Salaries in London: real life examples

I wrote a post some months ago about how London now requires £500k of income a year – at least according to some high-achieving friends of mine, based on the privileged way they live their lives.  They are one per centers who deserve their success but they do identify with ‘the squeezed middle’. But given the interest in that post I thought it worth discussing exactly what sorts of careers earn how much in London right now.

Obviously I don’t have full knowledge of every Londoner’s personal finances.  I do however help hire (and occasionally fire) people in London’s private sector on a frequent basis, and have experience of this in large companies and small.  This gives me some useful data points. I’m sure there are myriad exceptions to my general rules, but here goes anyway. I would summarise London’s current pay strata as follows: Read the rest of this entry »


Minimum salary required in London: £500k?

I have not one, not two, but at least three good friends (couples) who would broadly agree with the statement that you (/one / they) need £500k of salary to live in London.  Can this be right?  You need at least 20x the official statistical median wage – really?

First a couple of caveats.  The friends I’m thinking of are all ‘fully fledged families’ – dual income mum+dad, with 2-4 kids.  By dint of being dual income, they need paid-for childcare.  They all live in premium parts of London – all in zone 1. They are not blind to the very affluent and privileged lives that they live, but nor are they totally removed from the real world; they aren’t oligarchs.   They also aren’t wildly excessive compared to a bunch of other friends; I know a lot of Londoners who would be a similar camp to these guys.

Secondly these friends all live very comfortable lives.  Regular ski trips, Michelin-starred restaurants, frequent use of taxis, babysitters used at least once a week – these are all a given.  But they all have budgets, manage their finances pretty carefully, and bitch about the cost of living.

Read the rest of this entry »