Living as a student often means trying to save as much money as possible and looking for a cheap house share or flat is one way of making your loan go a little further. Before moving anywhere, however, there are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t end up somewhere that you don’t like, and that you make your money go as far as possible
Make sure to use as many of your bags and suitcases as possible when moving, to save on buying moving supplies. If you have any boxes left over from an earlier move, then use these too. You can pack clothes in large black bags by simply pulling the bags over any jackets and other items you might have on coat hangers, is not only easy and convenient, but also saves you having to pack the hangers separately.
Choosing where to live
Although it might seem counter intuitive, the more rooms a house has, the cheaper it might be for you and your friends to rent. A 5 person house may well cost you a lot less than if you were to move into a place by yourself. It’s normally easy to find people to live with as a student, and you can check the university notice boards, the internet, and ask around in your classes to find people that might be interested in moving in with you.
What bills you need to pay
It helps to know what you’ll be eligible to pay when moving into a new house or flat, so check with your agent and landlord, as sometimes you can get some bills included in the monthly rent. While you are not eligible for council tax while studying, if you move in with someone who isn’t a student, then some council tax will have to be paid. Check with your local council (you will have to let them know you are a student anyway, so can ask about this at the same time). Generally speaking, you will have to pay the water, gas, electricity and TV licence in most rental properties, so make sure to budget accordingly for these.
Share everyday living expenses
A great way to make the running of a household fair and cheap for everyone is to set up a kitty for shared household items. The cost of things like cleaning products, hoover bags, light bulbs and so on, can then be shared evenly, and will also make sure that you have these things handy all the time. This can also help to keep the peace in a shared house, so no one feels they are paying more into the running of the house than others.
Moving your stuff
Generally, it’s a good idea not to take loads of items with you, as you might be moving again in a year or so. Ideally, try and keep your packing down to no more than a car’s worth of things. This way, you can ask a friend or family member to transport you things and give them some petrol money, which will most likely work out cheaper than hiring a man in a van or removal company. Another option is to see if any of your housemates are hiring a van, and split the cost with them, which will again save money and be more convenient for everyone.