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Student accommodation guide #4: living at home

Heading to a local university – or one within commuting distance? If you're considering living at home, here are the pros and the cons...

If you’re within commuting distance of your university, living at home with family while studying is definitely worth considering - paying rent for university halls or private accommodation is often the biggest drain on a student budget.

Even if you're paying a small amount in rent to your family, plus your travel to attend classes a couple of days a week, it may be significantly cheaper than living at uni. As a result, there has been a rise in 'commuter students', with more and more undergraduate students choosing to live at home.

But as we see below, you may lose out on some of the social benefits of living close to the action, at uni...

Living at home: pros and cons

Before ruling out other accommodation options, weigh up the pros and cons of staying at home…

Pros of living at home:

  • Cheap option: even with commuting costs, you should save money overall
  • No moving out: one less hassle to worry about when starting university
  • Home perks: someone else to sort out your cooking, washing and cleaning (or at least help out)

  • Read more: before you go to university

Cons of living at home:

  • Commuting: could take up a lot of your time (and money!)
  • Someone else’s rules: expect less independence than you would have living in halls
  • Away from the action: you’ll need to find other ways to meet students. Plus, it can be difficult to socialise in the evening if you need to get the last train, unless you have somewhere to stay
Lived with my mum for two first years. Plus points: food, no noisy neighbours, no rent or money issues, free laundry service. Downsides: making friends can be harder and the rules of the house are made by parents.  Third Year Film Studies Student | University Of The West Of England - Bristol

Typical costs: staying at home vs. uni accommodation 

Whatever your arrangement, chances are living at home will be by far your most affordable accommodation option. Hopefully you won't be paying much (or any) rent, but you will have to work out how much your commute into university will cost, as well as anything else you agree to chip in with at home, like utility bills or food. 

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