So you’ve moved away from home into your student house and are starting to finally settle in. Making new friends and sharing new experiences can make it an exciting time – but it also brings fresh challenges and responsibilities too. To make life a little easier, we’ve compiled some of our favourite tips to help you save water and stay on top of your bills.
Who’s in charge of bills
Are you and your housemates responsible for sorting out your water bill? Sometimes utilities can be included in the rent, so you’ll need to establish this first. If water isn’t already taken care of, you’ll need to register with your local water company. If you’re not sure who supplies your home, take a look at our guide.
If you are charged separately for your water and sewerage, make sure everyone in the household is listed as a bill payer. That should motivate everyone to make sure the bill is paid on time, reducing the chance of you falling into arrears.
Would you know what to do in an emergency, for example in the event of a leak? Do you know where the stop tap is? It’s usually found close to where your water supply pipe enters your home. There is a good chance it’s hiding under the kitchen sink, beneath the stairs or in the garage. Now that winter is coming, it’s also a good idea to make sure external pipes are lagged to reduce the risks of bursts. Speak to your landlord to ensure this has been done.
Save water, save money
Whether your house is on a water meter or not, it is in everyone’s interest to use water wisely – not just to save the pennies (if your house is metered), but to help protect the environment and our future water supplies too.
You could start by swapping the bath for a short daily shower. Try making a playlist of some of your favourite four-minute songs to help time your shower. Other simple things such as turning the tap off while you brush your teeth, or only switching on the washing machine and the dishwasher when they are full will all help you to save.
Reducing the amount of hot water you use, can also have a positive effect on your energy bills.
Don’t cause a pain in the drain
Do you have a bin in the bathroom? Be sure to get one. You’ll be amazed how many of us use the toilet like a bin, putting unflushables such as cotton buds, wet wipes, condoms and tampons down the loo. Avoid being the one causing an embarrassing blockage by making sure you only flush pee, poo and paper down the loo – put everything else in the bin!
The same goes for the kitchen too. Fat, oil and grease can clog up pipes if they’re put down the plughole and quickly turn a pain in the drain into a real kitchen nightmare. Make sure any food leftovers go in the bin, not down the sink by wiping plates and pans with a kitchen towel to remove any fat or grease left on them.
If you’re planning a Sunday roast to impress your new friends, pour any leftover fat into a jar or butter tub. You can then leave it to cool before scraping it in the bin.
You’ll find stacks more advice on everything from saving water to paying your bills on our website.