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Hey Loves! I’m Caitlyn the girl behind ChemGradBoom. A blog about taking life with a little salt, a slice of lime and shot of tequila or life of a graduate student, whichever version you prefer!

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Living Expenses in Edinburgh

Finally stepping back into the world of blogging and writing on a daily basis has inspired me to reevaluate the information that I share here. One of the first things that I looked into when I was accepted to do my PhD in Scotland, was trying to figure out how much it would all cost.
So here it is a breakdown of what I have spent during my time living here! If there is any questions relating to anything that I may have missed just let me know!

Living expenses in Edinburgh

Housing:

Rent: 

When I first moved here I lived in flat leased student house, it was close to the city center (10 minutes bus or 15ish minutes walking) and right on the bus route going to Uni. I shared the house with 3 other girls, which helped me really get to know the city/university life! Total rent per month was £ 300. I know live in a 1 bedroom flat rather close to my old flat. In total our rent is £ 575 a month.


Gas/Electric: 

Back in the shared flat on average our gas and electric/gas bill was about £ 25-30 a month (note this is my cut of the bill not the whole thing) . Now living in the one bedroom flat we pay  £ 60 a month all year which will then be adjusted accordingly at the end of the year. 


Internet:

Again back in the shared flat my portion of the internet was only  £5 a month for very semi-decent internet. We went with a cheap company and got what we paid for! Now we spend quite a bit more in our own flat  £ 28 a month but this gives us the best internet that we could get. For example, I can stream Netflix while the BF plays LOL and we have no issues!


Council Tax:

Being a student you are exempt from Council Tax, which saves anywhere from £ 1200-1800 a year. Determining council tax is all based on where you live and the type of flat that you are in. It is defiantly something to keep in mind when looking at places if you are not a student. 


Transportation:


Now I have no idea on the expenses related to owning a car in the city. I do know that parking is a bit of a hassle especially in the areas close to the city center so keep that in mind if you plan on getting a car when you move here. 

Bus Pass: 

The city is very easy to get around via public transit, so having a bus pass especially during the colder months is a necessity. A one month student bus pass is currently  £ 45 a month (adult cards are  £ 50 a month). On the other hand you can stick with buying single tickets at  £ 1.60 or a day pass at  £ 4 . 

Bike:

A new purchase to enjoy the sunny days that we have recently had in Scotland. A used bike cost anywhere from  £ 80 -  £ 300. I went with a used bike that cost  £ 120  and have been riding it to and from work along with other places around the city! Of course I would recommend spending some extra money on accessories (helmet, bike lock, bike basket, bike lights, and some basic repair kits) which will cost about  £ 30-70 in total depending on how fancy you go!


Food:

Groceries per week:

When living on my own and eating very basic meals I could get away with only spending  £ 30-50 a month on groceries. Again that was eating lots of cereal, pasta, and sandwiches. Now living with the BF we have been trying to eat better, lots of fresh veggies, fruit and fish! On average our weekly grocery bill is about  £ 45-60 , this includes food for an actual cooked breakfast, packed lunches, snacks and a real dinner! 


Cost for a meal out:

The BF and I love a good meal out. On average a brunch will cost us  £ 20 including a fancy coffee for myself and a tip (we always head to our favorite spot and the waiters are amazing). A lunch out without beers runs us at  £ 15ish, while a lunch with both of us getting a beer cost us  £ 25. As for a dinner you can expect to pay anywhere from  £ 15-25 per person for a nice sit down meal. 


Cost for drinks out:

Again being a college student at heart I love meeting up for a quick drink. A pint of beer will cost just about  £ 3, while my favorite cider in a bottle runs  £ 3.50 and if you fancy a cocktail depending on where you head to it will cost anywhere from  £ 5-10. 

Phone Services:

The BF and I just switched to a year long sim only plan with unlimited data and the ability to use the phone abroad in total costing us £20 each. Before this I was on a pay as you go plan costing £10 per month which gave me 2GB of data and unlimited text. 


Beauty Services:

Hair Cut:

For the basic wash, cut and style it cost  £ 30,  while the BF gets his hair cut for  £ 8 at an amazing barber right around the corner from our flat. 


Eyebrow Tint and Thread: 

One of the only maintenance things I am consistent about, costing a total of  £ 14.


Health Insurance:

The UK now requires anyone entering on a Tier 4 Visa Student Visa to pay a Healthcare Surcharge at  £ 150 per year, which in turn allows you to use the NHS Healthcare system at little to no cost out of pocket to you. 



All expenses above are a direct reflection of what we paid while living in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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