Understanding student bills
Understanding student bills and picking the best student bank accounts for you can be difficult and what the term means is even more confusing! Student bills can mean anything that is connected to your student life, or the bills you have to pay on your own now that you have moved out and started university (basically become a bit of a grown up!) and you’ll no doubt want to know how to cut student bills, when you get to university, too!
There are many bills that students come across during their times at university, from their accommodation rent, flat deposits, library fines (In fact, according to an article in 2012, most universities collected £50m in library fines) to mobile phone contracts and the budget they set for their weekly shop!
Bills should be taken seriously, but unfortunately, until a young person has experienced paying bills and budgeting themselves it can be hard to get your head around.
Firstly, students need to consider their direct debits and what they see as ‘essential bills’, which could include, utility – such as gas and electric, rent, food shopping, travel/commuting and their phone bill. These direct debits or bills will essentially, get them through the week and are very important. Depending on the student’s credentials, utility bills, like water, gas and electric and internet connection may be included in the rent costs. Most universities include these bills into the student accommodation rent that undergraduates have to pay. This can make it simpler, especially for first years which are only getting used to paying bills, as it can be tough remember to budget and paying off different bills. Also, some landlords, when students then move on to live with housemates usually in a flat or house share can include utility bills in the rent, but this isn’t guaranteed. Budgeting is incredibly important and a list of student budgeting tips could be exactly what you need.
Food shopping is very important but some students forget about consuming energy, and this can be the last bill to take the hardest blow and ends up being a lot less than anticipated each week. Food is what you’re going to live on and is very important, so before you start buying that new outfit for the student night on Thursday on campus, ensure you have enough to survive! Obviously, when you’re buying food you’ll want to be as healthy as possible, our guide to healthy eating will give you a good idea of what is available and what is cheapest.
Mobile phones are very important for young people and for staying in touch as well as safe throughout your time at university. Some students prefer to obtain the latest handset and end up paying out a lot more than intended to keep in contact with friends and family. We advise students look around for the best deal and to find the best option for them. Young individuals also should comprehend that most mobile phones are based on a 12 month or 24-month contract, and this agreement is important. The monthly payments need to be made, and if they are missed, network providers can cut customers off, or it will damage their credit score, which will remain in effect, can be a problem later on in life.
One important tip to understand student bills and how to pay them all correctly and efficiently is to set up a budget where you can see what bills come out and when and how much they are. Once you have placed your outgoings in your undergraduate student budget, you will then be able to see how much money you have left for commuting to work or to university, as well as what you can ‘really’ afford on leisure – such as going out and shopping.
If you are worried about student bills this autumn, you can speak to your friends and family who you trust, and who can help advise you on your situation, or speak to someone at your university. The majority of institutions have finance departments who are there to help students who are in sticky situations or worried about their finances.