Moving Off Campus? Here’s 5 Utilities You’ll Need

moving off campus

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  • Are you ready to leave the dormitory and get your own place? You’re not alone.

    Although dorm life is often considered an essential part of the college experience, only 40 percent of public university students and 64 percent of those at private universities live on campus.

    One of the biggest shocks you might face when leaving campus is the need to set up and budget for utilities. The exact needs of your apartment can vary from location to location and from price to price. Wherever you decide to live, here are five services to consider before your big move.


    Because some apartments include water in your rent and others don’t, it’s important to ask the landlord or building manager whether you need to set up water service or not before you sign a lease.

    Large complexes are more likely to include water than individual homes, duplexes or triplexes. Discuss with your landlord and future roommates what your options are. Fellow tenants can help you as you search for the best option.

    Natural Gas

    Many buildings in colder climates use natural gas for winter heating, while homes and apartments in the south are more likely to be all-electric.

    If you see natural gas pipes leading into the building or gas-powered appliances, you can plan on budgeting for a gas bill. You’ll want to keep in mind how colder or hot weather will change your relationship with the heating.


    Very few apartments include electricity in the monthly rental cost, and you’ll need it to keep your lights on, water heated and air conditioners running.

    The good news is that you can keep your electricity bill in check with simple energy-saving measures like turning off lights and using power strips. Using light bulbs with higher energy efficiency or encouraging your housing to switch to better utilities can help you save money as well.

    Garbage Collection

    You won’t have a bin in the hall for dumping your trash anymore, so you’ll need to consider what to do with all the garbage your apartment will generate every week. Many apartment buildings include the use of a community dumpster as part of the rent.

    However, you’ll probably need to choose a trash service and pay a monthly fee if you’re renting a house. Your landlord might be able to tell you what options you have. You can also talk to your neighbors to find out what they use.

    TV and Internet

    The free cable in your dorm room was nice, but now you’ll have to decide if your viewing pleasure is worth the extra $100 a month. Internet, on the other hand, isn’t optional for college students.

    other valuable tips:

    Consider reducing expenses by using your internet service to watch shows and movies online instead of paying for cable or satellite. Bundling services is one of the easiest ways to save cost on your total bill, as well as paying a yearly subscription instead of a monthly one.

    While apartment rentals are usually cheaper at first glance, it’s important to add up the total costs when deciding whether to move out or stay on campus.

    When you factor in the cost of utilities, entertainment and commuting to class every day, your dorm room may be the better deal. However, getting out of campus can be a great way to build a life for yourself.

    Image Credit: by Pixabay

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    Off-to-College reference:

    GUIDE: learn how to budget for college

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