The excitement of moving into your student accommodation can evaporate pretty quick when money problems raise their ugly head.
Unless your parents can shell out for a private apartment, you’re very likely to be sharing a room with one or more students. And that means having to split expenses and engage in some uncomfortable conversations about money.
Just so you know, it never gets easier. Chats about money can be one of the most awkward things to manage, especially between friends.
Tips on How to Split Expenses
If there’s one thing to take away from this article and use for the rest of your adult life, it’s this: Always have the money conversation before it becomes an issue.
Financial issues have a way of killing friendships and driving a wedge between partners. It’s ugly.
Have the talk
As soon as humanly possible, sit down with your roomies and talk about the shared expenses. Make sure that there is a list of everything, including rent, utilities, toilet paper, and internet. Don’t leave anything out, certainly not at first.
Once you have this list and you’ve agreed on the amounts, then you can split the expenses fairly and carefully note when these amounts are due.
If you have a larger room, or one of you enjoys a balcony, then these things will have to be factored in. Agree up front and make sure everyone is on board.
Write it all down
People can suffer from amazingly short memories when it comes to money. Print out a copy of your expenses and who pays what, and when, and stick it up somewhere for all to see. That way there are no surprises or misunderstandings.
There are a couple of handy apps that can assist you with this. For example, Splitwise is a very cool and simple app which you can all make use of and does all the thinking for you.
Keep everyone responsible
Is it just your name on the lease agreement? Are the utilities only in your name? If this is the case then you’re liable for these expenses, no matter how hard you shook on it.
Make sure that everyone’s name is on the account so that you’re not left holding the can when they decide to pack up and go home because they’re failing their degree.
The best way to deal with any and all financial situations and to split expenses fairly is to talk openly about it, express your concerns early in the conversation, and make sure to write everything down.