Published on: 28 February 2023
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Managing your budget In a Flatshare? Our tips
Moving in a flatshare is a rewarding experience, especially if it’s with friends. It's also an effective way to save money, divide expenses, and live in a bigger space than living alone. Flatshare is ideal, especially in large cities!
To ensure that the flatshare runs smoothly and there is good harmony between everyone, budgeting must be well organized and respected.
Studapart has brought together the points to consider and the tips to adopt when looking for the best organization solutions.
How to calculate your budget while living in a flatshare?
To best manage the budget of a flatshare, it is important to establish a monthly common budget that includes all of the collective expenses. Managing this budget correctly will always ensure for better cohabitation.
First there are the rental related costs. Renting an apartment includes monthly rent as well as energy bills and subscription costs like for Internet for example. These charges are fixed prices and can be calculated even before moving in.
Another fixed expense worth considering before moving in is home insurance. This coverage must be obtained from an insurer by one of the roommates who must make sure everyone living in the place is insured under the contract. This expenditure protects against risks such as fire, burglary or other incidents which cannot be predicted.
An expense that may vary each month is food. Roommates don’t always have the same schedule and eating habits; therefore most people prefer to do their shopping separately making sure everyone contributes equally when it comes to shared items such as salt, flour, butter etc.
Some purchases are also monthly and concern everyday household needs. These include any cleaning products needed around the house. For this category of expenses roommates can choose to alternate paying each month and take turns covering necessities like laundry detergent, toilet paper, garbage bags and other household items.
How to pay rent and expenses while living in a flatshare ?
Paying the housing rent is usually the biggest monthly expense in a flatshare. Most of the time, it is equally divided among roommates. Sometimes, in some dwellings, rooms are not all the same size. In that case, roommates agree on a difference in rent corresponding to the differences of size between rooms unless this arrangement has already been imposed by the landlord.
In any case, most real estate agencies require a single transfer per month for rent. Roommates must therefore choose one person to pay who can then be reimbursed for their part of the agreed rent each month. Occasionally, certain agencies or landlords may accept separate transfers from each roommate, allowing each one to take care of their own monthly transaction.
As far as apartment charges go, these contracts are only made with one person's name. Whether it’s gas, electricity or Internet services – only one person can subscribe to the contract and become responsible for making payments every month. Roommates must then set up a reimbursement system amongst themselves.
Apps for managing budget while living in a flatshare
With fixed expenses and random expenses, it can be easy to lose track. There are several applications that help organize budgeting and spending.
First, there’s Triccount, which allows users to define the number of people and everyone’s individual expenses. The app automatically calculates how much each person owes one another in order to balance out spending.
There’s also the mobile and web-based Ze-coloc application. Each roommate has their own space where they can organize their expenses according to category (grocery shopping, rent, bills, etc.). You can even generate reimbursement request emails directly from this app.
MaColoc is also a very efficient tool – although only available for IOS devices – with the same features as other budget-tracking apps: tracking spending habits, summarizing through graphs and detailing expense categories.
Should You Set Up a Joint Account When Roommates?
Roommates don’t always have the same lifestyle and don’t necessarily spend the same amount of time in their living space. Opening a joint bank account isn’t necessarily needed.
On the other hand, having a communal ‘pot’ or ‘kitty’ where each roommate puts in an equal amount can help organize shared activities like dinners or even unexpected expenditures such as water leakage or lock issues.
Studapart offers tips to make sure that your flatshare arrangement goes smoothly and turns into a rewarding experience. Good accounts lead to good relationships! For more tips on life in a shared living environment, check out this article.