The vibe in Dehradun is definitely easygoing. It’s because the citizens here are friendly and welcoming, and the energy is always inviting. But even in a city that’s as warm as this one, moving into a hostel with a roommate can be tricky business. Because while you might have both attended some of the best schools in Dehradun and been the top dogs there, now that you’re about to enter college, you’re on even ground. And you’ll have to learn to negotiate with the fact that you’re both very different people. So, you have to compromise on many aspects of your life, like your schedule, your bed times, how often you invite friends over and more. But when these negotiations involve money, they seem even more difficult. And it’s understandable, because money can be a sensitive issue with people you’ve known for years, much less a roommate you’ve just met and are sharing a hostel or PG space with for the first time. But it’s important to have the discussion as you’ll have to split utility costs with them. So, even if it’s your first time figuring out how to split utility costs with your roommates, don’t worry. We’ve got a handy guide to help you out.
Know what you’re paying for
The monthly rent that you’re paying in your hostel probably covers the rent and meals. And those are amounts that you pay individually to your warden or landlord. But when it comes to utilities, you might be required to shell out cash based on your room usage instead. Ask your warden or landlord for a breakdown of the utility costs that are additional to your rent so that you know exactly what you’re paying for. Most of the time it will comprise of your electricity and water bill, but your hostel could also include maintenance charges for common areas under utilities.
Negotiate how to split it
Once you know exactly what you’re paying for, it’s time to have the difficult conversation with your roommate about how you’re going to pay the bill. The simplest way is to agree to a fifty-fifty split (or in equal proportions if you have more than one roommate). However, if you and your roommate have completely different schedules where only one of you uses the room most of the time, you might want to consider a more equitable split. If you attend your classes online while your roommate goes to campus and has a part-time job at the library, you’re probably consuming a lot more electricity than they are. In such cases, you could consider a 70/30 split after negotiating with your roommate.
Appoint someone to be in charge
Keeping track of your utility bills and paying them on time is something that you and your roommates need to discuss. Appointing one person to be in charge of the responsibility makes it a lot easier to ensure there are no delays in payment, and that everyone contributes their share. This one person can be in charge of making the final transfer, as well as to remind their roommates about any approaching deadlines, so that the whole process goes smoothly.
Write it down
Verbal discussions and communication are well and good when you’re in the negotiation stage, but once you and your roommates have come to a conclusion on how to split the utility bills, you need to put it in writing. This gives it some more formality and prevents any misunderstandings or miscommunication in the future. It’ll also help you hold each other accountable in case any problems arise. There’s no need to go overboard with this step. A simple Word document or even an email that covers the responsibilities and split that you’ve discussed is good enough.
There are apps to help you with pretty much every aspect of your life while you’re staying in one of the hostels in Dehradun. So, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t help you with splitting your hostel utility bills. Download the same budgeting apps as your roommates so that you can set aside the amount for utilities each month without running the risk of overspending. Or ensure that you use a money transfer app like GooglePay or PayTM to send your contribution to the person who’s been appointed to handle the utility bills. This will also ensure that there’s a clear trail of payments and prevent any confusions.
So, there you have it. Learning how to split the utility bills with your roommates can be easy enough once you have a frank conversation with them. With this guide, you know exactly what to ask and how to divide the responsibilities. So, put these steps into action, and you’ll definitely have a smooth journey.