When should students split bills?
Goodbye to single beds, goodbye to ugly pinboards, goodbye to tricky showers, and goodbye to the most basic kitchens you’ll probably come across. Now you’re moving out of student halls and into your first house/flat with your mates – it’s all very exciting. What comes into your mind first? Is it “What date can we throw an epic house party?”, “Who’s having which room?” or is it “How are we going to split the bills?”. Yes, bills! I bet you hadn’t thought of that one, but don’t forget them because they won’t forget you!
We’ve split the bills into different categories, giving you advice on how best to go about splitting different kinds of bills with your housemates. So, let's go...
Bill Type No.1: Rent
This is the biggun’! Rent will probably be your most expensive cost. Obviously having a roof over your head is quite important I suppose, so, unfortunately, we have to bite the bullet and pay it every month. Splitting the bill, in this case, isn’t usually an issue as everyone is usually responsible for their own share of the rent each month.
It’s important to be aware of the possibility that some housemates may drop out of their tenancy agreement halfway through. In the worst case, a housemate could refuse to pay rent (possibly spent too much on bevs).
Make sure you check your contract but, in some cases, you could be responsible for paying their share of any remaining payments! If you’re living with someone who’s known for being a bit flaky it might be worth checking your contract with you letting agent.
Bill Type No. 2: Variable Utilities
Energy, water, broadband, TV and TV licence all fall under this umbrella. If your rent is all bills included then this doesn’t apply to you right now, but maybe handy in the future!
Imagine receiving 5 or 6 different bills through the post every month, then splitting the bills across your housemates and ensuring everyone pays their share on time. Who has the time for this? I’m imaging chaos!
Fused offers a bill splitting service that can put all these bills into one monthly payment and then split the bill equally between housemates for you. Simple!
Bill Type No. 3: Household Products
I understand these are not on the top of the priority list, but they will be after you’ve come home from a heavy night and wake up with last night’s take away all over the floor, possibly sick in the toilet. Communal areas can get dirty unbelievably quickly when there’s 4 or 5 of you, so here are a few vital household products you MUST have: bleach, all-purpose cleaning spray, blue cloths, kitchen roll and bin bags (this is the bare minimum).
Some students like to take it in turns to buy the products or nominate one person to be responsible for one product when it runs out (however, this could cause an issue if someone ends up responsible for the most expensive item). The most convenient way I’ve found to split the bills in this situation is to use an app called Circle Pay. It’s a social payment app (free to download) where you send money like a text! You can also request money, so if it was you who forked out this time, you can prompt the others to pay you their share straight back to you!
Bill Type No. 4: Things You Don’t Think About
Type No.4 is all about the things you don’t think about, but we’re going to think about them now! For example, who need 6 tubs of butter in the fridge? Who needs 6 different milks taking up all the room? Who needs 6 rolls of tin foil in a draw? Nobody needs this!
Most properties have one fridge and one freezer so it’s important to try and be efficient when it comes to space. I’m not saying you should do your whole food shop together because people have different tastes or dietary requirements, and feathers could get ruffled when someone eats the snacks you were looking forward to. However, sharing staple items such as butter probably won’t cause an argument and so can be shared between all housemates. Once again, you can split these bills using social payment apps such as Circle Pay.
At the end of the day, communication is key! People can feel uncomfortable talking about money, but there’s plenty of services out there that help to minimise those awkward conversations. So make life easier and split your bills fairly!