Talking about money with friends is always a little awkward, isn't it? But moving into a shared apartment means you must bite the bullet and figure out how to split rent with roommates. Splitting rent is different from splitting utilities which can be divided right down the middle. Most apartments have bedrooms of different sizes, which means not everyone will owe the same amount of monthly rent. For example, one of your roommates may prefer a private bathroom, while another may want the biggest room. Before you decide on a number, read our simple guide with tips and tricks on how to split rent fairly!
Bedrooms vary in size depending on their square footage, which will affect how to split rent with roommates. If you choose to divide rent by the size of your rooms, you make sure that the roommate with the biggest room pays the lion's share of the rent. Similarly, the roommate with the smallest room will pay the least rent. This way, you make sure that everyone in your apartment pays for exactly what they're getting.
Some bedrooms in apartments might have additional amenities like an en-suite bathroom. Other rooms might have more natural light or be further away from the main door. In this scenario, it's best for you and all of your roommates to discuss what is a priority for whom. For example, you may decide that it's only fair for the person with the en-suite bathroom to pay more since they don't have to share a bathroom with the others.
When you're in college and renting with roommates, not everyone will have the same spending power. One of your roommates might be on scholarship, or they might have to take up a day job to pay bills. In this situation, it's best to know the background of your roommates and how much they can spare towards rent every month. Splitting rent based on income ensures that your roommates are not left out of the group only because they can't afford to pay as much as the others.
Splitting rent evenly with your roommates is the easiest mathematical solution to your apartment woes. Here, everyone in the house pays an equal amount of rent regardless of any of the factors above. Before you get tempted by the ease of this method, make sure that you and your roommates are all on the same page with this option!
For instance, if your rent and utility bill is roughly the same each month, you can decide to split rent by offering to pay for the utilities instead. In this situation, the bills for the apartment are equally distributed, and everyone knows what part of the finances they're responsible for. This is fairer than splitting rent evenly and cuts out the stress of asking someone for rent each month.
Now that you know how to split rent with roommates, let's look at some tips and tools that will come in handy!
Rent Split Calculators: Forget your phone calculator and enjoy the ease of professional calculators to split rent fairly. These calculators will help you decide how much you should pay based on your earnings and fairly divide the space in your apartment. We recommend using these trusted online calculators to split rent fairly:
Determine Payment Method(s): There will probably be a lead tenant amongst your roommates who will transfer the rent every month to your landlord. Talk to your roommates and figure out a payment method that works for them to keep your finances streamlined. Popular apps like Venmo or Paypal allow you to send and request money for free.
Make a Roommate Agreement: You've signed the lease, and you're excited to move in! Apart from all the professional paperwork, take some time out to put a roommate agreement in writing. In this document, you can outline who gets which room, how much each roommate will pay, and what you plan to do if someone's financial situation changes. This is a solid way to prevent unnecessary roommates conflicts later on!
Communicating openly with your roommates about their financial situation will make moving in together much easier and less stressful for everyone involved!