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Renting

With house prices in the UK so high, renting is a popular option for finding a home.

Kim comments: "I've been lucky enough to buy a house for myself and Jess recently with help from my parents, but for years did live in a rented property."

However you are renting, paying by Direct Debit makes sense. Rent is a priority payment as it guarantees a roof over your head, so make sure that you set the date of the Direct Debit to leave your account as soon as you receive your salary or benefits.

Remember that most landlords will require a deposit as well as the first month's rent up front. Make sure that you have funds ready to transfer so that you can act quickly when you find the flat or house of your dreams.

When searching for a home, work out how much you can afford, remembering to ask which bills are included within the rent. Council tax, water and utilities like electric may or may not be included and could make a big difference to your sums. Look out for the discounts the many big utility companies offer to Direct Debit payers and you can include those too.

If you are paid weekly, it may be worth talking to your landlord about weekly rent payments. Direct Debit can give you the flexibility to manage your finances to suit you.

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