Are you searching for a new apartment to rent? Before you start narrowing down the hunt, it is important to take the time to work out your budget. You need to make sure you have enough saved up to cover the amount of the monthly rent.
In addition to the rental price, there are other fees that you need to take into account. For example, it is essential to make sure you have enough left over to cover your utility bills.
- Utilities You are Expected to Pay For
- The Average Cost of Utilities
- Other Utilities
- Factors That Affect the Price of Utilities
- Ways to Shave Money Off Your Utility Bills
- Take a look at your appliances
- Check the energy efficiency ratio
- Use natural cooling and heating
- Monitor your monthly usage
- Use energy-efficient LED light bulbs
- Invest in a smart thermostat
- Check the insulation
- Dress for the season
- Use an induction cooker
- Use a dishwasher
- Take showers
- Regularly check for leaks
- Search for promotional offers
- Want More Tips for Saving Money Every Month?
- Final Thoughts
But how much do utilities cost for an average apartment?
Let’s find out…
Utilities You are Expected to Pay For
Before you start making calculations, you need to clarify which bills you will be responsible for paying. This can vary slightly, depending on your landlord. In most cases, you will need to cover the electricity you use, as well as the bill for heating and cooling.
Some landlords also include the fee for refuse collection and water use in the rent. However, this is not always the case. There may also be other hidden fees that you are responsible for paying each month.
In some cases, you may also be charged for internet usage, cable, and TV. These extra bills can bump up the amount you spend on your rent considerably. Therefore, it is important to confirm what you need to cover yourself and read the lease carefully. All the utilities you are responsible for paying should be listed on the lease agreement.
But remember, if certain utilities are not mentioned in the lease agreement, you need to clarify the situation. And if the landlord agrees to include certain bills with your rental cost, you need to make sure they are added to the lease agreement. Then, the landlord should sign the agreement, and you need to keep a copy for your personal records.
The Average Cost of Utilities
The average fee for these additional bills is likely to amount to between $150 and $200 each month. However, you could end up paying much more than this if you have a large family. So, let’s take a closer look at the main bills you are likely to have to cover and the typical monthly fees.
How Much Do Utilities Cost for an Average Apartment: Broken Down
This is probably going to be one of the biggest fees after paying the rent. Your electricity bill covers the lights, appliances, and anything else that runs on electricity. The typical monthly bill for electricity is likely to be between $30 and $50.
However, this fee can rise considerably if you run the air conditioner or fans to cool your home. The number of rooms and the number of people you live with can also cause this bill to soar. Electric heaters can also have a big impact on your electricity bills during the winter months.
This bill depends on how many heat sources are powered by gas. If you use a gas cooker, this fee is likely to be higher than average. Using gas to heat your home during the winter will also cause this bill to rise. The typical monthly fee for a gas bill is between $20 and $40.
Water cost and usage are measured per one thousand gallons in the United States. The current cost for every thousand gallons of water you use is around $11.48. Therefore, the amount of water you use is directly tied to the amount you will have to pay.
The typical family uses around 328 gallons of water each day. This means the daily water fee would be $3.76. So, if you have a large family, your water bill is likely to be around $116 per month.
However, this bill would be reduced to just $28 per month if you live alone. It’s advisable to take a close look at your water bill when you move into a new home. If the bill is much higher than expected, you need to evaluate your water usage.
Some landlords cover this fee for their tenants as part of the rental agreement. But if you are responsible for paying for the internet yourself, you’ll want to choose the plan carefully. Make sure the plan you choose meets your needs and is not too expensive. Depending on the speed of the connection and the provider, the fee ranges from $30 to $60 per month.
Streaming or Cable Services
The typical cable TV bill is around $100. Again, in some cases, your landlord may include this fee in the rental fee. However, you need to clarify this before signing the contract.
If you rarely watch TV, you can save money by canceling your cable subscription. It is much more affordable to sign up for a streaming service. In fact, most popular streaming services are very reasonable when compared to the monthly cable TV charge.
The costs of the most popular streaming services are:
- Netflix – $8.99 to $15.99 per month
- HBO Max – $15 per month
- YouTube TV – $64.99 per month
- Disney Plus: $6.99 per month
Other bills like cell service, trash collection, and specialized cable are usually separate from your regular bills.
While most local governments provide trash collection services, they are also offered by private companies. The rate for these services can vary widely, depending on the company that is used. So, once again, it’s advised to find out how trash collection is handled and if you are responsible for paying the bill, so you know what to expect in advance.
Factors That Affect the Price of Utilities
When you compare prices, you are likely to find that you pay a different amount to friends and relatives. This can happen for a number of different reasons. Here are some of the main factors that can affect how much your utility bills run each month.
The place you choose to live will have a major impact on your bills. In areas with a very cool climate, you are likely to pay far more to heat your home. Or if the climate is hot, you will typically pay over the odds for air conditioning.
It is critical to check the energy efficiency of the apartment before choosing to move in. Large windows and high ceilings will let in more heat and light. While this can be a bonus at certain times of the year, you will tend to spend more on energy bills.
The size of the apartment
In the same vein, larger homes cost much more to heat and cooling than small spaces. So, this is an important consideration when you are searching for a new home. A small condo with an open floor plan will also translate to higher bills than condos with separate rooms.
