Imagine splitting bills with roommates who want to divide the cost of everything down to the dish soap, which they bought for $0.90. Sharing bigger expenses like rent is easier, but it gets more challenging when it comes to sharing bills with roommates for the little things: like kitchen or cleaning supplies.
Whether you’re living with your best buddies or someone who’s a complete stranger to you, splitting bills with roommates can be a tough job if you’re doing it more than once a month. Many people in America are leaning towards co-living because of sharing bills with roommates like rent and utilities makes it cheaper and easier. So this way, Americans can afford to live in a spacious house or a high-end neighborhood without bearing the full cost of living themselves.
Moreover, the types of people you are living with and their dynamic with you plays a major role when sharing expenses. Everyone has different ideas about sharing costs. Here are a few ways by which you can efficiently go about splitting bills with roommates.
1. Decide on the expenses you want to be splitting bills for
Have a direct conversation to know more about how they want to approach sharing bills with roommates. Decide which expenses are to be shared and which ones to retain individually. In the case of common expenses like rent, electricity, water and utilities make sense. The same goes for entertainment expenses such as Netflix & WiFi. If your roommate wants to subscribe to HBO, but you’re not fussed, then ask them to personally cover the extra.
It is a good idea to plan and figure out how to collect and pay these bills. Many people like to wait until the last minute to pay their share. Make sure you have a conversation with them beforehand about timings and late payments.
2. Make a cost spreadsheet for splitting bills with roommates efficiently
If you feel comfortable and don’t want to rely on an app for splitting bills with roommates, you can maintain a detailed spreadsheet to outline each expense that needs to be shared. The spreadsheet should determine due dates, amounts, and the person responsible for paying them. Have a short monthly meeting to discuss the sheet to keep everyone updated. If you’re making a budget for the house, you can consider making a personal one for yourself too! Financial planning is always advisable.
3. To avoid awkward conversations, use apps for splitting bills with roommates
There’s an app for that! With the click of a button, you and your roommates can easily track, record, and create a spending budget for the month based on your personal preferences—apps like Splitwise make splitting bills with roommates easier. You don’t have to bang on your roommate’s door at 7am asking for half of the electric bill. With Splitwise, you can set reminders within the app! That way, you don’t have to have an awkward conversation with your roommates about delayed payments.
4. Keep some purchases separate when splitting bills with roommates
It may seem logical to be splitting bills with roommates for furniture costs, but when it’s time for someone to move, it can get very complicated to decide who gets to keep what. For this reason, you could consider buying some furniture separately. List out who will be responsible for each item, including electronics, while keeping your overall costs even. Groceries can also be separate, especially if your taste buds and diets are considerably different.
5. Choose your roommates wisely
It is a good idea to check your roommate’s credit scores before you shack up with them. That way, you already know how they deal with credit and bills. To check credit scores for free, go to annualcreditreport.com or credit.com. You can let have a conversation right at the start for splitting bills with roommates. Meet with your future roommates and devise a money-sharing plan. To cover your back, you may also want to put some money in a high-interest savings account in case your roommates ever let you down.
D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers split bills with roommates efficiently? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!