The average age of a homebuyer in the UK is rising and millennials can now expect to spend several years living in flatshares while they save for a deposit. This age group is set to spend around a third of their post tax income on rent (more in London), compared with the mere 5%-10% of those in the 1960s and 1970s (according to the Resolution Foundation).
So, when it comes to renting, it’s essential millennials are clued up about the financial implications of what they’re taking on.
Luckily, a growing number of apps are now available to help you make the best financial decisions while living in a flatshare. Here are some of the best.
Split your bills
When paying household bills, rule number one is making sure everyone knows the amount they need to pay and when. Several apps can help you split straightforward bills between housemates, including Splitwise, Acasa (formerly known as Splittable), Paytween and Kittysplit. You can also use IOU to log debts until they’ve been paid off.
These apps break down bills and calculate the amount each person owes. They also have a messaging service so you can communicate with others in the group.
Make sure you’re paying the right rent for your room
Another common issue is how to split it when rooms and storage facilities are different sizes. While most houses will divide the bill up according to room size and access to storage, the estimates they’re based on aren’t always accurate. This is where Spliddit app comes in. Each housemate simply keys in what they think are fair amounts and it comes up with a suggested amount for everyone.
Share the shopping
If you’re sharing the cost of shopping with your housemates, avoid quibbles by using a shopping app.
Apps like our groceries and Capitan allow you to sync up multiple shopping lists, so everyone in the house can keep on top of what they have in and items you might be running low on. Capital can alert others when you’re out shopping (and vice versa) so you can deal with last minute purchases. And it even keeps track of things you buy a lot of and lets you know when these items might be running low. Our groceries also makes it easy to plan your meals – you can store recipes and quickly add ingredients to your shopping list.
There are other apps available to help you get the best deals on your food shopping. MySupermarket, for example, claims to be able to save you up to 30% on an a weekly shop. It does by taking what’s on your shopping list and finding out the store where it costs the least and alerting you to other deals. Other features include a ‘swap & save’ option, which tells you when you can swap an item to a cheaper alternative, or save by choosing a product with a better unit price. It even offers cashback to help your money go that much further.
A common concern for flatsharers is keeping bills to a minimum, but a number of apps will take this on for you.
One of the most established is Bean, which helps you reduce your spending by analysing your bills and pointing you towards cheaper alternatives. It’ll even cancel subscriptions on your behalf, saving you time as well as the hassle of admin.
Another one is Glide (also a website), which consolidates all your bills and gives each of you a single bill each month.
Get credit for renting
There’s an undeniable drawback of renting. Even though you’re probably proving your creditworthiness by paying your rent on time each month, it won’t count towards your credit rating. So when it comes to finally applying for a mortgage, your credit rating could be unjustly low. Apps and other fintechs are starting to do something about this.
Several help you build your credit rating by having your landlord verify each time you make a monthly rent payment. You can also set up a passport, which records your recent rental payment history, as well as who your landlord is, income and references. Your landlord can rate you as a tenant, based on the condition you keep the property in and your ability to pay rent promptly. All of these can be shared with a landlord or an agent and provide proof that you’re a reliable and trustworthy tenant.
Improve your rental experience
Why not take advantage of some of these apps to help make your renting experience that much smoother?