Being a student can be an expensive business. You’ll likely spend around £9,000 p/a on just tuition fees. After you’ve graduated, you’ll likely owe somewhere around £40,000. Seeing as your tuition fees aren’t due until after you’ve graduated, however, your biggest expense, will be your accommodation. Here, we’re going to look at finding both private student accommodation and private halls of residence while taking your budget into account.
Type of accommodation
Of course, the biggest part of your accommodation expense will be your rent. Fortunately, there are different accommodation types you can consider, depending on your budget, so you can choose a type of accommodation to suit.
If you want the lowest-cost option, a house or flatshare is the right choice. This is where you only pay a part of the rent, as it’s shared by a group of you. The option with the highest expense are Private Halls, although they tend to be closer to your campus and have the largest range of facilities to make use of.
University Halls are slightly cheaper, with an average cost of £140 per week. While their spec is likely less than private halls, they provide both great locations and the best opportunities for new students to meet new people.
There are some university cities that are clearly more expensive than others. London is certainly the most expensive city to rent student accommodation in the UK, with a private hall of residence costing £280 a week or more. If you’re really budget-conscious, you can go the other way and live in a private hall in Bradford for around £87 per week or a house share in Stockton for around £80.
If you’re considering living in shared accommodation, you’ll need to look at the potential cost of bills. It’s difficult to take bills into account, as they’re typically associated with how much of the utilities you actually use. To have a general idea, though, you can think with these costs in mind that are based on a shared house for four people.
Gas and electricity £1,600 p/a
Water £395 p/a
TV licence £147 p/a
High-speed broadband £360 p/a
With these examples, you’re looking at an average cost of £2,502 p/a, which works out at £625 per student, and at £52 per student per month.
As well as knowing the cost of the bills, you should also know who will be responsible for paying them. Many students in a houseshare open a shared bank account, with each student giving their share as a contribution, making sure that the responsibility of the bills doesn’t fall on one person. There are even apps available that split bills for you, allowing you to share them easily.
While being a student isn’t getting any cheaper, one of the bigger costs is the rent. As you’ve seen here, however, there are ways that you can cut down on your expenses, even if you’re staying in a city with high living costs.
James Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.