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Cost of Running Your Home

Moving into your own home can be an exciting time – but also an expensive one.

If you have managed household bills before, you will know about the costs involved in running a home. However, if you are managing a household budget for the first time, you will need to think carefully about how much money you will need to set up your home and pay your regular bills.

What costs do I need to think about?

When you first move in, you will have to buy some or all of the following:

  • Furniture, Carpets, Curtains

  • White goods, such as a fridge, freezer, washing machine

  • Cooker

  • Bedding, Towels

  • Kitchen utensils, cutlery, crockery

  • Television

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

  • Rent & Council Tax

  • Gas, electricity, water

  • Food & household goods

  • TV licence

  • Clothing

  • Home contents insurance

  • Car expenses such as insurance, car tax, petrol

  • Travel to work expenses

  • Any credit card, store card, or catalogue payments

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

You have to be honest and realistic about how much money you have coming in and how much you will need to pay your bills and the initial cost of setting up a home.

You can visit the Money Advice Service website to help you take stock of your day-to-day finances and then use our budget planner to work out how much money you have coming in and what you're spending it on.

How do I know how much my bills will be?


When you bid for a property, you will know how much your rent will be. It is extremely important that you pay your rent. If you don't pay your rent, you could lose your home.

If you're on a low income you may be entitled to Housing Benefit to help with your rent. Find out more about Housing Benefit on Doncaster Council's website.

Council Tax

Find out how much your council tax will be on Doncaster Council’s website.

The charge for a band A property in 2017/18 is £976.61. This rate may be different if you live in an area with a Parish Council.

If you live alone, you a student, or are disabled you should be entitled to a discount. Find out more.

If you're on a low income you may be entitled to Council Tax Support. Find out more.

Gas & Electricity

Remember that your energy bills will be higher in the winter. It is estimated for 2017/18 that the cost of a combined gas and electricity supply will be: 

  • One bedroom flat - £14.08 per week

  • Two bedroom house - £20.54 per week

  • Three bedroom house - £28.85 per week

To find out more about paying your fuel bills and the help available, visit our energy pages.


For an indication of water costs contact Yorkshire Water.

To check if you can get any help with your water bills, click here.

If your home doesn't have a water meter and you want to find out whether having one fitted would be right for you, visit Yorkshire Water’s website. You will also need request permission by contacting our surveyor on 01302 862269 or 01302 862270.

Food and household bills

These will vary from household to household. Typical weekly costs for 2017/18 are:

  • Single person - £39 to £51

  • Couple - £66 to £83

  • Each child - £16 to £19

  • Each non-dependant - £24 to £31

TV licence

The fee for a colour TV licence is £147. Find out more about how to pay on the TV licence website.

You can spread the cost of paying for your TV licence - Find out more.

Home Contents Insurance

You do not have to have Home Contents Insurance, but you should think about how you would replace things in your home if you were burgled or there was a fire. You can choose any insurer you wish.

St. Leger Homes works with RSA to offer its customers affordable contents insurance. Find out more.

BT Basic phone package

BT have a social telephone tariff called BT Basic. The tariff is aimed at cutting the costs for those on certain benefits.

Find our more about BT Basic.

I can’t afford new furniture and all the other items I need

Doncaster Refurnish offer affordable furniture, electrical appliances and household goods to local residents. There are stores in Doncaster town centre, Thorne, Carcroft and Wath.

Don’t be tempted to borrow from a doorstep seller or money lender to pay for things. You will pay a very high rate of interest and it will be difficult to pay off the loan. Visit our ‘Doorstep sellers and money lenders’ page for more information.

Also, avoid furniture stores that charge high rates of interest. You will pay far more for the furniture than the amount shown on the price ticket.

Budgeting loans

You can apply for a budgeting loan to pay for essential furniture and household items if you have been receiving Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit for at least 26 weeks. Budget loans are interest-free so you only pay back the amount you borrowed.

Find out more about budgeting loans and how to apply on the website.

If you don't qualify for a budgeting loan, you could get a low-cost loan from the local credit union. To find out more, visit our Credit Union page.

Will my home alarm service be paid for?

The home alarm service helps elderly and vulnerable adults live in safely in their own home. It is free of charge for customers aged 65 and in receipt of Housing or Council Tax Support. For other customers there is a charge. Find out more on the Doncaster Council website.

Where can I get help and advice locally?

Visit our advice and support page for debt, money, benefits and housing advice services in Doncaster.

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