How to get money back from your housemates (without getting in a fight…)
No one likes having to ask people to pay you back. This is particularly true when it comes to the people you live with. Fronting someone’s £600 rent payment and £100 portion of utilities is a big deal. You want to get paid back fast, but us Brits don’t like to ask.
I am beyond the house sharing stage, but have plenty of friends’ kids who are heading out to the big bad world of house sharing, whether as students or realising that it’s the time to move out.
Thankfully, there are a few things you or any young people you know can do to ensure you get paid back quickly without getting stuck in an awkward financial argument.
Set expectations before any money is due
The best way to make sure you get your money back is to have a system in place before your £700 in the hole. This can be as simple as sitting down with all your flatmates and discussing how you would like to manage the monthly bills and various expenses. Know who is paying for each bill: rent, utilities, internet etc. Remember to also discuss what you will do for smaller items like cleaning supplies, groceries or toilet paper.
Create a solid method of financial communication
Maybe it’s a whiteboard in the kitchen, maybe it’s setting up a Whatsapp or Facebook group between flatmates or maybe it’s using a bill splitting app. Whatever you choose to do, make sure there is a system. The least effective thing method is to mention you still need last month’s rent payment when you are already 3 rounds deep on a Friday night.
Divide the responsibility
Don’t have one person responsible for every household cost. Split up bills so that different people are managing the various household costs. This will make your housemates more receptive to pay you back for your costs because they also want to be paid back for theirs.
Utilise a tracking system
The better your documentation is for who is paying for what, the more likely you’ll get paid back quickly without any financial drama. One of the easiest way to keep track of your household expenses is to download Splittable App. Splittable is available on iOS, Android and Web and allows you and your fellow housemates to record expenses and how they will be split. It’s an especially great tool for students, young professionals and couples sharing a home!