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Cost of Running Your Home


Cost of Running Your Home
 

Moving into your own home can be an exciting time – but also an expensive one.

If you have managed household bills before, you will know about the costs involved in running a home. However, if you are managing a household budget for the first time, you will need to think carefully about how much money you will need to set up your home and pay your regular bills.

 

What costs do I need to think about?

When you first move in, you will have to buy some or all of the following:

• Furniture
• Carpets
• Curtains
• White goods, such as a fridge or freezer and washing machine
• Cooker
• Bed clothes
• Towels
• Kitchen utensils, cutlery and crockery
• Television

Once you have set up home, you will need to pay regular bills, including:

• Rent
• Council tax
• Electricity
• Gas
• Water
• TV licence
• Food and household goods
• Clothing
• Home contents insurance
• Car expenses such as insurance, car tax and petrol
• Travel to work expenses
• Any credit card, store card, or catalogue payments

How do I work out how much money I will need?

You have to be honest and realistic about how much money you have coming in and how much you will need to pay your bills and the initial cost of setting up a home.

You can visit the Money Advice Service website to help you take stock of your day-to-day finances and then use the budget planner  to work out how much money you have coming in and what you're spending it on.

You can also download a budget sheet from the National Debtline website.

How do I know how much my bills will be?

Remember that your fuel bills will be higher in the winter. Based on figures provided by the comparison site Uswitch it is estimated that the cost of a combined gas and electricity supply will be: 

• One bedroom flat - £14 a week
• Two bedroom house - £22 a week
• Three bedroom house - £27 a week

To find out more about paying your fuel bills and the help available, visit our ‘Affordable warmth’, ‘Energy saving tips’, ‘How to change your energy supplier’ and ‘Save money on your fuel bills’ pages.

Rent

When you bid for a property, you will know how much your rent will be. It is extremely important that you pay your rent. If you don't pay your rent, you could lose your home.

You may be able to get Housing Benefit to help with your rent. Find out more about Housing Benefit on Doncaster Council's website.

Food and household bills

These will vary from household to household. Typical weekly costs quoted on the National Debtline website are:

• Single person - £50 to £70
• Couple - £90 to £118
• Each child - £20 to £35
• Each non-dependant - £35 to £48

TV licence

From 1 April 2010, the fee for a basic black and white only TV licence increased from £48.00 to £49.00, and a basic colour TV licence from £142.50 to £145.50. These annual rates have been frozen until 2016.

Find out more about how to pay on the TV licence website.

You can spread the cost of paying for your TV licence - Find out more here.

Water

Visit Yorkshire Water’s website to find out how much metered water costs. For the year 2012/13 prices vary from about £3.60 a week for one person (low usage) through to around £14.55 a week for five people (high usage). If you would like to have a water meter installed in your home, please contact our surveyor on 01302 862269 or 01302 862270 for permission. Homes that do not have a water meter receive bills based on the rateable value of their property. For an indication of costs where the water is unmetered please contact Yorkshire Water

Council tax

Find out how much your council tax will be on Doncaster Council’s website.

The charge for a band A property in 2013/14 is £872.02. This rate may be different if you live in an area with a Parish Council.

Remember – you should be entitled to a discount if you live alone, are a student, or are disabled.

Find out more on Doncaster Council’s website.

You can download a leaflet about Council Tax reduction for people with disabilities.

You may be able to get help from the Council with  your Council Tax. Find out more about help with your Council Tax on Doncaster Council's website.

Home Contents Insurance

You do not have to have Home Contents Insurance, but you should think about how you would replace things in your home if you were burgled or there was a fire. You can choose any insurer you wish.

St. Leger Homes works with RSA to offer its customers affordable contents insurance. Find out more here.

I can’t afford new furniture and all the other items I need

Don’t be tempted to borrow from a doorstep seller or money lender to pay for things. You will pay a very high rate of interest and it will be difficult to pay off the loan. Visit our ‘Doorstep sellers and money lenders’ page for more information on this.

Also, avoid furniture stores that charge high rates of interest. You will pay far more for the furniture than the amount shown on the price ticket.

Doncaster ReFurnish

Doncaster ReFurnish offers affordable furniture, electrical appliances and household goods to local residents. There are stores in Doncaster town centre and Carcroft.

Find out more on the Doncaster ReFurnish website.

Budgeting loans

You may be able to apply for a budgeting loan to pay for essential furniture and household items. Budget loans are interest-free so you only pay back the amount you borrowed. You can apply for a budgeting loan if you have been receiving Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit for at least 26 weeks.

Find out more about budgeting loans and how to apply on the Gov.uk website.

If you don't qualify for a budgeting loan, you could get a low-cost loan from the local credit union. To find out more, visit our Credit Union page.

Am I entitled to any help with my household bills?

You may be entitled to benefits including Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.Visit our ‘Benefits’ page to find out more.

Also, visit our ‘Affordable warmth’, ‘Energy saving tips’, ‘How to change your energy supplier’ and ‘Save money on your fuel bills’ pages for help and advice on paying for your gas and electricity.

Can I get help with my Supporting People charges?

If you receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit, services such as warden intercom and warden visits can be paid for by the Supporting People Fund.

Please ask about this at any St. Leger Homes office.

Where can I get help and advice locally?

Business Doncaster have a guide for anyone wanting details on providers of Debt Advice, Benefits Advice, Housing Advice, Job Advice, Financial Training and General Support available in Doncaster. Find out more here.

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