Do you find every time you open your purse or wallet, all you have left is spare change? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one that would like to see more cash in your pocket at the end of each day when living with flatmates. The key is having a strategy that lets you take control of your finances while creating strong relationships within your share house.
Your strategy should start the minute you begin talking to potential flatmates right through to record keeping and deciding how to handle disagreements. It lets you choose the right flatmates, track your expenses and solve any financial issues as they arise.
So, how can you put money back into your pocket? By simply following these 10 tips, you’ll be able to take control and stop your money from disappearing.
1. Create A Budget
A budget helps you manage your money more efficiently as it lets you prioritize your money and decide how much to spend in each area of your life. This includes assessing how much you would like to allocate to flatmate expenses.
2. Use An Accounts Book
It’s important to keep a small Accounts Book where you document and keep the receipts for the payment of expenses each week or month. This should include the date, amount paid, method of payment, payee, that is, the person that received your money and receipt number.
3. Always Ask For Receipts
Each time you pay any money to your household’s bookkeeper you should ask for a receipt. This is especially important when paying by cash as these receipts are evidence that you paid your expenses.
4. Keep A Financial Diary
You should record any changes to the payment of bills like rent increases, the amount of bond you have paid and the details of any disputes about money in a diary or notebook. Keeping a diary lets you create a paper trail and shows you how your expenses have changed over time.
5. Flatmate Interviews
During flatmate interviews, it’s a good idea to ask questions that help you find out the opinions of potential flatmates towards expenses and how they have dealt with any past conflicts. These answers will help you choose flatmates that have a similar view to you about finances. Our questionnaires can help you ask the tough questions during interviews.
6. Choose Similar Flatmates
Living with flatmates that have a similar view to you about money and expenses lets you create a cohesive living environment where any issues or misunderstandings are easily solved. When flatmates have different attitudes towards money, each flatmate will have a different opinion which makes it harder to manage expenses, pay bills on time and solve disputes.
7. Check References
Talking to people who have lived with your chosen flatmates before moving in, can give you a better understanding of how they handle finances and disagreements. It can help you decide if they are the right flatmates for you. To find out more, take a look at our reference checking article.
8. Expenses and New Flatmates
Before moving in, you should work out with your new flatmates how expenses will be paid when living together. This includes sorting out which expenses will be paid separately and those that will be paid as a group. Talking about finances before moving in lets you solve any issues without financial consequences.
9. Financial Disputes and Issues
If there are any disagreements or issues about the payment of expenses you should talk directly with your household’s bookkeeper. This cuts out the middleman and avoids confusion so that any problems can be solved immediately before getting out of control. Our special guide for flatmates can help you solve any financial disputes.
10. New Expenses
Before agreeing to pay any new flatmate expenses, you should recalculate your budget to see how much it affects your standard of living and future plans. You should enter the details of any additional expenses into your financial diary.
As you can see, it’s just a matter of creating a strategy that lets you understand your current financial position, monitors your money and helps you decide how to deal with changes and disputes. It’s all about re-evaluating or making a few changes to your expenses so that you’ll see more than spare change in your purse or wallet.