Share and Share Alike: Best Apps To Manage Utilities

Having roommates is an economic necessity for many and a preferred choice for others wanting a little more elbow room that a 2+ bedroom affords. However, the payment logistics of shared expenses can cause friction or unwanted complexity to these living arrangements.

Here are a five apps to help ensure persistent roommate pain points are avoided and living together is beautiful thing.

Splitwise

A free tool for friends and roommates, this app helps you track bills and other shared expenses simply. The tool tallies who paid for what and then sends reminders at the end of the month to settle debts.  You can create groups with various friends and divide up what each person owes. All your shared expenses and IOUs are organized in one place and everyone in the group can see the amount they owe.

Photo: Splitwise

Zently

Similar to Splitwise, Zently also helps manage household expenses but also has powerful added functionality that allows you to set up free electronic transfers securely to ensure all payments are made on time.  It also has an in-app messaging tool enabling roommates to communicate with landlords easily. You can, for example, ping your landlord with a photo of a broken faucet so they can tend to the matter in a timely fashion.

Roof

This app serves both roommates and landlords. For roommates it tracks expenses and chores and enables various ways of repayment. For example, if someone paid for toilet paper, you can either pay your roommate back by buying the next thing, paying a portion of their rent or cleaning up around the house. Roof keeps a balance of how much everyone owes and updates automatically.

Landlords, in turn, can set up automatic rent deposits, perform basic bookkeeping, track maintenance requests and communicate with tenants in app, cleaning up their inboxes. In addition, Roof sends automatic reminders to tenants indicating when rent is due and applies late payment fees automatically.

Chooserr

This is the app your parents wished they’d had…Chooserr gamefies chores!  It solves the problem of who is going to take out the trash, clean the toilets or vacuum. Connect with Facebook, Twitter or email and invite your roommates to play. Create a task and then a Chooserr algorithm randomly selects a person to complete it. Add more competition – the last to touch the “NOT IT” button loses and has to complete the task.

Photo: Chooserr app

Handy

When YouTube ‘How to’s’ don’t cut it, this app might come in useful! Though some repairs will be the responsibility of your landlord, others are not and, other times, waiting for a landlord to respond may not be a viable option. This app helps you find trusted professionals to fix your toilet, clean your house, paint your walls, mount your TV etc. Booking is instant and times are specific – no long 4-8 hour windows keeping you at home.

photo: Priscille du Preez @unsplash

Kristina Ikavalko

Creative Content Creator for Liv, based in Vancouver. Fan of field hockey, food, fashion & politics.

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