But, unfortunately, you will also have adult responsibilities and have to manage utility bills for the first time! Along with your accommodation costs, you will also be responsible for various utilities like gas, electricity, water, and internet.
Paying for utilities is never fun, but some simple budgeting will help to remove any stress and ensure that your bills are managed efficiently. To help you create a budget for university, here is a breakdown of the essential utilities that students have to pay.
For something even easier, take a look at our bill splitting app that manages all of this for you!
Unless you are living in all-inclusive student accommodation, you will be responsible for managing and paying your energy bills. Gas and electricity are going to be your biggest monthly expense after rent. Students should budget around £50 per month to cover the cost of gas, electricity, and water. It is likely that your student home will already have a contract in place with an energy provider when you move in. However, you can shop around to find cheaper deals and take advantage of sign-up promotions.
Switching is relatively straightforward and could slash your energy bills by £387 per year! If your student house uses gas and electricity, then check whether these utilities are on a single or dual tariff. A dual fuel tariff is often more convenient, as you will receive all of your energy needs from one provider. This makes it easier to manage your energy bills and keep track of what you’re paying. Make sure you take meter readers straight after you move in, or you risk being charged for energy used by the previous tenants. If you’re stuck, check out our guide on how to take accurate meter readings.
Student Broadband is another essential utility bill that comes with private housing. Unless you’re living in all-inclusive accommodation, you will be responsible for paying your monthly internet bill. In most cases, a contract with an internet provider will already be in place when you move in. Find out which provider is being used and check the monthly rates. You might be able to save significant amounts on your internet bills by switching to a cheaper provider. That being said, you should always choose a reputable provider who offers high-speed broadband. The last thing you want is to have a slow and unreliable internet connection when you’re trying to do your uni work (and binging on Netflix). You should budget around £5-£10 per month towards the internet is you live in a three-bedroom student house.
It is the law that every property in the UK has a TV licence. This is the case even if you only stream programmes using on-demand services like All 4 or watch TV on your mobile. Don’t get caught out without a licence, otherwise, you risk facing a fine of up to £1,000! (Who’s student loan will cover that?!) The cost of a TV licence is £157.50 per year, and you should split the bill equally between your housemates. This means you would pay £52.50 per year if there are three of you living in your house. Obtaining a TV licence is super easy, and you can complete an application on the GOV.UK website.
Your student home will also need water. Unlike gas and electricity, you are unable to switch providers when it comes to your water supply. Many landlords manage water bills themselves and include the cost in the monthly rent. However, you should always double-check rather than just assuming – an unexpected bill is definitely not a nice one.
If you are responsible for paying the water bills, then find out whether you’re on a standard monthly tariff or a water meter. If your water bill is managed by a meter, then take a reading as soon as you move in. You should also try to be conservative with your water use to help keep your water bills low.
You will need to set up and manage various utilities when you move into your student house. Managing utility costs can seem daunting, but there are plenty of ways to ensure that your bills are handled efficiently. One of the easiest ways to manage utility costs in a student house is to use a bill splitting app. Our innovative app takes the stress away from shared bills by bundling all of your utility costs into one convenient bill. You can then ensure that the costs are split equally between your housemates and arrange for payment to be taken automatically. This will help to eliminate the potential headache from managing shared utility costs and chasing your housemates for payment!