Shared Expenses

You may be in a situation where you are sharing expenses with someone. (roommate, spouse)  One person maintains the budget, and the other person contributes to the shared expenses.

The simplest way to do this is to record the payment from the roommate as income and then budget it to whatever expenses are shared.  However, if you want a more detailed record, this approach may work better for you:

Example:  Your rent is $1000 and your roommate gives you $500 each month.  You are the one that pays the landlord.

Step 1:  Budget for your share of the rent amount.

Your category balance is now $500. 

Step 2:  When your roommate pays you, enter an inflow and categorize it toward rent. 

Any inflow assigned directly to a category increases the category balance.  Now your category balance is $1000.  This keeps your income reports accurate.

You’ll notice a positive $500 column that represent the money coming into the category.

This is where you have a simpler option if you don’t care about records: You could categorize their payment as income and just budget it for rent.

Step 3: Pay the bill.

You’ll notice that on the budget, the rent category now shows an appropriate outflow of $500 which was your portion of the rent.

If your roommate pays you late, you may want to consider budgeting for the entire amount in full to make sure you have enough money to cover the shared expense.   Another option is to carry overspending in the category if you pay the bill before they pay you. 

If you are in a situation where you are sharing expenses with a spouse and managing multiple accounts within the same budget, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Record the transaction in the account where it occurred.
  • Each person should budget a portion of their income to the appropriate shared categories.