The Basics of Splitting Bills with Your Roommates

June 12, 2020 | Apartment Living
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Living with roommates can be a rewarding experience in a number of ways.  First and foremost, it could allow you to enjoy a luxury apartment at The Lofts of Merchants Row, even if you might not have the bankroll to afford it on your own.  In addition, you won’t have to worry about being lonely when you live with friends.

Of course, sharing an apartment can have downsides, as well, and with finance being such a taboo topic, it should come as no surprise that splitting bills can become a sore subject if you don’t make a solid plan for covering costs in a fair and equitable manner.  Here are a few basics that will help to ensure a harmonious home life when it comes to splitting bills with your roommates.

Be Upfront with Anticipated Costs

Just like you sign a lease agreement that spells out the expectations for your tenure in luxury apartments for rent in Michigan, you need to address the issue of splitting costs as soon as possible, ideally before your roommates move in.  Don’t try to hedge or minimize costs to make the deal more attractive – this will only cause problems down the line.  Be as upfront as possible about anticipated costs, including rent (and possibly a portion of the deposit), utilities, and other known expenses to set realistic expectations from the get-go.

Discuss Cost-Splitting Methods

When it comes to fixed costs like rent for nice apartments in Detroit, splitting the bill is relatively easy, but what about fluctuating costs like groceries and toiletries that some may use more than others?  While you can grocery shop together and split costs evenly, you’re sure to have issues when one person eats all the peanut butter and another is allergic to peanuts.

Will you have dedicated cupboards and shelves in the fridge and a hands-off policy that allows each roommate to buy their own stuff without fear of their food being stolen?  How will you deal with shared items like toilet paper, paper towels, condiments, and so on?  These are the questions you need to answer to ensure that everyone feels comfortable throwing their money in the pot, and an upfront discussion is the best way to get on the same page.

Find Ways to Track Costs

While you can certainly ask everyone to throw receipts in a pile and sort them out for splitting at the end of the month, or set up a spreadsheet to jot it all down, there are bound to be times when receipt are lost or entries are missed, possibly leading to animosity.  Luckily, there are far easier ways to split costs these days.

For example, you can use a free app like Splitwise that allows you to create a group so that each member of the household can instantly upload actual costs for everything from rent and utility bills, to groceries, to apartment amenities for the benefit of all.  Costs can then be split and each person will be informed what they owe.

Even better, the app facilitates payment through Venmo or PayPal (for a fee), or you can record payments by cash, check, or other means.  Plus, the “simplify debts” feature allows for shifting debt, so if Zach owes Gina $20 and Gina owes Kaitlyn $20, Zach can simply pay Kaitlyn to save time, making everyone’s life a little easier.

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