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The cost of running your home

The cost of running your home

If you already run your own home, you’ll know how much it can cost. As well as rent and council tax, there are utilities such as gas, electricity and water

If this is the first time you are setting up a home, then there are costs you will need to think about. You need to make sure that you can afford these costs before you accept any offer that we make you.

This page aims to give you an idea of the costs you will need to budget for.

When moving into your home, you will need to furnish the property, here is a list of the basics you will need:

  • Furniture
  • Carpets
  • Curtains
  • White Goods, eg Fridge, Washing Machine
  • Cooker
  • Beds and Bedding
  • Towels
  • Kettle, pans, cups, plates, dishes and cutlery
  • Television

Once you have set up home, you will need to pay regular household bills including:

  • Your Rent
  • Your Council Tax
  • Energy Costs, such as Electricity & Gas 
  • Water and Sewerage Charges
  • Phone
  • Food and household goods
  • Clothes
  • Car expenses, eg MOT, Tax, Repairs and Petrol
  • Home Contents Insurance
  • Travel expenses
  • Any Store Cards, Credit Cards, Catalogue or Credit Payments.

How do I work out how much money I will need?

The key to looking after your money is knowing what money is coming in and how much you spend. The best thing you can do is complete a budget planner, such as the one on the Money Advice Service website.

  • If your budget shows you have money available each week or month, you may be able to afford the cost of running a home, based on your current circumstances.
  • If your budget sheet shows you do not have money available each week or month — you are paying out more than you have coming in and you are at risk of debt.

    We strongly recommend that you have another look at your income and outgoings and consider if you can afford to set up home at the moment.

How do I know what my bills will be?


If you are offered a property, we will tell you how much the rent is and if you can claim any housing benefit from the Council to help you pay your rent.

It is very important that your rent is paid regularly and kept up to date as you risk losing your home

Gas and Electricity

This is a rough guide to what you might pay. Remember that your bills will be higher in winter and the cost can vary depending on how many people live in the property.

One Bedroom Flat £14.00 per week
Two Bedroom House £22.00 per week
Three Bedroom House £28.00 per week
Council Tax

Most people have to pay some amount of Council Tax. Your local council will be able to tell you how much it is for a specific property.

You may be able to claim some help from your council to help pay your council tax, to check if you are eligible and apply for a discount click here.

TV Licence

You must have a TV Licence if you:

  • watch or record programmes on a TV, computer or other device as they’re broadcast
  • download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand

A TV Licence costs £147 (£49.50 for black and white TV sets) for both homes and businesses, and can be purchased in a variety of ways. You can also spread the cost monthly by paying by Direct Debit, or apply for a payment card.

Home Contents Insurance

We recommend otaining your own Contents Insrance, this will help you replace your belongings if your home is burgled, if there is a fire or if you lose keys and need to have the locks replaced.

We have arranged a special discounted rate of insurance for our Tenants, further detals can be obtained here.

What if I can't afford the furniture and other items I need?

Don't be tempted to lend money from an illegal money lender or a doorstep lender — someone who collects the payments from your home. The interest rates are very high and this can make it difficult to pay off the loan.

Also, avoid furniture stores that offer quick sales and have high rates of interest. You will pay much more than on the price ticket and can end up in debt.

If you live in the Blackburn area, we recommend visiting ReUse Together, who benefit the community by providing easy access to good quality, new and pre-used furniture and other household items at affordable prices. Alternatively, other charities such as Oxfam or The Red Cross can be approached.

Credit Unions

A credit union is a financial co-operative which provides savings, loans and a range of services to its members. It is owned and controlled by the members.

Each member has one vote and volunteer directors are elected from the membership, by the membership.

Credit unions are owned by the people who use their services, and not by external shareholders or investors. So the emphasis is always on providing the best service to members – not maximising profits.

A Credit Union can often offer loans at lower rates of interest as well as encourage you to save for future needs.

They sometimes also have 'white goods schemes' where you can get a reasonably prices package of goods for your property.

We can give you information about your local Credit Union, or you can find one by visiting Find your Credit Union.

Community Living Support

This is a scheme from your local council you may be able to use to get essential furniture and household equipment.

This replaces the loans and community care grants some people could apply for via the Jobcentre.

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