Moving Off Campus

In a couple of weeks Carter will be moving into her first non-school apartment. This is real grown up life. She got an agent to rent to apartment, which is common practice in Boston. The place comes with heat and hot water. While Carter was away I got to thinking about the other utilities she needed to secure. I mentioned electricity to her and she had been unaware that she needed to do anything to get an account.

When I was Carter’s age I too moved off campus to a house with three roommates. In Carlisle, Pennsylvania we did not need a real estate agent to rent a house. We just walked down the street and saw a hand written sign and called the owner.

To get a telephone installed we walked over to the telephone company on high street and put in an order to have a phone installed. It was a one line phone installed in the stairway on the first floor with a very long cord so my roommates and I could pull the phone into our rooms on the second or third floors as needed.

We called the electric company and had them put the account in our names on the start of our lease. Actually, speaking of leases, I don’t remember having anyone of our parents look at it before we signed it. Of course our rent was only $350 a month for the four of us. That meant we each paid $87.50.

The only utility we had any trouble with was oil, which was needed for our furnace. The tank was in our dirt floor basement where our washer and dryer also resided. Every once in a while one of us would look at the little float on the tank to see if the oil was getting low. When we were at a point that our tank might run dry we would call the oil company. As a cash customer one of us had to be home with the money to give the driver when they came and filled the tank through pipe in the front porch. I can’t remember how much it cost, but we did wait until the last minute every time.

We got a water bill every once in a while, but it was inconsequential. Garbage was free in our town and of course there was no recycling. We also had basic cable which I think cost us $14 a month.

Carter will not have to worry about phone, oil, or water, but she has internet which I am happy her father will help her figure out. So much adulting when you move off campus. I at least had roommates to help remember to check the oil. Carter won’t have that, but at least she can get her bills electronically and can pay online and won’t have to worry about buying stamps to pay her bills.

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