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Top tips for managing a share house budget

How to keep on top of finances in a share house

Setting clear rules and guidelines, sharing responsibility and ensuring transparency are the key tips for flatmates to manage the house sharing experience, according to the Customer Owned Banking Association.

Managing the finances of a share house can be difficult for many Australians, especially when someone is behind on their share of a bill or rent. The Customer Owned Banking Association has compiled its top tips for managing finances in a share house.

  1. Set the rules and guidelines. Make sure everyone in the house understands the amount and the due date for expenses and what the funds will be used for.
  2. Clearly set out individual vs. household expenses. Being transparent about what an individual should pay for and what a household should pay for can remove the potential for future tiffs.
  3. Consider if a shared bank account is right for your household. Depending on the situation, a shared account can be a good option to manage expenses. This allows flat mates to pay agreed amounts from their personal account into a general household expenses account. Before considering a shared account its important to consider the financial position and financial literacy of all tenants to make sure everyone can manage a shared account.
  4. Track monthly spending. Keeping an eye on the average cost of services like internet and electricity each month can help flatmates budget and keep on track of what they are likely to have to pay at the end of the month.

Customer Owned Banking Association’s Mick Gibb says transparency is the best policy when it comes to managing share house finances.

“It’s important that everyone in a share house is on the same page and agrees on the way the finances will be run.

“Whether you decide to have one person manage all the bills or if you decide to divvy out responsibility for rent, water and electricity amongst everyone, it’s crucial you all agree on how you’re going to manage it.”

Another consideration for flatmates is whether they want to open a shared joint account to manage the finances.

“Depending on your situation, you might consider opening a shared account with your flatmates which you can pay agreed amounts into. This can be a helpful way to pay for shared household items and joint bills.

“If all the house mates agree on a shared account it’s important to shop around to find an account that best suits your needs. Visiting ownyourbanking.com.au is a great place to start.

“If you have a shared account be sure to keep your own records of any funds you transfer into the account.”

For people first moving out of home, ASIC’s MoneySmart site has some useful tips and tricks to manage the costs of moving.


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