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Off-Campus Housing Support

Budgeting for Off-Campus Housing

Expenses to Expect

Living off-campus can be expensive, so make certain that you are able to pay for all the expenses associated with renting. Here are some big expenses that you may want to budget for:

Rent Rent can be anywhere from $250/month to $800/month. Rent all depends on where you live, how many roommates you have, and the state of the dwelling. Generally, the closer you live to campus, the more expensive the rent. The more roommates you have, the less you pay in rent.
UtilitiesEach lease is different, so make certain you understand your financial responsibilities before you sign the lease. Sometimes the landlord takes responsibility for the utilities; sometimes this is split among tenants. Sometimes the landlord will pay for some utilities and other times not at all, so ask a lot of questions! Also, check out simplebills.com. This service bundles all of your utility payments and separates them among your roommates equally, so you don’t have to!
DepositsUsually you have to pay a deposit when you rent a dwelling. This deposit is used to protect the landlord’s interest in the property and is usually paid upon signing the lease. If the dwelling is not damaged during your tenancy, usually you can get your deposit back. If you damage the dwelling, then the landlord will make repairs with the money from the deposit upon the termination of the lease. If the dwelling is unfurnished, the deposit cannot be more than one month’s rent. If the dwelling is furnished, the deposit cannot be more than one and one half months’ rent. If you have a pet, the deposit cannot be more than two months’ rent.
Start-Up CostsMost utility companies require deposits. Make certain you call your utility providers to determine the amount required before you move in. Additionally, you may have hook-up costs for those services, these all vary by provider so call around and find out what they charge. Additional start-up housing costs should be considered. These include kitchen, dining, and housing furniture and supplies that are not necessarily needed when living on-campus or with parents.
TimeRenting is more time consuming than simply living with your parents or living in on-campus housing. You will have responsibilities of maintaining the home, cooking for yourself, possibly working with the landlord if there are repairs that need to be made, grocery shopping, potential lawn care and snow removal, etc. This loss of time is expensive and should be considered as well.

Managing Bills with Roommates

Stressed out from keeping track of when your bills are due and if your roommates have paid? Simple Bills is a web service that allows you to bundle all of your bills into one payment. If your roommates sign up, Simple Bills can divide the bills between you so you only pay your portion and don't have to worry about making sure your roommates pay. Check them out at simplebills.com.