We'll go over basic food costs another time - so today let's look at the cost of running a house/apartment.
Here are my typical bills for the month. More details below.
Where appropriate, blue numbers are summer, red represent winter. Numbers are, of course, yen.
Two people sharing an old 3DK house:
- Electricity: 2-3,000 3,500-4,000
- Gas: 5-7,000 10,000
- Water: 3-3,500
= 10,000-13,500 16,500
- Electricity: 2,500 3,500
- Gas: 4,000 8,000
- Water: 2,500
= 9,000 14,000
- Rent: 40-70,000++ depending on location
You will notice in the figures above that electricty doesn't vary muct between a house and an apartment, and in general is pretty low. This may be different in a big city/very modern apartment where it's growing in popularity to have the "gas" facilties (stove, water heating) electrically powered.
Gas is the main player in most Japanese homes, as can be seen in the costs. The massive difference between summer and winter comes from the heating of the water in the freezing environment. Expect considerably more if you like to take baths.
There are two types of gas, and the price can vary quite a lot between them. However you don't get to choose which type you have - it depends on your location and the infrastructure of your city.
You may also want to consider the cost of recycling/disposing of your rubbish. We have a separate article covering the sorting and associated costs of recycling here.
- Internet: 6,720 (cheaper options available)
- Mobile phone: 2,000 +
- School Lunch: 5,000 (varies slightly)
- Car Insurance: 7-8,000 (slightly cheaper and vastly more expensive options out there)
Other things you might want:
- Landline phone - your best bet here is to get a VoIP phoneline packaged with your internet. It's only a few hundred extra yen and saves the 35,000 installation fee for a dedicated landline. Or a Skype number.
- English newspaper: 2,650
- TV licence: 15,490pa (slightly less on direct debit, and you may be interested to know that there is no fine for non-payment)
- Satelite TV: 25,520pa