There are several smart and practical ways to split rent with a roommate. Whether you're rooming with one or two people, coming up with a doable agreement is the best way to ensure that your monthly obligation is covered. There are no hard or fast rules regarding how to split rent, however, here are seven smart ways to split rent with a roommate.
An even split is one of many ways to split rent with a roommate. With this agreement, you and your roommates agree to pay equal amounts. For example, if you have two roommates and the rent is $1,200 a month, the three of you each pay $400.
If the utilities and rent are roughly the same amount, you and your roommate may agree to have one person responsible for rent, and the other person responsible for the other bills. This might be easier than splitting everything down the middle. Each person pays what they're responsible for, thus you don't have to ask each other for money.
Then again, if one roommate earns significantly more than the other, you might decide to split the rent based on income. For example, if the rent is $1,500 a month, and one roommate earns double the other person's salary, the person who earns more might pay an extra $200 or $300 towards the rent each month. This way, the rent isn't a hardship on one person.
You and your roommate will sign an agreement with the landlord. However, you and your roommate should also have a written agreement that clearly outlines what each person is responsible for. This can alleviate any misunderstandings down the road which could cause a rift in your friendship.
In addition to deciding how to split rent, it's also a good idea for all roommates to open a joint roommate account, and deposit a small amount into this account every month. Funds in this account can cover any emergency that arises. For example, one roommate might get sick and be unable to pay his share for the month. With cash in this account serving as a cushion, the rent gets paid regardless of a financial setback.
You might dream of rooming with your best friend during college or after you graduate, but seriously consider whether this person would make a good roommate. If this person isn’t responsible with his or her money now, what makes you think that she’ll be responsible in the future? Also, consider whether your living habits match. It doesn't work when one person is messy and the other person is a neat freak.
To make sure that everyone is on the same page and happy, periodically review your roommate agreement and make adjustments as necessary. Situations change and you might need to increase or decrease what someone pays.
Given the higher cost of living, having a roommate is one way to live within your means and reduce financial burdens. But for an enjoyable experience, you and your roommate must be on the same page, and come up with terms that work for everyone. What are other tips for splitting rent with a roommate?
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