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Managing my money for young adults
Managing my money for young adults

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7 A budget for shared rentals

It will be abundantly clear to you that living in a shared property changes the things you have to budget for and can have a material impact on your finances. In this video you’ll see students Katy, Olga Ellie and Jamie explore these issues as they talk with Bobby about their experiences of living in shared rentals.

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Activity 6  How will your budget change?

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Take a look back at the budget in Session 4 and make a list of all the ways your budget will change because of living in shared accommodation.

What financial benefits can arise from living in a shared rental? Think in terms of different criteria – factors such as financial savings, or useful financial learning experiences, or ease of budgeting.

What possible financial risks to your budget could arise from living in a shared rental?

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  • The items on the spending side of your budget will change.
  • You will be likely to have responsibility for utility bills (gas, electricity and possibly water too), wifi bills and a share of the TV licence cost. When you live at home or in a student hall of residence you have no liability for these.
  • You might be more inclined to pay out for contents insurance than when you had a room in a (secure) hall of residence. You’ll have to pay for more cleaning materials, and you’ll have do the cleaning yourself as landlords do not normally provide cleaners! Taxi costs are likely to rise because you’ll probably be living further away from the places you go to in your social life, such as clubs, the student union and cinemas.
  • The main benefit is that your rent for a shared tenancy is usually lower – often much lower – than for a place in a hall of residence. This provides the financial scope for you to meet those bills that fall to you in a shared rental. Other financial benefits can include shopping and cooking together through bulk buying and sharing foodstuffs. Beware, though: good intentions to shop and cook together at the start of the year might fall into disarray – particularly if people feel that jobs are not shared fairly.

On the costs side of your budget you could get an unexpectedly high gas or electricity bill, or you might have to buy something like a TV that the landlord is not obliged to provide. There might be repairs that you, rather than your landlord, must pay for. The reality is that virtually all households – and not just student households – find that some unexpected bills arrive each year.