For your gas and electricity always shop around for the best price. You can use one of the popular price comparison websites like Compare the Market, MoneySupermarket or uSwitch. Prices go up and down all the time so it’s definitely worth taking the time to do a bit of research.
Paying your utility bills
Make sure your bills get paid by setting up direct debits. They can save you money and you will know how much you're spending. They also spread the cost of utility bills over the year.
- If you live in a house with other friends, try to share utility bills by all paying into a 'house fund'.
- Always double check meter readings, especially when you move in or out of a property.
- If you receive estimated utility bills, make sure that you take regular readings and let the utility company know before you pay.
- Check with your landlord whether you have a water meter. They are free to install and you are only charged for the water you use. For more information see Southern Water's website.
- Always open your post!
If you fall into arrears with any of your utility companies see our advice on dealing with debt.
As a student, you may not need to use a landline. If you choose to have one, shop around. Remember that you can have a different landline provider and main call provider (for example you can have a BT landline with calls provided by TalkTalk).
To save on your calls and manage your costs:
If you regularly makes calls to another country, this can be expensive, particularly on a mobile.
To save on international calls you could:
- buy an international calling card to cut down the price of calls - you can get them from most corner shops
- check if your network has special deals for calls to specific countries
- use Skype instead, when available.
Before you decide on a new mobile phone network, think about how much and for what purposes you use your phone. Do you use it mainly for texting, using the internet or making calls?
To save money on your mobile phone bills:
- consider what networks your friends use - some providers give you free calls to the same network
- be wary of taking a longer contract (e.g. 18–24 months) if you think your circumstances may change
- think about opting for pay as you go if you are bad at keeping track of your usage.
To get the best deal on broadband internet, use an Ofcom-accredited comparison site like Cable.co.uk to research student-specific deals.
If you are looking into a phone/TV/broadband package, make sure you shop around as the best deal may depend whether you have a six, nine or twelve-month tenancy.
If your tenancy runs for nine months, there may be student packages available (search Virgin Media).