Besides splitting the rent between flatmates, there are other costs that will need to be divided. Some are optional, such as food, but others are not, such as power, gas, water and internet.

So, what’s the best way to funnel the money into the right place, at the right time, every month?

Shared account

Because landlords, power companies and other services don’t generally accept five different online payments for one power bill, you need to be able to pay all your bills from one source. That source could be a shared flat account which, if you set it up properly at the beginning, should mostly manage itself.


  • Plan a flat excursion to your chosen bank and ask to set up an account together. The bank will let you know the best options for your situation, and can arrange for all members to have control over, and access to, the finances.
  • Once you’ve opened the account, establish what bills need to be paid, and set up direct debits for each bill. This means that, as long as there’s enough money available, you will never be able to forget a payment.
  • Work out with your flatmates how much you each need to pay into the account regularly to cover all the bills. If you’re in a particularly harmonious flatting situation, and you’re all good at sticking to a budget, then food could be included in this. If not, stick to the essentials.
  • To ensure flat payments like rent and broadband are never paid late, set up automatic payments from your own accounts into the flat account. To cover bills that differ each month, like power, water and gas, try to estimate sufficient funds ahead of time so you always get prompt payment discounts.
  • Lastly, decide who’s the bank manager. That’s entirely up to you – but try to have more than one member of your flat keeping tabs on the account and the bills, to ensure it’s being done right. You can also arrange to have a monthly flat meeting so everyone knows what’s going on and, through the wonders of modern technology, everyone should be able to access the account online.
  • You also need to be prepared for when someone leaves or arrives, what they need to do with regards to payments and whether there’s a refund or additional funds required to be paid.