Student Life – Organising and Paying Your Bills
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One of the biggest challenges for new students is paying bills associated to the home. You may think you are skint now but just wait until the bills start coming through your letterbox when you move out of home and start living in student rentals. It’s a lot of pressure but a bit of organisation and the ability not to spend your grant and loans in the first week is all you need to be able to cope.
Work out What’s Included in Your Rent
First of all it’s important that you clearly establish what’s included in your rental agreement. Don’t settle for the first place you see, shop around, you could find a much better deal. Some landlords will include additional bills in your monthly rent such as council tax (you may be exempt from this as you’re a student), water rates, electricity and gas. This can be a much more manageable way for you to keep on top of your bills. Rather than have the responsibility of making several payments at the end of the month you can sum most of your housing costs into one.
Don’t Neglect Your Important Bills
However, even if you have rent inclusive of several of your utilities it’s wrong to think the rest of your money can go on beer, food and travel. There are plenty of other expenses to deal with. An important one not to forget is the television licence. If you’re caught without a television licence you will need to pay it and you could face a fine and even end up in court. The television licence has to be paid if you have a television in the house, even if you don’t watch any BBC channels. You even have to pay for streaming television shows online so there is no getting away from it.
Essential Extras You Won’t Want to be Without
The other costs come in the form of what many people may call a luxury. The phone falls into this category along with access to the Internet. As a student you will greatly benefit from being able to go online in your own home. You’ll use the Internet for a lot of research and to make use of services such as managing your accounts, paying bills, keeping up with friends and family and sending and receiving emails. Many courses also provide reading materials and course help online too. Therefore the Internet shouldn’t be seen as a luxury at all, it’s now becoming essential.
You may not want an additional bill to worry about but there are some very affordable deals out there. When you’re sharing with lots of other students you’ll need to ensure you get a good package. Bandwidth will be pushed to its limits as you all try to get online and there’s a high chance you’ll go well over the average data allowance. Your best option is to look for an unlimited broadband package and split the cost between you and your flatmates.