Last updated: 10/11/20
When you’re heading into shared living for the first time, whether it be at uni, or if you’re moving in with your mates, it’s a good idea to get the ‘money’ chat out of the way early on.
Moving into a house share with some of your closest friends can be very exciting; you can cook and clean together, arrange movie nights and have your own personal coronavirus ‘bubble’. However, moving into a shared house brings a number of shared expenses, such as rent and utilities. With this in mind, we’ve put together some tips on ways to manage splitting the bills.
1) Nominate one individual to split the bills
This method of paying the bills requires one person in the house to take charge for paying all of the bills. They would need to have enough money in their account each month to be able to cover them, which could be helped by everyone else setting up direct debits to hit the account the day before. Whilst this is a common method, it does rely upon everyone paying their share to that person on time. And if the other house mates aren’t organised, or can’t afford to pay their share, it may leave the nominated individual in a difficult situation.
2) Open a joint account to help with your bill splitting
Another idea is to open a joint bank account, where everyone pays a set weekly or monthly standing order into this account. Depending on your tariff, it may be difficult to estimate how much money will be required each month, and this option also means everyone has to pay their money on time. However, it does carry the benefit of sharing responsibility and being able to use any leftover cash on treats for the house!
3) Be organised if you’re paying one bill each
Dividing the bills between each of the housemates means sharing the responsibility – which is great. But you need to make sure that over the year, everyone pays an equal amount, regardless of what bill they’re responsible for.
It’s worth creating a system for tracking when bills are due and who will be paying them - some companies charge late fees, so it’s important you stay organised. Creating a shared Google Sheet between housemates can help to keep track of this (everyone loves a spreadsheet), or just recording payments on a post-it on the kitchen fridge!
4) Use a bill splitting app
There are a number of bill paying apps, such as splitthebills.co.uk and glide.uk.com. These companies take a regular payment from each housemate and then set up all of the utilities for that household. This method removes the stress of chasing each other for the money and even better, automates your payments. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that there is likely to be a charge for this service.
5) Find a ‘split the bill’ calculator
Finding a ‘split the bill’ calculator online can be an easy way of managing the splitting of bills in your shared house. There are lots of tools out there and searching for phrases like ‘split my bills’ and ‘split bill calculator’ could help you find one that works for your specific house share.
6) Discuss any potential issues with student bill splitting
Whether one of your flatmates is consistently late with their payments, or whether you’re experiencing a financial shortfall yourself, it’s important to discuss this with your housemates before it becomes a real issue. This way, if an unexpected situation does occur, then you’ll already have an idea of how to handle it!