Congrats! You pay your own bills now.

Moving out on your own for the first time is exciting! Whether you are leaving your parent’s home for the first time or moving from a college dorm into an apartment, it’s a major life change and a big step toward adulthood. But for some, it can also feel overwhelming, especially with the new responsibility of paying bills.

In addition to your monthly rent, there will be other expenses to pay such as renter’s insurance, food and utilities like gas and electric service. When planning your monthly budget, did you consider these expenses?

Some leases include utilities in the cost of the monthly rent while others require you to set them up yourself. Setting up service is easy and convenient and with a little help, so is managing your energy costs.

First, know that energy cost will vary from person to person and unit to unit based on a wide range of factors including the size of the unit, the building’s insulation and personal habits, just to name a few.

While paying bills can be stressful and intimidating, fortunately there are many ways to stay on budget.

Here are a few tips to help you manage your monthly energy bill:

(Image) 6 Ways to Save Energy graphic. Replace dirty air filters. Adjust your water heater. Use smart power strips. Adjust the thermostat. Use energy efficient lighting. Turn off lights and fans when not in use.

Making these simple adjustments can help you save on your monthly energy cost and puts money back in your pocket to enjoy your new freedom and independence.

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