From paying your monthly rent to working out what council tax bracket you fit into – your financial responsibilities in the UK can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be because ID Medical is here to help you every step of the way! In this post, we outline the major household bills you’ll need to pay once you arrive in the UK!
What types of household bills are there?
- Council tax
- Utility bills – gas, electricity and water
- Internet, TV and phone bills
- TV licence
Up first is council tax and its money you need to pay to your local authority for access to local services such as rubbish collection, parks, libraries, transport, police and fire services.
The amount of council tax you’ll pay is completely determined by the area you live in, size of your property and current position in life (for example, students and live-in carers are exempt). Also, if you live by yourself, you’ll receive a 25% reduction. To find out how much you’ll be paying, you can check here.
Paying your electricity bills is what’s going to allow you to power and keep your home warm with running water. The great news is that there are plenty of energy companies to choose from, allowing you to shop around and get the best deal.
When you’re viewing properties, they’ll each have an energy performance certificate and that will help you choose an energy-efficient option whilst giving a good indication of how much your bills will be. One major benefit is that no matter which provider you opt for, you’ll have the choice of choosing to pay-as-you-go, monthly, quarterly or annually.
Unlike gas and electricity, you cannot choose your water provider because they’re allocated depending on where you live. Water rates vary throughout the UK and will depend on your location and the availability of water in your area.
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Internet, TV and phone bills
Even if you choose not to have a landline, also known as a home phone, you’ll still need to pay for the line rental in order to connect to the internet and get access to Wi-Fi. Furthermore, if you also want access to the latest sports channels or American TV shows then you’ll also need to pay for a television package with companies such as Sky, Virgin, BT and TalkTalk (other providers are available!).
Comparison sites are going to be your best friends when comparing which broadband and television package to opt for.
Top tip – In 2017, Which surveyed 2,000 people questioning their haggling experience and the results revealed that 86% of hagglers saved an average of £775 a year if they negotiate. So, remember to get your bargaining hat on!
Following on from your ability to watch TV, you’re also required to have a TV licence to legally watch or record live TV on any channel either through your TV or online. A TV licence costs £154.50 a year for colour TV and £52 for a black and white TV. You can pay it weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.
This bill is more of an optional one but it’s definitely a wise one in case there is accidental damage to your property or the unfortunate incident of theft. Depending on whether you own your property, you may want to consider taking out buildings and contents insurance and if you rent it, just contents insurance.
Once again, price comparison sites are going to be your best friend but remember to always read the small print before you sign anything!
Similar to life, paying bills can always provide you with an element of surprise. From unexpected home repairs to fixing a broken boiler or paying the excess on your insurance – know your rights, who is expected to pay what (if you’re renting) and make sure to budget for your new and exciting life in the UK!