5. Avoid arguments over bills
If there’s one thing that worries students most and can lead to break-ups in friendships between students, it’s utility bills. Most first year students have never had any experience of paying bills, and with everything else that’s going on at University, and all the other expenses, bills are often the elephant in the room… until there’s a problem.
Think about it. Gas. Electricity. Broadband. Water. TV Licence. Unless you’re lucky enough to have them all included in your rent, then together, you and your housemates are responsible for paying them. There are different ways of dealing with bills.
One way is for everyone in the house to budget and put a bit aside each month, give the money to one housemate who then individually pays each utility bill. Let’s stop and think about that. Do you think you have the will power to put that aside each month? Reckon all your housemates will have too? Would you want to be the housemate with their name on all the bills who’s therefore responsible for collecting everyone’s money and paying all the bills on time? Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, doesn’t it?
Alternatively, you could use a bill management company like Split The Bills that provides an easy way to set up and split shared bills. How it works is you simply pick the utilities and services you need, then you and your housemates sign up online. The bill management company then deals with each supplier and sets up every service for you. You then pay the bill management company your own share each month from your own bank account.
The advantages are very attractive, especially for first time bill payers. Split the Bills, for instance offers a choice of Unlimited or Eco Saver energy options. Whichever you choose, the energy is from a green supplier and if you choose the Unlimited option, you don’t need to worry about housemates leaving lights on or forgetting to turn the heating off. You won’t need to pay a month up front or be caught with a final bill when you move out, either.
The broadband is no slouch either and offers average speeds up to 350Mbps via Virgin Media fibre broadband. And if you’re worried bills affecting your credit score, with Split The Bills managing your energy, there’s no joint account. That means other housemates’ credit scores can’t affect yours and make getting credit cards, a mortgage or loan tricky in the future.