How to Budget for Apartment Utilities

Generally speaking, apartment utilities refer to all other non rent-related living expenses, including:

  • Electricity
  • Heating
  • Water
  • Garbage
  • Internet
  • Cable
  • Renter’s Insurance

The easiest way to begin your utilities budget is to look at what you have in your apartment and how you use it. Ask yourself:

  • What utilities are covered by apartment rent agreement?
  • How much energy and water do I consume on average per month?
  • How often do I use my electrical appliances?
  • How much energy do my electrical appliances and devices use?

Apartment Utility Costs: What to Expect

Water

Many apartments lump the cost of water with your rent, so generally you shouldn’t have to worry about budgeting for it. The national average cost of water per unit falls at around $40 per month.

Garbage

Garbage costs are also usually lumped into your monthly apartment rent. For the curious, the average cost of residential trash collection falls between $12 to $20 per month, according to the National Solid Wastes Management Association.

Gas Bill

You might pay from $15 to $100 per month on your gas bill depending how often you use your gas cooking range or oil heater. If your apartment uses an electric stove or heater, your gas bill will be significantly less, if not already bundled with the cost of your rent.

Air Conditioner

A lot of factors can affect your electricity budget, but your AC unit is often the culprit of higher energy bills. Your AC can cost you about $23 to $137 per month on your electricity bill, depending on your usage and how big your apartment is. The cost will vary from season to season, but expect to devote more of your utilities budget for energy during the hot summer months.

Electronics

When budgeting for apartment utility costs, expect charging your gadgets to cost you about $10.00 per year on electricity. Although it’s a small percentage of your energy bill overall, being mindful of the number of gadgets you leave plugged in might help you save a little bit of money on your budget.

Internet and Cable

The average cost for internet service is about $50 per month. Depending on your provider and the level of internet service you want to have, think about budgeting about $45 to $100 per month.

Renter’s Insurance

In most states, renter’s insurance premiums costs less than $20 per month. Depending on the amount of liability, you can protect everything inside your apartment for less than what you paid for it without eating up your monthly utilities budget.

How Much Should You Plan for Apartment Utility Costs?

According to the 2016 U.S. Energy Information Administration report, the average monthly energy bill for American households stood at $112.59, so plan for the biggest chunk of your utilities budget to be devoted to electricity.

Fortunately, this is the apartment utility cost that you have the most control over. Since electricity is charged per kilowatt-hours (or kWh), the most significant way to save money on your utilities is to make smarter energy choices and then budget accordingly.