Being in shared accommodation as a student or a young professional can be nerve wracking, especially if you’re moving in with people you don’t know. Even if you’re moving in with your best friends, the topic of money can still be a seemingly personal and complex topic to have to bring up if you’re owed some money!
Sharing your space is one thing, but when it comes to sharing bills and other amenities, money can become awkward and confusing. Here is a guide to ensure your shared tenancy runs as smooth as possible!
1. Set each other up as recipients on your online banking
Whether you use Monzo or just your normal Halifax current account, having your housemates set up as recipients from day one means money can be pinged back and forth with no issues – and if you’ve got difficult housemates, this way there are no excuses for you, or your housemate involved! Taking the time to link each other into contacts, group chats and bank recipients makes everyone’s lives so much easier!
2. Don’t get conned into lending
If you’re a giving person, or just shy in general, you may be susceptible to being conned into lending someone money, especially if you aren’t close with your housemate. Even if it is merely a five-pound note - if you find yourself in a situation where you lend that to someone who doesn’t end up paying you back, this will inevitably cause tension. Keep your boundaries high and your wallet close. This may seem stand-offish, but this will help you to establish your monetary boundaries right off the bat!
3. Consider bill splitting apps
To avoid arguments or false calculations, consider downloading free, popular bill splitting apps such as, Rent Matic, Venmo or Split Wise. These apps can split bank details for yourself and the other tenants living in the same home with you quickly and easily without you having to worry about maths, equal splits or even deadlines – as apps such as these usually come with a direct debit feature allowing everyone’s money to be pitched in simultaneously, while also going out to the same bank account simultaneously, what a world we live in!
4. Don’t put it off
Putting off chasing up your housemate for a payment or a due bill is the worst thing you can do. If you don’t like confrontation, there are plenty of ways in which you can start a friendly conversation surrounding any money issues that need resolving involving you and your housemates. For instance, you can ask your housemates who paid for house cleaning items last, and who’s turn is it to do it next and so on.
5. Have good communication skills
While money issues within any household is inevitable, having good communication with your housemates is paramount to ensuring your housing experience is still a good one. Making sure that you are consistently checking in with one another regarding your finances, when bills are due, who paid for takeout the other night and so who do you all need to transfer money to? Etc…
6. Establish rules and consequences
By establishing rules very early on within your tenancy – you’ll all know where you stand with each-other. This can be done in numerous ways. For instance, by drawing up weekly chore sheets, monthly whiteboards with the dates of your bill payments due. Creating a rota for housework. Doing these small things and establishing these boundaries early on can help to ensure that no one gets off on the wrong foot with one another, and everyone can cohabit with one another peacefully.
Once you’ve gotten your finances sorted, why not check out these cheap and easy ways you can turn student grub into luxury meals?