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​Important bills

Becky comments: "I'm surprised by how many bills I'm dealing with at university. It's been useful to list them as part of my budgeting."

Wherever you are living, paying your rent by Direct Debit makes sense. It guarantees a roof over your head. Make sure that you set the date of the Direct Debit to leave your account as soon as you receive your student loan payment or any other regular income.

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

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

TV licence
Whether you live in halls of residence or in a shared house with friends, you'll probably need a TV licence. Don't let ignorance cost you a fine and a criminal record, check out TV Licensing’s information for students for answers to all your questions. And remember, if you pay by Direct Debit, you can claiming back the three summer months that you spend back at home. "The TV licence discount is really worthwhile," says Becky, "it's great to know I'll get a quarter off the whole year's bill."

Phone and the internet
Staying in touch with all your new university friends - and those from home - is really important, so your mobile is going to be essential. While call packages may vary, most operators offer a discount if you pay by Direct Debit and, as time and money are both limited, this means more pounds and more minutes free for enjoying yourself.

Having an internet connection is also essential if you're to benefit from all the information the web offers. If sharing a house with friends look into broadband connection and consider sharing the cost by setting up a joint bank account for household bills and paying by Direct Debit.

If you're lucky enough to have a car remember that it's a serious offence to drive without insurance and road tax. Car insurance can usually be paid via Direct Debit.

Learn more about how to manage your household bills by visiting family life household bills.

Get tips on managing on a budget by visiting living on ​a budget.​​

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