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How to Successfully Share Costs With Your Housemates

Mon 24 Aug 2015

Living with other people is a great way to split costs and create a nice home where you don’t live by yourself. The only tricky situation that can arise with new housemates though is how you are going to split the bills and get them all paid on time.

There will be a range of different things that need paying for, including your council tax, rent, Internet, gas and electricity, and water. You will also need to pay for your TV licence, and unpaid bills could land you in court.

Here are a few easy ways to successfully share costs with your housemates and create a calm and harmonious household:

Work Out How to Split Bills

The first thing you need to do when you are sharing a tenancy with someone is to sit down and figure out exactly what costs you will have and decide how you are going to split them. Make a list of who is going to pay which bills and how much they will cost on average each month.

Draw up a spreadsheet that determines exactly how much money each person pays towards what, and when. You could take half the bills each, or one person could be the designated bill payer and others can give their share to them.

Pay With a Direct Debit

The easiest and cheapest way to pay your household bills is using a direct debit. Setting one up will ensure that bills get paid on time, as long as there is enough money in the payer’s account to cover the costs.

One direct debit can be set up per bill, then everyone can pay their share to the bill payer using individual direct debits. It’s important that all tenants set up their direct debit a few days before the bill is due, so the money is ready to go out of the bill payer’s account.

Use an App

There are a few apps that can take a lot of the hassle out of calculating different shared expenses in your home. Apps like Splitwise and Splittable will really help to keep track of bills and divide them easily between housemates.

These apps can also help you to split the rent fairly based on who has the biggest room or who uses the most amenities. In many households one person will get a master bedroom and even potentially an en-suite bathroom, and therefore would be expected to pay more rent.

Set up a Kitty

It’s good to budget for your bills and outgoing costs, but it is also good to have an extra kitty set aside for any unexpected costs. If you or a housemate regularly has their other half to stay, then they could chip in now and again from their kitty.

If you all share the essentials such as bread, milk, toilet paper etc., then part of your kitty could go towards this to prevent any problems arising as to who paid for what last time. It can never be a bad thing having extra cash saved up for any additional bits and bobs required.

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