Ways to Shave Money Off Your Utility Bills
Turning off the heating and lights when you leave home is a simple way to reduce your bills. This is a small step that can save you several dollars each month. Let’s take a look at some other ways you can keep your utility bills to a minimum.
Take a look at your appliances
Certain gadgets and appliances guzzle electricity even when they’re not in use. Simply keeping these appliances plugged in when you’re not really using them can cause your bills to soar. Notorious energy consumers include coffee makers, gaming consoles, and phone chargers. So, being vigilant and unplugging these items could reduce your energy bill by as much as 20%.
Check the energy efficiency ratio
Likewise, if you are planning to purchase a new appliance, make sure you check out the energy efficiency ratio. Also known as the EER, this is an indication of exactly how much electricity the appliance uses. The higher the rating, the higher your electricity bill will be if you use the appliance regularly.
Use natural cooling and heating
Opening the windows during the summer and letting the air flow through will reduce the need for cooling. And instead of using the air conditioner, you may simply need to run a fan. You can also use furniture or thicker curtains to block the windows in the winter to help keep your rooms warm.
Monitor your monthly usage
Overall, it’s always a good idea to closely monitor your bills when you move into a new apartment. If you notice that they seem to be quite high, look for ways to make some cuts. Dramatically increased consumption during certain months could indicate that there are other issues.
Use energy-efficient LED light bulbs
LED lamps and light bulbs are much more energy-efficient and can dramatically reduce your bills. Plus, making the switch to LED lamps and light bulbs is a fairly quick and easy way of saving money. If you live in a sunny area, you can also save money by using solar-powered outdoor lighting.
Invest in a smart thermostat
This innovative type of thermostat allows you to control the temperature in your home when you’re not around. Using a smart thermostat is an excellent option if you tend to forget to turn off the heat before leaving home. These devices also help to eliminate human error by constantly monitoring and maintaining optimal temperatures.
Check the insulation
Your heating bills could be through the roof if there are cracks in windows and doors. Not only will these cracks allow heat to escape, but they can also let drafts in. So, making sure the apartment is properly sealed and insulated can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Dress for the season
You might be surprised, but wearing an extra sweater during the winter can dramatically reduce your heating bills. It’s worth investing in a pair of thick slippers and other warm clothing. Bundling up is actually the easiest way to spend less on heating your home.
Use an induction cooker
This type of appliance heats up much more quickly than a regular stovetop. In addition, modern induction cookers use minimal electricity. So, regularly using an induction cooker instead of a stove is a great way to reduce your bills.
Use a dishwasher
Although using a dishwasher may seem counterintuitive, these appliances use less water than doing the dishes by hand. Using a dishwasher typically uses three gallons of water, while hand washing the dishes uses 27 gallons of water. However, make sure your dishwasher is fully loaded before running it to save more water, electricity, and time.
While wallowing in the bath can be a great way to unwind, baths use a lot of water. In fact, the typical bath uses around fifty gallons of water, while showers use half this amount. So sticking to showers and saving baths for a treat could dramatically reduce your water bill.
Regularly check for leaks
If your water bill is much higher than expected, you may have a leaking pipe or faucet. Even the smallest leak can cause your water bill to end up rocketing. Being vigilant and fixing these leaks is a simple way to shave money off your water bills over time.
Search for promotional offers
If you are about to sign up for an internet plan, have a look for special deals. You may find that you can save money by choosing a plan that includes both cell phone and internet use. Signing up for a long-term plan is another sure way to save money each month.
Now that you know how much do utilities cost for an average apartment…
Want More Tips for Saving Money Every Month?
Then, we have a lot more to share with you!
Starting with getting on top of what you’re really working with financially, and we mean take-home pay, not the gross salary that’s written in your contract. So, take a look at Annual Net Income: Definition and How to Calculate. Then, if you can see that you actually need to be earning more to cover your monthly expenses, how about considering a side gig?
Are you a foodie?
Then, find out How To Become a Food Critic! Love writing in your journal but never thought about generating an income from your writing? Why not investigate How to Become a Writer? You’d be surprised how a little side hustle can add up to a lot of extra cash in the bank over time, even if it has a seemingly low rate of pay. And, yes, we can answer, $13 an Hour is How Much a Year?
Another money-saving trend is downsizing your living space…
Take a look at the Cost of Building a Shipping Container Home and how and where you might reduce utility payments.
But that’s not all you can do!
There are hundreds of small ways to reduce your expenses with just a little know-how. Get all the insider info you need about the Target Price Adjustment Policy, the Amazon Price Drop Refund, Walmart Hidden Clearance, How To Buy Amazon Returns, and much much more!
Ok, back to today’s cost of living discussion…
Finding out how much you are likely to pay for utilities is an important step before signing a lease. This will help you to work out a realistic budget and see if it’s possible to save in certain areas. So you need to check the lease contract carefully to see what is included in the rental fee.
A good way to get an accurate idea of what to expect is by talking with the current tenants. They should be able to give you an estimate of utility costs each month. This can be a bit of a personal question to some people, so it is essential to be polite and friendly.