Student Guide: How to save on your bills

AS STUDENTS, we all know that bills can become a bit intimidating and time-consuming. With trying to get a degree and maintain a social life, bills bring unwanted stress to our lives. So here are a couple of ways to save and avoid some of that stress.

studentguidelogo1. Research

Before signing any contract and paying any bills do your research. This is vital, as there is almost always a better deal with another company, or maybe just another deal that suits your house better. Don’t be afraid to use comparison sites, as they can give you all the statistics that you need in one place. Another point to this is to consider finding a contract that suits your house, so don’t sign a 24 month one as you won’t be in the house for that long and you will still have to pay. The 9 month contracts are rare, but they are available, if you can find one that suits all the tenants then go for it – if not, stick to a simple 12 month contract.

2. Sort the bills

This takes time at the start of the year, but it will benefit you in the long run. Separate all of your bills into different sections so you can keep track of them. Always check your emails, as companies may email you important updates, and never throw a letter away. These are simple but effective tasks to consider as you can keep track on how much you’re spending, and when looking for things like customer references and the like it will be easier.

3. Have one person as ‘The Bill Master’

If one person is in charge of the bills, it can be controlled. Having six different people for different types of bills can become confusing, and bills can then slip by without being paid for. The Bill Master is in control of all the bills, so that it is that person’s responsibility to ensure they are all paid on time, which is made a lot easier by simply using a Direct Debit.

4. Set up Direct Debits.

Direct Debits not only allow you to pay your bills with no fuss, but will also ensure that you don’t get charged card fees for every transaction you make. If there is one Direct Debit that goes out of the Bill Master’s account, then the rest of the tenants can Direct Debit into the Bill Master’s account. This is a very easy way to ensure that everyone pays the bills – and that they are paid on time.

5. Think before you use.

This point is for the benefit of everyone in the house – when using up utilities, you should think how much you are using. There is no need for the heating to be on all day. You can heat the house for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, and put a jumper on for the rest of the time. You can also save on water by not having five baths every week; showers tend to be a lot cheaper. Save on electricity by turning off all the lights and electrical appliances each evening and when you are not in the house. Even if you are not using your hairdryer or TV, if the switch is still on you are still using electricity up.

6. Separate it equally.

Some people will use more than others, but this should never be a concern. The bills should be divided equally between each tenant. It isn’t worth trying to work it out – and will just result in an argument. Remember that, although you may have not been in the house this week for a reason, you might never leave it the next. The bills will balance out anyway, so don’t try to work out who used what as it’s too time consuming and your housemates will definitely not thank you for it.