Sharehouse living has its ups and downs. Whether you love or loathe your housemates, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: being broke isn’t fun.
There are endless ways you can lower your household living costs and save money in the process. The trick is to work together – it’s not called a share house for nothing!
Here are some tips for getting started.
Start a kitty
Unless you enjoy fighting about the cost of toilet paper, it’s wise to start a house kitty. Once a week, get each housemate to chip in around $10 to cover the cost of shared items like detergent, garbage bags, and laundry powder. This will prevent you from doubling up on items and put a swift stop to petty bickering (as far as your mutual groceries are concerned!).
There’s no need to fork out for brand new items when you’re just starting out. You can find quality pre-loved furniture or whitegoods at charity stores, or through online channels like Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree. There, a second-hand couch might set you back $50 rather than $300, while a TV might cost $100, rather than $800. That’s some serious savings!
Remember to ask around too. You never know who might have a spare fridge gathering dust on the back patio.
Choose a low-cost Internet plan
If you’re all living under one roof, it makes sense to get on a shared broadband plan. Take the time to compare offers across the board so you’re getting the best deal possible. Internet plans can start at as little as $60 a month, which can work out to be extremely cheap if it’s split multiple ways. Make sure to take into account how much Internet your household is using when deciding which plan is best for you.
Cook meals together
Having a cheap and cheerful cook-up a couple of nights each week is a great bonding exercise and also saves you money. Not only will it help to cut the cost of groceries, you’ll also save on energy by only using the oven or gas stove for one meal, rather than multiple ones. Try and schedule a specific night each week to eat together, so everyone can make time in their busy schedules.
Sort out your washing
As anyone who lives in a share house knows, there’s never a shortage of dirty clothes. If you’re a few shirts short of a load, throw in some of your house mate’s gear as well to avoid wasting water. It can be a good idea to start a laundry roster so everyone does their fair share of laundry.
If possible, try and stick to cold water washes rather than hot ones to save on energy. Using a detergent specifically designed for cold washes will maximise your results.
It’s surprisingly easy to save when living in a share house. The secret is for everyone to chip in where it counts. Being conscious of energy usage, cooking meals together and sharing the washing might seem small, but it can go a long way when it comes to your hip pocket.