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How to Save Money on Monthly Bills - Tips for Students

Updated: Mar 11

Students quickly learn the financial burden that comes with university life and living independently. Between tuition fees, textbooks, and living expenses, the costs can quickly add up. One of the biggest expenses that students face is their monthly bills. From rent to utility bills, learning how to save money and manage your finances effectively at university can be challenging.

Having taught my children how to save money at university, I would like to share my top tips on how to save money on your monthly bills.

When it comes to student accommodation, rent is usually the most significant expense. According to a 2024 study by Save the Student, the average cost of living for a student in the UK is around £1,078 a month, with rent accounting for nearly 41% of their monthly bills.

However, there are ways to save money on rent without sacrificing your standard of living. For example, sharing a flat with other students or living further away from university to find more affordable accommodation is likely to be a big money saver.

Monthly utility bills are another substantial expense that students face at just under 10% of a student's monthly budget. From electricity to water bills, it can be difficult to project a budget for these costs, especially with recent global events affecting costs.

Understanding your monthly expenses and how to save money on bills is important to students. Financial matters are responsible for 59% of students feeling stressed and anxious about making ends meet.

By reducing your energy consumption, sharing accommodation, and choosing a location with a lower cost of living, you can save money on your monthly expenses.


Understanding Monthly Bills and How Students Can Save Money

It's important for students to understand your monthly expenses and how to save money on bills. In this section, we'll look at typical monthly expenses for students, how utility bills are calculated, and how location affects costs.

Typical Monthly Bills for Students

A first-year student’s typical monthly expenses will include rent, food, course fees and materials, and transport.

Going into second year and beyond, in addition to rent, students will have to pay utility bills such as water, gas, and electricity. In addition, you may also have to pay for a TV licence, internet, and mobile phone bills.

How Consumption Impacts your Ability to Save Money on Utility Bills

Utility bills are calculated on the basis of consumption.

For example, your water bill will be based on how much water you use. So if you and your housemates take long showers or baths, do small frequent loads of laundry, or wash dishes under running water rather than in a soapy sink, your water bill will be higher than if you take short efficient showers, shared washing loads, and reduce your water usage.

Similarly, your gas and electricity bills are based on the amount of energy you use. To save money, you can reduce your consumption by switching off lights and appliances when not in use, turning down the heating or radiators, and using energy efficient light bulbs and appliances.

student walking on train platform

Impact of Location on Students Monthly Bills

The cost of living can vary greatly depending on where you live. When deciding where to live, it's important to consider the cost of living and whether the location of your accommodation will affect your monthly expenses.

For example, living in the centre of London, Geneva or Amsterdam will be more expensive than living on the outskirts of these cities. It’s worth comparing the cost of accommodation in the city centre with the additional transport costs of using the underground or train if you live in the suburbs.

Choosing accommodation that is close to your university may help you to save money on transport costs.

Sharing accommodation with other students or friends will also help you to reduce costs.


Strategies for Students to Save Money on Monthly Utility Bills

There are several strategies you can use to reduce your monthly bills and save money. Below are some tips to help you manage your finances and reduce your monthly utility bills.

Monthly Budgeting and Financial Planning for Students

One of the most effective ways to reduce your monthly expenses is to create a budget and stick to it. Start by tracking your expenses and income using our Student Budget Calculator - included in our Member Resources when you sign up for an Ultimate Bundle or Pre-Uni Bundle.

This will help you identify your costs and see where you can cut back and save money. You can also use a budgeting app to help you manage your finances and stay on track.

Founder of FromHighSchool to Uni sitting at laptop in white kitchen

Ten Top Tips for Students to Implement to Save Money on Monthly Utility Bills

Here are my ten top tips to help students save money and manage your monthly bills:

  1. Take advantage of all the discounts and offers available to you to reduce your monthly bills. Sign up for student discount schemes offered by universities, mobile phone companies, and internet providers.

  2. Set up monthly direct debit payments to your utility providers to avoid missing payments and paying late fees.

  3. Consider switching to a dual fuel tariff to save on gas and electricity bills.

  4. Be cautious using a bill splitting app to share the bills with your housemates – you may be charged an additional fee per month for the privilege, and end up paying more.

  5. Make sure that you register the meter readings with the utility companies when you first move in to your accommodation to avoid paying for the previous tenants’ bills.  

  6. Turn down radiators and central heating by just one degree. And wear an extra sweater, thick socks, and other warm clothing. One degree may seem trivial, but you’ll definitely see the difference on your monthly bill!

  7. Turn off lights when you leave a room and use energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances.

  8. Unplug appliances from the mains (wall socket) when not in use.

  9. If you have a TV or computer screen, switch it off at night; don’t leave it on standby.

  10. Share the load with your housemates - literally! Wash your laundry together, if you can, rather than doing small loads by yourself. This will save money on both water and electricity and you will notice the difference in your monthly utility bills.

By following these tips, you can manage your bills more effectively and save money in the long run.


For more guidance on financial management while you are at university, order your copy of "From High School to Uni" now!



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