How to Split Costs with Your Roommate


There are many advantages to living off campus: you have your own space, rent is cheaper, and there are fewer rules to follow. However, you will need to figure out how to split costs with your roommates for things like paper products, food, and cleaning supplies. It’s essential you agree to these terms from the beginning, since sharing expenses can easily become the source of arguments.

Here are some tips to guide you.

Decide What to Do About Food

It’s important to determine what food items you’ll share and which belong to individuals. You may like to buy groceries together and take turns to cook. However, many college students find it easier to each buy their own food — in which case you’ll need to label food items to make it clear that they belong to you. Even in this case, though, you may like to share some types of food, like condiments.

Create a Payment-Sharing System

Avoid delays in your roommates paying each other back for shared purchases by creating a system to simplify reimbursements. Alternatively, you can set up a bank account where you deposit the same amount each month and use the funds for agreed-upon purchases. You should make a list in advance of what kinds of products everyone in the household will contribute toward.

Pay for Big Items Separately

Although you’ll all benefit from things like a lamp in the living room, a toaster in the kitchen, and a vacuum cleaner, you may decide it’s better if just one person pays for each item. This will mean that when you move out, it’s clear what belongs to whom. As long as you all contribute something to the apartment, you should be able to make such a system fair. It’s best to coordinate with roommates before you move in to avoid bringing duplicates of some items and lacking some other essentials.

Set Rules for Overnight or Frequent Guests

Guests to your apartment can also cost money, especially if they eat shared food or use the household supplies you all paid for. You’ll need to determine if a roommate who invites someone to stay the night or has a guest over frequently is required to contribute more.

Write an Agreement You’ll All Sign

Once you’ve figured out all the above, write it into an agreement. When all your roommates are happy with the agreement, they should sign it. Whereas this agreement won’t be legally binding (unlike your lease), it should prevent anyone claiming they misunderstood or trying to bind the rules.

If you share a lease with your roommates, you’ll also need to make sure everyone contributes their share of the rent and utility costs. If just one person fails to pay on time, the rest of you are on the hook. This can be one of the major disadvantages of living in a student rental. Oshawa students, however, receive individual leases when they live at Foundry Simcoe. This means you are only responsible for paying for your room, and the all-inclusive rent even covers utilities. Apply now to secure your spot in a suite or townhouse.

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