How Much Should You Be Spending on Utilities Each Month?

How Much Should You Expect Your Electric Bill to Cost?

The first and most intuitive thing you think about when someone mentions bills is probably electricity. While you would not find the highest average utility costs in Texas, the electricity bill in Texas is higher than the overall US average . Hiring long-distance movers to move to Texas means taking this increased energy cost into account. According to the United States Energy Information Administration, the average electric bill in the United States is $117.65 . Not too bad. In Texas, however, you can expect to pay somewhere around $140. You must be wondering why it’s so much higher than the average by now. That’s because of the winter storm that hit Texas in February earlier this year. Texas actually hit the electricity bill price cap in that storm. Usually, the price cap would be hit during the summer months. Don’t worry, though; we will list you some clever and interesting ways that could help you cut down on your electricity usage.

Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Most people would think that light bulbs are too small to make any difference when the bill comes knocking. Lighting your home actually costs 20% of the overall electricity bill, which costs homeowners around $200 annually on average. If you make a choice to swap out your old incandescent light bulbs (those are the old yellow ones) with newer, more energy-efficient light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs), you can expect to save around 80% of the electricity used to light up your house.

Unplug Any Devices You Are Not Using

How much would unplugging appliances save you? The United States Department of Energy says that homeowners can save anywhere between $100 and $200 each year by unplugging unused appliances.

Here’s the average cost of electricity you can expect to pay when living in Texas:

  • The average monthly electricity cost of a 1-bedroom apartment is $84.46
  • The average monthly electricity cost of a 2-bedroom apartment is $119.38
  • The average monthly electricity cost of a 3-bedroom apartment is $153.93
  • The average monthly electricity cost of a 4-bedroom apartment is $191.59

The two main culprits behind a hefty electric bill include:

  • The Apartment Size: The equation here is simple. The bigger your apartment, the more power your electric appliances will draw to heat or cool a large space. The area includes the ceiling height and the overall floor space.
  • The Number of People: Whether you’re a family of 4 or a single individual living with roommates – the cost of electricity would go up with the number of people using it.
  • Wondering what are the major energy drainers and how you can cut back on them? Here’s a quick list to get you started:

  • Lightening: In an average American household, the lighting itself contributes to 10% of the electricity usage. Investing in LED light bulbs that are energy-efficient, and using the light only when you need can help lower your electricity costs.
  • Water heater: It is the reason for 14% of your apartment’s electricity usage. While most water heaters are set at 140℉, you can bring it down to 120℉ to bring down the costs.
  • Space Heater or Air Conditioner: Combine these two appliances, and you’ll see they contribute to more than 32% of your apartment’s electricity usage. By making the simple change of using these appliances less, you can have big savings at the end of the month.
  • Energy Providers: It’s best to research, track, and manage your cost when moving to a new place. That said, you could save up to 40% a month by choosing the right energy provider. Make sure you compare the prices and services before settling on a service provider.

How Much Would You Pay for Cable and Internet?

If you move to Texas, you should expect to pay a cable bill of around $85 per month . However, some people nowadays say that cable is old-fashioned, so they stop paying for it entirely and instead opt for internet streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and many others. Most of these streaming services cost you around $10 per service each month. It’s also a pretty good argument if you think about it. A ten-dollar Netflix subscription offers you a vast collection of movies and TV shows to choose from. So you watch whatever you want, whenever you want, and pay substantially less. A problem with cable is that some people pay for full cable subscriptions and pay for channels they don’t even watch. If you use cable, we suggest you spend a few minutes thinking about what you pay for, and if it’s useful for you or not. If not, only pay for the ones you find entertaining and watch regularly. As for the internet, the average monthly cost of internet in Dallas is $60 per month . Although a problem some people have is paying for the internet that they don’t use. If you only use the internet to check emails, you shouldn’t pay for the internet like a person who uses it for streaming daily. Check your data usage and pay for what you need, not more. If you need to reduce internet costs, you can opt for less quota or slower speeds.

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How Much Does Natural Gas Cost?

CenterPoint Energy says natural gas prices tend to be two to three times lower than electric prices in an area because gas is 90% more efficient, and it takes a lot less energy to extract natural gas from its source than it does to generate electricity. Your bill includes delivery costs and an interim rate adjustment. Season and location are the two main factors for your natural gas bill. Unlike electricity that’s generated nearby, natural gas is shipped in from where it’s extracted and stored. So, the further you live from a distribution point, the more expensive your gas bill will be.

