There are various ways to stop fighting with your roommate about money. Living with a roommate is one way to lower your monthly expenses. You can build your savings account and hopefully save up to buy your own place. But even if you and your roommate get along on a personal level, you might have disagreements about money. Here are seven ways to stop fighting with your roommate about money.
1. Consider Splitting Rent According to Income
Properly managing the rent payment is one of the best ways to stop fighting with your roommate about money. Typically, roommates split rent 50-50. This often works, but if one person earns significantly more than the other, you might consider a different arrangement. Some roommates choose to split rent according to each person's income -- this way, the rent isn't a burden on just one person. Let's say one person earns double the other person's salary. In this case, the person earning more money may contribute a little more to the rent.
2. Split Utilities Evenly
Rent payments might not be an exact 50-50 split, but you can agree to split utilities evenly. This way, one person doesn't end up paying more than the other. Add up all your utilities, such as electricity, the water bill, cable and Internet, and telephone, if applicable. Get a joint roommate account that's specifically for funds to cover household expenses. Each person deposits her portion of household funds into this account. Next, set up automatic drafts with your utility companies. This can hopefully alleviate running behind your roommate and getting funds together before a bill is due.
3. Buy Your Own Food
Some roommates fight over food. One person may go to the grocery store and buy food, and the other person eats it all. This can create problems, so you might agree to buy and prepare your own food. You can have separate shelves in the pantry and refrigerator. Agree to only eat what you've purchased, unless given the green light by the other.
4. Have a Roommate Agreement
Not only should you have a written agreement with your landlord, you should have a roommate agreement. This agreement basically outlines what each person will be financially responsible for to prevent misunderstandings.
5. Keep Personal Money Separate
Although you might have a joint roommate account for household expenses, make sure you keep your personal funds separate. This might be a no-brainer, but I knew two roommates who had access to each other's personal bank account. One person accused the other of spending money they didn't put into the account. Needless to say, this decision caused big problems between them.
6. Talk about Problems Early
You and your roommate are going to have disagreements, this is inevitable. But rather than let issues brew for several weeks or months, talk about money problems early. You can come up with a solution before emotions start to run high, which can ultimately save your friendship.
7. Talk about Significant Others
You rent a place with your best friend, and then a few months later your best friend's significant other starts spending a lot of time in the apartment. You might not have an issue with the occasional visit, but if the person practically moves in, you need to talk with your roommate and discuss the possibility of this person contributing to the rent.
Some people say best friends should never live together. But it can work as long as boundaries are set and both parties understand how to split expenses and manage household funds. What are other ways to stop fighting with your roommate about money?