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Getting ready to live on your own

The moment has finally come: you’re leaving home and heading off to uni! From now on, you’ll really be in charge of your own life. Like every other student who’ll be living on their own, you’ll need to make sure you’re ready. What will your fixed costs be? Will you have enough money coming in each month to cover everything?


It might seem easy to figure this out, but a lot of students don’t manage to get it right. A lot of the time they end up with costs they weren’t expecting.

Working out your extra costs

The first thing to think about when you start living on your own is, of course, whether you can pay the rent. No doubt you have a rough idea of how much you’ll be paying in rent each month. And you’ll probably also factor in insurance premiums and the cost of your phone contract. But how much will you be spending on groceries, your internet connection, and local taxes?

The cost of groceries is often underestimated, not to mention the small items you buy on the fly: those nice cups of coffee at the station and health-and-beauty products. The costs can add up fast.

Making ends meet every month: no small challenge

For students, it can often be quite a challenge to make ends meet every month, and putting money in a savings account is something only a few people manage. But everyone would like to put some money aside each month. After all, it’s reassuring to have some savings to fall back on so you don't have to get stressed out if your laptop suddenly stops working, for instance.

Why you should put together an overview

So that you can start saving, it’s really useful to first put together an overview of all your income and expenses. It’s easy to do this for your fixed costs: rent, insurance, phone contract, books and tuition fees. But it’s not every month that you go to the hairdresser, on a weekend away, or buy new clothes.

However, you will also have to factor in these costs, so check your outgoings over the past few months, and figure out how much you spend on average each month. Oh yes, and while you’re it, see how many small purchases you made but can’t even remember what you bought.

Paying your fixed costs

When you live on your own, it’s nice if your fixed costs are debited at around the same time every month. Did you know that you can ask for direct debit dates to be changed, so they are made the day after your wages are normally paid?

Once you’ve paid all your fixed costs, you’ll have a good idea of how much you’ll have left to spend over the rest of the month, and what fun things you can do!

How to save money and cut costs

Of course, it’s great if you have something left over at the end of the month. But how do you make that happen?

Received some money? Put some of it into your savings account

Whenever some money comes in, put part of it straight into your savings account. However small that amount may be, every little bit counts. 

Make saving part of your fixed costs

Once your student grant/loan or wages have been paid, put some of it into your savings account right away. There’s no need to transfer hundreds of euros right away—otherwise you’ll probably have to take it out of your savings account again at the end of the month. 

Budget wisely

It sounds very boring and really tough to stick to, but budgeting wisely will help you keep a handle on your spending. And the truth is, if you manage to stick to your budget, you’ll be pretty pleased with yourself.

Buy a refurbished smartphone

Of course, the latest smartphone is always a bit fancier, better and faster. But do you really need it? Lotte doesn’t think so. She always buys a refurbished model. They’re almost as good and a lot cheaper.

Which insurance do you need?

Personal liability insurance

The students featuring in our podcasts didn’t fully understand what damage this insurance covers. They did know that it covers damage they accidentally cause to someone else’s belongings. So if you accidentally drop a friend’s PS4 while helping them move house, the damage will luckily be covered. But not everyone knew that this insurance also covers harm you might cause people themselves.

Insured—and with a student discount

Home contents insurance

You probably haven’t needed this insurance until now, because your belongings may have been insured under your parents’ home contents insurance policy. But now that you’re living on your own, you’ll also want your belongings to be insured against damage from theft and fire.

Insured—and with a student discount

Accident insurance

You’d probably rather not think about it, but accident insurance can be really useful, as it will pay an amount to you or your next of kin if you get into an accident and are permanently disabled or die.

Insured—and with a student discount

Travel insurance

Now that it’s finally possible again, you of course want to head off out and about. Whether you’re going away for the weekend or on holiday, it’s a good idea to take out travel insurance. If you travel several times a year, you might want to take out an annual policy. Going on a long trip or a pricey holiday? Be sure to take out cancellation insurance. If you travel once a year, short-term travel insurance is your best bet.

Compare our travel insurance policies

Car insurance

If you already own a car, make sure you’re well insured. You need third-party liability insurance as a minimum. If your car is fairly new, you can also go for third-party liability + limited cover or third-party liability + comprehensive cover.

Compare our car insurance policies


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