Talking Points

Seven hacks for lowering your bills

It often feels like bills are constantly sky-rocketing.

Particularly with the cold winter months setting in, those household expenses can burn a hole in your student loan before you know it.

To help you slash your spending and avoid being stuck with beans on toast for the rest of the year, here are our top hacks for lowering your bills.

1. Pick the right accommodation

This might seem like a bit of a no-brainer but you’d be surprised at just how many students don’t realise the amount of choice that’s out there. Often they’ll only look at a select few properties within a limited area.

With Leeds student accommodation, there’s plenty of trade-offs.

If you don’t mind living a little further out or with more people, you can save yourself quite a bit of cash.

A lot of areas have great transport links, meaning it’s often just as easy to travel to university as it would be from closer and more expensive properties.

Finally, you’ll also want to check whether bills are included.

Make sure you do a bit of research here, as properties with inclusive bills don’t always justify their price tag.

After all, when it comes to student accommodation Leeds has no shortage of choices.

Just make sure you know all your options before making a decision, as it could end up putting precious pennies back into the drinking fund.

2. Arrange splitting bills clearly at the start of your tenancy

Money can be a sensitive subject, particularly if you’re living with people you’ve only just met.

Therefore, it’s important to make sure you’ve all come to a clear agreement on how the bills get paid early on.

For example, you’ll need to decide whether you evenly split all the bills or whether certain expenses are one housemate’s responsibility.

This will not only prevent future arguments but will also make sure no one is paying more than is fair.

There’s even bill splitting apps if you need a little help getting the number straight.

To ensure there’s no foul play, it’s also a good idea to put everyone’s names on the bills, so you are all jointly responsible.

3. Set everything up as soon as you move in

Most companies only offer 12-month contracts.

This means that, if you leave setting up or switching over your utilities for too long, you could end up paying for services you’re not even using come the end of your tenancy.

You should also bear in mind that some services take several days to activate, such as TV and broadband.

4. Take regular meter readings

We know, taking meter readings might be the most boring thing on earth.

It’s certainly not what’s first on your mind during those initial few weeks of freedom.

However, taking meter readings when you first move in and at regular intervals means you won’t be overcharged.

It also means you can avoid being undercharged, which can lead to a few nasty surprises for your finances.

5. The library is a place for free books and energy

Using the library is not only a great way to save money on reading materials: it’s also a great way to avoid using electricity when possible.

Think about all of your housemates and how much electricity being sat on your laptop all day adds up to.

Libraries are also a great place to charge your electronics free of charge.

Hey, you’ve got to make that tuition fee work for you somehow!

6. Invest in material warmth

Before you head off to uni, make sure you’ve got a lovely assortment of warm and cosy clothing and bedding so don’t need to crack on the heating any earlier than is necessary.

We’re not advising that you let yourself go cold to save a few quid, but sometimes a jumper, some woolly socks and a cup of tea is all that’s needed to chase those winter blues away.

7. Use energy efficient products

Ever pay attention to those energy ratings you see when buying bulbs?

It’s the kind of thing we all see but don’t pay any attention to.

Well, we should because picking more energy efficient products can have a big impact on your monthly bills.

They may cost a little more initially, but that’s what we call a worthwhile investment.

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