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Before you move onto where you want to live, you may want to narrow down the options by coming up with a realistic budget of what you, or your group, can actually afford.


New accommodation will require an up front deposit: which can often be between four and six weeks of rent. As an example, if your potential new student house is going to be £300 per calendar month (PCM), then your deposit could range from £300 to £450 per person.

Extra Costs of Living in Accommodation

You should remember to account for the other costs involved with student living, and doing a proper budget for these in advance can stop you committing to a house that is out of your price range.

Remember that this is the one expense that can’t be adjusted mid way through if things aren’t going so well financially!

Next we will go through some lesser known costs.

TV Licence

If you are renting a property or living in accommodation where this isn’t included, then you will need to buy a single licence for the property. This can be paid annually as a lump sum, or paid monthly over time.

And remember if you’re streaming from your laptop or computer you need a licence too!

Sometimes a group licence will be fine for a shared house, but sometimes if you have individual agreements or are living in halls of residents, tvs in personal areas such as bedrooms may need their own licence.

Estimates on the fees for a tv licence: £147 annually / £37 quarterly / £12.25 monthly.

Utility Bills

A utility bill is the bill for your electricity, gas, water, internet and phone line (optional). These are usually based on how much you use, and so they can be hard to estimate up front.

The average cost of your bills will depend on how many other people you live with. The more people you live with, the more you will split the bills with, but also the more energy you may consume.

However for things like the heating in winter, it makes sense that you will save money with more people, as it will have to be on anyway. And for resources like fibre optic broadband, you will be able to have multiple people online at once without sacrificing your internet speed, and you won’t make any savings by using it between fewer people!

Total bills can range from £40 – £70 a month depending on how many people you live with.

Council Tax

This only applies to part time students. You should ask your property landlord to provide details on the tax band applicable to the property.

Home / Contents Insurance

This is optional, but many students decide it’s an important step to cover items such as phones and laptops in the event of a burglary. If your student house is in a less than ideal side of town, then it’s a must.

Average student contents insurance = £75 per year.

Basic Monthly Living Costs

Here are some estimates on the typical things you will need while living in your new accommodation.


Your food bill will often be one of your largest costs after rent. There are plenty of ways to save on your food shopping if you live in a shared house, such as eating big meals together, and making sure you eat things before they go out of date.

Your food shop will most likely be in the region of £50 per week.


If you need to take the bus to uni or you want to go and see some friends in another city, you will need your budget to account for this.

A bus could be anywhere from £2 – £15 per week. Train tickets to major cities can sometimes be cheaper when booked off peak and in advance, but the prices depend very much on your destination. Having a rail card will help you get a cheaper train ticket too.

Sports and Gym Memberships

If you want to join a gym, it can be around the £15 – £25 per month mark. If you are joining a sports team at uni, then you should factor in equipment (such as restringing tennis rackets), weekly subs, and any travel costs to away matches.

Mobile Phones

Your phone is very important for most students, and so keeping up those monthly payments will make sure you don’t lose any connection to the outside world!

Phone contracts will vary depending on your device and contract, but negotiating a better deal on your renewal is a great way to save money as a student. And remember most student areas will have fantastic wifi, saving you using your own data.

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