Thursday, April 3, 2014
#SplittingBillsWithRoommates can be a great source of conflict. But it doesn't need to be. Check out U.S. News and World Report's tips for managing finances with roommates to avoid painful fights.
Have a discussion about finances before you sign the lease together. Decide how expenses will be divided. Who will be the one paying for utilities? What's the deadline for the other roommates to pay their share? Will everyone be buying their groceries separately or together?
The easiest way to split bills is evenly. Sure, one party may watch more cable tv than the other, but maybe that person takes quicker showers, so it's a wash in the end. To avoid a mathematical nightmare, it's best to just split expenses evenly.
There are some things that will be used by everyone, so the best strategy is to share them. Toilet paper, trash bags, light bulbs, dish soap and cleaning products should be purchased together. The easiest way to make that happen is to take a trip together to the store one time each month to get more of these staples and divide the costs evenly.
Sign a roommate agreement so everyone is clear on how expenses are to be split. Then, once you are living together, track expenses. There are even apps out there that will let you do this easily and send email reminders so you don't have to hound your roomie for money.
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