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Flatmate Finances - How To Budget Your Money Better


Are you having trouble budgeting your money when living with flatmates? You’re not the only one. Most flatmates at one time or another find it hard to juggle their money and live within a budget. The key is to create a budget that includes all of your share accommodation expenses so that you don’t have any unexpected surprises.


Creating a budget with all of your costs lets you find out whether you can meet your bill commitments. When you have an overview of your expenses, it’s easier to budget for the future and you know how much money you need each month or week. This is important whether you are budgeting for yourself or are making a household budget. It also helps you separate your flatmate expenses from other living costs. Find out more by reading our managing flatmate finances article.


So, what expenses should you include in your budget when living with flatmates. Here are 9 typical costs you will encounter when moving in with flatmates.


  1. Rent
    The rent will be your largest expense each week or month. Your rental agreement will set out how it needs to be paid and if you need to pay additional expenses like electricity and water to the landlord. Flatmates usually split the rent evenly but this may depend on your share house.


  2. Kitty
    Many share houses have a separate kitty for common household expenses. The kitty includes household items like cleaning and laundry products, toilet paper, petty cash and sometimes food. Petty cash is money put aside for emergencies, breakages and small common household items like light globes.

  3. Electricity
    Depending on your rental agreement, you may be directly responsible for paying the electricity bill. If this is the case, you will receive the bill quarterly. Electricity bills are usually split evenly between flatmates.

  4. Phone
    The phone bill is often one of most disputed household bills. You can resolve disputes by setting up a system where flatmates receive their own pin number which they need to enter before making a call. This can be arranged by contacting your local phone company. An alternative solution is for flatmates to use mobile phones or phone cards. Phone bills are usually sent monthly.

  5. Internet
    If you decide to share Internet access, you will need to calculate the cost into your budget. Check with your provider if each flatmate can be billed separately. You will receive your bill monthly.

  6. Water Bill
    The amount of your water bill is usually determined by your rental agreement with the landlord. Sometimes water is included in your rent while other times the bill will be sent directly to you. It’s important to check your rental contract regarding how your water bill is calculated and is to be paid. This is often determined by the type of premises you are living in.

  7. Pay TV
    As it’s difficult to monitor how much Pay TV each flatmate watches, this bill is split evenly between all household members. You should receive this bill monthly.

  8. Entertainment Expenses
    It’s a good idea to calculate some money into your budget for entertainment. This way there will be enough money available when you have invited guests and you won’t need to worry about spending more than your budget. You can put any unspent money into a special entertainment kitty.

  9. Miscellaneous Expenses
    These expenses are extra costs that are unique to your household. For example, you may need to buy supplies to maintain a garden or your household may decide to hire a cleaner.


When calculating your expenses or planning a budget, it’s important to make sure all of your costs are measured using the same timeframe. For example, if you are calculating a monthly budget, you will need to make sure that each of your expenses has been converted to the monthly amount. By creating a budget and having a clearer understanding of your share accommodation living costs, you’ll have greater control over your money and won’t need to worry about unexpected costs. Before you know it, your flatmate budget troubles will be over.


Good luck and happy flatmate living!
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