If you rent an apartment, you’ll have to budget a specific amount for utilities each month. They typically fall into the categories of heat, electricity, air conditioning and the internet. Here’s a guide on how you can estimate the cost for utilities if you live in an apartment:
Budgeting For Your Heat
The cost of heat for your apartment will vary if you live in an area that has extreme climate changes — a colder winter and warmer summer. During those winter months, you can expect to spend a higher amount on the cost of heat. If you live in an apartment that has baseboard electric heating, it can get quite expensive — $250-$300 per month. If you plan on spending more than a few years in your apartment, you may want to consider purchasing one or more oil radiator heaters. In the months of December through February, you can expect to spend around $100 to $125 a month (based on $.10 per kilowatt hour) if you have two oil radiator heaters. That’s with one placed in a bedroom and the other heater placed in the main living space. Forced air heating is about the same cost so have a budget of around $100-$150 for heat during those winter months.
The amount you spend on electricity will largely depend on your ability to conserve energy. Use power efficient light bulbs and keep them off when they are not in use. Turn Off electronics or put them in sleep mode so they are not draining useless watts. This will help bring down the amount of electricity that you use. On average, you should expect to pay around $40-$75 per month for your electricity bill. This is based on an average use of an oven, microwave, entertainment system and computer.
Air Conditioning Cost
of course, air conditioning will cost more if you decide to run it all the time. To avoid this, consider purchasing a few inexpensive fans that are priced in the $10-$15 range. If you are warm at night, turn the fans toward you to cool off your body. During the day, you can cool down your apartment by closing your window shades so that the sun does not heat up your space. Otherwise, use your air conditioning when it’s extremely hot. Depending on your location, you should plan on spending between $40-$70 more per month to cool off your apartment.
Being able to connect to the internet will allow you to browse websites with your computer, stream movies and possibly catch up with work-related projects. Speeds have really increased in the past few years and many areas offer a considerable amount of bandwidth. Expect your internet bill to run around $50 per month. It’s always advisable to talk to your provider and see if they can get you a good deal. If you’ve had your internet for over six months or a year, give them a call and see if they will give you a loyalty discount.
These amounts are rough guide but should help you estimate your final cost each month.