Do you find paying your flatmate expenses challenging? It doesn’t need to be. Many people feel that they and their flatmates are facing an uphill battle when it comes to money.
The key to financial success when living with flatmates is developing a few guidelines or a set of procedures that lets you implement an easy system to pay bills and resolve disputes. This system also gives your household a blueprint it can follow when new financial issues arise. For this reason, it’s especially important for these guidelines and procedures to be written down and kept in a safe place so that flatmates can refer to them.
So, which topic areas should you include in your guidelines or set of procedures. Here are 5 steps to get you started.
1. Decide on Your Flatmate Expenses
Your expenses will include the rent, water and electricity plus any optional expenses like telephone and food. Many flatmates decide to split flatmate expenses evenly but some share houses decide this is not the best option. This often occurs when the bedrooms are uneven in size, when flatmates form part of a couple or some flatmates do not wish to pay for some of the optional expenses. These costs are usually paid each week or month. You can learn more about the costs you need to consider by reading our article about share accommodation expenses.
2. Choose Payment and Collection Methods
The easiest way for flatmates to pay their expenses is in cash to a nominated person who undertakes the record keeping and pays the bills by the due date. It’s important to remember that the account holder of each bill is ultimately responsible for paying the bill. Your rental agreement will set out how to pay the rent and any additional expenses like electricity or water that may need to be paid directly to the landlord. Any bill that is not paid may result in eviction or disruption of services.
3. Set Up An Accounting System
Setting up an accounting system helps you keep track of payments made and receipts issued from and to flatmates and billers. Establishing an efficient system that records the movement of money between all parties lets you quickly find out where money has been spent and when bills have been paid. It can help settle disputes and lets you manage your share accommodation budget better. Take a look how you can set up your own flatmate accounting system.
4. Plan How To Deal With Disputes
Creating procedures for handling disputes lets flatmates deal with financial matters in a calmer and more relaxed environment. Your procedures should cover the areas of non, late and under payment of expenses by flatmates and the nominated record keeper.
5. Create Plans For Household Changes
Whether the rent increases, a flatmate moves out or becomes unemployed, it’s important to set up plans how your household will handle these changes financially. By planning ahead, flatmates will feel more in control which will let them make better decisions when unexpected events occur. Making plans can help flatmates decide whether to increase expenses, move elsewhere or not live together anymore.
Just remember the guidelines or procedures you create can be changed at any time when your household or circumstances change. Developing a system lets you gain control over flatmate expenses and makes sure your bills are paid on time and any disputes are resolved. With a bit of practice, your flatmate finances don’t need to be a challenge any longer.