The transition from first to second year at university is often fraught with upheaval. Most students will be moving into a house with friends (Enjoying your trip? learn more here). They will be taking on the burden of paying expenses for the first time, rather than living in halls with strangers.
We’ve put up our 5 top ideas to help explain the primary bill-related considerations you should make when moving in.
1. Do you have any bills to pay?
Utility bills cover the essential services that keep your student residence running. You usually pay them in monthly installments. The following are the primary services:
- a power source (and, in some homes, gas)
- a television license
It’s critical to get your broadband set up before you move in. Installing it can take two to three weeks, especially during the hectic period when everyone is moving into new student homes.
2. What to do when you first arrive at your new home
You’ll need to figure out who provides your electricity and have all of your housemates registered with them quickly. Setting up a dual-fuel tariff with one energy supplier is often more cost-effective if your home also has a gas connection. Note, not all homes do.
Reading your gas and electricity meters should be your first task when you move home. On the day you get your keys, take a picture of them. You don’t want to be responsible for the energy used by the previous tenants.
You will locate the gas and electricity meters frequently outside the home, in the cellar, or basement. Numerals should be written from left to right, ignoring any red numbers or dials. You’ll need to report these readings to your energy provider to ensure that they only charge for the electricity you consume.
It’s critical that you don’t put off paying your expenses and that you do it as soon as possible. They aren’t going away, so get organized as quickly as possible.
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3. Locate suitable service providers
When it comes to choosing providers and tariffs, you’ll want to look into which are more cost-effective in the long term. The best method to find the best student housing option is to use comparison sites.
When it comes to bills, be wary of low-cost offers. You’ll almost certainly be underpaying every month, only to get a hefty bill at the end of the year.
You should avoid long contracts and departure fees. At first, most incredible bargains may appear inexpensive, but they may lock you in for 18–24 months. Make sure you understand the early cancellation and leave fees if you’re only staying for 9–12 months.
4. How to responsibly pay shared bills
According to research, it’s vital to set up a strategy to ensure that you pay all your payments on time. The estimation is that 12.8 percent of people between 18 and 24 don’t know how much their bills cost. This is because someone else is paying the bills.
Setting up a joint account ensures that everyone is aware of any charges. However, if one account holder has a poor credit history, it may impact the credit ratings of all other account holders. If the account becomes overdrawn, it will have a negative influence on everyone’s credit score. This makes it challenging to obtain a mortgage, a car, or even a cell phone contract.
Don’t just put your name on the bills. If your housemates don’t pay you, the account will be in your name, and you will be responsible for the payment. If you’re having trouble paying your bills for the first time, consider renting an all-inclusive home or using a bill-splitting service.
Bill-splitting businesses combine all payments into a single monthly fee for each tenant. This ensures that everyone pays the exact amount. No one has to cope with the burden of pursuing their friends for money every month. However, you must ensure that you have sufficient funds in your budget to afford the cost of this service.
5. What are the costs of bills?
According to reports, broadband costs £16.90 a month on average; however, prices vary depending on the package selected.
A color TV license costs £12.50 per month (£150.50 per year) if you watch BBC iPlayer online or utilize basic or Freeview stations. However, you may be eligible for a partial refund for the months you are not residing in the home as a student.
If you have any leftover cash, you may pay for a monthly TV subscription bundle, which starts at roughly £20.
Water and sewerage costs vary by region, but the average monthly cost is estimated to be £33 (£405 per year). The monthly rental fee usually includes the water bills.
The majority of students are eligible for maintenance loans and grants. However, not everyone will meet the criteria. According to the National Student Money Survey 2017, the average monthly maintenance payment falls short of the amount suggested for student living expenditures. It falls short by up to £221.
If you are into fitness and want a place with the best treadmill, look for a gym that offers student discounts. You could get a gym that offers as low as $10. This is all dependent on your location, of course.
Shorter showers and a greater reliance on sweaters and blankets to remain warm can save money on expenses. If you’re overheated, don’t open the windows; instead, turn off the heat if you have it. Consider what you’ll get the most usage out of and what you can afford.