How to Split Costs in a Sharehouse

"You’ll save lots of money if you live in a sharehouse”, they said. That’s usually the case since you’re sharing the cost of living with others. But, if you’re not managing expenses properly you can 1) be perpetually broke and 2) have some tense awkward situations around money with your flatmates.

Navigating living with your friends or strangers can be tricky, but not when you’ve got us to guide you. Not only is our app designed to make splitting bills with mates easy, but we also come with tips to make managing your sharehouse expenses feel like light work

Rent 

This is where the bulk of your money will be going. The simplest way to split this with your roommates is to do it equally. So let’s say you live with 3 people and the rent is $570, you all pay $190 a week to cover the rent. Another way you can split it is by splitting the rent fairly. In this scenario, you’ve got a bigger room with a balcony, so you pay a little bit more than the others. However you chose to split the rent, it’s going to be something you discuss together to figure out. 


Backpocket money tip: Have a chat about how you want to actually pay the rent. Will you all transfer the money to a designated roommate who pays the amount due? Are cash payments accepted? Or will you all have separate automatic debits on your accounts to your real estate agency? Lots to think about.

Rent is where most of your money will be going, so tackle that first.

Utilities (Electricity, Water, WiFi) 

This bit is where some conflict can arise. Questions come up like, “why do we have to split the water bill equally when Ben takes 20 minute showers?” and “since Jess has started working from home, she uses the internet more than us…so…??.”. There isn’t one right way to split the utility bills, it’s not like rent where the amount due remains the same. 

If you want to manage utility expenses successfully:

  • Get organised. Utility bills come at different times of the month, and some others (like the electricity bill) come quarterly so it’s gonna be super helpful to get all those dates sorted first and foremost. 
  • What’s the split? You can split the utility bills equally if it works for your household. Otherwise, you can split by percentage. So, if your housemate is the only one that works from home, they can pay 80% of the WiFi bill. Circumstances change though, so always discuss as a group what the best split ratios are.
  • Use Bill-Splitting apps: So many expenses to keep track of. The easiest way to streamline it all is to let Backpocket be the middleman. Share bill splits with your roommates easily and keep it all in a group chat so you can see who’s paid and who hasn’t.

Food & Household Supply Costs

The cost of groceries are more sporadic than expenses like utilities. How are you supposed to split costs evenly when one of your housemates is a serial Aldi shopper who buys triples of everything nobody asked for.  If each of you will choose to purchase your own groceries, think about assigning pantry and fridge spaces for everyone. If you’re all comfortable with it, chuck labels on your groceries to give you peace of mind.

Something else you’ll need to think of is how you’ll split shared essentials like milk, butter, salt, pepper and household essentials like toilet paper, dishwashing soap, paper towels. Try creating a list of what is classified as essentials and only split those things. Everything outside of that you’ll purchase individually.

Savings

One of the main perks of living together is saving money. But what’s the point, if the majority of the expenses are expensive? Rally up the gang and have monthly meetings to talk about ways you can save money. You might consider things like, timing showers, cooking as a group more often, and shopping around for energy and internet providers.