The average cost of natural gas for residential use is $10.45 per thousand cubic feet, or around $63 per month. You can keep these costs to a minimum by keeping your heating system maintained, using a smart thermostat, turning down your water heater and sealing all leaks around windows and doors.

How Much is the Average Gas Bill?

Finding an average for your gas bill in your apartment can be tricky. In some areas of the country, gas is cheaper than electric (such as in some east coast states). In other areas, such as the Midwest, electric can be far cheaper than gas energy.

Always ask which of the apartments appliances run on gas vs electric and what type of gas is used so you can look up local costs in the area to evaluate how much you might be spending monthly.

Water The Utility You Cant Afford to Avoid

Average Water Bill: $17.04 – $68.14 per month

Unless you’re living in a house with a well or an apartment complex that factors water usage into your rent, you’ll probably be paying a monthly water bill.

It’s no secret that city water is usually expensive and the price of water is rising, but it’s not like you can really avoid things like washing dishes and bathing. (Well, you could stop bathing but we really don’t recommend it).

The average daily water usage of one person person is between 80 and 100 gallons.

On average, a family of four using around 100 gallons per person per day would expect to spend $68.14 per month on their water bill. However, if you’re living alone and using the same amount of water, your bill will come closer to $17.04/month.

If that amount seems a bit high, that’s because it is. The price of water is rising in many larger US cities and it doesn’t look like it’ll be slowing down anytime soon.

Healthcare

Virginia healthcare costs are below the national average. For instance, in 2021 a 40-year-old Virginian will pay $446 a month for health insurance. Comparatively, the national average cost of health insurance for a 40-year-old is $495, a difference of $49. 

In fact, the cost for health insurance in Virginia saw a 4% decrease since 2020, which averages to $20 less per month.

How To Reduce Your Utility Bill

It’s possible to reduce the money you spend on electricity, water and gas simply by changing your habits or investing in energy-efficient appliances and insulation. Here are some changes that could possibly lead to big savings:

  • Work that thermostat: In the winter, keep your home colder when you’re not in the house and only boost the temperature when you return. In the summer, let the temperature rise in your home when you’re out. There’s no need to blast the heat or air conditioning if you’re not around to enjoy it.
  • Check your windows and doors: Drafty windows and doors cause your home’s heating and cooling systems to work harder. That increases your monthly utility bills. Replace windows that leak air with more efficient models. Do the same with your doors to keep the cold and hot air inside your home.
  • Take shorter showers: You can dramatically cut your water usage and lower your water bill by taking shorter showers. Reducing your shower time by as little as 5 minutes a day can make a dramatic impact.
  • Invest in a more efficient showerhead: New showerheads, even efficient ones, aren’t overly expensive. By investing in a showerhead that uses less water you can further reduce your monthly water bills by a significant amount.
  • Don’t use hot water in your washing machine: You’d be surprised at how much more energy your washing machine will use when you wash your clothes in hot water. To save on energy usage, wash your clothes in cold or warm water instead.
  • Fix faucets that leak: A leaky faucet is annoying, but it’s also expensive. All that dripping adds up to a lot of wasted water by the end of the month. Fix your drippy faucets and watch your water bill dip.
  • Invest in energy-efficient appliances: It might be expensive to replace older appliances with energy-efficient models, but these newer models consume far less energy. Spending your money on a more efficient refrigerator, dishwasher, furnace or air conditioning unit can end up leaving you with far lower bills each month.
  • Invest in new light bulbs: Newer light bulbs of the fluorescent or LED variety consume far less energy than your typical halogen light bulb.

Phones The Cost of Staying Connected and Secure

Average Phone Bill: $15 – $30/month

Yes, we know, landline phones are so 90’s.

But, over half of the country, still uses a home p

But, over half of the country, still uses a home phone.

So it’s a cost to consider.

For those who need one, you can expect to pay between $15 – $30 per month.

Most major cable companies will offer to include a home phone line in your TV or internet package.

What are The Typical Average Utility Costs?

We’ll get down and dirty with the details in the next part of this guide. But for now, let’s take a look at the average utility bills for apartment renters across the United States.

