One of the hurdles of adulting is finding a place of your own, free from the unsolicited where-have-you-been concerns. Don’t get me wrong, accountability is a virtue, but sometimes you just need your space to make your decisions and mistakes if need be.
But this “freedom” doesn’t come cheap. It may be so expensive you have to resort to losing that freedom to a roommate, especially if you live in a city as Lagos.
So how do you split bills with a roommate, who is most likely a known friend, without losing the friendship? Here are a few tips:
Set some ground rules:
Agree from the onset what you pay separately and what you will share. Put it all into writing. No, it’s not being too formal, knowing your do’s and don’ts from the onset will save you from unnecessary fights and misunderstandings.
Don’t pay any shared bills until everyone contributes
There are times when you need to pay for something and your roommate doesn’t have the money for some reason at that particular time. Well unless you are willing to let go of the money or sacrifice the relationship, don’t give room for debt as human behaviour is unpredictable.
The better way is to agree on the amount to be contributed and the date needed on time.
If the money isn’t complete, don’t pay.
Keep some purchase separate
Imagine paying for furniture with your roommate and 6 months down the line, you need to move out, what happens? Split the chair maybe.
So, the idea is, there are some purchase you can’t split, especially furniture. You can split the bill for water, light or food.
Agree on the purchase you can and can’t split at the start of your roommate-ship.
Having a roommate is fun and cheap. The experience is even more exciting when you are first a good roommate and you chooses a good roommate.