How You Can Avoid the Hidden Costs of Apartment Living

If you have been living the apartment life for some time or somebody who has just purchased their own apartment, you probably already understand that the costs of utilities can be higher during certain months, or if you don’t take certain precautions. No matter what time of year it is, from the sweltering heat of summer to the bitter cold of winter, there are some things that you should know about how to save money while you are renting.

Estimating Utility Costs

Electricity and Heat: When the temperatures drop, this is when you will expect your electric costs increase substantially if you live in an apartment with electric heat. If you live in an apartment that takes oil, you may pay a couple hundred every month as well. A lot of your electricity bill will depend upon whether or not you are home a lot, how much you are using electricity for things like television and air conditioning, how often you turn off your lights, and more.

Air Conditioning: This is another cost that could run you a couple hundred dollars every year. Across the country, people only tend to use their units from three to five months per year, with some of the colder states only using theirs a few times per summer. Depending on these aspects, it could be a small or hefty expense.

Internet and Cable: Many people tend to pay right around $45 per month for Internet, with roommates splitting these costs in a variety of households. If you are somebody who bundles his or her Internet with cable, then you can probably get yourself a good deal. However, when you think about your cable costs, be wary of add-ons that companies may use as a tactic to get you to pay more. An example of this is a “free trial” for a premium channel that expires after a few months, and then charges will be billed to your account after the deal expires. Look for introductory deals or streaming services for the best deals.

Renter’s Insurance: Renter’s insurance, on average, runs about $150 per year. It is the best type of insurance to have in case your apartment is victim to a burglary. (1)

Avoiding Hidden Winter Costs

In the winter months, costs tend to rise and many aspects of your apartment can go awry, from frozen pipes to fire hazards. We can help you stay aware of these hidden winter costs and protect yourself as well as your apartment.

Frozen Pipes: Frozen pipes could burst and dump water into your apartment as well as ruin floors, flood furnaces, and more – raising prices and making it impossible to stay in your apartment. Keep your pipes warm by keeping them 65 or higher in these winter months.

Fire Hazards: Secondary heating is usually considered by those who want to stay warm in the winter, such as electric heaters, wood stoves, and more. Make sure you watch these heating sources carefully because it could lead to an unexpected and devastating house fire.

Those Burdening Utility Costs: As we mentioned previously, costs can add up. Try to run your heater as little as possible to save money and bundle up in these months. You can also check around for drafts and cover them up, as well as have your furnace serviced to make sure everything is running up to speed. (2)

Keep your finances in order and remember these tips if you are in the market for an apartment!

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.