LIVING IN A NEW COUNTRY CAN BE DAUNTING. HERE IS A LOCAL GUIDE.
Gas, Electricity and Water
Gas and electricity
In the Netherlands, most rental prices are excluding g/e/w. This means that you have to sign up for gas, electricity and water yourself. The cheapest way for electricity and gas is via www.gaslicht.com. This site compares all the cheapest energy suppliers at that moment. On this site, you sign up with your address, all your personal information and then you indicate when you want to suppliance to start. In a few days after, you will receive your estimated monthly fee. This fee has to be paid every month which is supposed to cover your usage. When one year has passed, you receive a yearly bill that reviews whether your monthly fee was enough to cover this usage. If your usage was more than expected, you have to pay a little extra. If you used less, you will receive the money back that you have paid enough. It is always smart to be in contact with your energy supplier to check whether you are paying enough.
You cannot choose your own water supplier. There are designated suppliers in certain areas of The Netherlands, so you need to figure out who this is and sign up for them. You will receive a yearly bill too, which checks how much water you have used and whether your monthly fee covered this.
An unfurnished apartment is the easiest to find and is cheaper than a furnished one. If you plan on staying in The Netherlands longer than a year, it might be a good idea to get your own furniture. You can get very cheap furniture at many second-hand stores. If you look at places like marktplaats.nl, many people offer things for free (but pick up is required). At the second-hand stores, you usually have an option to deliver your furniture. Pro tip at the second-hand store: try to negotiate a good deal out of it! If you buy many pieces, you can definitely try to get a good discount on the whole bunch. You can obviously always shop at sites like IKEA, but this is not necessarily the cheapest you can get.
If you rent an apartment, you usually first pay some sort of confirmation/registration/administrative fee of the rental agency. This can be any amount between €10 till €500, or even more. It really depends on the rental agency. When you have paid these fees, you need to pay your deposit. This also differs between all the rental agencies. Some require one month of rent, others two. These costs are usually associated with just the rental process. When you are living at your new place you will need to start paying taxes. This can amount to a €1000 a year. However, if you have no money and only live on loans, you can ask the municipality for redemption. Please note that this is very hard process.
On an every day-to-day basis, you will need transportation to get anywhere in The Netherlands. You can walk, use public transport or our nation's favorite: biking.
Most Public Transport in The Hague is arranged by HTM. All the trams and most buses drive on behalf of HTM. You can buy a one day ticket at the machines, but these will get quite expensive if you travel on a regular basis. You should use a OV-Chipkaart. You can get a personal OV Chipkaart or an anonymous one. If you lose your Personal OV Chipkaart, the credit you had on it will not be lost. With an anonymous one, you will. You can also request discounts with a personal OV Chipkaart. With this card, you can travel everywhere in The Netherlands. All public transport agencies accept it. If you want to travel to different cities, you will probably take the train. NS is responsible for all the trains in The Netherlands. If you travel a lot, it is wise to look into monthly subscriptions where you can get discounts on traveling.
You can also get around on the renowned bikes. You can purchase bikes everywhere, all with different price ranges. If you visit a second-hand store, or scour on marktplaats.nl (search for: fiets) you can probably get a bike for around €100 or less. You can also purchase a new bike, then you will probably spend around €350. There are also options such as swapfiets. This is a monthly subscription, but this gets quite expensive. I would recommend buying a second-hand bike.