5 share house money hacks to maintain the peace (and keep cash in your wallet)
With the start of the uni year just a few weeks away it might feel a bit daunting having to think about classes after such a long break.
Even more so if you’ve just made the plunge and moved out of home into a place of your own. Thankfully the team here at Mozo have years of rental and student living experience between us, so we’ve got some killer tips to guide you smoothly into your new digs and your new year of study!
1. Pick your providers together.
Just found a new place? Don’t start household relations off on the wrong foot by lumping one person with the task of choosing all the providers. They might pick a dodgy internet deal, so better not risk it.
Mozo money tip: Aside from rent, energy bills will likely be your biggest expense so make sure you do your research by comparing the market and finding the best electricity and gas deal for your house. With plenty of discounts and offers available, you’ll be able to find some decent savings while making sure you and your mates are toasty warm in winter... unless you enjoy heating yourselves with a flaming barrel in the living room.
2. Avoid a blue over bills.
Not sure if Rav should be paying more rent for that larger room? Think Lewis should fork out more for the water bill given he’s in the shower for 20 minutes each day? Put everything on the table and work it out. Nothing festers more than unresolved bill tension. If your bill split is set in stone your next step will be to work out who’s responsible for paying what. Divvying up the bills gives everyone a sense of responsibility and insures there are no late payers (looking at you Lewis - get your act together mate).
Mozo money tip: Thankfully we live in the enlightened age of apps, and with tools like Splitwise you’ll be able to make sure everyone pays their bills equally with no hassle. Better yet, you’ll have a permanent record of your ability to consistently pay a bill which will be useful for future rental applications.
3. Make an art of shopping smart.
In the immortal words of The Simpsons, “Discarded pizza boxes are an inexpensive source of cheese.” While this may be true, even on a tight student budget you’ll be able to eat perfectly well in your new digs without resorting to cheese scraps or stockpiling instant noodles. Make your weekly shop a household bonding experience (and bargain hunt) by looking out for the best weekly deals (thank you catalogues), and buying in bulk!
Mozo money tip: Shopping smart by going for produce that’s in season will save you some pennies, as will checking out Asian supermarkets for special deals! Be sure you don’t go overboard with your bargain hunts though - remember it might be cheap, but anything that just ends up gathering dust in the cupboard is money down the drain. Creating a student budget will help you out there - keeping you on track with your spending while ensuring you can live within your means!
4. Don’t eat your roommate’s food (unless you can replace it before they notice).
That block of Cadbury’s oreo chocolate may look pretty tempting, and yes, it is unfair that Rav has the patience to eat just a row each night… plus she’d probably never notice if one teensy row went missing... No! You’re better than that. Don’t nick your housemates stuff, because you’ll probably create some sort of stealth war over food! Instead of stealing from each other, why not try cooking together?
Mozo money tip: Pull your resources and set aside a day each week to cook up a storm. Not only will it strengthen your ties of household comradeship, you’ll save some cash by splitting the food bill.
5. Create a kitty to keep things pretty.
Leaking roofs, unexpected family visits, mysterious stains on that awful linoleum kitchen floor. Sometimes you just need emergency access to cash for cleaning supplies, and that’s where a household kitty works well. Throw in $10 each a month to pay for basics like cleaning equipment and longlife staples like spices and sauces. That way if you’re running low on anything, someone can nip out with the petty cash and do a favour for everyone.
Mozo money tip: Given that cash isn’t quite dead just yet, make sure you have a student bank account that allows you to access ATMs without paying a small fortune in fees. This way you’ll be able to put in for your fair share of the kitty without having to worry about any annoying bank fees.