Off-campus living requires more responsibility. Gone are the days of visiting the Campus store and grabbing a quick meal at a dining hall. You’ll have to grocery shop and cook. There are actual bathrooms you must clean to maintain your health. And, most importantly, there are utility bills to pay every month.
Staying on top of utilities is important, as failure to pay by the due date can lead to steep late fees. Here are a few tips to make sure you stay on top of your bills:
Autopay is when you provide your banking information to your leasing office or utility company and they withdraw directly from your account. This process is a life-saver. It removes the stress of remembering specific dates and continually filling out payment forms, making itthe most convenient way to pay bills. Both Duke Energy and the City of Bloomington Utilities Service have an automatic draft feature.
With utilities, bills have to be in a person’s name. The best practice is to divide the major branches between roommates. Electricity, water and Wi-Fi are the universal services in Bloomington. Depending on the amount of people living in each apartment or house, each person can tackle one of the services. This allows everyone to focus on a specific area and not become overwhelmed dealing with each different service.
Talking about money is uncomfortable. Continuously hounding roommates over bills can be awkward too. Using apps like Venmo and PayPal can allow you to easily divy up costs at the end of each month when bills hit.
Keep track of deadlines
If you don’t have access to automatic payment, it’s important to keep track of deadlines. You need to make sure that you know when certain bills are due, you won’t miss a payment or not have enough money in your account to cover the cost.