DISCUSSING HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES WITH YOUR ROOMMATE
There are a number of expenses that you and your roommate will have to come to an agreement about. The rent is only half of the battle. Most houses will also come with other bills such as telephone, internet, electricity and water to name a few. How you and your roommate split these bills will depend on a number of things, but you don't want to end up with unpleasant surprises when your roommates move out.
Discussing Roommate Bills
The best way to discuss roommate expenses is to sit down with your roommate with a pen and paper and go over all the bills and how you want to split them. You may find that you actually don't need some of the services, such as a home telephone if you both have a mobile with good coverage. You may wish to have internet on the computer or you may be happy to just use a WI FI stick or your phone to save on these costs as well.
However, electricity and water cannot really be avoided unless it is under the lease agreement that your landlord will pay these things. This sometimes happens if you are living in an apartment where the meter is connected to the entire complex or in some instances with houses. If your landlord has agreed to handle the water and electricity then you may luck out and only be in charge of the rent together. This makes things a lot easier for you and your roommate.
However, you still need to decide how you will pay these items each week. Will you and your roommate both hand over a certain amount of cash each month? Who will deliver it to the landlord? Will one of you be in charge of one month and the other be in large of the other month?
Will one of you pay with a check and the other one give the money back? Will one of you pay a little more each month if you have the better room or your own private bathroom? These are only some of the various ways to split the rent and the various things to discuss when sitting down to talk about rent with your roommate.
Settling Food Expenses
Bills aside, there are additional expenses when it comes to living with a roommate. You and your roommate will need to come to an agreement on how you split the costs of food and cleaning supplies. Things like toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, soap and shampoo, for example, may be purchased together.
After all, you will both be using these products and both need to clean up the house. Things like food, on the other hand, may be best purchased separately. There are some communal items that you might stock up on once a month together like some condiments and butter.
Whether you eat together or separately will impact how you split the food costs. If you are buying all the food and then making meals for the both of you, then this isn't going to be very fair price wise. One option might be to do the shopping together every month and split some of the food costs while doing your own shopping for items you eat that your roommate does not.
It can be hard coming to an agreement about food and there are often many fights about someone eating the last piece of bread or using your butter. Talking about these things and coming to an agreement is the best way to avoid these fights. Discussing household expenses with your roommate takes only a moment and can make every day expenses a lot more pleasant for the both of you.