A Student Guide to Cost of Living in Manchester: Rent, Living Expenses, and More

Living as a student in Manchester can be an unforgettable experience, filled with opportunities for personal growth, academic excellence, and, of course, a dash of fun. However, managing your finances can be a bit overwhelming at first. Fear not! This blog is here to be your trusty guide, helping you navigate the ins and outs of the cost of living in Manchester so you can be prepared.

We’ll unravel all the expenses you’ll encounter as a student living in Manchester, covering everything from rent, groceries, and transportation to entertainment and leisure activities. Our goal is to provide you with a realistic picture of what to expect and how to manage your finances effectively.

As you embark on this exciting chapter of your life in Manchester, let this guide be your trusted companion, offering valuable insights and practical advice to ensure that your experience is not only academically enriching but also financially savvy.

Is it expensive to live in Manchester as a student?

Compared to other big cities like London, Manchester is certainly less expensive to live in. As of Spring 2022, Manchester was listed as one of the cheapest cities to live in the UK. But this city is not exempt from the increasing cost of living. 

A new study shows that people living in Manchester are spending most of their salary on bills more than anything else. This why as students, it is best to opt for private student accommodation as it relieves the stress of having to deal with utilities every month. With good budgeting, you will be able to live a comfortable life in Manchester while still enjoying your university life. 

Manchester Train - Cost of living in Manchester

What is the average student rent in Manchester? 

The first thing that students are concerned about when it comes to moving to a new city is the rent. And rightfully so, since it is one of the major expenses that a student has to cover every month. The average student rent in Manchester can range between £700-£1100 pcm (per calendar month).

But this figure is not definitive. The actual price that you’d be paying for rent can vary largely depending on factors like proximity to the university /city centre, the type of accommodation that is chosen, and whether or not bills are included.

We have averaged the cost of rent in different student areas and the different types of accommodation that students typically prefer.

Picture of a house

Rent in Greater Manchester (Includes Salford, Trafford, Bolton and more)

  • Studios – 800 pcm
  • 1 bed appartement – 750 pcm
  • House Share – 600 pcm
  • Student Accommodation – 800 pcm (Similar prices across cities)

Rent in Deansgate M3  

  • Studios -950 pcm
  • 1 bed appartement  – 1000 pcm
  • House Share-700 pcm

Rent in Fallowfield – M14

  • Studio – 700 pcm
  • 1 bed appartement -750pcm
  • House Share -650pcm


You will easily be able to find accommodations that have lower prices than this depending on the facilities that you prefer in your accommodation. Beyond just rent, you should also consider whether or not the utilities are covered as this could add up to how much you should set aside each month. 

Student Accommodations usually include all the utilities in their accommodation, which makes it an attractive option for students. If you are looking for student accommodation in Manchester, click here

How much do utilities cost in Manchester?

If you don’t opt for student accommodation, you will most likely have to cover the costs of utilities as well. The typical utilities that you will have to pay for are electricity, gas, and water. Students are exempt from paying Council Tax so it is one less thing to worry about. Make sure to get your Council Tax Exemption Letter from your university to submit to your local council when you register.

The average cost of utilities can be around £230 per month. This can vary depending on how many people you are living with, your energy provider, and your usage.

Paper that has utilities written in it

How much do groceries cost in Manchester?

While there are an array of stores in Manchester for you to choose from, some cost a little more than others. You can expect to spend around £30 on groceries per week if you choose stores like TESCO and Sainsbury whereas it can be around £25 if you shop in stores like Lidl and Aldi. 

Per month you can expect to spend around £120-£200 on groceries depending on where you shop.

Woman holding groceries in a paper bag and showing thumbs up

How much does eating out cost in Manchester?

If you are a student, you are likely to go out regularly and this means eating out as well. An average meal in Manchester costs around £12- £20 and drinks around £5- £8  depending on the quantity and the type of restaurant you are visiting. You will be easily able to find local restaurants that are a lot cheaper than average while still maintaining the delicious taste. There are loads of options for all kinds of cuisines for all budgets in Manchester.

4 plated with burger and fries on a table

How much does transportation cost in Manchester?

The different modes of transportation that you can take in Manchester include busses, trams, trains and taxis. 

The fare for a single bus ride is £2 and £5 for the whole day. You can also purchase a weekly unlimited travel within Greater Manchester for £21.

The cost of a single tram ride ranges between £1.40 to £2.80 and a day pass from £2.70 to £4.30  depending on the number of zones that it covers.

The cost of trains and taxis depends on the destination and time of the day.

Click here to learn more about the transportation costs in Manchester. 

Train station

As we reach the end of our Student Guide to the Cost of Living in Manchester, we hope you’ve gained valuable insights that will help you navigate your student journey in this fantastic city. Manchester is not only a hub of academia and culture but also a place where you can thrive without breaking the bank.

So, whether you’re pursuing your studies at the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, or any other institution in the city, we encourage you to embrace this journey wholeheartedly. 


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