Is £42k a good salary in the UK (2024)

If you’re earning around 42k per year in the UK, you’re probably curious about how that stacks up. The truth is, whether 42k is a good salary or not depends on your personal circumstances. A salary that lets you live comfortably in one city may not go as far in another. And of course, life circumstances like having a family or not can affect how far your paycheck goes.

Therefore, today we are going to look at all the aspects of living on a 42k salary in the UK.

Is 42k a good salary UK

Is £42k a good salary in the UK?

The short answer is yes, £42k is a good salary in the UK. A £42,000 per year salary is considered an above-average salary for most areas of the UK. The median average salary for full-time workers in the UK is around£34,963. That means your salary is £7,000 above the median average salary.

However, your lifestyle and location determine if a £42k salary is good or not for you. If it allows you to live comfortably, then £42k is a good salary. But if you are struggling to pay bills or save for the future, then it’s not a good salary for you.

It also depends on your location. Every location has a different cost of living. Therefore, average salary also is different in different region. Here, we present the average salary of various regions 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 £42000 after tax?

At £42k per year, you’ll fall into the basic tax bracket of 20% for income over £12,500. That means your take-home pay will be £32,584 per year after taxes. It will be £2,715 per month or £626 per week.

We do the taxation on the basis of your £42k salary. It will be different if you had other source of income. Here is a breakdown of the tax deductions on your £42,000 salary.

Gross Salary£42,000£3500£807£161
Taxable Salary£29,430£2,452£565£113
Income Tax£5,884£490£113£22
National Insurance £3,531£294£67£13
Take-Home pay£32,584£2,715£626£125
Calculate your own tax here.

Is £42k a good salary for your age?

We took a look at average salaries in the UK for different age groups. Guess what? Your £42,000 salary is way above the average for everyone, no matter how old you are! That’s a big deal! Even people in their 40s, who typically earn well, only average around £39,491.

See the table below for how salaries stack up in different age groups. You’ll be happy to see where you stand!

Age GroupAnnual Earnings
Source: Office for National Statistics
is 3600 a good salary
Image Source: Freepik

Is a £42k salary enough to live in the UK?

Yes, an annual salary of £42,000 is enough to live in the UK. On that salary, you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in most parts of the UK. The monthly take-home pay from a £42k yearly salary is £2,715. It is an average income to cover all your monthly expenses in the UK. You can also save or invest on that income.

However, the cost of living depends on where you live in the UK. If you live in London or another big city, £42k may only provide a modest lifestyle. But in smaller cities, £42k salary allows you to live comfortably. You can also enjoy leisure activities on that salary.

Budgeting for a £42000 salary person in the UK

£42,000 is a good salary to live in the UK. But you still need a monthly budget. Because you are not making £100k to spend money everywhere. Budget can help you to track monthly income and expenses. In the following, we give you an estimated budget to live on a £42 salary in the UK.

  1. Housing: Housing costs will likely be your largest expense. You can spend £900-£1,100 per month on your housing expenses. You can get a one-bedroom flat for £700 to £1,000 per month in the UK. This price can vary depending on your region.
  2. Transportation: For transportation, you can use public transit. You can get a rail card for £20 to £50. But if you travel by metro or bus, then it will cost you £50 to £100 per month.
  3. Food: Budget £200 to £300 per month for food. If you eat out often, then it might cost you more. Also, you should get your groceries from Aldi or Lidl, where prices are lower.
  4. Entertainment: For fun, you can spend £100-£200 per month. You can spend this money on streaming services, dining out, friday nights and many more.
  5. Savings: Try to save at least 10-15% of your take-home pay, around £250-£400 per month. Put it in a high-yield savings account to get the highest return. It will help you at an emergency time.

How much rent can I afford on a £42000 salary?

A good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 30% of your income on rent. At £42k per year, that works out to about £1,050 per month for rent. This amount will get you a decent one-bedroom flat or a nice room in a shared house in most UK cities. Some options to consider at this price point include:

  • A modern one-bedroom flat in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow or Edinburgh.
  • A period conversion flat in a trendy part of Bristol, Brighton, or Leeds.

Of course, in London, £1,050 won’t stretch nearly as far due to the higher cost of living. You will need to budget more for rent or consider a flat-sharing option to live in London.

how much mortgage can I get on my salary
Image Source: Freepik

How much mortgage can I get on a £42k salary in the UK?

With an annual salary of £42,000, you will get a decent size of mortgage. But how much exactly will depend on your personal circumstances and the lenders.

Lenders consider your debt-to-income ratio, credit score, down payment, and other debts to determine your mortgage amount. After that, lenders will provide you a 4 to 4.5 times your annual income as a mortgage. That means you will get £168,000 to £189,000 as a mortgage. Some lenders will give you 5.5 times your income if you have a good credit score.

As a general rule of thumb, you should not pay more than 30% of your monthly income for your mortgage. Based on £42k annual salary, your monthly income will be £1,050. So you can spend £900 to £1,200 each month on your mortgage.


So in the end, whether £42k is a good salary for you comes down to your own lifestyle and location. If you want to live comfortably without too much financial stress, £42k could be a pretty solid income. But if you want a lavish lifestyle or live in an expensive city like London, £42k may feel cramped.

You can also check


Is £42k a good salary in London?

London is a high-cost-of-living city in the UK. Therefore, £42,000 is an average salary in London. It is equal to the median average salary for full-time workers in London. However, £42k is an average salary only for a single person, but for a family, it’s not enough to live in London.

Is £42k a good salary for a single person in the UK?

In the UK, a salary of £42k is considered good for a single person. It can provide a comfortable living for one person. You’d be able to pay for essentials like rent, bills, groceries, and still have leftover money for leisure activities. As a single, you can expect to pay £2,000-3,000 per month for your monthly expenses.

What are the best places to live with £42,000 salary in the UK?

Best places to live on a £42k salary are:
1. Bristol
2. Cardiff
3. Edinburgh
4. York

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