You’ve made it through the most tedious part of starting a share house – actually wrangling enough of your friends into a lease and compromising on the location. However, you now have to deal with the pink elephant in the room: the money situation. Money can be difficult, especially between friends, so here are some tips to help you split costs fairly with your housemates, rather than splitting up your friend group.
The first concern is how much rent each person is paying. Many people might choose to evenly divide the weekly rent by the amount of rooms, but this can sometimes lead to people feeling compromised. If you have claimed the parking space, consider paying a higher weekly amount for that privilege. The same idea applies if a room has an ensuite, an air conditioner or if the room comes fully furnished. It’s important to think about whether the room size will affect the weekly rent in general, someone with half the space might not feel it’s fair to pay the same price. Each share house is different and it’s best to discuss this with your housemates to find a solution that works for everyone.
While rent is an expected, anticipated expense, bills are not. You need to consider who will be the account holder of each bill (such as, gas, electricity, water, internet, TV subscriptions, etc.). Some share houses might divide the responsibilities up between the housemates, but other times it might work better if all of these are in one person’s name if they don’t mind the responsibility. It’s important to let everyone know the dates of your bill cycles, and to know when bills come in and when they are due. It is common to split the bills evenly between housemates when they come in. It is vital to discuss these early on to work out all the details.
Sharing a house does not have to mean sharing all of your food, even though some share house situations work well with shared food and a cooking schedule. Food sensitivities and schedules are an important consideration, so ensure you discuss these with your housemates to avoid any unnecessary animosity.
Being proactive is key and it might be worth considering an app to help everyone split costs and to contribute to a joint digital piggybank for the smaller essentials for the house like toilet paper, dishwashing liquid and bin bags. These apps can be simple and less awkward.