Is 36k a good salary in the UK (2024)

You got a job offer that gives you 36,000 annual salary. But the key question is, can you actually live on that salary in the UK?

Therefore, today we are going to talk about is 36k a good salary or not in the UK. Also, I’m going to give you a few tips to settle into a new life with a 36,000 salary.

Is 36k a good salary UK

Is 36k a good salary in the UK?

The average national salary in the UK is £34,963. So, a 36k salary is considered a good salary in the UK. You can live a comfortable lifestyle with a 36k salary in most areas of the UK. You can also afford your rent, groceries and other utilities without too much trouble.

However, 36k is a good salary or not depending on your city. Because every city has a different cost of living. So, the following table shows the average salary of different areas. It helps you to decide if 36k is a good salary or not in the UK.

LocationAverage Salary
United Kingdom£34,963
South East£36,560
East £34,833
South West£33,450
North West£33,036
West Midlands £33,003
Northern Ireland£32,879
Wales £32,371
Yorkshire and The Humber£31,920
East Midlands £31,634
North East £31,200
Source: Statista

What is 36000 after tax?

Once the taxman gets his share, that £36k salary shrinks down quite a bit. On a 36,000 salary, you will pay around £4,686 in income taxes and £2,811 in national insurance. That leaves you with £28,502 to live. In the following table, we broke down your tax amount in detail.

Gross Salary£36,000£3,000£692£138
Taxable Salary£23,430£1,952£450£90
Income Tax£4,686£390£90£ 18
National Insurance £2,811£234£54£10
Take-Home pay£28,502£2,375£548£109
Source: Govt.UK

Is £36k a good salary for your age?

ONS looked at salary statistics for different ages in the UK, and guess what? Your £36,000 is doing great! It’s not just good for 30-39-year-olds, it’s also solid for people in their 50s! Of course, there’s always room to climb, and the 40-49 age group people are leading the pack with an average of £39,491. But hey, you’re definitely on the right track! The table below shows how everyone’s doing salary-wise in 2023.

Age GroupAnnual Earnings
Source: Office for National Statistics

Can I live on 36000 salary a year in the UK?

Yes, you can live with an annual salary of 36k in most areas of the UK. I know, 36,000 is not a very high salary in the UK, but still, you can live a comfortable lifestyle. However, your actual living cost depends on your location and lifestyle.

For big cities like London, 36k is not enough to live comfortably. Making ends meet on a £36,000 salary can be challenging. But outside of London, 36k is enough salary to live comfortably.

Also remember, 36k is a good salary for a single person. It is not enough for a family. You have to earn some extra income to raise a family on that salary.

Tips for Living Well on a 36k salary

  1. For housing, aim for rent that’s no more than 1/3 of your take-home pay. That means you can spend around £800 per month on rent. You can find a one-bedroom flat outside of London for that amount.
  2. For groceries, you can spend around £200-£300 per month. Also, try to cook most of your meals at home. Dining out once time in a week is fine, but avoid too many expensive meals.
  3. Utilities like electricity, heating and the internet will set you back around £200 per month.
  4. Transportation costs vary depending on if you own a car or rely on public transit. Count on £4,000 to £5,000 per year for car payment, fuel, insurance, etc. In my opinion, you should use public transit because a bus pass may cost £500 to £1,000 annually.
  5. Entertainment and lifestyle expenses are highly variable. Still, you can choose a basic streaming service that comes under £10 per month. Like Netflix and Prime. You can also go to movies, live events, or a night in the town. It may cost £50 to £100 per person each week.
is 3600 a good salary

How much rent can I afford on a 36k salary?

With a £36,000 salary, you can also afford rent in some major cities in the UK. However, in London, rent may consume a large portion of your budget.

For rent, the good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 30% of your monthly take-home pay. Therefore, on a 36k salary, you can spend £900 per month or £10,800 per year on rent. You can find a one-bedroom flat for rent in most areas of the UK.

In London, the average rent for a one-bedroom flat is £1,430 per month. At 30% of your salary, £36,000 only allows £1,080 per month for rent. You’ll need to look further out from central London or consider a studio or flat share.

How much mortgage can I get with a 36k annual salary?

With an annual salary of 36,000, you can easily get approved for a mortgage. But how much mortgage you can get depends on your financial factors. However, in general case, the lender will give you 4.5 times your annual salary as a mortgage. That means on a 36k salary you will get a £162,000 mortgage. But for a better mortgage deal, you should follow the following conditions.

  1. The more you deposit, the better the mortgage rate you get. Most lenders prefer at least a 10-20% down payment. You’ll get the best rates if you can put down 25% or more.
  2. Your debt-to-income ratio also matters in mortgage deal. This measures your monthly debt payments compared to your income. Most lenders prefer this ratio to be no more than 36% of your income.
  3. Other factors like your credit score, job stability, and additional income from your partner can also help to get a better mortgage deal.
  4. You also need a credit score of (650 or higher) for a higher mortgage amount.
how much mortgage can I get with 36k salary

Lifestyle Adjustments to Make 36k Work

Living on a 36,000 salary is doable in the UK. But it will require some budgeting. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Make a budget

The first step is to track your income and expenses to get a clear picture of your financial situation. You can use Emma budgeting app to track your expenses. It can help you to track your expenses easily.

Find an affordable place to live

Housing or rent will be your biggest expense. So, you should look at places where the prices are low. Consider living with roommates or outside the city centre to save on rent. Check if your employer offers housing benefits or allowances.

Cook more and eat out less

Cooking meals at home is much more cost-effective than eating outside. Plan weekly meals, make a grocery list, and look for sales. But you can dine out on special occasions.


There are many free or low-cost entertainment options available in the UK. Like museums, historical sites, hiking and more. Choose a few paid events or subscriptions within your budget. Consider more affordable options like movies, pubs or free festivals over costly West End shows or Premier League matches.


Aim to save at least 10-15% of your salary and invest it for a better future. After saving, you can still spend up to £2,000 per month on your monthly expenses. It will cover all your expenses easily.

Increase your income

Look for ways to supplement your income or advance in your career over time. You can learn a new skill or start a side hustle that helps you to boost your income.


So there you have it. A realistic view of living on a £36,000 salary per year. It can provide a pretty comfortable life in most areas of the UK. Still, you have to budget wisely in high-cost cities like London, but in other cities, a 36k salary is enough to live comfortably. Also, you have some extra cash to save a bit.

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Disclaimer: All the information provide on this article only for educational purposes. Please don't take it as a salary advice. Please do your own research before making any salary related decisions.