Is 38k a good salary in the UK (2024)

38k is not a bad salary, right? But is 38k really a “good” salary in the UK these days? Well, this question is asked by many people these days due to the high cost of living in the UK.

Therefore, in this article, we talk about whether is 38k a good salary or not in the UK. Also, we look at different factors that come into play to live on a 38k salary.

Is 38k a good salary UK

Is 38k a good salary in the UK?

UK full-time earners’ average salary is £34,963. Based on that, 38k is a good salary in the UK. 38k can be a decent mid-level salary in the UK, especially if you’re not in an expensive city. You should be able to afford rent, living expenses and leisure activities.

However, a lot depends on where you live and your personal lifestyle. Therefore, we presented the average salary of various regions in the following table. It assists you to determine if 38k 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 38000 after tax?

On 38k a year, your monthly take-home pay (after tax and National Insurance deductions) will be around £2,489. That’s about £29,864 annually.

Of course, the exact tax amount will depend on all your income and deductions. Here, we calculate the tax on the basis of your salary. We don’t include pension, student loan, or any other benefits or deductions.

Gross Salary£38,000£3,167£731£146
Taxable Salary£25,430£2,119£489£97
Income Tax£5,084£423£97£ 19
National Insurance £3,051£254£58£12
Take-Home pay£29,864£2,489£574£114
Source: Govt.UK

Is £38k a good salary for your age?

We looked at what people in the UK are making across different ages, and guess what? Those in their 40s seem to be doing the best money-wise! Their average yearly salary is around £39,491, and your income of £38,000 is super close to that. You can see how different age groups people earn in the handy table below.

Age GroupAnnual Earnings
Source: Office for National Statistics

Can you live on a 38k salary in the UK?

Yes, you can live with a 38k salary in the UK. 38,000 salary can provide a comfortable standard of living in the UK. You can easily fulfil your basic necessities and leisure activities. You may also have a little bit to put in savings each month for bigger purchases or retirement.

However, the cost of living varies significantly across the UK. London and South East England are the most expensive areas in the UK. Rent, transportation, and food costs will take up a sizable chunk of your £38k salary. For living in these areas, you need to budget carefully or consider more affordable areas.

Budgeting on 38k salary uk

On a £38,000 salary, you have to make a budget. Otherwise, you will face some challenges in living a comfortable lifestyle in the UK. Therefore, we made a budget that helps you to live on 38k salary.

  1. Housing: You should spend no more than 30% of your income on housing costs like rent or a mortgage. Rent for a one-bedroom flat outside of London averages £700-£900 per month. If buying, aim for a house valued at 2-3 times your annual salary.
  2. Transportation: Public transport in the UK is relatively affordable. You should use buses, trains, and bikes to commute. A public transit pass typically costs £50-£100 monthly. If you want a car, budget at least £200-£500 per month for car payments, petrol, insurance, and maintenance. However, owning a car slightly affects your budget.
  3. Food: Groceries for one person average £200-£300 per month. Buy in-season produce, cook more meals at home, and limit eating out to save money. For grocery shopping, you should go to Aldi or Lidl the discounted supermarkets.
  4. Entertainment: Allot £100-£200 per month for entertainment like streaming services, nights out and holidays. Also, take advantage of free museums and other activities. For holidays you should go off-season and use budget airlines.

With financial discipline, a salary of £38k can go a long way. By keeping an eye on housing, transportation and food costs, you can live a comfortable life in the UK on a £38,000 salary.

is 24k a year a good salary

How much rent can I afford on a £38,000 salary?

A good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 30% of your net monthly income on rent. For £38k per year, your approximate net monthly pay would be around £3,100. So on a 38k salary, you can afford a rent of £800-£1,100 per month.

If you want a bit more space or live in an area, you could push your rent amount max of £1,200 per month. But try not to exceed 40% of your income on rent if possible.

In some areas of the UK, the rent price is quite high. For example, in London, the rent price is around £1,500-£1,600 per month. Still, you can live in London with a flat share renting option. However, on the northern side, the rent price is low. Where you can easily afford a one-bedroom flat.

How much mortgage can I get on a 38k salary?

With an annual salary of 38k, you can easily get a mortgage. But how much mortgage you can get depends on various factors like your credit score, down payment and current interest rates.

However, most of the UK lenders will give you 4.5 times your salary as a mortgage. On that note, you could potentially borrow between £150,000 to £170,000. The exact amount will depend on your debt-to-income ratio and loan-to-value ratio. The lower your other debts and the larger your down payment, the better your mortgage deal.

Many UK lenders prefer your monthly mortgage payment to be no more than 1/3 of your net monthly income. So if your take-home pay after taxes is around £3,100 per month, aim for monthly mortgage payments of £900 or less.

is 3600 a good salary

Tips for living well on a 38k salary in the UK

With some budgeting and lifestyle adjustments, you can live comfortably on a 38k salary in the UK. Here are some tips to make the most of that income.

Spend on essentials first

Priorities essential expenses in your budget like rent, utilities, groceries, and transportation. Look for ways to save on these fixed costs, e.g. get a roommate, use public transit, or buy generic brands.

Limit discretionary spending

Be very selective with dining out and entertainment. Cook more meals at home and take advantage of free activities. Look for deals and use coupons whenever possible.

Pay off any high-interest debts

Make paying off credit cards, loans and other high-interest debts a top priority. The less you pay in interest each month, the more you save.

Save what you can

Even saving a small amount each month can help you avoid getting into debt if unexpected costs arise. Save at least 10% of your take-home pay. Look for ways to earn extra income on the side that you can put directly into savings.

Plan and budget

Create a realistic budget that accounts for both essential and discretionary expenses. Track your actual spending for a few months to make sure your budget is accurate. Make adjustments as needed to ensure you stay within budget each month.


So, there you have it. A 38k salary is a good salary in the UK, especially if you’re living outside of London. While it won’t make you rich, it provides a decent standard of living. You can also save a bit each month. The truth is, whether a salary is ‘good’ comes down to your own personal circumstances. If you have minimal expenses and want to focus on saving for the future, 38k could be great. If you have a family to support, you may need something higher.

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Is 38k salary a middle-class in the UK?

Looking at the numbers, £38,000 per year is a pretty solid middle-class salary in the UK. The median household income in the UK is £33,000, you already know. So, you’d be making a decent amount but more than the average British family.

Is 38k a good salary for a single person in the UK?

Yes, a 38k salary is a good salary for a single person in the UK. It provides a decent standard of living in the UK. You can easily cover your utilities, groceries, and other basics. You may even be able to save a bit or take the occasional holiday.

What are the Best place to live with 38k salary in the UK?

If you’re earning £38,000 per year in the UK, the best places to live are outside of London. Some of the most affordable cities with a decent standard of living where £38k is enough.
1. Bristol
2. Edinburgh
3. York
4. Cardiff

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.