There’s a lot you want to spend your money on as a student at university – namely drinks in the student union, outfits for fancy dress parties, club night tickets, and the odd meal out as a break from pot noodles and pasta. But with university life often being the first introduction for young people into the world of utility bills, extra money can soon disappear into a void of heating and electricity.
To help you to have more money left over to spend on the things you really want and need, here are just some of our top tips on how to save money on utility bills at university.
Use free charging outlets
Want to save electricity at home? Whenever you head onto campus to the library, take your phone charger and stock up on some free charge by plugging in while you work.
Get used to direct debit payments for bills
Setting up a fixed monthly direct debit for utility bills will mean that you keep on top of payments – with the money simply leaving your account at the same time each month, rather than you having to manually transfer the right amount each time a bill comes through. This is integral to budgeting as it will allow you to become used to that money leaving your account automatically each month.
Wrap up warm
Do you really need the heating on all the time, or could you simply put on an extra layer and save on the heating bill a little?
Spend some time comparing suppliers
It may seem like a very adult and boring thing to do but using comparison sites at university is an excellent way of saving money immediately and giving you insight into the world of price comparison which will help you throughout the rest of your adult life. Start early, save money now, and get used to regular price comparison for the future.
Wash clothes on a low temperature – and not in super small batches
It’s tempting to throw a few things into the washing machine after a night out, but a single wash uses the same amount of energy and water for a few clothes as it does with a full load. Save up your washing for a time when you have plenty of garments to get through – and conduct your wash on a low heat to save extra money.
If you live with other students, create a utility bills kitty
One of the biggest challenges at university is navigating the delicate balance of fairness and equality – with housemates often having fallouts whenever others fall behind on payments. Work out a system by which you all put the same amount aside each month for your bills, with any leftover rolling over to make the next month a little easier on all of your wallets.
Batch cook during the week
Rather than all of you cooking individual meals every night, why not consider batch cooking and putting portions in the fridge or freezer for future meals? Not only does this save on the big hit of energy each day whenever you turn on the oven or stove – it will also save you money on food in the long run and will save you time at the end of a long day when you simply want to eat something quick and easy.
Submit your meter readings on time
When a supplier asks you for a meter reading, give them what they need – otherwise the bills that comes through will be based off of their prediction rather than your accrual usage. And, you’ve guessed it, their prediction will likely be higher than what you actually need to pay. While any overpayment will be balanced out after your next meter reading, keeping on top of these submissions allows you to save money immediately and never over-pay.
Use a dishwasher
The ultimate win-win, which means no more stacked dishes in the sink, and no more crusted sauce on old plates. Dishwashers are actually more energy efficient and use less water than it takes to hand wash each item individually – plus, they save you time and in-house fallouts which is always a plus.
University is a time where you must navigate endless new experiences. This blog post will hopefully help to make sure that paying utility bills is as stress-free as possible, both for you and for all of your housemates.