Splitting Bills with Roommates, Drama Free! by Katherine
We all know how awkward it is to remind a friend they owe you $3.52 for that milkshake you spotted them for last night, and it’s even worse when that friend is a roommate and that milkshake is the electricity bill, or, gulp, rent. Everyone who’s ever had a roommate has been there, and in my experience it’s never fun. Dividing bills fairly in the beginning, actually asking for the money when it’s due, asking the second time when the roommate “forgets,” and that bittersweet moment when they begrudgingly hand it over. The whole process just plain sucks.
But uncomfortable brushes near the bathroom and muttered insults don’t need to be the norm in your apartment; there are now websites to help everything be fair, transparent, and drama free!
Here are two good ones:
1.) PayDivvy: this new website boasting an easy interface and hassle-free bill paying might just be the solution to making sure everyone pays their share. It not only allows you to split each bill (electricity, internet etc) based on percentage or dollar amount, but also makes sure each person pays his or her share. Yeah, that’s right, you are only responsible for your share. Let me repeat that, you don’t need to do the asking, PayDivvy will do that for you. And you can pay each service provider your portion directly and your other roommies can do the same. If you want, PayDivvy can even cut your landlord a check. So if your rent’s $1000, each of you pay PayDivvy $500 and PayDivvy writes that $1000 total to your landlord. I have a feeling this may help BFFs who become roommates keep that last “F…”
The best things about PayDivvy:
- All your bills are in one place
- You can pay your service providers directly
- PayDivvy makes sure people pay their share so you don’t have to
- Free for most transactions, unless you want them to be instant – then it’s a 3.5% fee
2.) BillMonk: this handy website keeps track of everything from books borrowed to rent and utilities owed. It even has a way for you to pay each other online. It doesn’t link with service providers though, so you’ll still be in charge of writing those checks. You can log in and see that your roommate Charlie owes you your copy of Pride and Prejudice, your other roommate Sally owes you $23.48 for electricity and you owe Shawn his leather jacket plus $7.68 (which happens to be the difference between what he owes you for electric and what you owe him for cable/internet). Keeping score just got a whole lot easier…
The best things about BillMonk:
- Does all that complicated math concerning who owes who what and shows it so everyone can see it
- Can be used for books, clothes, CDs, and anything else you might lend a roommate or a friend
- Absolutely Free!
- Allows you to pay each other online so you don’t have to hound one another for a check or cash. But it doesn’t allow you to pay the service provider.
If you’ve used either of these sites, let us know your thoughts!
Also check out an earlier post about a program called Split the Rent that will help you figure out an equitable way to split the rent if rooms are all different.