The option you pick will impact on your overall costs and experience, so it’s important to think about which you’d prefer. To help, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you decide which accommodation will be best for you.

What is all-inclusive accommodation?

All-inclusive student accommodation means that all of your bills are included in the housing cost. Most all-inclusive packages include electricity, gas, water, and WI-FI. Your TV licence may also be included, but you’ll need to check this with your landlord or accommodation provider beforehand. Staying in all-inclusive student housing will mean that your rent and student utility bills are bundled into one payment, making it simpler for those who usually forget to pay their share (there’s always one).

The most common type of all-inclusive living is uni halls, although some private landlords also offer this option.

What are the pros?

As mentioned, all-inclusive accommodation bundles all of your rent and utilities into one convenient bill, so you won’t have to set up your utilities or work out how bills will be split. Having your energy and WI-FI already arranged also means that you won’t need to spend lots of time hunting for the cheapest deals you can get your hands on. Having one bill should also make it easier to budget your all-important student loan, as you won’t need to keep on top of multiple payments.

Another benefit of all-inclusive is that you are only responsible for your payment. This means that you spend less time chasing your housemate for money each month, and more time planning your next night out.

What are the cons?

The only down-side of all-inclusive accommodation is that it’s usually more expensive. You’re essentially paying more for the convenience of having all your utilities included in the rent.

You should also keep in mind that your landlord will already have contracts in place with various suppliers, so you’re tied to them. If you’re unhappy with their service, you can’t switch to another provider, or hunt a cheaper deal.

Finally, you won’t be able to save money and reduce your rent by adopting energy-saving habits. Your bills will typically remain the same regardless of how much energy you use.

What is not inclusive accommodation?

Not inclusive accommodation is the opposite of all-inclusive accommodation. You will pay your landlord an agreed amount of rent, and you’ll be responsible for essentials like electricity, gas, and broadband.

What are the pros?

The main benefit of not inclusive accommodation is that it’s usually a lot cheaper. You’ll have the freedom to compare utility suppliers and nab the cheapest deals possible. You may also be able to find lower tariffs to save even more money on your utility bills.

Being in control of your bills also means reducing your utility costs by adopting greener habits, such as keeping the heating down, switching lights off during the day, or swapping long baths for quick showers (sorry).

What are the cons?

Not inclusive student housing is less convenient than all-inclusive. You’ll need to spend time contacting suppliers and setting up your utilities.

You’ll also need to manage multiple payments and decide how to split the bills between your housemates. This has the potential to cause a few arguments – if one of your mates fail to make an agreed payment, then you may need to cover it. This will depend on the contract you have in place with the provider, so it’s always worth checking the terms beforehand. You’ll also need to create an efficient system for managing and paying your bills. One of the easiest ways to do this is through a bill splitting app, which ensures that bills are divided fairly. This way, you can keep a peaceful home (not including the occasional ‘who’s washing up’ fight).

Final thoughts

All-inclusive and not inclusive student accommodation offers various advantages and disadvantages. All-inclusive living offers convenience, although it’s typically more expensive in the long-run. On the other hand, not inclusive living is cheaper and more flexible, but it requires more time and there may be problems splitting bills with your mates. However, there are a variety of tools that can help you manage student bills more efficiently. This includes bill splitting apps that can be used to combine payments and ensure that bills are split fairly.