When you’re living with others, it can be hard to make sure all the finances are fair. We’ve got some tips to help you save money when you’re flatting.

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1. Pick a good house

If you select the right property from the outset, you can make huge savings. Before you move in, do a budget and look at transport costs, the rent you’ll pay, estimated power bills and other expenses, to see if you’re happy with what you’re getting in return.

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2. Save on transport

By making a few adjustments, you can easily save money on transport when you’re flatting.

If you have a car, do you really need it? What about a scooter? If you live centrally in a larger city, you could use public transport or share rides with flatmates or colleagues. 

Or, make it your New Year’s resolution to get fitter and walk or ride a bike to work. 

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3. Make sure the finances are fair

When you’re living with others, you can end up paying more for luxuries you aren’t really using. It’s essential to check this before you move in. For example, if they have have Sky TV and you don’t use it, should you still have to pay for it? This is a waste of your money.

Likewise, does a flatmate have the heater running all through winter, while you’re cost-cutting and cold in your room with a hot-water bottle? Work out who’s paying for what and make sure you’re getting a fair deal. 

4. How much do you pay for your room?

Are you happy with how much you’re paying for the space you’ve got? Sometimes smaller rooms in flats are cheaper than, say, a master bedroom. If someone moves out of a smaller room in the flat, maybe you could move in, if you’re happy to give up some space. This could be a great way to save on rent, and these economies can add up over a year.

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5. Cook smart

Shopping smart at the supermarket can make a huge difference to your spending. If you’re working, take a packed lunch. You easily save up to $15 a day. 

Take an interest in cooking, and prepare more meals at home. 

There are heaps of hacks for making delicious meals with cheap ingredients. And they can taste good too! It does take a bit of time and planning, but it’s well worth it. The savings can be huge. 

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6. Make sure the house is in good condition

Poorly maintained houses cost more to heat. If there are things not quite right with the place, talk to your landlord or property manager. 

To reduce hefty power bills, keep your house warm and dry. If it’s draughty, you’ll lose warmth in winter. 

Some easy fixes would be to swap incandescent light bulbs for energy-efficient ones, regularly air rooms to keep the house free of mould, turn appliances off at the wall, dry clothes outside, and have shorter showers. Visit EECA for more great tips.

Write a list of helpful tips and pin it on the fridge for your flatmates (but beware, not everyone could be as passionate about saving money as you are!).

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Published January 2019

Story by Claire Connell, JUNO

This article is general in nature only and has not taken into account any particular person’s objectives or circumstances. We recommend you speak with a financial adviser. All content is correct at time of publication date.