£30,000 is considered a decent salary in the UK at the time of writing, as it’s just every so slightly lower than the measured average per person, but above the UK median.
However, there’s a few ways of looking at this question, and there are factors that come into play along the way! Let’s take a closer look at the current salary situation in the UK and what might be considered a comfortable wage.
How much is £30k after tax?
When earning £30k as an individual, your take-home salary after paying income taxes and national insurance is around £24,422 per year, which is equivalent to roughly £2,035 per month.
The table below outlines the big line items in relation to the typical taxes and deductions.
How does a £30,000 salary compare to others in the UK?
At the time of publication, the average salary across the UK is £36,768 while the median is £27,696 before income tax. A salary of £30k therefore falls in the middle of those two figures. The average figure can be misleading as it can be skewed by very high and very low earners. It’s therefore important to compare to the median.
As the salary of £30k is greater than the median, this means that you are still earning more than half of Britons. The Office of National Statistics looks at pay on a monthly basis, so let’s translate the £30k annual to monthly. As shown in the table above, this works out to £2,500 per month or £15.38 per hour.
What percentage of the UK earn over £30k?
Based on the ONS data, a salary of £30k puts you in roughly the 55th percentile of income earners in the UK, which means you’re earning more than 55% of workers. Or put another way, you’re in the top-45% of income earners in the UK.
How does £30k compare to different age groups?
If we look at salaries by age, a monthly salary of £2,500 puts you slightly above the median for the age group of 25-34 year olds, but a bit under the median for the 35-49 year olds, which are the top-earning group in the UK.
Even in terms of geographies, aside from the core areas of London, £30k is a decent salary compared to most of the UK.
If you’re looking for a much more detailed discussion with the stats, do read my discussion on median salaries in the UK.
Is £30k enough to live on?
The slightly frustrating answer to this question is, as always, ‘it depends’. £30k sounds like a lot as a lump sum – but it’s before taxation, and you’ll receive your salary split across the year.
Your individual circumstances will dictate how far this money travels. Consider your work expenses, household needs, and lifestyle demands. Here are a few factors that can influence whether or not £30k is enough to live on.
Do you have any dependents?
This is simple maths – the more people you have to support, the more money you’ll need. The cost of living for a single person varies between £2,100 to £3,000 per month, depending on where you live. This works out to £25,000 to £36,000 per year. £30k for a single person is therefore likely to offer reasonably comfortable living.
For a larger family, the average annual expenses can be in excess of £3,000 per month, which works out to £36k a year – after taxes. This means the income earners in the home will have to earn significantly more than that to cover all the necessary expenses. If you’re a in a single-income household with children and/or pets, you will find it’s a stretch. A couple that earns at least £60k combined would be in a reasonable spot though.
Where do you live?
Housing prices closer to London are infamously higher than those you’d pay for further north, too. It’s not just commuting costs and congestion charges you have to keep in mind!
Are you carrying any debt?
Aside from a mortgage on your home, do you have any debt? As interest rates rise, carrying consumer debt is like having to pay a constantly increasing tax. Interest rates on credit card debt or car loans can quickly pinch!
Student loan payments must also be considered. A wage of £30k is also likely to see payments made to student loans companies if you have a university debt to pay off. While many people expect to clear their debts by the time they retire, in many cases, you’ll start paying money back off tuition fees and loans when you breach a specific threshold.
Is £30k enough to live in London?
London is in a different zone as far as income and expense levels go. As you’d expect, living in a big metropolis brings higher costs. A salary of £30k in Northumberland might take you far, but in London, it will be a challenge. On the flip side, the median wage in London is significantly higher than the rest of the UK.
At the low end of the range, the living costs for a single person in London are £31,000 (after-taxes, mind you) whereas for a family the lower end of the range would be £41,000 (once again, after taxes).
A salary of £30,000 would therefore be insufficient to live in London comfortably as you would only receive £24,442 in your pocket after all the dues have been collected.
One option to make things work out though would be to live with flatmates as typically rents are high in London, with the median being around £1,700. If you can live with a couple of friends, the equation might start to look much more favourable!
You can read more about what it takes to live in London in our article on London salaries.
How Do I Make My £30,000 Go Further?
It’s not easy to make ends meet these days and even though a salary of £30k is higher than the average salary, it might still feel like it’s tough to make ends meet. We’ve covered a number of different topics to help you save money and make it go further. Here are a few quick wins that might help you make an immediate impact:
- Save money on your grocery shopping bill.
- Reduce costs on your television bill by consider cheaper alternatives to Sky TV, Virgin, and BT.
- Try some cashback apps or join Nectar and make a little money on your normal spending.
- Try out some ideas to make an extra 100 quid online each week to help free some extra cash!
If you really want to take a leap, you can also try to reduce your rental costs or mortgage expenses by sharing your home with roommates or flatmates, or by moving to a cheaper location.
Before You Go…
Whether £30k is a good salary in the UK depends on various factors, as we have seen. However, no matter how much one earns, it is crucial to plan for the long term to ensure financial stability and security. Investing wisely can help grow one’s net worth and provide a safety net for unexpected events.
If you’re want to check out some more comparative data, try out the following calculators:
It’s important to remember that in order to keep growing your net worth over time, it’s important to invest wisely. By investing in stocks, bonds, or real estate, individuals can generate passive income and secure their financial future. Compound interest can turn small investments into significant wealth over time, making it an essential tool for those looking to grow their net worth.
Our whole blog is dedicated to help you get on the path of financial freedom. Feel free to browse around and read through the articles. There are plenty of investment books and podcasts that you can use as a learning resource along the way to help you reach your goal faster.
Is £30k a good salary for 25-year old?
Yes, it’s a good salary for a 25-year old in the UK. The UK median for the age group of 25 to 34 year olds is roughly £29,232 per year, so you’re slightly above that figure. This means you’d be earning more than 50% of the people in that age category.
Is £30k a good salary in Manchester?
£30k would be considered a good salary in Manchester as the median wage there is £24,000 per year. This means you’d be earning much more than at least 50% of the income earners in the city.