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

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 work out a budget on 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. It is estimated for 2014/15 that the cost of a combined gas and electricity supply will be: 

• One bedroom flat - £15.50 per week
• Two bedroom house - £22.85 per week
• Three bedroom house - £29.45 per week

To find out more about paying your fuel bills and the help available, visit our energy pages.


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 for 2014/15 are:

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

TV licence

The fee for a colour TV licence is £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.


Visit Yorkshire Water’s website to find out how much metered water costs. For the year 2014/15 prices vary from about £4.02 a week for one person (low usage) through to around £16.19 a week for five people (high usage). For an indication of costs where the water is unmetered please contact Yorkshire Water.

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. 

Council tax

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

The charge for a band A property in 2014/15 is £889.04. 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.


BT Basic phone package

BT have a social telephone tariff called BT Basic. The tariff is aimed at cutting the costs for those on certain benefits. The tariff costs £5.10/month (£15.30 every three months), compared to the usual £15.45 /month line rental (on standard tariffs there are also fees of £2.00 per month if you don't pay by Direct Debit). This gives you line rental and includes £4.50 worth of calls each quarter.

Find our more about BT Basic.


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

Doncaster Refurnish offer affordable furniture, electrical appliances and household goods to local residents. There are stores in Doncaster town centre, Thorne, Carcroft and Wath.

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.

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 'Energy' pages ‘Save energy and money’ and ‘Discounts and Support’ for help and advice on paying for your gas and electricity.

Will my home alarm service service be paid for?
The cost of the service is £3.20 per week or £41.60 per quarter, however customers aged 65 and over and in receipt of Housing or Council Tax benefit for financial reasons will receive the service free of charge. Find out more on the Doncaster Council website.

Where can I get help and advice locally?

Doncaster Advice Services Partnership have a website for anyone wanting details on providers of debt/money advice, benefits advice, housing advice and other services available in Doncaster.

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