Setting Up Utilities in Your Post-Grad Apartment
Moving into your first apartment after graduation is a huge milestone. But you’ll need to take care of a few small (yet important) tasks before you settle into your new digs, including setting up utilities like electricity and Wi-Fi. Proper planning for these tasks is key; otherwise, you might end up in a sticky situation like Kate E. from Tennessee.
“I ran into some issues setting up electricity at my first apartment,” explains Kate. “I had to set it up before the leasing company would give me the keys, but the problem was that it was a small local electric company that made you go to their office in person to set up new accounts.”
“They were only open during normal business hours, and I had just started my new job,” Kate continues. “I felt so awkward telling my manager I had to come in late during my first week because I had to set up my utilities, but she was nice about it. I showed up at the electric company at 9 a.m. on the dot, got it done, and rushed to work.”
Depending on your apartment, you may be responsible for several types of utility accounts, including electricity, water and sewage, natural gas, and trash. Most rental properties have designated providers who service their apartments, and you’ll be responsible for transferring the accounts into your name, typically before you move in. Give yourself plenty of time to set these accounts up so you don’t end up in a pickle like Kate did!
Once everything is set up and you’ve moved in, it’s important to pay your utility bills on time each month, or else you run the risk of incurring additional fees. Many service providers offer automatic payment options and budgeting tools that can help you stay current with your payments, but you’ll need to make sure you always have enough money in your bank account to cover the costs.
Splitting utilities with a roommate? At the beginning of your lease, you’ll want to draft an agreement that outlines how you’ll divide the costs. Most people opt for a 50/50 split, but you may need to adjust these numbers depending on your specific situation.