House with calendar, money and bills

Bills

Living costs you need to consider when living away from home, and how you could save money

 

Living costs - what to expect

There are many different types of accommodation available in the local area from a room in someone's home to a luxury self-contained apartment. In general, rental costs in Newcastle area can be around £300-£500 a month, depending on the type of room/property that you get. You may find cheaper rooms in shared houses, but it is unusual. The luxury places will cost a lot more!

Many student landlords and apartment style accommodation include bills in the rent, up to a certain specified amount.  If you have to pay your own bills, it will depend how many people live in the house, the size and age of the property, but somewhere around £100-£150 a month for gas and electricity together would be average. This would then be split between all the tenants.  Larger properties may use more gas and electricity and therefore cost more. 

Broadband costs are around £25-£30 but again, many landlords include this in the rental costs. 

It is highly recommended that students get contents insurance to cover their possessions in rental properties.  Whilst the landlord will get insurance to cover the building and their own fixtures and fittings, you will need your own insurance in case of damage or theft.  There are many different options available, but it will cost approximately £100-120 a year. 

Water bills are often covered by the landlord but if not, you are looking at about £30 a month.  Again, larger houses will have higher bills.

The next big expense is food and grocery costs. It will very much depend on how much you eat and drink,  whether you have a special diet and if you share things like milk, bread and cleaning products with your housemates, or if everyone buys their own.  Expect to pay £25-£40 a week for a basic shop for one person. 

You may need to factor in travel costs.  Some properties are within walking distance, but most require public transport.  At the moment, a monthly bus ticket is £48.50.  Taxi rides can certainly add up to an expensive way to travel!

It's vital to consider all these things alongside what your income will be, before signing up to a house.  Once you are under contract, even if your circumstances change, you are most likely to be tied in.

 

Budgeting tips

If you have never lived in privately rented accommodation before, keeping on top of all the new bills can be a challenge. It's really important to know what you need to pay and when, and to make sure everyone takes responsibility. If you rely on student finance, you will be used to your money coming in three chunks throughout the year.  Whilst that is great whilst you live in halls, it becomes a challenge when your bills start arriving each month!  

Unless you have a contract that includes all bills, you will usually need to pay for gas, electricity, phone/broadband, water, TV licence and contents insurance.