Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Don't get stuck holding the bills each month with your roomies. wikiHow has smart tips on #SplittingBills with roommates so you can avoid a fight over money.
Discuss payment obligations around every aspect of your relationship, including rent, utilities, groceries and any maintenance fees and costs. Come to an agreement on how the cable or satellite bill will be paid. If one of you doesn't watch television, are they still required to pay? If not, what happens if that roommate gets sucked in by the tv and winds up watching it too?
What about the thermostat? If one of you hates to be cold and will continually turn up the heat, should they be required to pay more? What if one of you works from home and is in the apartment all day? That roommate will be using more utilities so a case could be made for them paying a larger share of the bill.
If one of you has a significant other that is often at the apartment, should they have to contribute? What if one of you goes on vacation, will they still be required to pay the bills while they are out of town?
Once you've decided the split of bills, decide who will pay what and how that person will be reimbursed. Also decide what happens if one roommate is late or doesn't pay? Is there a short grace period or will you charge your roommate a penalty if they don't pay? What if they never pay, will they be forced to move out?
Finally, draw up a contract putting all the details in writing so you don't have to get into a "he said/she said" situation. Then make sure to track your expenses so it's always clear where you stand. Open communication is the best way to make sure there are no hard feelings between roommates on bill paying.