Sharing a student pad can help you save a huge amount of money when you’re at uni. However, it can be problematic, especially if you’re trying to ensure the household runs smoothly, everyone pays their fair share and the household chores get done.
It doesn’t help that it can be embarrassing to talk about money and difficult to know what to do if someone doesn’t pay.
Here’s our guide to helping the bill splitting process run smoothly. We’ll explain how to set off on the right foot, split your bills effectively and make sure everyone coughs up so you’re not landed with a huge bill at the end of the year.
The easiest way to avoid stress, arguments and other problems when paying your utility bills is to choose the right people to live with.
If you already have an excellent relationship with them or trust them, you’ll know they’re more likely to pay and you won’t find yourself having to solve complicated financial situations.
Bear this in mind when searching for your student pad and make sure you discuss everything money-related before you come to any decisions.
Before you sign the contract for your student accommodation, have an open and honest conversation about money.
Find out which utility bills you need to pay, how much it’s likely to cost then define who is in charge of what. Some students like to assign one person to the job and others like to allocate one bill to each person.
Once you’ve done this, get it down in writing so that you have a record and decide how you’re going to pay. This could include going to pay in person at the Post Office, setting up direct debits or using a simple, stress-free app like Glide.
No one wants to be held liable for a huge utility bill when their housemates refuse to pay or cause other problems. You can avoid this by making sure you’re jointly liable with all utility providers and then pay your fair share.
How you decide to split the bills themselves depends on your circumstances. Consider dividing them equally between everyone in the household, split according to income or size of the bedroom or create your own arrangement. It’s up to you to decide how to do this.
Energy suppliers calculate your bills by either estimating how much energy you’re using or coming and taking accurate meter readings. Whilst estimates might sound easier, you could end up paying more than you should and end up landed with a big bill.
Make sure you find and read your meters regularly then send them to the supplier. If you’re unsure where to find them, just ask your landlord. Set yourself a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget to take readings on the same day every month and don’t have to keep track.
You can also ask for a smart meter that automatically sends readings to the supplier if you want to completely streamline the process.
Keep track of when your utility bills need to be paid and make sure you set money aside so you’re not left struggling to afford them. Otherwise, your credit rating could be affected or you could be charged extra.
It’s a good idea to find out how much you usually pay using previous bills then divide this into the number of weeks the billing period covers.
Again, set a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget and consider jotting down the information on a calendar and putting it somewhere visible so everyone is on the same page.
Splitting your utility bills can be stress-free if you follow our clever tips. Make sure you live with people you trust, have open conversations about money before you sign your contract, set aside money every month, take meter readings and decide the best way to pay.
For the easiest approach, consider using a clever bill-splitting app like Glide. We can take care of the details so you don’t have to.
Get in touch with us today to find out more.