It is no secret that the prices of rent have exploded over the last couple of years, especially in some parts of the world where even lawyers cannot afford to live alone (lookin’ at you, Bay Area). As a result, more and more young professionals are joining forces to be able to afford the rent. And in other cases, living with roommates is simply a personal preference.
As many of us know, living with other people can be quite stressful, especially if your personalities rub against one another. In a huge number of cases, the problems with roommates arise from a money issue, or more precisely, how to split the expenses.
The good news is that we live in an Age of Apps, and there are quite a few of them out there that help roommates deal with this issue. Read on for some of the best money apps available to help make splitting expenses with roommates (and friends, and significant others) so much easier. And even better news: They’re all available on iOS and Android!
We’re betting you’ve probably heard of Venmo by now, and have likely been using it for several years. Still. it’s a great app. In 2013, PayPal acquired Venmo, and this is probably the most obvious endorsement that an app like this could ever get. Since then, Venmo has become one of the best money apps for P2P payment, so much so that it has even become a verb (as in, “could you Venmo me the bill for that kombucha I bought you”). The reason it is great for roommates is because of the strong social component (in form of memos that can be liked), which allows people to better coordinate their payments, especially if their landlord happens to be tech-savvy and uses this app. Venmo also allows for instant money transfers and the majority of them are free.
Splitwise actually uses Venmo and PayPal for the actual financial transactions, but this does not mean it is not one of the best money apps for people who live with someone else. Its strength is the meticulous nature of the app, which allows for exquisitely precise calculations of how big a share a person should cover when rent and other monthly bills arrive. Splitwise also uses totals for everyone involved, so that they can settle interpersonal debts in large chunks, rather than in tiny individual payments.
Splittable is definitely one of the finest apps out there, if you are looking to keep the peace with whomever you happen to be living with. The main reason why people all over the world love Splittable is that it takes into consideration that tiny fact that it is used by actual people, and not robots. Joking aside, it one of the best money apps for understanding the realities of sharing a living space with someone, and having to deal with myriad tiny expenses. Instead of focusing on every single one of those tiny expenses, Splittable uses flatmates’ standings and provides a clear indication of who owes what, and who should take care of which future expense.
Various monthly bills can be a hassle, whether you live alone or with someone. This is where Unbill comes in, automating the payment of these bills, from rent to utilities to internet, and everything else that you might have to pay. For roommates, Unbill brings an air of accountability to the table, as everyone is responsible for their own share, and there are options in case someone does not cover their share. The important thing is that all payments are transparent, and no one gets cheated, making it one of the best money apps for equal sharing.
OurGroceries is marketed as a family app that helps families organize grocery shopping, but over the years, it has also become a tool that many roommates use as well. With OurGroceries, you sync up your grocery list(s) across the phones of all the people who are living together, letting people know what the household needs, where to buy it, and so on. The app just uses an email address for login, which means that it can be used from any device, including your desktop.
There is definitely no shortage of great apps out there that all help roommates avoid misunderstandings and save some money. In the end, however, it will all come down to what a specific household needs, and how its members feel about the shared responsibilities of living together.
Nicole is a writer passionate about traveling and technology. She always seeks new adventures and enjoys sharing her experiences with other people. You can find her on Twitter.
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