How Much Should You Budget for Utilities?

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The short answer is — anywhere from $75 – $200+ per month. What’s the long answer? In terms of possible utilities, here’s a comprehensible checklist: electric, water, heat, trash pickup, gas(**HEAT), cable, internet, and telephone. Off the bat, water and trash-pick up should be included in your rent; if it’s not, you very well may have a landlord who’s not abiding by the letter of the law — so definitely check into that. Now, let’s break down the remaining list.

Gas: Usually ranges from $15-30, depending on how much you cook. The more you use your burners/oven, the higher the cost. Also, know that gas includes costs for HEAT, which can go as high as a few hundred dollars in the winter if you like to stay super toasty! If possible, I’d recommend trying to find an apartment with radiator heating, as these kind of apartments usually include free heat!

Electric: Usually around $30 — but can get much higher in the summer with AC’s running. So, do consider adjusting your budget to around $50-$70 in the summertime.

Cable/Internet/Phone: Approximately $100. Be sure to call up your cable company and ask if they have any specials — they usually do and you’ll get the best new customer deal by calling up and sweet talking the sales associate at the other end. If you’re looking to go bare bones, ONLY internet usually runs about $30-$50.

Curious how much people are paying for their utilities in major cities across the country? The WhiteFence Index compares utility prices for phone, Internet, TV, electricity and natural gas among 21 of the nation’s top cities.

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