After moving into a new apartment, you will quickly realize that rent is only one part of your monthly expenses. Although they can vary greatly depending on region, personal preferences, and utility consumption, knowing some universal facts can make your life a whole lot easier.
- Apartment Expenses
Besides your rent that should be fixed throughout your rental contract, there are other monthly costs to think of. From utilities to internet, it is important for your mental and financial health to know which costs you are in for each month.
These will make the biggest portion of your monthly bill. You do not want to miss these payments as the utility company can turn off our electricity.
It is quite normal for your water and sewer bill to arrive every couple of months. The good news is that they are usually low.
This cost will also depend on your trash valet that could be a new concept for you if you have not lived in an apartment before. This service implies someone comes into the building to take the trash to the dumpster. If your building uses this service, you will most likely have to pay for it even if you are not using it.
You may be able to get a bundled service from your cable or cell phone provider at a lower rate. You may also have to pay an installation fee so make sure to inquire about this fee when shopping for a provider.
Renter’s insurance is an absolute necessity if you are going to rent an apartment. Although it is a no-brainer considering that it will protect you from potentially catastrophic events, most places will even require you to have it.
- Tips on Lowering Your Energy Bill
When you think of energy efficiency at home, you probably think of features like programmable thermostats and HVAC systems. But if you are renting, you can’t exactly invest in such innovations. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean energy efficient apartments are totally out of reach. Energy efficiency has two parts: the things you buy and the things you do. There are big benefits to taking some steps to reduce energy use in your apartment. Besides being good for the environment, it also saves you money on your utility bills.
Turning down the thermostat when you are sleeping
You can save up to 10% on your heating and cooling bills each year just by turning your thermostat down by 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day while you cuddle up under the covers.
Weatherproof your windows
Drafts equate to significant energy loss that only makes your HVAC have to work twice as hard to compensate for it. If you cannot add weatherstripping material, simply place a rolled-up towel instead.
Besides being annoying, leaky faucets result in a huge waste of water. The same goes for constantly running toilets and they both add up to your water bill.
With so many providers and different rates out there, browsing for the cheapest gas prices can help you significantly lower your annual utility bill.
Install energy-efficient lightbulbs
If you are planning to stay in your apartment for a couple of years, installing LED light bulbs is a good investment. They use approximately 85% less energy than incandescent light bulbs and 40% less energy than fluorescent lights. Maybe your landlord will want to install them himself.
Eliminate phantom waste
The vampire power is the energy that devices eat up when they are plugged in but not in use. Common examples are your phone charger or the coffee maker that can take as much energy as a lightbulb turned on 24/7 for a whole year.
Cook in an energy-efficient manner
Did you know that heating a dish in the microwave takes much less energy than doing it on the stove? If you run your dishwasher at night, preferably only when full, you will reduce your AC’s heat load. Try to air dry your dishes. Use lids to cook meals faster as they preserve the heat. Also, make sure that the pan size fits the size of the burner to prevent heat being wasted.
Takeaway – Living in an apartment comes with stress, joy, expenses, pitfalls and many other nuances of everyday living. However, being fully equipped for this adventure can do wonders for your energy and money savings efforts.