November 27, 2018 | Barb Huntley
There’s plenty of perks to having a roommate. The advantages are numerous, including saving money and having company whenever you want it. But, to make sure both roommates are satisfied with the living situation you must figure out how costs will be split in a shared living situation.
Establish Ground Rules Upfront – Before you move into a new place with a roommate you must establish ground rules. You need to decide on how bills will be paid, who will be paying what, and what furniture will be brought in. Clearly laying out these responsibilities and costs will save you from a tense living environment with unhappy people. If someone gets a bigger room or someone gets a parking spot decide right away if that effects the amount of rent that person pays. Do not split the cost of furniture because it’s likely you won’t be living with that person forever. Decide who will buy what so when you no longer live together that person gets to keep it.
Be Transparent – Transparency when it comes to expenses is essential for a healthy living environment. If a utility bill is higher because one roommate had a guest staying with them make sure that is out in the open. If one roommate pays for a service that benefits everyone in the home, make sure that is known. And determine how and if the costs will be split.
Use Apps – Apps like Split Wise are great for keeping track of all the living expenses. Rent, utility bills, furniture, cable, etc. can all be tracked in the app and split accordingly at the end of each month, notifying all parties who and what they owe. If you keep track of every expense by writing it down in the app none will be forgotten and you always have it as a back-up if there are questions.
Choose Your Roommate(s) Wisely – Know what you are getting yourself into when you decide to live with someone else. If you know they have a bad track record for paying bills or being messy, consider if those qualities are something you can tolerate in a living situation. 


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