Bring Up Money with Your Roommates

money and roommates scaled

As children, we are taught not to bring up money in conversations with friends and acquaintances. Before you sign a lease and make an agreement legally binding, it is necessary to have monetary discussions with your potential roommates. Learn how you can politely bring up money in conversation with your roommates.

Decide Who Will Pay What Bills

When you move into an apartment with roommates, you will need to determine which bill, or bills, each individual will be responsible for. Even though all the costs will most likely get split between every roommate, only one person can be in charge of submitting payment to a company. For example, one roommate will cover the water bill, one roommate pays the energy bill, and another roommate handles the cable and internet bill. Whenever you buy communal supplies, such as toilet paper or multi-purpose cleaner, ask for a receipt to be able to split the cost equally between all roommates. One of the most relieving conversations you can have with roommates is knowing where everyone stands financially; this will help decide the breakdown of bills between roommates.

Is Everyone Paying the Same Amount?

Once you know where everyone stands financially, you will have to decide with your roommates how much everyone will be paying each month. Depending on the size of each bedroom, or who will share a room, or who has a bathroom attached to their bedroom, everyone will have a slightly different scenario. It is vital to have this discussion earlier on so everyone in your living situation gets treated fairly. Without this discussion, you may experience tension between roommates in the future. For example, whoever has the largest room with an attached bathroom may pay more in rent. Perhaps the person that takes the longest shower pays the majority of the water bill. There is no right or wrong way to divvy up bills with roommates; the only thing that matters is to figure it out when you first move in and have clear, open communication with your roommates.

Be Honest Your Roommates

Money and finances are hard enough to talk about as it is; that is why you have to tell your roommates how it is. Whether there is a great disparity of income amongst your roommates, or you lost your job and will not be able to pay a bill on time, it really does not matter what is happening, your roommates just need to know, it is only fair. When you are honest with your roommates right away, you can work together to remedy the situation. If you wait until you get a late bill notice, you will only cause conflict with your roommates. When our money is low, it is tempting to lie or try and hide our struggles, but this is a bad idea that never works. If you expect to receive financial transparency from your roommates, you better be reciprocating the same actions.


Share the Knowledge

Get the latest tips first!

Subscribe to our newsletter with stories from our latest apartment hacks

Accessibility Tools