Good flatmates can be a true blessing. Need a last-minute ride to the airport? Done. Want some company on an otherwise lonely Sunday? You got it. Maybe one day you wake up starving and there’s nothing to eat until your eyes fall on your roommate’s frozen lasagna. Ain’t that handy?
For many of us with roommates, we don’t only share rent, we share lives. And if the common goal among us is to eventually move out and live alone, we’re going to have to make some changes.
This is where our money-saving tips come in. Together with your flatmates, you can save on expenses including groceries and utilities. All it takes is some planning and preparation—a bottle of wine will help that go down easier!
1. Buy everything in bulk
Hello Costco! If you don’t already know about this brilliant wholesale grocer, you’ve been deprived. You can literally find anything from peanut butter-filled pretzels to televisions at Costco. While it requires an annual membership fee of $60 for access, it will save you multiples more in the long run.
Shop in bulk for everything you and roommates might share, like toilet paper, household cleaning supplies, and food essentials like snacks, coffee and butter. You’ll save tons on the premiums at the corner milk bar.
2. Split your costs
Think we’ve all been in that situation before. We get the bill for our flatmate, friend or family first, only to end up not getting paid back. It can be frustrating and eventually lead to an uncomfortable, imbalanced relationship.
So our preventative measure is to download an app that helps you and your friends keep track of spending. We like Splitwise for its simplicity. It only takes a few seconds to key in who paid for what, and then divides the expenses so it’s fair for everyone. What’s even better? They send a reminder monthly about who owes what and to whom. That unpaid Uber and Sunday brunch will be a thing of the past.
3. Share your subscriptions
It’s no secret that the pandemic offered us a lot more time at home. And in the place of live entertainment, travel and random pub chinwags, we had Netflix. And it’s getting hard to live without it. In fact, Netflix is continually growing with captivating content, so it looks like we’re going to be paying for this subscription for a while.
If you haven’t already, why not split the subscription with your roommate? Netflix will be upping their monthly subscription costs next month, so there’s no better time. Take it a step further and look into other membership fees you could split on, like Spotify and free delivery services.
4. Swap your stuff
Some of us are guilty of a little nocturnal online shopping after a few glasses of pinot. We’re only human—we love the novelty of fresh, new things, but my, can they put a dent in our wallets. So instead of spending on new gear, do a clothing swap with your roomie. It’ll feel like you have an entire new wardrobe.
If your styles don’t quite match, do a spring cleaning and gather all the clothes good enough to sell. Then set up a garage sale or rent a market booth. You can split the earnings and put it all towards the upcoming rent.
5. Dine at home
If 2020 didn’t force you into culinary pursuits, perhaps saving money will. And it should! The market for food delivery has doubled since last year alone. But just because ordering dinner on your phone is easy, doesn’t make it a good decision for your bank account.
We understand that the end of a hard day of (remote) work doesn’t always inspire creativity in the kitchen. But if you and your flatmates shared the task, that would mean one night you don’t have to do anything at all.
The internet is crawling with recipes and dinner ideas, but if you wanna keep effort to a minimum, here’s our CBF go-to.
Pro tip: Cook a huge meal. That means leftovers for tomorrow!
If you and your flatmates are looking for apartments or houses to rent, we can also help you out in that department. Browse our search page to check out some amazing listings available right now. But don’t just stop there, download our app to get the full Soho experience. Just remember to shortlist or swipe left on our listings so we can send you others that better match what you’re looking for.