There’s really nothing that can put a dampener on the thought of moving away from home for the first time quite like an enormously long list of all the things you’ll now be responsible for paying for. But at the same time, not being aware of exactly what kind of expenses you will face is a surefire approach to running out of cash and ending up in rather deep trouble.
According to the experts at Findspace, the vast majority of students heading out to university for the first time will be extremely thoughtful and proactive when it comes to ensuring the places they choose are affordable…at least in terms of rent. Nevertheless, monthly rent represents just a single piece of the puzzle when it comes to the real costs of student housing – all other costs being of crucial importance to bring into consideration prior to going ahead.
So whether you’re already in the midst of seeking student housing or are likely to be on the hunt in the near future, be sure to factor the following hidden costs into the decision you ultimately make:
1 – Utility Bills
First up, only your perspective landlord and those who have already lived in the property in question can accurately tell you how much you can expect to pay by way of utility bills. Some property owners offer all-inclusive deals whereby you pay a set amount each month and can use all the gas and electricity you like – others will charge you a set rate for every unit of each. In either case, you need to know how much you can expect to pay.
2 – Internet Subscription
Don’t forget that the Internet will undoubtedly represent the single most important study tool and communications convenience throughout your time at university. Sadly, quality Internet subscriptions do not tend to come free of charge – unless specifically specified by those letting out the properties. Think about the kind of subscription you will need and add this onto your monthly expenditures.
3 – TV Licensing
The same also goes for television licensing as while some buildings are already covered by their owners’ TV licenses, there are plenty of instances where students have to buy their own. Again, this is something you’ll need to speak to your perspective landlord or letting agent about, as opposed to just making assumptions.
4 – Transport
Transportation should also be factored into the overall decision-making process – the specific area in which you choose to live having a marked impact on how much it will cost you to get around. If for example you can walk pretty much everywhere you need to go, you’re going to save a fortune in comparison to a place where taxis are really the only feasible option.
5 – Furnishings
While it’s common for those letting out student residences to include certain furnishings and appliances, there are plenty of instances where you will be provided with quite literally nothing more than an empty room. In such instances, it’s up to you to purchase and arrange for the installation of absolutely everything you need, which unsurprisingly can constitute a rather heavy expense.
6 – Maintenance Fees
It’s comparatively rare these days for monthly rents not to include all maintenance and administration charges, though there will always be those who’ll do anything they can to bump up the bill. From apartment block maintenance to garbage collection to window cleaning to gardening and so on, make sure all such maintenance fees are taken into account.
7 – Insurance
Another exceptionally important consideration to bear in mind is that of insurance, as even if the property owner has the place covered by comprehensive insurance, chances are it will not cover any of your own personal property whatsoever. Insurance rates for students do not tend to be particularly expensive, though represent an expense that is too important to overlook.
8 – Damages/Breakages
It’s not as if sensible landlords and property owners do not expect there to be at least some wear and tear when letting out to students. Nevertheless, any extreme damage or excessive breakages will usually have to be paid for in accordance with the terms and conditions laid out in the contract.
9 – Locality in General
Last but not least, it is also worth bearing in mind that the specific locality in which you choose to live while studying at university will have an enormous impact on how much you end up spending. It’s all well and good to situate yourself in an extremely upmarket area of town, only if you are quite willing to pay considerably more for everything from groceries to petrol to taxi fares and every pint you enjoy in the pub.