How to cut student bills
Understanding student bills are the most challenging responsibility you will encounter as a student, but we have advice and student budgeting tips, there is also plenty of advice on student bills online and on how to cut student bills to keep your bills paid and your mind at peace.
Sharing things out
One of the hardest things to do when you move into student housing with your student housemates is delegating jobs and making sure all the bills get paid. Remember, these are responsibilities you all need to take credit for, and if there is a slip-up, you will get overdue notices or in extreme cases be cut off – which we don’t want for you! Make a joint student bank account, or someone makes a new account where you all pay standing orders into each month so that all the money for the bills are there.
A little extra
Pay a little extra each month – round up the standing orders for every housemate. This will cover any unexpected fees you may get, or if one of your bills is higher than usual. Now, at the end of the year if there is money left over in the account you can split it equally, or have a night out – already paid for! It will feel like a free night!
Phone line, television and Internet
Look around as some providers offer an Internet-only service, which means if you have a games console with internet television, demand and catch up it will serve you better. However, check the bundle prices as sometimes for a tiny bit more you could get TV, more channels or extra internet. Make sure you choose a plan that suits you and your housemates, otherwise if you pick one that is too low of a limit, you could be paying out lots of unwanted and unplanned fees for going over.
Also, look on the provider’s website in case of an internet only offer or saving money for signing up online or via phone. One important thing to remember, make sure you read all of the small print including unplanned fees, when bills are due out and the contract length, as signing for 18 months when you only need 12 will cost more in the long run. Prepare to shop around too, there are plenty of student broadband deals available online.
There are two different ways of you being billed for water, the first being a Water Meter where you pay for what you use, or a Fixed Water Rate. They are different and have advantages and disadvantages. In general terms it is best to use a Water Meter if you have more bathrooms and toilets than the people living in your house, for example, if there are 2 people living in a house but have three bathrooms the household would save money on a water meter because they are more likely to use less than the fixed rate.
However, if there are 3-5 housemates sharing a house with only two bathrooms, it is best to stick to a fixed water rate as your house value won’t be that high compared to the number of bathrooms and will be considerably lower than your actual water usage.
Gas and Electricity
The most expensive bill for you and your housemates will no doubt be gas and electricity. This is the most important utility so make sure you pay it on time and get the right tariff. There are a lot of different tariffs out there and take the time to compare them all online to get the best deal. Remember to save energy, with buying energy saving lightbulbs, not leaving electrical goods and lights on when not needed, not having the heating on with windows open or if only slightly chilly, decide to wear extra clothing instead of turning the heat up. The search for cheap gas and electricity is vital to keep costs down, so do your research.
Also, check what type of boiler and heating system you have, if you have ventilation, this is extremely costly, and it is doubtful that your landlord will change the whole system just to save you money. Invest in small heaters, which can be expensive but not in comparison to events, and use them for short period, or electric blankets just to keep things warm momentarily and not have them on all the time.
Firstly, remember to pay it! If you and your housemates are considering to use the internet to watch catch up, this is technically legal. However, if you are using BBC iPlayer or other sites to watch live television, this is illegal! Secondly, try to get an agreement from all of your housemates to pay the fee up front, that way you won’t ever have to worry about topping up your TV Licence card. Thirdly, if you have paid for the entire year, you can fill out a refund form to get your money back if you and your friends won’t be at the house during the summer, extra cash back for you!
If you put all of our advice to practice, you will save a bundle this year!