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Anticipated Monthly Expenses

Splitting Bills

When you move off campus, you’ll share bills for heat, hot water, electricity, cable and Internet. Each bill will need to be in just one person’s name. If you have roommates, split utility bills among house members. This way, one person is not responsible for all the bills.

Winter Heating

If heat is not included in your rent, ask your landlord for an estimate of expected heating costs, including a summary of the past two years’ heating bills. The landlord must provide this information to prospective tenants upon written request. Also consider signing up for a budget payment plan through National Grid. It will spread your bills out evenly for the entire year so you’re not stuck with large bills during the winter months.

Cleaning Supplies

Keep in mind that when you move off campus you’ll be responsible for keeping your entire apartment clean. Make sure you have appropriate cleaning supplies and other common household items. Toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, cleaning solutions, mops, brooms and a vacuum cleaner are essential items for you to have.

Food and Groceries

It’s important to budget enough money to maintain healthy eating habits off campus. Save money by buying what’s on sale and using coupons. Another way to eat well on a budget is to purchase a 5-Meal a week plan so you have the option of eating some meals on campus.


One advantage of living off campus is that your apartment may allow you to have a pet. Some things to consider are the cost of food, veterinary bills and the care for your pet while you are away on break or a long weekend.


Something to consider is if your apartment comes with off-street parking. Off-street parking is not always included in the monthly rent, so make sure to ask about any additional cost. If you don’t have a car, you should go the Parking and Transportation web site to find out what shuttles and buses are available to get around campus and the Syracuse community.

Cable and Internet Service

You can obtain WiFi through a cable provider. With services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, a lot of students don’t find getting cable is necessary. Doing without cable can save you $25 to $50 a month.

Credit Cards

Resist the urge to use a credit card to pay for living expenses. Credit cards aren’t free money and typically come with high interest rates. If you apply for a credit card, be sure to fully understand credit terms and conditions.

ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (APR) The yearly interest charge applicable to outstanding credit balances.

ANNUAL FEE The once-a-year cost of owning a credit card. Some credit cards have no annual fee.

GRACE PERIOD The period before interest begins to accrue on new purchases.

MINIMUM PAYMENT – The minimum dollar amount that must be paid each month, usually two or three percent of the amount owed.

Other Expenses

Also give some thought to one-time or occasional expenses. It’s a good idea to set some money aside for unexpected expenses.

Web sites such as and software through your bank can povide you with free online tools to keep your money and your budget on track.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs provides online tutorials and education about financial literacy.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs
200 Archbold North