As anyone that’s ever lived in a sharehouse will know, it can be seriously difficult just to find the right people to share with in the first place – so once you do it’s critically important to make sure the household runs smoothly to avoid any unnecessary friction.
Thankfully it’s easier now than ever to keep the peace, with a number of online tools and apps that make managing household finances and chores not only easy, but fair as well.
So read on for our top picks of the best tools and apps to help you and your roommates keep the peace:
1. Compare the best household energy plans – Mozo
Aside from rent, electricity and gas bills will probably be the most expensive costs that you’ll split in your sharehouse – with an average three person house likely to spend over $1,500 each year. That’s why one of the first things you’ll want to do when you move into a new place, and every year after, is to make sure you’re on the cheapest energy plan.
Luckily, the days when you’d have to trawl through 20 different websites to compares energy deals are over thanks to the Mozo Energy Cost Cruncher Tool (yes, we’re a bit biased).
How it works: You and your housemates can just plug in your energy usage details, the number of people in your home and your postcode and the calculator will do the rest by comparing a range of deals for your area.
2. Split your shopping bills – Splitr
Let’s face it, the last squabble you want to be having with your housemates is over who paid what for that last bottle of washing up liquid, especially when that energy could be better used in arguing about the latest episode of The Bachelor!
Well the good news is that there’s now an app to help you end squabbles over bill splitting. Splitr makes it easy to divide any bill and make or request payments, all in the one app.
How it works: Scan your shopping receipt or cafe bill with your phone, choosing how many people you’re splitting it with (say $75 between three people) and then the app will send an alert requesting them to pay. Splitr even allows you to sign up with your bank account so you won’t have to leave the app, and it will send out reminders to anyone that hasn’t settled up with you, so no more awkward conversations with your housemates when you chase them for money!
Just bear in mind that while the app itself is free, you will be charged a small fee when you pay someone with a credit/debit card.
3. Divide utilities and rent – Splitwise
Splitwise is a great app to help you fill in the gaps for any bills that don’t come in receipt form, such as your rent or electricity and gas. After all, you can’t let your other housemates get away without chipping in for their fair share of the Netflix account.
How it works: Create a group with your housemates, and an expense and let Splitwise work out how much each person owes. The app lets you add multiple expenses in the group, so you’ll get a running total of how much you owe each other. Unfortunately you won’t be able to integrate your bank account with Splitwise, so when you go to settle an expense you’ll have to exit the app and transfer the funds via your banking app.
4. Divvy up the weekly chores – OurHome
It’s 8pm on Sunday night, the shops have closed and you’ve just noticed you’ve run out of loo paper… bad luck. Never again though! The OurHome app will keep you and your sharehouse family on top of all your household chores – from creating shared shopping lists (to avoid potential Sunday night debacles) to making sure the bins have been taken out on time.
How it works: While OurHome was technically created for families (it has a nifty points system for completing tasks), it works perfectly for a sharehouse too. Just set up an account, add your roommates and start allocating jobs. Aside from creating joint shopping lists and allocating chores, you’ll also be able to stay up to date with the synced calendar and reminders.
5. Organise your household – Wunderlist
If you like to keep things simple when it comes to planning your shared grocery list or weekly chore schedule, then the Wunderlist app could also be a great way to keep your household organised and clean (not to mention at peace).
How it works: Wunderlist allows you to create simple lists (such as your shared grocery list for the week) and share them with your housemates. You’ll also have the option to create due dates, set reminders and even chat within the app to ensure your house stays on track.
Interested in other great financial tools? Calculate everything from your credit card repayments to the amount you’ll need to reach your next savings goal by heading over to the Mozo’s financial calculator hub.