The best UK cities for disposable income

A view of Grey's Monument in the city of Newcastle, UK. Photo: Richard Gray/EMPICS Entertainment

Newcastle is the place to be when it comes to getting to the end of the month with money in your bank account, research shows.

Insurer HomeLet has found the best UK cities for those in the early stages of their careers if they want a big disposable income.

By analysing rental data from the HomeLet Rental Index alongside cost of living expenses from the Office of National Statistics, the study found the average yearly living costs in the 10 most populated cities in the UK.

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Newcastle comes out on top, with rent and other living costs of £12,460 a year, making up for its lower starting salaries than cities such as London, Southampton and Bristol.

Those living in Newcastle can expect to have an extra £10,364 to spend every year, the data shows.

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In comparison, those starting a career in London will have only £1,078 disposable income each year – 10% of what they could have in Newcastle, and significantly less than other cities.

The cost of living in London is over double that of Newcastle, at £25,438 a year, compared with just £12,460. And it’s is worse for those looking for a career in education, admin, customer service, catering, IT, media, retail, sales or social care. The study found starting salaries in these sectors do not even cover basic living costs.

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Birmingham is the second most affordable city with a disposable income of about £9,692.

Cardiff is at third place, with an average disposable income of £9,377.

Leeds also makes the list. Those living in Yorkshire city have about £8,901 to spare each year after rent and other living costs, the data shows.

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Those in Manchester have an annual disposable income of about £8,367, in Leicester £7,381, and Edinburgh £7,266.

Bristol (£5,336), Southampton (£3,516.67) and London (£1,078) made the bottom three.

But it’s not just the money available at the end of each month that makes the north-east a desirable choice. The study found Newcastle is best location to choose to start a career in six different industries – construction, manufacturing, education, engineering and finance.