Image by Tulane Public Relations
Although the next academic year might seem a long way off, if you want to find the best student accommodation on offer, the ideal time to look is at the start of the year when there is still plenty to choose from. Saving money is a high priority for students, so follow these suggestions during your accommodation search.
If staying in halls is still an option, opt for a room without an en-suite and in a hall where your meals aren't catered for; you can expect to see your weekly room rental cost at least halve if you do this.
Arrange your own accommodation
Avoid letting agents who will charge you significant administration fees and instead look to the numerous internet sites that advertise rooms to rent in student houses. An even cheaper option is to become a lodger; it's perhaps not the image that a lot of students are looking for, but the standard of accommodation in someone's home is usually much better and you know that if anything breaks down it will be quickly fixed. Staying with your parents or another family member might be your last resort, but is probably the best way to save money on accommodation.
If you are only going to be in the university town or city for 9 months of the year, do you really want to pay for the extra 3 months accommodation that you won't make use of? It's easier to find shorter-term lets than you might think and you can put the money saved towards enjoying yourself all the more during the months you are at university.
Don't forget utility bills
Although you may initially discount properties where the bills are included due to the higher price you will pay in rent each month, in the long run it might actually be a cheaper option to take one of these on; you can use as much electricity, hot water and heating as you want without worrying what the next bill will be. If you will be paying your own utility bills, one of your first jobs should be to find the cheapest supplier you can for gas and electricity, as with the landlord not paying the quarterly bill you can guarantee they won't have opted for the best deal.