Money Going Out

Running a Home


When you are choosing where to live and setting your budget, it’s important to remember all of the bills that you will have to pay. Your regular bills will include:

  • Your rent/mortgage
  • Council Tax, which can be paid over 12 instalments. Please ask if you would like to pay this way.
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Waste water
  • Your TV licence
  • Food and cleaning products
  • Clothing
  • Home insurance
  • Home contents insurance
  • Car expenses including insurance, servicing, MOT, tax and fuel
  • Travel expenses, for example bus or train tickets and
  • Any credit cards, store cards or catalog payments that you might have

An energy efficient home tends to have lower electricity and gas bills than an inefficient one. To find out more visit our Warm Homes pages.

How much will they cost?

Some of your bills are set, for example your rent, Council Tax and TV licence. You should contact your provider to find out how much they cost.

Others are based on what you use, for example electricity, gas etc. Asking someone who is living in a home about the same size as yours, with about the same number of people, will give you a rough idea of how much your bills are likely to cost.

The National Energy Action website has information about how they're trying to reduce fuel poverty.

To find out how much your Council Tax is by visiting our Council Tax Banding page.

To find out how much a TV licence will cost and ways to pay visit the TV Licensing website.


Pets can cost a lot of money to feed, groom, keep them vaccinated etc. Make sure you understand just how much a pet will cost before you get one or give them as a gift.

All pet dogs must be micro chipped. The Dogs Trust is working with some local vets to microchip dogs for free. To find out more visit the Chip My Dog website or call 0300 123 0334.

Setting up a home

Moving home is exciting but expensive. When you move in you may have to buy:

  • Furniture for example beds, tables, sofas etc
  • Carpets/rugs
  • Curtains/blinds
  • White goods for example fridges, freezers, washing machines etc
  • Cooker, microwave, kettle
  • Sheets, duvets, pillows, towels
  • Kitchen utensils, cutlery and crockery
  • Television

Buy Second Hand and Reduce Costs

You'll be able to buy some things second-hand from charity shops including the British Heart Foundation and The Heart of Kent Hospice among others.

Reuse and Recycle

You may also be able to collect some items through recycling sites including:

Kent County Council

Kent County Council may also be able to help.

The Abacus Furniture Store

The Abacus Furniture Store in Park Wood is there to help people buy quality furniture and household items at low prices. For more information call on 01622 620464.


Once you know, or have estimated the costs of running your home, you may want to use a budget calculator like the one on This is Money, to help you keep track. Alternatively, you can download Martin Lewis' budgeting spreadsheet from the Money Saving Website.

The Money and Pensions Service provides information on ways to cut costs on your home phone and broadband, gas and electricity, water bill and cheaper holidays.

What is a credit report

A credit report is like your financial passport and contains lots of important pieces of information. Companies carry out credit checks and make decisions about you all the time, from approving a credit card or loan to giving you a mobile phone contract.

For further tips and advice about your finances or to get a free credit check visit the Noddle website.

Budgeting loans

You may be able to apply for a budgeting loan to pay for essential furniture and household items. Budget loans are interest-free so you only pay back the amount you borrowed.

To find out more about budgeting loans visit GOV.UK's website.


Moving house can be stressful. However planning ahead will make it easier. Before moving you will need to think about the following:

  • Before signing an agreement make sure you can afford to live in your new home, pay the rent/mortgage and all the bills.
    Letting agents and landlords may want a deposit, a months rent before you move in, credit check charges, admins fees and more. Make sure you understand the total cost of what you're paying.
  • Packing takes time. You'll need plenty of packing materials including newspaper for wrapping fragile items, cardboard boxes and sellotape. It can be useful to write which room the box should go in on the box.
  • How will you transport your possessions? You may need to hire or borrow a car or van. Check the terms and conditions and make sure you understand all of the charges that you'll have to pay.
  • Will you need any help with the lifting and carrying? Friends and family may be happy to help you or you may need to pay for a removal service.
  • Moving with small children can be difficult. Could you ask someone to look after your children for a few hours while you move house?
  • Pets can find moving stressful or even feel lost. Ask your vet for advice.
  • Read all of the meters when you leave your old home and arrive in your new home. Contact the electricity, gas and water companies and give them your readings. This will prevent you from paying for any electricity, gas and water used by the previous owner/tenant.
  • Make sure that you tell people that you've moved. There's a checklist that you can use the BBC's website. You can also pay Royal Mail to redirect your post by completing their online form or by visiting your nearest Post Office.
  • Remember to register to vote, as you won't be able to apply for credit if you don't. To find out more visit our Voting and Elections pages.


Find the Best Route

Visit Martin Lewis' website to see how paying two tickets for different parts of a journey, instead of the whole trip can be cheaper.

Using Public Transport

If you make the same journey regularly you may find it cheaper to buy a weekly or monthly season ticket. Some companies have discounts for regular travel and other special offers so it’s worth asking the driver or ticket office.

To find out more visit the/our:

Many train and bus services charge less off peak. If you don't need to travel early in the morning, ask the company when their off peak fares normally start and travel off peak.

Travel passes for Young People

For more information visit Kent County Council's website.

Running a car or motorbike

Running a car or motorbike can be quite expensive. As well as the cost of buying the vehicle, there's also the ongoing maintenance costs to think about including fuel, MOT, insurance etc.


Shop around for your insurance by using an insurance broker or a price comparison website.

Servicing and MOTs

The cost of having your vehicle serviced and MOTs vary, so ask your friends and family who they use or shop around to get the best deal. If your vehicle fails its MOT, some garages will re-test it for free, so remember to check.


Fuel prices vary so you may want to shop around for your diesel or petrol. Some websites including Petrol Prices, help you search for good deals on diesel and petrol.

Tyre Pressure

Keeping your tyres pumped up to the right pressure can help your tyres last longer and help you get more miles per gallon. Kwik Fit has a handy guide on their website, if you're unsure what your tyre pressures should be.

Drive Smarter

Driving smarter can help you save money. To find out more visit the Which website.

Car Sharing

You could share the cost of running a car by car sharing. This is not the same as running a taxi. Car sharing is where you choose to give someone a lift for a journey you would make anyway and they pay you something for it. To find out more visit the Liftshare website.

Before you start car sharing, talk to the person you share with and agree how much money will be paid. Some people will ask for half the petrol costs, others will ask for half of all the costs. To see how this is worked out visit the Liftshare website. All that really matters is that everyone agrees the amount and when it will be paid.

For more information about car sharing visit the Liftshare website.