Annual living costs increases for students

As the calendar flips to April each year, students find themselves facing a familiar challenge – the annual increase in living costs

What goes up must come down. Although in the current economic situation prices are excluded. As the calendar flips to April each year, students find themselves facing a familiar challenge – the annual increase in living costs. In this blog post, we will delve into the factors contributing to these rises, with a specific focus on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Retail Price Index (RPI) increases that typically occur during this month. Let’s explore how these economic indicators impact students’ wallets across various essential expenses.

Why do prices rise in April each year?

Every April, prices go up because of two things CPI and RPI. These are tools that measure the average cost of things we buy. CPI looks at the average change in prices for stuff like groceries and clothes. When it goes up in April, it’s because of things like inflation and making stuff cost more. RPI is similar, but it also includes housing costs. So, when these tools show prices are going up it’s like a chain reaction. Businesses raise their prices, and it affects everything. It happens because of inflation and other global things like money value changing and the cost of making things going up. Understanding this helps us make smarter money choices when prices rise in April.

So how does this affect students?

The April rise in prices, linked to CPI and RPI, directly impacts students in various ways. As the cost of living increases, students may face higher expenses for everyday items like groceries, clothing, and other essentials. This can strain student budgets, making it challenging to manage expenses related to accommodation, food, and transportation. Additionally, if students are living off-campus, services to 3rd parties can increase council tax may also increase, Understanding these financial dynamics is crucial for students to plan and budget effectively, ensuring they can navigate through the annual surge in living costs without compromising their academic and personal well-being.

What Is likely to increase?

Council Tax

In Sheffield, council tax for the 2024 financial year might see a potential increase of up to 5%. This rise aims to address growing demands for essential services and infrastructure development within the city. While council tax doesn’t apply to households solely occupied by students, mixed households are liable to pay. The increase reflects ongoing efforts to sustain quality services and community provisions amidst economic fluctuations and evolving needs.

Energy Bills

In the Spring Budget, the chancellor has extended the Energy Price Guarantee until July. This means that the unit price of energy will stay capped at its current level, keeping the average typical household bill around £2,500 instead of potentially rising to £3,000. However, the final payment from the government’s £400 energy grant is slated for April. Consequently, starting in May, households may encounter increased bills. Encouragingly, wholesale energy prices are on a downward trend, with Ofgem’s upcoming price cap anticipated to dip below £2,000 for the first time since last year. As temperatures climb in April, there’s potential to reduce your energy usage.

Water Rates

Water bills are set to increase by approximately 7.5% come April, a figure slightly below the inflation rate. Nevertheless, if you reside in England or Wales, expect your bill to surge by about £31. For individuals living solo, exploring a single-person’s tariff with your provider can yield savings. It’s worth noting that many student accommodations may not entail separate payments to the water company, though specifics vary according to your tenancy agreement. Always verify the terms outlined in your agreement to discern your responsibility regarding water bill payments.

TV Licencing

Starting from April 2024, the annual expense for a TV license will amount to £169.50, marking an increase of just 88p per month. While seemingly minor, this uptick necessitates consideration in budgeting for many households.

Broadband, TV, and Mobile Costs

Services such as broadband, TV subscriptions, and mobile phone contracts are nearly always subject to RPI/cpi increases. Across the board, this could lead to up to £100 extra a month depending on what you signed up for. There are rules though on how much they can increase and you could be eligible to get out of a contract. Check the terms and conditions.

How to tackle the cost of increases.

As money gets tighter even still over the cost of living crisis, it’s always worth looking if you can cut back and save money where possible.

Bills included options

If you’re currently paying for your utilities looking for a bills-included option for your next academic year is a way to avoid these caps.

Needing accommodation next year? Book now.

Prices will go up in April and have a knock-on effect on next year’s student accommodation pricing for most. Book now to secure your next year’s accommodation at a potentially lower cost.

Can you cut down on usage?

If you can’t control the pricing of utilities can you find ways to cut down on usage? many have been doing it through the cost of living crisis but it might be worthwhile having another look at if you can make savings

Do you need that TV Licence?

It’s worth checking as it can save over £160 per year, but remember the cost for not having one could be higher.

Sheffield student accommodation – do you need a TV licence?

Do you need the extra subscription services?

As students navigate through the complexities of budgeting and managing expenses, many are opting to cut down on subscription services like Netflix. With the rising costs of education and living expenses, students are seeking ways to streamline their spending. Consequently, subscriptions often deemed non-essential are among the first to go. Moreover, some students are choosing to migrate to cheaper ad-supported pricing tiers on streaming platforms, such as Netflix, as a means of reducing their monthly expenses. While platforms like Netflix offer a plethora of entertainment options, students are increasingly turning to more cost-effective alternatives or utilizing free resources to meet their entertainment needs. This shift reflects a pragmatic approach to financial management as students prioritize necessities and allocate resources judiciously to support their academic and personal pursuits.

Students always want cheaper mobile plans to save money. They check their needs to find unnecessary features and data that make bills higher. By picking cheaper plans and deals, they stay connected and spend less. If you near the end of your contract you are in the perfect place to negotiate for a cheaper service whether with your current provider or another. Taking into account the resale value of a handset can also make it possible to effectively pay off your remaining contract and sign up for something cheaper.

Check the contracts!

The majority of subscription services have a clause about how much they can raise your contract. It’s worth checking this. If your contract states it can only be increased by so much and your provider exceeds this, then they have effectively broken the contract and can contact them to leave without charges. But always contact them first

About Thornsett Properties

Thornsett Properties has been providing value-for-money student accommodation in Sheffield since 1985. Catering to over 650 students studying at Sheffield Uni and Sheffield Hallam Uni every year. As property owners, Thornsett Properties manages all properties directly, ensuring quality living experiences without relying on third parties. Our goal is to support students’ success while living and studying in Sheffield student accommodation.


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