It’s a good idea to get the ‘money’ chat out 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 much more. However, moving into a student house brings with it a number of shared expenses, such as rent and utilities. With this in mind, we’ve put together some tips on how to best manage the expenses that come with shared housing.
One nominated individual
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. Whilst this is a common method, it does rely upon everyone paying their share to that person on time.
Open a joint account
Another idea is to open a joint bank account, where everyone pays a set weekly or monthly standing order into this account. It can be difficult to estimate how much money will be required each month, and it also means everyone has to pay their money on time. However, it does carry the benefit of sharing responsibility.
One bill each
Dividing the bills between each of the housemates means sharing the responsibility. But you need to make sure that everyone over the year 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, or just recording payments on a post-it on the kitchen fridge!
Using an 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. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that there is likely to be a charge for this service.
Discuss any potential issues
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.