According to a 2016 report by the United States Energy Administration, the average monthly energy bill an apartment renter could expect is $112. However, this last report was compiled in 2016 (yikes). Energy costs have increased substantially since then, especially in certain parts of the country.

Depending on where you live (region, state, city) and on the type of energy consumed (gas, electric, etc.), renters could expect to pay an average of $150-$200+ per month on utilities not included in the rent.

Below is a Brief Breakdown of an Apartments Average Costs Based on Utility Type:*This is a rough average estimate and to be used for illustration purposes only

  • Average Electricity Bill $40-$70 (excludes that used for air/heat and stove)
  • Average Air conditioning Bill $35-$60 (averaged over a 12-month period)
  • Average Heating Bill $50-$65 (averaged over a 12-month period)
  • Average Cable and internet Bill $75-$180
  • Average Trash and recycling Bill $20-$30
  • Average Water Bill $40-$60
  • Average Renters insurance Bill $15-$25 per month

What Is the Average Cost of Apartment Utilities?

So, to see how utilities add up, consider a hypoth

So, to see how utilities add up, consider a hypothetical tenant named Tom. Tom lives in Kansas and cranks up the air conditioning during the hot months, but runs high-efficiency heating appliances during the winter. Tom lives with three roommates, never cooks and likes to take extremely long showers. He has broadband and does not subscribe to any cable TV provider. If you’re like Tom and his roommates, you can expect to pay around $411 per month in total utilities for the apartment.

However, in addition to considering the average cost of apartment utilities, we also recommend checking with the landlord or the previous tenants to get a better idea of how much utilities cost for a specific apartment.

Check out the table below to find the average utility bills in your state:

Tips for Saving Money on Your Gas Bill

To save money on your gas bill, first check the seals on windows and doors to determine if you’re losing heat anywhere. Mostly used during the winter to warm the home, gas consumption can also be reduced by adjusting the temperature — and a smart thermostat can help with this. Likewise, get used to lowering the temperature during the winter, even if only by a few degrees. The difference will certainly show up on your bill.

Average Monthly Electric Bill By State

How average are you when it comes to the amount you pay for electricity each month? A good way to determine this is to study how your average electricity bill compares to other consumers in your state.

Here’s a look at the average 2019 monthly electric bill in every state courtesy of the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Alabama: $150.45

Alaska: $127.29

Arizona: $126.09

Arkansas: $109.46

California: $101.92

Colorado: $83.07

Connecticut: $150.71

Delaware: $119.16

Florida: $129.65

Georgia: $131.84

Hawaii: $168.21

Idaho: $93.83

Illinois: $92.37

Indiana: $120.74

Iowa: $108.04

Kansas: $113.26

Kentucky: $120.08

Louisiana: $120.70

Maine: $100.53

Maryland: $127.92

Massachusetts: $125.89

Michigan: $100.23

Minnesota: $99.02

Mississippi: $135.87

Missouri: $117.82

Montana: $95.43

Nebraska: $108.08

Nevada: $106.83

New Hampshire: $120.04

New Jersey: $105.07

New Mexico: $80.04

New York: $103.60

North Carolina: $123.25

North Dakota: $114.27

Ohio: $108.15

Oregon: $100.35

Oklahoma: $113.93

Pennsylvania: $115.47

Rhode Island: $121.62

South Carolina: $144.73

South Dakota: $120.60

Tennessee: $132.33

Texas: $134.07

Utah: $75.63

Vermont: $97.18

Virginia: $135.46

Washington: $94.49

West Virginia: $121.90

Wisconsin: $95.52

Wyoming: $96.53

Typical utility expenses

Utilities are services that keep your home comfortable, functional and safe. These include:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Heating and cooling
  • Water
  • Sewer use
  • Trash and recycling
  • Internet, phone and cable

Utility Costs

While Virginia housing may be more expensive, you may be able to save on your utility costs. Virginia utility costs fall below the national average. 

Electricity will be your most costly utility with a monthly expense of $124.54. Natural gas comes to around $74.32 per month and your water bill adds up to around $70 per month. For the internet, expect to pay $60. For cable, Virginia residents pay around $85 monthly. 

Overall, your total utility costs will come to $414.25 per month. Of course, this total doesn’t include any streaming services or your phone bill. You’ll want to budget accordingly. 

Homeowners should set aside around $400 monthly for utility bills. If you’re in an apartment, budget for $100 to $150 in monthly utility bills.

