15 Household Expenses You Need To Know Before Moving In!

Updated: May 12, 2021

Welcome to our first time Buyer series! We are ‘The Bargain Bloggers’ aka: Sean and Phoebe, your average young British couple who have taken the plunge in buying our very first house together! We seem to be learning an awful lot of ‘adult stuff’ along our way... stuff that we quite frankly did not know about... stuff that, unless you had extremely savvy and open parents or an education curriculum at school that we sure did NOT, then we can almost guarantee that you wont know about either.



Don’t fret though, we are here to help you learn and understand everything that is involved in

buying your very first house. This FTB series will include everything from how to save for a deposit, how to get a mortgage, where you can get the best bargains/ interior deals, DIY tips and most importantly budgets, budgets and More BUDGETS (and especially how to manage and keep on top of your budgeting).


So let us begin with the most important budget you will want to plan for.... YOUR HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES. What are they? Why do I need them? and ... where do I even sign up for them?!???



1. MORTGAGE

Your mortgage payment will most likely be your biggest monthly expense, and as Phoebe is a trainee mortgage advisor herself, we were both lucky to be aware of the mortgage side of this process before we got going. A mortgage advisor is a useful person to get you on the right track, as they can access a wide range of lenders, and find you the most suitable product/ lender based on your individual circumstances. Visit Phoebe’s family mortgage advice business if you wish to personally ask us more about this process www.tlmortgages.co.uk or google independent mortgage advisors in your area to seek some more individual help. We will do a much more detailed blog on the ins and outs of the mortgage process, and everything you will need to know before you start applying!


2. SERVICE CHARGE / GROUND RENT

This is a sneaky one... and usually only applies to leasehold properties (which would mainly be if you were purchasing a flat). HOWEVER, something we have stumbled across whilst purchasing a New Build property with Persimmon Is that we have a £15 service charge per month to pay!! (cheeky devils). Our advice on this... find out if your property is leasehold or freehold and enquire early on as to what hidden monthly service charge/ ground rent charges you will have to pay before falling in love with your dream home.


3. COUNCIL TAX

Flipping council tax hey! What a hidden heel kicker of a bill that is...! Your council tax will be

dependent on your location and tax band. Each property has an assigned council tax figure,

calculated yearly, and this figure is something you can find out before you put an offer in on a house.

The first step you must take is to Visit this government website and type in your future address to find our your council tax band... https://www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands

Once you have found your council tax band, visit your local council’s website. Each council has their own council tax figures, and these can be found on your specific council’s web page. For example, we are buying in Northumberland, and below is an example of the tax band prices in that area for 2021.




Lets use ourselves as an example... we are buying in Amble and are in Council tax A or B (since we are New Build we do not know the exact band until the address is officially registered). As you can see, we have highlighted our area’s council tax for band A and band B. A strong suggestion we have is to always pick your WORST CASE scenario when pre planning your future expenses, therefore you will never be stumped when it comes to paying your bills.

Example: Amble council tax band B of £1624.11 a year works out as £135 per month (£1624.11 / 12) and divide it by 12 to get our monthly expense. We would end up paying £135 a month for council tax as a worst case scenario (so that is exactly what we added into our budget planning template.


4. BUILDING’S INSURANCE

Now let us dive into the insurance expenses you will entail as a homeowner... aka the fun part (NOT). Let us explain each insurance you should be taking out alongside your mortgage & WHY. We will also add in a couple of other (non-mandatory) insurances you can consider if you feel there is extra need for them, having assessed some extra wiggle room in your monthly budget!

Building’s Insurance is mandatory when taking out a mortgage on a property. It is important that the property is covered, as it is the security for your mortgage loan. There is also a necessity (not a need) to take out content’s insurance alongside this- and usually you can get a ‘buildings and contents insurance’ package deal. VISIT....


To think of what contents insurance would cover... imagine lifting your property off the ground and tipping it upside down and give it a good shake... anything that falls out can be covered in your content’s insurance. Simple! Buildings insurance is simply your bricks and mortar

Usually, a good buildings and contents insurance package is around the £20 mark for reference!

Additional insurances you may wish to take out:


• Income Protection: A long term policy that provides cover for health-related work absence

and not redundancy. In the event of such absence, you will receive a tax-free monthly

income that will be payable until your desired retirement age.


• Accident, Sickness & Unemployment Insurance: A short term pay out that will cover a

percentage of your income for a short period of time if any of the following (Accident,

Sickness or Unemployment) were to happen.


5. LIFE INSURANCE / LIFE & CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE

MORTGAGE PROTECTION. Have you considered the importance of life insurance??? Well, you should. If you are a couple (life us) and are taking out a mortgage over a 35 year or so term, and are on a repayment mortgage, then considering decreasing life insurance cover is highly important.


Phoebe is a mortgage adviser like we have already mentioned, and she deals with life insurance and mortgage protection within her role. To put life insurance in simple terms, if one of you were to die within your term, then your mortgage will be paid off... in a lump sum, just like that. Boom, debt gone for your significant other or dependents.


