Paying your own way

We all know that moving out and living independently means taking responsibility for the costs of everyday living, but what exactly are those costs? We take a look at how much it costs to pay your own way.

Yearly cost of living

Living expense
Yearly average household cost

Renting

£3,006

Food and drink

£5,808

Gas and electricity

£1,180

Holidays and entertainment

£3,999

Water

£421

Transport

£4,170

Phone and broadband

£1,108

Council Tax

£1,274

Insurance

£1,045

Toiletries

£676

Total

£22,688

Don’t panic – the figures above represent average yearly household figures.

For most young people moving into their first place, these costs will be far less.

Accommodation

We all need a safe and secure place to live.

How much that costs depends on many things, such as:

  • the type of housing
  • where in the country it is
  • whether you’re sharing the cost
  • whether you’re renting or paying a mortgage.

In places where many people want to live, such as big cities, the cost of accommodation can be far higher than just a few miles further away.

For your first home you might want to consider sharing with others to try and spread the costs.

Food

It’s easy to buy the food you need when you need it, often every day.

Although it might seem more expensive at the time, it often works out cheaper to do a weekly shop.

This way, you can set yourself a weekly budget and stick to it.

It’s easy to be tempted by the offers and discounts in the major supermarkets. But make sure you need the things you buy before you end up spending more than you need, or wasting food.

You could also try buying supermarket own-brand or basic ranges, which can be far cheaper than branded products.

Utilities

Utilities are made up of gas, electric and water.

You can’t change the cost of your water bills as it’s set by your regional supplier. In Scotland, this will be your local council unless you’re on a water meter.

You can, however, haggle with or switch your gas and electricity supplier – so make sure you shop around for the best deals.

Each gas and electricity company offers a range of tariffs, just like with mobile phones. So spend some time making sure you’re on the best tariff for you.

Switching supplier is easy and can help you make some big savings.

Running a car

This can be far more than you expect after taking petrol, insurance, and repair bills into account.

TV Licence

The cost of a TV Licence increases each year on 1 April. For 2021-22, it costs £159 for a year. A black and white licence costs £53.50.

You can pay for it yearly, but if you choose to pay quarterly it will cost an extra £5.

If you pay weekly or monthly, you pay for the first year’s licence in six months.

You’d then continue paying for your next licence over 12 months, so you’d be six months ahead.

You need to be covered by a TV Licence to:

  • watch or record live TV programmes on any channel
  • download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.

This could be on any device, including a:

  • TV
  • desktop computer
  • laptop
  • mobile phone
  • tablet
  • games console
  • digital box
  • DVD/VHS recorder.

You could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 if you’re caught watching without a licence.

Mobile and broadband

Just like with utility bills, switching broadband provider or changing your mobile phone contract can save you money.

So, when you’re getting a new contract, or your old ones comes to an end, make sure you’re comparing the deals you can get to save money.

Unexpected bills

Car repairs, vet bills, emergency home repairs – these kind of costs can affect anyone at any time, so it’s never too soon to prepare for them.

The best thing to do is to regularly put aside some money to start to build up an emergency savings fund.

You can also take steps to trying to prevent items breaking, or buy insurance that covers you if things go wrong.

Talking about money

Not talking about money can cause problems because almost everything in our lives is affected by our finances in some way.

Use our guides to break down those barriers and talk to your friends, partner, older relatives and children about money.

Help with living costs

If you’re struggling to pay for your everyday living costs, you might be entitled to certain benefits.

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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