – but that number went up by 5.8% among those who earn less than £20,000. So money might not make you happy, but in a city like London, not earning money will certainly grind you down.

And here’s another thing we found: Londoners who earn more money have more sex. People with a salary of more than £100,000 have sex 2.4 times a month (or so they claim), while those earning less than £20,000 get it in 1.6 times a month. Which is silly – because rather than lamenting our measly pay packets, we should really be packing in as much (safe) nookie as possible. Surely there’s no better free activity than that.

Now discover loads more facts and figures from this year’s Time Out City Life Index.

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