We all know that student accommodation can be very expensive, considering the average student budget, so we’ve put together a list of creative ways any student can soften the blow of student rent. Here’s 10 savvy ways to afford student accommodation.
1. Look out for accommodation discounts!
Some providers will give discounts for booking at certain times of the year, or they’ll offer incentives for people to refer friends. Some places even offer great deals like cashback if you book with them, sometimes this can be up to £500! It’s always worth a really good scout around to see where’s offering the best deals.
2. Compare budgets
Some student halls will offer a catered option. Compare this price to what it would cost for you to live self-catered, as it may well work out cheaper. However, if you opt for catered and still cook for yourself, remember that it’s likely to be more expensive.
3. Consider sharing a room
Some student halls will offer a shared room for a fraction of the price. Or if you’re looking at student houses, consider sharing a bedroom rather than opting for more rooms. That way, you split the rent even further, making it that little bit more affordable. Of course, make sure you can deal with sharing your space, otherwise saving the money may not be worth it.
4. Don’t be afraid to negotiate
If your student accommodation provider hasn’t filled up all rooms they might be open to offers, try your luck. Or, if you’re living in privately rented housing, ask for a rent reduction (you may need to provide reasons, like really good references or an issue with the house). This works if you’re staying somewhere for another year, too.
5. Live in the less popular student areas
You may be shocked by the price difference between popular student areas and their slightly further away counterparts. It’s a good idea to check out all the options as you may find a nicer house for a lower price if you’re willing to walk that five minutes extra from campus.
6. Check if you can sublet
If you’re moving away for the summer, or for long periods of time, ask your landlord if you can sublet. This means renting out your accommodation to others whilst you’re away, making up the rent you need to pay without you losing a penny. Or, alternatively, ask if you can end your contract early to allow you to go home for the summer. Make sure you get anything agreed in writing!
7. Take a look at your bills
Bills are often where accommodation prices stack up. Heating, electricity, house insurance, water bills – they all pile up. Especially if they’re paid quarterly like water often is. To save yourself the fright of a £200 bill 4 months into your tenancy, make sure you set your direct debits up monthly. Even better, see if you can set your bills up in a Pay As You Go Way using things like smart meters, or find accommodation where the bills are included. It also helps to make sure you and your flatmates are on the same page, and use the electricity and heating carefully. This seems like a simple tip but come wintertime, it can be really hard. Make sure to layer up with cosy thermals and wrap up in blankets to fight the cold and line your pockets.
8. Consider letting partners live with you
If you’re already living with flatmates, great! But if you let their partners move in too, it splits the rent even further. Plus, your flatmates get to live with their loved ones. Just make sure that you do this legally (i.e no subletting if not allowed) and sensibly. You don’t want to budget for split rent only for the couple to break up!
9. Don’t use Circuit Laundry
We’ve all experienced the robbery that is Circuit Laundry when living in student accommodation, but did you know there was a way around it? Savvy students have recently taken to TikTok to convert the masses to using portable washing machines instead of shelling out for Circuit. Simply shove your clothes in on the spin cycle, wring them out in your shower and hang them up to dry!
A key way to save money is by sharing things with your housemates, and the key to this is communicating. Make sure that you don’t end up with 10 cheese graters when really you only need to buy one. This goes for cleaning products, food, subscriptions such as Netflix and much more.
We hope that these tips will help you to afford student accommodation and save some money too.