Sharing your luxury UDR apartment with a roommate is a great way to save money on expenses so you have more to spend on the things you really enjoy. Who couldn’t use a little more cash to spend on couture kicks or courtside tix? Splitting the rent and utilities seems simple enough, but money matters often complicate things if you aren’t careful. Here are three ways make sharing expenses with your roommates a little easier.
1. Put it in writing.
Regardless of whether you and your roomies are old friends or new acquaintances, it is a good idea to document financial agreements in a roommate contract. Be sure to discuss different scenarios and address things like:
- Are utilities split evenly or based proportionately on room size?
- If one person frequently turns the heat or A/C beyond a certain temperature, is he or she responsible for paying a higher percentage of the electricity bill?
- If a roommate takes an extended vacation are they still responsible for the full month’s amount?
- Who is responsible for replacing worn-out furnishings or broken electronics in common living areas?
- If one person does more household chores, do they pay less rent?
Discussing these things in advance eliminates a lot of bill payment problems in the future.
2. Use an app.
No one wants to be in charge of keeping track of expenses and awkwardly reminding roommates when bills are due. Using an app makes quick work of shared finances, especially for those who are a bit forgetful.
SpotMe is one of the most popular for tracking bills and splitting expenses. It also sends automatic email notifications when bills are due or new expenses are added.
Splitwise is another popular app that allows you to share bills and track additional expenses such as groceries. Money owed is quickly and easily paid through the app using PayPal.
3. Be flexible.
Over time, people’s needs and usage habits will change. Be willing to renegotiate your financial arrangement accordingly. Communication is the key to preventing heated arguments about money and preserving relationships with your roomies.