If you’re thinking of moving to Brighton, then I’d recommend having a read of my guide. It has now been 16 years since I moved to Brighton, albeit with a fair few adventures abroad.
My costs have drastically changed, from when I was a student, scrimping by on reduced food and spare pennies, to working as a Head of Marketing, where I can finally afford a few of the nicer things in life. I will therefore write about the costs from all ends of the spectrum, so you can adjust the costs to your personal position.
This all depends on where exactly you want to live in Brighton and Hove. I used to live in a maisonette near Preston Park, as you are dead close to the centre of town, however it is a bit calmer and relaxed.
I paid £625 per month in rent (well, we share paid £1,250), which isn’t far off London prices, while I’ve been paying more than my sister has been in Kingston. Having said that, it’s a good sized place with two bedrooms and a big living room.
However, as we moved out to buy a house, the price of the rent went up to £1,500 per month, a drastic increase. This seemed to be mirrored across the board with prices going up everywhere.
How many people you are willing to share with will make a remarkable difference on your cost of rent. If you’re willing to share with four or more people, you can significantly drop your costs, however I couldn’t go back to living in a packed house in a box room. I was paying about £380 per month back when I lived in a house of 6 people, but now I couldn’t face that much mess and chaos. That was also 10 years ago, so you’d probably have to add on £100 to that cost.
Hove is a great place for luxury, it offers a more quiet lifestyle with some incredible cafes and restaurants, such as Hixon Green, Shandiz and Pizza Express, while a lot of people like being close to Hove Lawns.
The centre of town is a bit manic and not many people live directly in there, as with most cities. Hannover can be nice, but you have to be aware it’s on a hill, so you don’t want to be too far up.
Around Seven Dials is very nice, while again you don’t have a long walk into town. London Road isn’t the greatest, however it’s drastically changing over time, from a place with struggling shops to a student area.
If you’re looking for a bargain, I would loosely recommend Moulsecoomb. I say loosely as the money you save will be spent on getting buses or Uber’s into town, or for a lower quality of life. I’m not a fan of the area, but it is great if you’re studying at Brighton University as you will be based right alongside a couple of the buildings (depending on what course you are studying).
The rent can vary quite significantly, so as a final sum, I’m going to average out at £600 per month
Our council tax has repeatedly gone up over the past few years. We were paying £122 per month, whereas now it’s £160, however that could be that I moved to a more expensive area code.
Monthly cost per person is £80
Electricity & Gas
If you get the opportunity to include this in your rent, I would definitely go for it, as the prices seem to be constantly going up. You can also save money by checking your meter and correcting the amount used, therefore the price I’m detailing below is just the billed amount, rather than what you SHOULD be paying. The average utility bill in Brighton was £140 for the month, so £70 each, however if you have four people in the house or more, you could be paying less.
Monthly cost per person is £70
If you’re based in central Brighton or Hove, you may struggle to get Virgin Media, something which seems absolutely bizarre in modern times. But quite remarkably, I haven’t been able to get Virgin in my last 5 houses!
I have used a few different internet services, with BT being absolutely useless at times and constantly cutting out. The best I have experienced so far is Sky, with almost perfect response and no down time. The overall amount you pay will depend if you want a houseline or not, as well as any other packages chucked in, but if you just want the internet on a decent level, expect to pay around £20 per month. The figure below therefore needs to be broken up per person.
Monthly cost is £10 per person
Expect to spend around £30 each per month, however this can vary drastically. I have no idea how they work out the costs, but the bills can sometimes be extortionate, where Southern Water once tried charging us the equivalent of £400 per month. We called up and tried working out the issue and the cost was dropped, as there was no way this was accurate.
Southern Water are very slow at chasing up about payments or sending anything out, so you sometimes just get the bill as an annual letter, which can be a bit of a shock when it arrives if you’re not paying monthly or quarterly.
£15 per person
Your transportation costs all depend on where you live, but one of the huge benefits to living around this city is the short walking distance to anything you need. I’m a 10 minute walk to the centre of town and all the bars. I’m also a 2 minute walk away from a supermarket, plus 10 minutes from my gym, therefore I really don’t have any travel costs.
If you live in Moulsecoomb, you might want to buy the weekly bus passes. I’m not sure how much they cost, but you can get a HUGE discount if buying them from the University shop. This is a good trick even if you aren’t a student, just to get the deal.
Brighton station is the end stop, meaning you can normally get a good seat on most morning journey’s, while you can also take the train straight to London, however for locations further away you will probably have to go to London first and then change.
Uber is present in Brighton, however the cost isn’t too different to the cost of a taxi which is frustrating, so I don’t tend to use them very often.
Costs depend on where you live, but can be zero
The cinema in Brighton costs £14.50 for entry, a significant increase on the £10.20 it used to cost, however you can get a discount if you’re a student, senior or a child. The main cinema is Odeon, which is the same building that holds Pryzm. There is also the big Cineworld at the Marina, however I’d recommend trying the Dukes Komedia cinema, which has sofa’s at the back!
Brighton is also home to the oldest running cinema in the UK, the Duke of York’s Picturehouse, which has a number of unique and independent movies playing daily.
I’ve been signed up to a vast array of gyms in Brighton over the past decade and a half, all with drastically different price ranges. My favourite gym was Fitness First, near Brighton station, with an incredibly friendly set of staff and decent equipment, while it cost £42 per month.
On the cheaper end, you have The Gym and Pure Gym, both with two locations, which includes a huge amount of equipment and a decent sized, but they often get over subscribed and can be very busy at peak times.
The meat-head bodybuilder/security guard gym is Fitlab (formerly Cheetah’s), based in Hove, which is the best if you’re taking this seriously as a career or just really want to get into shape, while it costs £38, but you can get a discount if you sign up to multiple months or a year.
The average cost of a pint in Brighton now seems to be around £6 at most pubs. If you go to a decent pub, they will often vary between £5-7, with my favourite drink (Blue Moon) being £6.30. On the other hand, if you are after a bargain, I’d recommend trying Popworld (which has half price drinks till 8pm on weekdays) or Wetherspoons.
While the cost of a cocktail is normally around £10, there are a huge amount of bars which offer BOGOF deals, such as Las Iguanas. You just want to find out beforehand whether the deal is running for the time you should be arriving.
You should never pay over £10 for club entry. In fact, you shouldn’t really be paying £10 entry anywhere, unless you turn up really late. It is all based on what time you arrive, so if you’re hoping to spend your money on drink rather than the entry fee then you might want to turn up a bit earlier. Then again, the money you saved on pre-drink will probably balance this out.
The cost varies drastically depending on whether you’re eating out in the evening/weekend or whether its a midweek lunch. Almost all restaurants in Brighton seem to have some kind of offer on at lunch time during the week, which is something I love and I’m becoming slightly addicted to.
On the weekends, I normally pay around £13 for food (plus whatever I spend on drinks), however during the week I’d normally eat out at £5-8.
My favourite restaurant in Brighton is Shandiz, however this is at the pricier end, with meals costing £15-20. A great cheaper option is the Thai food at the Hare and Hound pub on London road, which is £8.95 for a main in the evening, or if you go for lunch then you can get the main and a starter for £8.50.