Managing bills between housemates can be tricky, but not impossible. This blog will share tips and tricks on how you can chat finances with your housemates.
Whether you’re moving in with best friends or shacking up with strangers, living with housemates can be an exciting time for anyone. But once the buzz of a fresh start dies down, it’s time to talk about money, more specifically, how you plan to manage household bills.
Managing bills between roommates can be tricky, especially if everyone’s pay cycle is different or they already have their own budgeting system in place.
And while there are a range of options available, there are a few tips and tricks that can help ensure finances are shared fairly.
Common Bills Housemates May Split
Before you can discuss how you’ll share expenses with your roommates, you’ll first need to determine what expenses you’ll be splitting. Some of the most common expenses shared among roommates is rent, utility bills and groceries.
Discuss how expenses will be shared
No matter how many housemates are moving in, discussing how bills will be paid every month is a must. It’s important to all get on the same page now to avoid any confusion or awkward confrontations down the road. Depending on everyone’s budget or current financial situation, you may want to allocate specific bills or split every cost evenly.
It might also be worth designating one person to be in charge of making sure bills get paid on time. This can give everyone a point of contact and minimise miscommunication.
Decide if you’ll split bills evenly
One of the easiest and hassle-free ways to manage bills between housemates is to split all costs evenly. It can also save time and awkward conversations later on, as everyone is already on the same page. However, there are circumstances where this might not be fair for everyone.
For instance, if you and your housemates have drastically varying incomes, this might not be financially feasible. This bill management style might not also be effective if one of your housemates loses their job or has a sudden financial emergency and can no longer contribute their portion of the bills.
And which expenses will be kept separate
However, there are some costs you may want to keep separate, like groceries. This may be because you or other roommates have certain dietary requirements or like to stick to a certain diet. Furniture is another expense some roommates may decide to keep separate, as in the event that one of you decides to move out, they can just take what’s theirs. This can keep the process simple and less stressful.
How to split the bills when someone is working from home
No matter how many housemates you’re living with, there’s a good chance that at least one of them has or still is working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While this has meant Aussies workers have more flexibility in their work/life balance and have saved on commuting expenses, households have also experienced a climb in their energy costs. And if you live with housemates who don’t work from home, this can cause some friction when the time comes to pay the electricity bill.
To ease the tension between housemates, there is a way to fairly split the energy bill. If you have noticed a rise in your energy bill, you might consider asking your housemate to pay the difference. Take a look at your last few energy bills and calculate the average amount. Then compare the number against your current energy bill and ask your housemate to pay the extra amount.
Split the Bill: Tools and Apps for Housemates
If you’ve decided to take on the responsibility of ensuring the bills are paid every month, you may have already started tossing up your options. Digital tools and apps can help save you time and the headache of juggling multiple bills, plus make things easier to discuss between your roommates.
Calculate Rent and Budgets with Spreadsheets
If you prefer to stick to the basics, you can’t go wrong with a classic spreadsheet. These can give you a simple overview of your monthly bills, while giving you total flexibility and control over how you want to organise your finances. Spreadsheets can also be easily shared between people and gives them the ability to make edits so things always stay up to date.
Bill Splitting Apps for Housemates
As renting with roommates has become more common among younger people, many fintechs have developed apps and platforms to adapt to this new way of living.
These days, there’s not much that can’t be done online or through an app, including organising your bills. While there are a range of platforms around that can help you keep track of bills and spending, a good place to kickstart your search for the perfect bill payment solution is Deferit.
Deferit is a budgeting app that splits any bill into 4 equal instalments. The tool can be used for utility bills, internet and phone bills and much more! Using an app like Deferit means you have more control over where your money is going and can free up your household’s cash flow. The best part? Deferit is completely interest-free and charges no late fees!
Discover how easy it is to pay bills with Deferit by uploading your first bill today!