UTILITIES Now, what am I talking about right? This includes your cell phone bill (if you don’t stay on your parent’s plan), cable, internet, gas, electricity, water/heat (in some cases).
Oh. Didn’t even think about that? SURPRISE!
Going back to the housing blog, hopefully you find an apartment that has all utilities included and if not, at least it should have water and heat included. I would suggest checking your local housing authority site for tenant rights around this. For NYC check out the Housing Preservation & Development site. Gas, Electricity, Heat and Water can add up very quickly. However, if your living situation includes roommates it may not be so bad. I personally have Heat and Water included in my apartment so this is nothing I worry about. Other utilities come out to be about $80 to $100 a month, which is then split with a roommate. I consider that to not be too bad. But I am also speaking with a New Yorker’s perspective. Please do your research for your respective city. Also be mindful of the summer months, these prices will JUMP if you’re using an air conditioner.
Cable + Internet Providers = Con Artists. But this is just my opinion. No Facts. No Fake News. Just something I’ve drawn together over the years. I recently cut my cable (*Patting myself on the back as we speak*). Let’s be real. YOU’RE ALWAYS ON YOUR LAPTOP AND PHONE. AND you’re never home. Who has time for an actual TV anymore? You can stream everything online. Netflix and Chill killed TV for millennials. But not going to lie, those Netflix Originals are life (I see you too Hulu). Your choice on whether to get cable but I say get internet only and maybe an Amazon Fire Stick or Roku to use apps like Netflix and Hulu. If you really need some local channels, get an Antenna, which usually costs about $20 bucks and gets you all the local channels in the area. And no, it’s not the old school antenna. They’ve upgraded since the 90’s.
Paying for decent internet service should cost you no more than $50 a month. If you choose the bundles (aka that cool triple play with the landline phone you will never use), you may pay $80 to $90 for the first year and somehow it will slowly creep up to around $150 a month. Yes, I am speaking from experience. And trying to bring this price down can be a challenge. Unless you like to argue and gamble, then this may be an exciting experience trying to hustle your bill down (I say gamble – for the risk of being hung up on or having your service cancelled for you).
May the odds be ever in your favor.
My advice though? Be nice to the customer service folk, they’ll help you more. One time I spent the whole phone call talking about the snow in the Northeast because the customer service woman was from Texas and had never left her state. Would I say I cared for the topic? HA. Not in the slightest, but pretending like the snow was the most fascinating topic in the world got my bill down by $60 bucks. #winning
**Phone starts ringing/playing some smooth tunes by Trey Songz** And looks like it’s my mom calling me. One second, I’ll be right back…
Actually, just kidding. It’s 2017, we can be on the phone, surf the web and binge Game of Thrones at the same time. Gotta love technology. Speaking of being on the phone, for the lucky ones that ride on their families’ cell phone plan, I applaud you. For the rest of us, well, it’s actually not too bad. With the four major cell phone providers constantly competing, it’s gotten cheaper to get a plan (i.e. Sprint’s never ending attack on Verizon. I see you Mr. ‘Can You Hear Me Now’ – You’re a traitor. I feel for Verizon – that must have hurt.) I personally spend about $70 a month for a 5 gig plan. However, if you’re a user who needs unlimited, then expect to spend $100 + a month on your phone. You’re choice. Remember you can get Wi-Fi in most places at this point. For New Yorkers, even in the subway.
You can’t understand a city without using its public transportation.
Want to understand NYC? I’ll help you in the next post.
See Ya Fam!