I’m moving on my own to a USF apartment, and I’m new to everything utility-related. Where do I start?

Every young adult looks forward to the beginning of the next chapter in life, college and living on their own. While this new adventure is incredibly exciting, there are also a variety of things one must consider. Living on your own for the first time, you may be asking yourself "how do I make sure I have enough money to take care of my utility bills?". Luckily, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to help keep your utility costs to a minimum in your new USF apartment.

Bundle Your Bills

One way to cut down on costs is to have all of your USF apartment-related bills combined into one monthly payment with an all-inclusive apartment. While this may vary slightly from apartment to apartment, typically each monthly rent payment will also include electric, water, trash, and in some cases internet and cable. Having everything in one bill makes it easier to budget and plan. The all-inclusive option saves you from having to pay multiple bills throughout the month, nearly eliminating the possibility for missed bills and subsequent late fees. In the end you might actually be saving money by having all your bills bundled into one. Make sure to do your research, some communities have a cap on utilities. If you exceed the cap you will be responsible for paying the difference.

Manage Your Energy

If you feel that all-inclusive isn't for you, no need to fret. There are still plenty of ways to keep your utility bills low. Florida is famous for its hot, humid summers, making central air conditioning a necessity. To save money on your electric bill, consider turning the thermostat up a few degrees when you leave the house for school or work. This makes it so that your air conditioner doesn't have to work so hard to keep your apartment cool during the hours no one is home. The less work your air conditioner has to do the less money you have to spend on your bill! Another way to save is to manage your water consumption. Taking shorter showers or replacing the showerhead can also help lower your bill. If you have a washer and dryer in your Tampa apartment, wash your clothes in warm or cold water and limit how many loads you do each week - this can cut your energy consumption in half!

Include Your Internet

Did you know you can have the internet included with your USF apartment?! It doesn't get more convenient than that! A big part of college work is internet-related, whether it be for online courses or research for a big paper. Having the internet included with your apartment not only helps with all that homework you ‘re likely going to be doing, but it also makes it so you have one less bill to pay. Wouldn't you rather surf the internet from the comfort of your couch than the library at school? If you decide to peruse social media on your phone, you won't have to worry about using your data if you use your apartment's Wi-Fi. Everyone needs a break from studying at some point.

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