Here’s a checklist outlining some general costs to consider, how much you might need plus tips to help you manage your household's money.
Upfront and ongoing costs
- Rental (security) bond: Usually the equivalent of up to four weeks rent. If there’s no damage to the property at the end of your lease, you should get it back.
- On-going rent: The area that you want to live can impact how much it will cost. Have a look on real estate websites to get an idea of what you can afford.
- Utility connection fees: You might be charged to set up an account and connect your home with utilities.
- Utility bills: Ongoing gas, electricity, phone/internet.
- Contents insurance: It’s important to protect valuables like your smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, furniture, clothing and jewellery with contents insurance in case the unexpected happens, like theft or fire damage.
- Parking permit: You may need to pay to park near your new home.
- Maintenance: Additional services like a cleaner or gardener.
- Furniture: If it’s not fully-furnished you’ll need to buy your own. Also remember bed linen, towels, crockery and cutlery.
- Moving costs: If you're not planning to do it by yourself, you'll need removalists and/or a truck or van.
1. Save up before you move
Paying the bond, then covering the on-going rent and bills, can really stretch your finances. Saving up in advance can make things easier. Here are some tips:
- Open a savings account then set yourself a goal e.g. rental bond and two months’ rent. Check our savings accounts.
- Calculate how much you can afford to save. Set a realistic target that you can comfortably stick to. Divide your incoming money into food, rent, uni expenses, transport and fun then see how much you’ve got left. If there’s not much left, see where you can cutback. Try our savings calculator.
- Make regular, automated payments. Keep on top of your rent by setting up a regular payment. Or build up your savings sooner by setting up a regular transfer into your savings account. Already bank with us? You can do this in the CommBank app and NetBank.
- Set up an emergency fund: To avoid getting stung by expected expenses e.g. car repairs, some people open another savings account purely as a buffer for emergencies. Here’s more on that.
Ensure you get your rental bond back. Make a note and take pictures of any damage - no matter how small - before or on the day you move in and send it to the landlord or real estate agent. That way, you can avoid any misunderstandings when it’s time to move out. And make sure you always pay rent on time.
2. Keep track of what you spend
Keeping track of your money (how much and what you’re spending it on) is crucial to affording to live life, and to help you plan for bigger expenses like holidays.
If you bank with us, you can turn on Transaction Notifications in the CommBank app so we can tell you instantly when you pay or are charged for something on your CommBank debit or credit card.
And with Spend Tracker and Spending Insights we help you stay in control by showing you exactly what, where and how much you’re spending.
3. Managing bills, paying on time
Sorting out how rent and bills will be split with your housemates early on will make life a lot easier. Being out of pocket while you’re waiting to be paid for a flatmate’s share of the rent, bills and weekly groceries can be frustrating, and expensive. If a bill is in your name and you don’t pay on time, it’s likely you’ll be charged a late payment fee. Do this too often and it may impact your credit score, which could make applying for a credit card, personal or home loan difficult in the future.
There are several ways we help you to pay bills on time.
- Use Shared Expenses in the CommBank app to get paid quicker or to pay flatmates what you owe – go to Shared Expenses in the side menu, tick which CommBank app user you’re splitting the bill with or add someone new then set up the expense and SMS them the info.
- Use PayID to make instant payments to someone regardless of who they bank with.
- Set up recurring, instant transfers to pay someone from the CommBank app or NetBank.