Other Utility Bills to Consider

Electricity, gas, water, and internet cover the main essential utilities. However, there are a few other bills you'll want to consider.

Cable

Cable is nearly obsolete as there are more streaming alternatives available than ever before. The number of cord-cutters in the US is expected to grow to 40.1 million this year.

If you can’t live without cable, consider what you’re watching. Lower tier packages might suit your needs just fine and can be as cheap as $20.

Average cable bills are around $50 a month, and adding on the extras can put you in the $70-$80 range. The top-tier packages could put you over $100 a month.

Streaming Services

Let's face it. You've probably ditched cable TV for a variety of services years ago. These services offer a ton of variety and often have full seasons of shows that you may watch on cable. Better yet, all these streaming services have costs under $18 a month. Here's a look at some popular streaming service options:

  • Netflix: $9.99 – $19.99
  • Disney+: $7.99 – $12.99
  • Hulu: $6.99 – $12.99
  • Apple TV+: $4.99 – $19.95
  • HBO Max: $14.99
  • Amazon Prime Video: $9.00
  • Paramount Plus: $4.99 – $9.99
  • Peacock: $4.99 – $9.99
  • Discovery Plus: $4.99 – $6.99

Also, look into bundle packages. Many cable providers offer discounts when you bundle different services including internet and cell phone service. If you’re having a great experience with your provider, then switching all your services to a single provider can help you maximize your savings.

Phone Plan

According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends $94 a month on their cell phone bill. This translates to $1,128 a year, which is around the price of most smartphones these days. Most families don't use landline phones anymore, so we've only included data for cell phone plans.

Generally, cell phone bills include the cost of the rented or leased device, carrier service, taxes, fees, and the cost of any add-ons you may have.

Your phone bill can be pricey, so here are a few of our favorite tips on cutting back that cost.

  • Calculate the costs of leasing or buying your device. Many cell phone service carriers enable you to lease your current cell phone for a fixed monthly rate. You can then opt to buy the phone outright or upgrade to a newer phone. Unless you need the newest phone, purchasing your phone outright may save you money and interest in the long run.
  • Shop around. Many consumers benefit from great savings and decent service by opting out of yearly cell phone service providers. If you prefer the guaranteed speed and reliability of a contract-based plan, shop around to catch a deal.
  • Add service lines. Most cell phone service providers offer deep discounts for those who add more lines to their plan. You can stay on a plan with your family to reduce costs, or you may be able to add roommates/significant others to your plan.
  • Consider your data usage. Look at your data usage trends on your phone or on your profile with your provider. If you’re paying for an unlimited data plan, but only use 2 GB a month, you can save big by switching to a plan with lower data limits.

Trash

For most renters, your trash collection will not be a part of your total apartment utilities bill. The fee is commonly bundled in with the price of rent or the owner may pay the bill out of pocket. If you'll be in charge. of the trash collection bill, here's what you should know.

Trash rates are typically determined by local-level governments or private waste collection companies. As a result, the amount you'll pay for waste collection is essentially a roll of the dice.

For example, Sunnyvale, California residents pay a set garbage collection fee based on their resident type and the size of their cart. A multifamily unit with a large cart must pay a monthly fee set at $115.68. Those in Athens County, Georgia must pay $37.60 a month for a large 64-gallon cart.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of utilities?

The different types of utilities include the basics, such as electricity, gas, water, and sewage. Other types of utilities may include things such as the internet, cable, and phone.

How much is the average electricity bill?

The average electricity bill of a one-bedroom apartment costs $85 per month, depending on varying circumstances such as the number of people living in the apartment, the size of the apartment, and the number of energy-efficient appliances.

How much is the average gas bill?

The average gas bill of a one-bedroom apartment costs $19 per month, depending on several factors, including usage, where you live, and your appliances.

How much is the average water bill?

The average water bill for a single adult is $21 per month. It varies on depending on usage, where you live, and ENERGY STAR appliances in the apartment.

How much is the average Wi-Fi bill?

The average Wi-Fi bill ranges from $40-$75 per month, depending on factors, including where you live, download speed, and added features (such as streaming services).

Are utilities are included in your rent?

Utilities are not typically included in your rent unless explicitly stated in your lease agreement. If you have found an apartment that includes utilities, typically this will cover the essentials: electric, gas, water, sewage, and trash.

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