Similarly... life and critical illness cover is effectively life insurance without actually having to die.. meaning you are covered for major illnesses like cancer heart attacks, strokes etc! Again, one of you Is diagnoses, then the entire mortgage debt is repaid. Providing obviously you are within your mortgage term. And for what it’s worth, trust me the premiums really aren’t that high! We have been quoted £9 for joint life insurance only cover ... madness!



6. TV LICENCE

We are more than sure you will want to have a TV in your brand new home? Correct? If not, good for you! You must be more fun than we are... because, we need a TV! And did you know... it is a fineable offence to watch TV and not have a TV licence! Id imagine that would be more of a useful fact to have learned at school than how to place a gauze in a Bunsen burner, but anyways... no shade to the UK education system!

For £157.50 a year (about £13 a month) there is no point not getting one, and being at risk of being fined... in COURT. Yes that’s right, let’s try and avoid the court room for now if we can! All we wanted was to watch TV In our very own living room.


7. BROADBAND

We think... correct us if we’re wrong but... this could be the most important expense of all? how sad. But true. We are in our twenties.... and yes we are attached to our phones.. Sky... Netflix.. Laptops... and basically everything WIFI related. One thing we agreed was that we are willing to invest in Fibre Optic Broadband, as the days of slow wifi are behind us now.


8&9.GAS & ELECTRIC

WAIT... there’s more (cry)! Once you’ve been through all this faff of securing a mortgage, getting your council tax sorted, and all your insurances in place, you then need to think about how you will actually live in your home! And you might want to start with being of a tolerable temperature, having hot water to shower in, and being able to cook real life meals to eat! Highly important and HIGHLY necessary. Your gas and electric can be bought as a package or separate, so it is worth looking into deals on an individual and package basis!

A super reliable and easy to use provider in the UK was EDF Energy .. they will allow you to get a free quote by only entering your postcode, and help you keep on track of your premiums each year.

One tip though... get a smart metre!! They save you money and help you keep track of your daily spend


10. WATER

Running water... showering .... Cups of tea... washing your clothes ... you didn’t think it was free did you? No no we have to pay monthly for that too! Effectively, as you can see the trend by now, we have to pay for EVERYTHING (& probably more). So I would say planning a budget was probably a smart idea.

The good news.. Water bills are actually one of the easier type of bills to organise. Each area of the UK has just one supplier of water for the area, so there is no need to hunt for the best deal. We, for example live in Northumberland so will get our water from Northumbrian Water and pay around £30 a month.



11. BOILER COVER

Now this is something you might have never heard of before!... Boiler cover is a type of insurance you can take out as protection if something goes wrong with your boiler and/or central heating. It can help cover the costs of engineer callouts and labour costs as well as any parts they may need to make the required repairs.





12. EMERGENCIES!!

Let’s be logical here... you are buying a house, things are bound to break, go wrong, stop working or be damaged, that’s just the reality of life! To avoid pain debt and heart ache ... do yourselves a favour and set aside a small amount in your monthly budget to cover unexpected expenses which may occur. You will thank us for this later! If you don’t end up needing that money one month, put it in a savings pot in case a biiiiig emergency happens one month, and at least you’ll know you have an emergency fund to cover it!


13. SECURITY

Adding a security system to your home gives you an extra layer of defence against any potential intruders. There are many advantages to a home security system;

• Protects your valuables

• Deters crime

• Can lower home insurance

• Helps keep tabs on your kids

• Notifies you of fire or gas problems

• Spot a/ scare off a burglar.

• Helps with your piece of mind!



14. FOOD

Oh the food bill... with two larger than normal mouths to feed in our household, I think we would struggle without incorporating food into our monthly budget!

Each week we do a food shop for breakfast’s, snack’s, lunches and a couple of dinners. At the shop we pick up household washing items, bin bags and soaps etc etc..

In addition to this, we are IN LOVE WITH HELLO FRESH. In fact we may be competing for the number 1 fan top spot on that one. They are quick, easy, healthy and utterly delicious. We get 4 meals a week to feed two people at 34.99... I would say that’s pricey but for what you get it is actually very

worth it!


15. DRINK

Don’t forget to budget for those bottles of wine, and crates of beer! We don’t want to be in a

position where we ‘pop to the shop’ every other night and end up paying a ridiculous amount of money on impulsive alcoholic bevs!


Final food for thought...

Now that you have the complete breakdown of household expenses which will incur on a monthly basis once you have purchased your new home, it’s a good idea to think about HOW you wish to pay for these bills. We have done some digging and decided the best way is to open our very first joint account and have all the bills come out of this account. We will each slightly overpay into that account as a direct debit coming from our own current accounts each month, and use the joint account for our food shop too! That way, there will never be money related arguments either, yey!


We even found some banks offer cards that include rewards for household bills being taken from that account.. SO there's a money saving tip to add in for you, as well as a practical and organizational one!



Love Sean & Phoebe




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