I would wager one of the most asked questions by new university students is: What is this Council Tax crap all about? Why do I have to pay for this? This is probably one of the first things I said when I got my own place! I still don’t truly find it fair and bemoan Council Tax all the time. To pay for you to dig up roads? It’s because of that I’m always late, leave the roads be!
If you are in a position where you are about to leave your student residency (i miss university) and join the real world and you want to know what it’s going to cost. Well, hopefully this should give you some sort of idea.
Obviously, this article is going to be quite general. If you are hoping to live in London then the prices will be much more. Living in London is expensive folks. Just ask anyone that does it!
The roof over your head
Let’s start with this. There are two routes you can go here once you leave university. The first is that you can find a small, reasonably priced one or two bedroomed flat or flatlet. Or if your budget won’t stretch to that then you can consider a flat share. In this instance, you will have a room in a communal house and if you’ve been at Uni you will probably be used to this kind of set up. Costs for this will vary dramatically based on your region and all kinds of factors but for a place of your own you are looking at probably paying between 450-600 per month. Sharing could be as little as half that and chances are in a flat share that you probably won’t have to pay for Council Tax which will add at least another eighty quid on top of your rent.
I got bills, I got to pay
Utilities! This is a word that didn’t exist to me when I was sixteen. I miss those halcyon days! The main ones you will have to shell out for are gas, electric, water and tv/phone/broadband. You may get lucky and find a property with one or two of these included but if not these bills can soon mount up. Based on my experience of living by myself you are probably looking at around £40 for gas and electric and between £20-£80 for water but these prices can fluctuate massively. Your broadband package has room for maneuverability and it is definitely worth checking out a website like Broadband Choices to get the deal that suits you.
Food glorious food
Hopefully, your years of living frugally have served you well and you know your way around a packet of super noodles! (Or ramen noodles if you want to sound posh!) Food is pricey. Realistically you will need at least £100 per month but if you’re talented you may get away with less. Don’t turn your nose up at the reduced sections in the supermarkets. These are your friend!
This is without factoring in travel! If you have a car you need to consider the cost of tax and insurance plus petrol. If not you need to think about money for public transport. So, in summary, looking at all your potential bills you will probably need to be pulling in at least £800-£900 a week to just keep a roof over your head! The minimum wage isn’t fantastic, but if you get a half decent job, and with a university degree behind you that should be doable, you should be fine! If not I can reccomend robbing a bank – it works on GTA.