Sharing a house with other students can be lots of fun and one of the most unique and memorable experiences of your life, especially if you live with friends.

But it comes with complications - and can end friendships that people thought would last for life. 😬

This might be because of differences in tidiness levels, one person stealing another’s food, someone being noisy and waking others up after a night out - or disagreements over splitting and paying bills.

We’re sure you’d rather not fall out with your flatmates… So, here are some important things to bear in mind when planning to split bills as a student and tips to make everything go as smoothly as possible.

Read this blog for general tips on how much bills are in a student house

Decide who will be in charge of different bills

Some student houses elect one person to be the payer of all bills, with each housemate sending their share to that person each month.

If you do this, make sure it’s someone you trust to get everything set up properly and make payments on time. You don’t want problems because you trusted the wrong person to take care of everything.

Alternatively, different members of the student house might pay different bills. One person might be in charge of paying the water, another the WiFi, someone else the electricity bill etc. - and everyone will send their share to each person each month.

If doing this, you’ll need a way to easily keep track of who owes what to whom. Splitwise can be a good app to help.

If you decide to get a joint bank account for the house, you’ll need to decide who’s going to be responsible for managing it.

Make sure everyone’s names are on the bills

When it comes down to it, only the people whose names are listed on the bills are truly, legally responsible for paying them - it doesn’t matter what verbal or WhatsApp agreement you came to! 🤷‍♀️

It would be nice to think that, especially when living with friends, your housemates will always pay what they owe. You can trust friends, right?

But there are countless stories of friends going AWOL when it comes to bill payment time, leaving their friends (or likely now former friends) to foot the bill.

To avoid that situation, make sure you put all your housemates’ names on any bills you set up.

Start building your credit score

Even if you haven’t set up a specific bill, get your name onto all the bills for your student house.

First, as mentioned, it’s the right thing to do in terms of responsibility.

Second, this will help you build out your credit history and improve your credit score - giving you better financial opportunities at a lower cost in the future.

On the flip side, if you put your name on bills and then miss bill payments, this can negatively affect your credit score.

Learn more about credit and how to build your credit report. Then, get more tips to improve your credit score in this blog.

Communication is key

If any issues come up with your housemates over bills, try to discuss and deal with them as soon as possible.

We know it’s not easy to talk about money - it’s a big reason we do the work that we do! But by ignoring it, problems will only grow and negatively impact many areas of your life, especially your relationships.

Try to deal with issues in person if possible. Especially with money, things can get tense and comments can be misinterpreted in the group chat. So instead, call a house meeting if something needs discussing that impacts everyone.

You might even have the conversation outside the house, to make it less tense. Maybe go for a house pub quiz and have the discussions before getting into the fun.

If you need help having conversations about money, check out these 8 financial icebreakers.

Finally, if you think you’re going to struggle to make payments at any point, don’t hide from the problems - no issue was ever solved like that.

Give your housemates a heads-up as soon as possible and let them know what your plan of action is. Try not to burden someone else with your money problems without their permission.

Here are some tips for where to find help if you’re struggling financially.

Don’t get petty about bills! 👀

‘You were in the shower for 6 mins 43 seconds but I was only in there for 4 mins 12 seconds - so you should pay more of the water bill.’ 🤦‍♀️

That’s never going to go down well.

There are sure to be differences in how much of each utility each housemate uses.

But it’s impossible to nail down exactly how much each person is using. And across all utilities and bills, it usually balances out: one person takes long showers but hardly uses the WiFi, another doesn’t watch TV but spends tons of time using the oven etc.

If you want to, and agree as a household, you can split the bills based on usage.
But it’s usually best (and definitely easiest) to split bills evenly by the number of people in your student house.

After all, do you really want to jeopardise your friendships for the sake of £1.77 a month?

If done right, sharing a house while you study can be one of the best experiences of your life. Just make sure you follow these tips to make sure you don’t end up hating your housemates.

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