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How to Properly Budget for Shared Expenses When You Have a Roommate

October 02, 2020 | Apartment Living

Living with roommates in Detroit luxury apartments can be a lot of fun. Not only can you enjoy the many perks of loft living and amenities together, you can hit downtown Detroit anytime for some shopping, fine dining, or night life.

Though roommates can be very important people in our lives, organizing shared responsibility can sometimes be complicated—especially when it comes to finances. Some people are more comfortable discussing money matters than others, and you may find that you and your roommate having trouble coming to a consensus about shared expenses or rent responsibilities.

Not sure how to budget for shared financial responsibility with your roommate? Here are a few helpful tips to make the process smoother:

Create an open line of communication right off the bat. Some people aren’t only uncomfortable with money discussions—they are uncomfortable with discussing any personal information whatsoever. When you’re sharing an apartment, however, you’ll need to establish a sense of trust for casual matters as well as important, personal matters.

If you can, have a discussion about money before you and your roommate even move in together. Decide how rent, utilities, and other apartment expenses will be divided beforehand, so you can avoid awkward situations in the future. This is also a great time to discuss household chores, noisiness, close friends and significant others visiting, and work schedules.

Create a monthly budget for shared apartment-related expenses. If both you and your roommate are responsible for purchasing shared items such as cleaning equipment, toilet paper, and paper towels, one person may end up buying these items more often, which could build resentment between roommates.

Write out an extensive list of every single expense your apartment’s shared spaces and devices will accrue. Depending on your apartment layout and what you’ve decided to share, this could include anything from weekly grocery runs to shared streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. Setups like this can actually end up saving you both money if you were paying for services like these separately.

If possible, create a specific schedule for purchasing shared items with a fair division so neither of you spends more than the other. Keeping your budget organized supports a sense of trust and respect between roommates and could even inspire each of you to keep other shared spaces and objects more organized too.

Open a shared account for rent and shared finances. Depending on the length of your lease and your relationship with your roommate, you may not feel comfortable opening a shared account. However, for roommates with a pre-established sense of trust, a shared bank account can make rent payments, everyday household costs, and even an emergency fund incredibly easy to access and draw from.

When it comes to managing the finances for your luxury apartment in Detroit, you won’t want to leave anything up to chance or guesswork. That’s why creating an open line of communication, drafting a monthly budget that you stick to, and utilizing a shared bank account can be so helpful for healthy and productive roommate communication and financial planning.

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