As a student, when moving away from home to attend university, you are embarking on an exciting, challenging, and unique journey. Along the way, you will likely need to find a rental property which may appear difficult at first, but it is not an impossible undertaking.
There are a few things to keep in mind when renting student accommodation on a budget. You can find the best homes with a little help and advice in order to discover a good property that ticks all of your requirements.
Here are some tips to get you started.
Begin your property search as soon as possible
Looking for a home and deciding on one takes time. As a result, the first and most important piece of advice for finding a suitable home is to start your search as early as possible. Your first step should be conducting a web search for cost and availability in and around your campus area.
This search will not only provide you with a good idea of what is available for your budget but also the types of property available. An early search will also assist with your financial management, and can help you decide where you may need to compromise, whether that may be amending your search area or arranging additional funds. Starting early will also mean that there is reduced chance of disappointment, and not getting the type of property you want.
To find the best student accommodation in Swansea, take a look at our amazing list of house-shares, flats and more by using our search tool. Happy house-hunting!
The importance of budgeting
It is important to set a budget before starting university — even a basic notion of how much money you will have available each week will help you avoid spending your budget too soon. The simplest method to do this is to prepare one list of all your monthly income (for example, from loans, part-time work, and the bank of Mum and Dad) and another one of all your monthly outgoings. Remember that the more precise you can be in anticipating spending, the clearer your financial picture will be - cover everything from rent, bills, and food to books, library fees, transportation costs, and laundry.
Once you've completed both lists, subtracting your entire weekly or monthly expenses from your total income over the same time period will show you how much money is left over for recreation. Setting yourself a weekly allowance is a great way to get into good spending habits, and promote discipline when it comes to your finances.
Choose a HMO property
Sharing a flat with other students is one of the most prevalent ways to save money on rent. You can split the rent and utility bills that come with renting the property, such as water and electricity. Three-bedroom apartments are typically less expensive per person than two-bedroom apartments.
Bills inclusive HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) properties can help save money. If you are interested in bills inclusive HMO properties, we’ve got you covered, just drop us a message and we will be happy to assist with your search.
Before making a final decision, view the property in person
Although the internet is a great tool for researching properties and communicating with estate agents, you should not make your final decision until you have viewed a property in person. Pictures and videos may be appealing, but it’s important to get a feel for the place in real life. You could ask your parents or someone older to accompany you and assist you with the final details. If you're sharing with friends, make sure they get a chance to see it for themselves.
With a little research, patience and experience, everything will come together. Remember that you must choose a home that suits your budget, is reasonably close to campus, and, perhaps most importantly, provides a secure environment in which you can study.
How to stretch your budget
When trying to save money and be on a budget, you have to try to be savvy with your spending. Here are some easy habits to adopt to help.
Turn off any lights that aren't in use, don’t leave televisions on standby, and unplug mobile chargers while not in use. Consistent commitment to this will reduce your electricity bills.
Utilise student discounts
Look out for items on sale or brands that offer a student discount. Most supermarkets have a section with marked-down products that are nearing their use by date, and companies like UniDays offer student discounts online and are available on some big-name shops and brands from a wide variety of sectors including: Adobe, BT, ASOS and even Deliveroo!
Use public transport
A great hack to saving money is by using the cheapest public transport options, rather than getting an Uber or Taxi. Instead, opt for the bus or train where possible. Buying a railcard will also be worthwhile, at just £30 a year you can save up to a third on train tickets.
Here at StudentDigz, we’re always on hand to help you find accommodation that is perfect for you. If you have any questions or would like any advice, feel free to get in touch.