Household Bills

It's important to remember that once you've bought a new home, you will responsible for running and maintaining it, and that means you need to ensure you can afford your household bills.

What are the most common household bills?

Most people, even if you're a first time buyer and you've never ran a home before, will be aware of at least the most common household bills, but you might not be aware of all of them. Luckily, you can learn more about household bills right here. We'll start with the most common ones:

  • Buildings insurance - this covers the cost of making any repairs to your new home that are the result of structural damages from events like storms. Beware, having buildings insurance is often a requirement of your mortgage agreement - it's not an optional extra!
  • Mortgage repayments - unless you're able to pay cash for your new home, chances are you're using a mortgage to finance the purchase and that means you'll have a monthly mortgage payment to factor into your spending. How much you pay is determined by how much you have borrowed,how long you've borrowed it for, what kind of mortgage you have and your interest rate. You can learn more about mortgages here.
  • Gas and electricity bills - this covers the cost of powering your home as well as heating your home. These bills are typically paid by direct debit but you can usually choose whether that is monthly, quarterly or anually. When you're buying a new home, you can check the energy performance certificate to get an idea of how energy efficient the property is and what it might cost to power and heat.
  • Water bills - water bills cover both the amount of water you actually use and the cost of removing waste water (sewerage). How much you pay depends on where you live and the availablity of water in the area and if you're on a water metre, then how much you use can also have an impact.
  • Contents insurance - this isn't mandatory like buildings insurance but it is certainly recommended and it covers the cost of replacing the items in your home, should they be stolen or damaged.
  • Council tax - properties are organised into council tax bands ranging from A, the cheapest and H, the most expensive. The developer, estate agent or seller of your home should have this information to hand to pass on to you or you can find it online just here. If you're a single person living alone, you are eligible for a 25% discount on your council tax bill.
  • TV Licence - this license allows you to legally watch or record live TV on any available channel and yes, you need it even if you don't watch the BBC! The TV licence cost can be found here.

Less common household bills

While our list above covers the most common household bills, it's certainly not exhaustive.

Beware of other costs to run your home such as broadband and TV packages as these can be very expensive and often creep up on costs over time, so it's important to shop around! If you invest in a home security system like ADT for example, this can also result in monthly charges so you need to make sure this is affordable. And last but by no means least, don't neglect a rainy day fund to cover things like home repair jobs and improvements, be it repainting or replastering!