Utilities Cost Calculators
For trash pickup, you'll have an exact number: Either your landlord is paying it; you're paying it and the amount is stated in your lease (for renters); or you're paying it and you know the price because you set up the service yourself.
The same goes for phone, cable and Internet.
Energy use is a different story.
If you live in a small apartment and use about 550 kW/h per month, which is about average, and you're paying about $0.10 per kW/h, again the average, you'll receive a bill each month for $55. Easy enough. But how do you know how many kW/h you're going to use?
To get a nice big picture of your electricity expenses, you can turn to any number of calculators on the Internet, provided by power companies, government agencies, energy-efficiency organizations and apartment rental Web sites.
You'll find energy-use calculators that ask some questions about appliances, lights and heating and cooling in order to give you a number, either in kW/h or in dollars. You can also use many of these to find out your local kW/h rate and to calculate how much you'd save by altering your energy habits. For example:
And then there are the overall budgeting calculators that will ask about everything -- phone, trash pick-up, water, student-loan payments, electricity -- to help you get an overall picture of your expenses. You'll find a few of these here:
Most experts say you should spend no more than 40 percent of your income on housing, and that includes utilities. Calculators are a great way to estimate this cost, but other, still simpler options may be available to you. You could ask your landlord, a previous tenant or homeowner, or find estimates online for the specific apartment community you're considering. These approaches may be somewhat less precise than individualized calculations, but they can give you a quick answer as to whether you're coming in below the 40-percent threshold, so at least you know if you're on the right track.
For more information on utilities expenses, budgeting and related topics, look over the links below.
- 5 Tips for Settling In to a New Town
- Top 10 Tips for Buying Your First Home
- Green Your Own Apartment
- How Buying a House Works
- New Apartment Checklist
- How to Make the Most of a Studio Apartment
- Do you need renter's insurance?
- How do month-to-month apartments work?
- How much home can I afford on my salary?
More Great Links
- All About Apartment Utilities. Moving to an Apartment.http://movingtoanapartment.com/first-apartment/all-about-apartment-utilities.htm
- Creating an Apartment Utilities Budget. Apartment Guide.http://moving.apartmentguide.com/setting-up-utilities/creating-an-apartment-utilities-budget/
- Energy Use In Homes. CPS Energy.http://cpsenergy.apogee.net/res/refuih.asp
- Estimating How Much Apartment Utilities Will Costhttp://moving.apartmentguide.com/setting-up-utilities/estimating-how-much-apartment-utilities-will-cost/