Household Costs Guide

Bills bills bills...
Picture of a Toucan with a large bill, a play on words with household bills
The information set out in this Guide is general guidance for students. It should not be seen as definitive or legal advice 


Managing Your Household Finances Like a Pro!

Household expenses often cause stress and can strain friendships (we’ve seen it happen…a lot!). However, with proper preparation, you can avoid disputes and foster a harmonious living environment, leading to studential bliss!


  • Know the ins and outs of your rent – some landlords cover water rates, while others don't.
  • Review your tenancy agreement carefully; it might include additional bills like gas, electricity, and internet.
  • Get the lowdown from previous tenants on gas, electricity, and water costs if possible.
  • Take those meter readings pronto after the previous tenants have departed, you don’t want to be landed with a bill that’s not yours!
  • If you're footing the bills, switch them to your name with suppliers ASAP. Decide whether to go solo or opt for joint billing among housemates for shared responsibility.
  • Check out handy apps for dividing bills seamlessly in shared digs.
  • Draft up a written agreement with your roomies detailing who's in charge of what bills. Apps can lend a hand in ensuring fair division and clarity on everyone's responsibilities.
  • See our Finance pages for more advice and tips on cutting student living costs.


  • Don't gamble with safety – students can be easy targets for theft! Your landlord's insurance won't cover your personal stash.
  • Shop around for insurance that suits your needs.
  • Make sure your policy has you covered even during those well-deserved holidays.

Council Tax

  • If everyone under your roof is a full-time student, rejoice – you're council tax-exempt! Just show the council a certificate proving your student status. Need one? Here's how to snag it:
  • If there's a non-student among you, brace yourself – council tax may come knocking. But fear not! You don’t have to pay council tax while you are a student, until the day after the last day of term. Pitching in towards their bill is a choice, not a mandate.
  • If council tax status has you scratching your head, don't sweat it – reach out to the SU Advice Team for guidance.

TV Licence Tips

Why do I need a TV Licence?
“A TV Licence is a legal permission to install or use television receiving equipment to watch TV channels on any TV service, watch live TV on streaming services, and to use BBC iPlayer. This includes recording and downloading. On any device. The licence fee is not a payment for BBC services (or any other television service)”. See the TV Licence Framework here for more details


Useful resources

Stay savvy, stay informed – managing household costs like a boss!

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Falmouth & Exeter Students' Union
Penryn Campus
Penryn, Cornwall
TR10 9FE

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Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) registered in England and Wales, charity number 1193045