This article provides information on how much money to set aside and budget to cover household bills when living in private accommodation.
When you’re living in private accommodation, usually household bills are not included within the rent. However, sometimes properties may include a few bills but not all (for example, water and sewage, but not internet, gas and electricity.) Bills that are included are clearly detailed in each advert on Portsmouth StudentPad.
For the bills that the tenants do take responsibility for, it is expected that the tenants share the bills equally between them and they should register their names (all student names to make it fair) with each domestic supplier when they move in.
Try to set aside £15–£20 per week per housemate for household/utility bills. This will vary depending on usage. Try to use appliances economically to help your budget and the environment.
Budget saving tips
- Take meter readings when you move in and give them to the respective utility companies. You should ask these companies to set up a new account for you. This should ensure that you aren't liable for bills left by previous tenants.
- Always share the responsibility for bills. Ideally everyone should have their names on all the bills.
- Pay bills by Direct Debit as you may be entitled to a discount for this. Remember, you'll need to make sure that you have enough money in your account though. Why not put reminders in your diary so you'll know when the bills are coming out?
- To help you to keep track of your shared household bills and to help you manage a healthy budget, please visit www.ioweyou.co.uk, an online calculator for expenses sharing.
- You may find it easier to budget with a pay-as-you-go phone because you know what you're spending up front. You can ask your family to send you vouchers so you can stay in touch. If you are on a contract phone, check the terms and conditions thoroughly.
- Make sure you're not paying too much for broadband, and don't sign up for services at Freshers' Fair without checking the terms and conditions. Visit www.cable.co.uk for a comparison of the best broadband and home phone deals available to students. Avoid signing up for a whole year if you won't be around for the summer.If you're a full-time student and you only live with other full-time students, your house should be exempt from Council Tax.
If you have any queries or concerns about budgeting and about how to manage your expenses, please feel free to contact the Student Finance Team.