Budgeting You’ll be securing housing, phone, electricity, water, and other services during your first month in the U.S. and often each service will require a security deposit. A security deposit is a fee, sometimes refundable, which is required in addition to the monthly charge in order to protect against unexpected damage or financial loss. The housing security deposit is typically the equivalent of one month’s rent. The security deposit for utilities (electricity, water, etc.) can range between $50-$300. Be sure to plan ahead to cover the costs of the security deposits in addition to the normal living expenses for your first month.