Your home and finances      


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Living away from home or moving out of university halls means you'll have new responsibilities with your money that you probably haven't had to think about in the past. Accommodation and paying the bills will be one of your largest expenses. Here are some costs to think about and some tips on saving money in your student home.


The video below features tips on managing finances when moving in to your new home, including rent, bills, travels expenses and other living costs.





The rental prices for student accommodation vary according to the location, type of property, facilities and the standard of property. If you are planning to share a house with your friends, you should decide between you what you can afford to pay for rent, having factored in all other household and living expenses.


City Centre (L1, L2 and L3) properties that are close to the main campuses will have the highest rents. If you are set on living in town, but don’t want to pay that much, you may want to consider properties on the outskirts which are a short walking distance and can offer close proximity at a lower cost such as Kensington, Edge Hill and some parts of Toxteth.


Other areas are a short bus ride from the City Centre, so make sure to factor in transport costs. Merseytravel is the executive body responsible for the coordinaiton of public transport in the Liverpool City Region, and they have a section on their website dedicated to students, including a journey planner and details of discounted student travel passes.


Click here to view average rent levels by postcode area



Household budgeting


Getting household expenses organised at the beginning of the year will save a lot of stress later on. It’s a good idea to draw up a budget of estimated household expenses so you can be prepared for when payments are due and so you know what you have left to spend on other stuff.


Gas and electricty

The cost will depend on a variety of factors but as an estimate we recommend that you budget around £12-15 per person per week. Also, check the Energy Performance Certificate for the property.

All inclusive rents

If your bills are included in the rent payment, you may want to check your contract to see if there is a cap or limit on your fuel consumption. If your consumption goes over this cap, you will be required to pay the extra cost. It’s also best to get a copy of the bill, to check that the energy consumption is correct and based on actual meter readings and not estimated.

Water and internet

Usually the cost of water supply is included in your rent. Internet may or may not be. Ask the landlord how internet is supplied in the property and how the bill is to be paid.

Contents insurance

Check if you are covered on your parent’s policy. If not, it’s important you take out your own to cover your belongings. Some companies specialise in student contents insurance. Ensure that you have the appropriate household contents insurance cover and that important documents are kept in a secure place ie. safe from fire and flood. Contact your landlord/agent if you are unsure what level of insurance is in place, it is likely that they will only have insurance to cover the building, however some landlords/agents may included contents insurance as part of your tenancy agreement. 


See this handy guide explaining what contents insurance is, what it covers and what to look for when purchasing a policy.


You may want to discuss with your housemates how to organise the food shop, the cheaper option is to do a regular supermarket shop.


If you are not living in the City Centre, you need to consider you transport costs both for getting to uni and also for socialising. Visit the Merseytravel website for information about journey planning and student travel passes.

TV licence

If you rent, whether an entire property or a room in a shared property, you must be covered by a valid TV licence to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV, whether that’s online, on a TV, or on any other device such as laptops, tablets or games consoles. You also need a TV licence if you also wish to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer, although you do not require a licence if you only watch on demand or catch up programmes on services including All 4, Sky Go, ITV Hub, Netflix, Amazon & NowTV. If you are unsure on whether you need to be covered by a TV licence, please visit the TV licence FAQ page, and dedicated student TV licence page.


If there’s a joint tenancy agreement for the whole house, you may only need one licence. However, you may need your own licence if your accommodation is self-contained – i.e. you have exclusive access to washing facilities or you have your own entrance to the property. If you have an individual tenancy agreement for your room, you’ll need to be covered by a separate licence. Usually you'll have to organise this yourself (or between yourselves if in a shared house). But speak to the landlord first, as they may already have a licence for the property.


Save energy to save money!


  • Turn your thermostat down. Reducing by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10%. Set your heating and hot water to come on only when required.
  • Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows.
  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Don't leave appliances on standby and remember not to leave laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily.
  • Washing clothes at 30 degrees uses 40% less energy.
  • Only boil as much water as you need (but remember to cover the elements if you're using an electric kettle).
  • A dripping hot water tap wastes energy so ask your landlord to fix any leaking taps and make sure they're fully turned off!



Other ways to reduce your outgoings:


  • Look for reduced items at the supermarket, or go 10 minutes before closing time when fresh produce is heavily discounted.
  • Taking a packed lunch and flask with you to the library.
  • Instead of cooking individually, take turns in cooking one evening meal for everyone.
  • Stick to the student union when you go out to take advantage of cheaper prices.
  • Use your NUS card for discounts.
  • Taking advantage of online vouchers.
  • Watch your spending when away from university, such as the summer holidays or Christmas. With so much free time, it's easy to go crazy and spend your money all in one go. 



Energy efficiency


All domestic and commercial buildings in the UK available to buy or rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). EPCs tell you how energy efficient a property is and give it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). They let you know how costly the property will be to heat and light, and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be.


EPC ratings are displayed on each property advert on the LSH website and by choosing properties that are rated more efficient you will be saving money on your energy bills. 


As of April 1st 2018, there is a requirement for any property rented out in the private sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an EPC. The regulatons came into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020 (information from Resident Landlords Association, 2018). 



Meter readings


It's easy to forget this, but take a meter reading for your gas and electricity when you move in. This way, you can pass this on to the suppliers to ensure you aren't charged for the previous occupants' usage.

If you have the cost of the bills included in your rent payment, the landlord will either keep the utility bills in their name and pay them on your behalf or request that the bills are put in the tenants’ names and the paper bills be passed to the landlord for payment.

Either way, it’s important that you keep track of how much fuel you are using. We recommend you take meter readings on a monthly basis. You may want to supply this information to the energy supplier and landlord, to ensure that the bills are not estimated. Energy providers usually over-estimate usage, so you could end up paying more than what you should. It is also important to check with the landlord/agent before the start of a tenancy whether there is a cap on utility bill usage, even if bills are fully inclusive.



Smart meters


Reduce your energy usage at home using a smart meter – provided at no extra cost by your energy provider!


Smart meters are the new generation of electricity and gas meters being rolled out across Great Britain. They let you know how much energy you are using in near real-time so you can see exactly how much you are spending on energy (rather than waiting months for your first energy bill). Once you have a smart meter you can get your energy bills under control by using the in-home display that comes with the smart meter to identify what in your house is using a lot of energy!


Smart meters are available at no additional cost but you should discuss having one installed with your landlord or agent before you go ahead. The time it takes to get one installed will depend on where you live and which energy supplier you are with. 


Check the Smart Energy GB website which has information on when each of the energy suppliers are rolling out smart meters and the benefit of smart meters to students.