How to Best Split Bills with Roommates
Living with a roommate is
a usually a guaranteed way to save money. With multiple people sharing rent, bills, and household expenses, you’ll have a little more cash left over each month to put toward savings. But it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Consider the size of each person’s room, their income, and their living habits. All of this can factor into how you share living expenses. Here are some steps to take when figuring out how much each roommate should pay.
Options for Splitting Bills
Split Bills Equally: This is the simplest way to divide up living expenses. If you live with one roommate, you each pay half of the rent and utilities. This method works best if you have similar incomes and living habits.
Split Bills by Space: If one of you has more space, such as a larger bedroom or a walk-in closet, splitting your rent by square footage may be the fairest way to go about it. This way, the person with the bigger room pays a bigger share of the rent.
Split Bills by Usage: Roommates will usually split utility bills equally, but if one roommate has a window AC unit running all summer, they might consider paying a bigger share of the electric bill.
Trade Off: If you aren’t as concerned about an equal split, trading off paying for expenses like toilet paper or garbage bags allows you to avoid the back and forth of money transfers. This is the most casual approach to bill splitting, but it can lead to arguments if one person feels like they are always paying more.
Ways to Transfer Money for Shared Bills
Payment Apps: Money transfer apps like Venmo, Paypal and Zelle are free to use and make it convenient to send payments to roommates. Some of these apps will charge a fee for certain types of payments or money transfers, so pay attention to fine print to avoid extra charges.
Direct Bank Transfer: A direct transfer from your bank to your roommate’s is the most straightforward way to split bills as you’ll just need your roommate’s banking details to make sure the payment goes to the right account.
Bill Splitting Apps: Apps like Splitwise and SettleUp help you avoid the math of bill splitting by tracking shared expenses and automatically calculating the amount each person owes. Many of them allow you to make digital payments within the app and offer features like receipt scanning, recurring payments, and currency exchange rates.
Considerations When Splitting Bills with Roommates
Decide Which Bills You’ll Keep Separate
For example, will you purchase cleaning supplies separately? What about furniture? When one of you moves out, it can be difficult to decide who keeps the couch if you split the cost when you bought it. If you and your roommate cook most of your meals together, you might split grocery expenses, but if your roommate is vegetarian and you aren’t, it won’t make sense to share those costs.
Create A Shared Living Expenses Agreement
As you discuss how you’ll split your bills and the rules around these responsibilities, it’s important to write down what you and your roommates agree on. A shared living expenses agreement doesn’t have to be anything formal. The goal is to avoid future disagreements by having something in writing to reference.
Don’t let small problems become big problems. If you have an issue with how your roommate is handling the shared living expenses, bring it up with them. A conversation is a better way to work through roommate problems than letting them fester. Likewise, if you’re struggling with your half of the rent, don’t avoid the problem. Your roommate may be able to help you figure out a solution.
Don’t Let Financial Challenges Get the Best of You
Even when you’re budgeting and splitting expenses with others, you may suddenly find yourself with an unexpected financial situation. Times like this call for quick solutions, like taking out same day cash loans. Don’t let stress about your financial situation get you down. At LendNation, we can help get you cash fast. Our simple application process can be done in-person or online. Contact us or apply for a loan online.