As I’ve been writing these articles I’ve wrote a lot to do with helpful hints and tips, as well as personal experiences and just overall helpful advice – at least, that is what I hope I’ve been doing. The topics I’ve included in my blog aren’t necessarily subjects you won’t get told about, however, as me and my flatmates have discovered recently, this is something we never got warned out. Time for another article on finances and housing.

At this current moment I know that some people are slowly moving into halls and starting university, to those I say, I hope all is going well and you are settling in well and enjoying your freshers – get ready for lectures to start!

As I said at the beginning of the article me and my flatmates have discovered something – that we wish we would have been told at the start of first year – or at least some point through first year. We’ve come to realise that moving from halls to a house share is some what more costly than you imagine, even if it’s ‘cheaper’ than your halls, you’ll be surprised. Let me explain.

As most of you know during my first year at university I was living in halls. I lived on a corridor of around 30-40 other people. There was girls at one end and boys at the other. We shared bathrooms and kitchens. There were plenty of kitchens along the corridor and plenty of bathrooms/shower rooms. This wasn’t my first choice for accommodation as I’d applied for a room in a different accommodation that was ensuit, however, you take what you can get. It was a fun year living in halls, plenty of friends made and plenty of memories to accompany those. As second year is about to begin I’m now living with three friends I made in first year. We live in a four bedroom, two bathroom house. Generous living room space and a lovely kitchen. It’s fair to say we struck gold with this place – it’s very modern, very clean and lovely to live in.

The four bedrooms are different sizes. Room one has a double bed and is a larger room as is the same with room two. Room three has a three-quarter sized bed and is some what smaller where as room four has a single bed and is smaller still. All rooms are equipped with desks, TV’s and what not. It’s a very student house and our landlord/landlady is lovely. How much do we pay? Well, every room costs a different amount. Room one and two are looking at £95 per week where room three and four pay £85 per week and it all equals out to us paying the same amount per month – or close too. In our price, all bills are included along with internet.

I imagine at this current moment you are wondering why I am bragging about our house to you and describing it’s details – well, it’s down to the price. All I can say is, it’s a good job we all have overdrafts. For the main reason that we’ve used our overdrafts to pay for our first months rent as of course, student finance doesn’t come until the end of September and we moved in at the beginning. 

So what don’t they tell you?

Basically, no one in second or third year ever warn you that you should save for your second year. The majority will move out and get a house share and even if you find it’s cheaper overall than you paid for accommodation, you’ll still soon realise that it may not be the case. You have this set price you pay per month and then of course you pay this continually for nearly the whole year. It’s not like halls where you are there for the weeks of term and then go back home during the holidays (that’s how it worked with my accommodation) whereas with this, we pay around the clock, so even when we aren’t in the house. On top of the rent per month, you have to think about all the cleaning products you need to buy, food bills, travel bills (if this applies to you) and God knows how many extras you may find yourself needing as the year goes on! It’s hard to really describe until you get there I suppose but living in shared housing is some what costly (please bare in mind this is my opinion and what I’ve found, others may be different).

My biggest advice to you – that we never got told to us – is that you really should try and save through your first year. It doesn’t have to massive amounts, just a tenner here and there every week or month. It’ll soon build up – if you are working, put some of that aside and definitely try and work through summer, you’ll need it!

Currently, I am having to have my parents help me out whilst in the first few weeks. Like I mentioned, my overdraft has saved my life, we moved in at the beginning of September so we had to pay rent at the end of August and Student Finance doesn’t come until the end of September, therefore, I’ve had no income. Only little bits of money here and there to help me. As well as my mother helping me with shopping and what not. I finally have a job but don’t start that till October – so, all in all, I’m struggling a little at the moment but getting by! All will be okay but one thing is for certain, I wish I’d saved!

I hope this short article has been some what thought provoking or helpful to you first years, it’s just something to keep in mind. Chances are, you may not take this on board but it’s worth trying and a little heads up to you lot.

On a quick note I want to say a massive thank you to all of you who viewed my WordPress over the passed month, especially those yesterday. I had a surge in views and hit my most views/visitors I ever had – not a massive number to some but to me, it’s an achievement and I can’t thank you enough.

Facebook: JustGeorgeJ Twitter: @JustGeorgeJ_UNI The Student Room: JustGeorgeJ

Student Wire: JustGeorgeJ

Previous two articles: One / Two

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