A Simple Spreadsheet to Track Shared Roommate Expenses

By: Josh - Josh@CheapInTheCity.com
June 21, 2018

If you live in New York City (or are planning to move here), you more than likely have a roommate, or five. Keeping track of who owes what to whom and then trading checks back and forth can be a major pain in the backside. Having lived with many roommates over the years, I know the feeling.

I hate writing and depositing checks. For years at the end of each month my roommate and I would add up receipts. Whoever owed more would write the other person a check for that amount. Then we would write our rental checks to send in to the landlord. The roommate receiving the check would then have to deposit that check to get his/her money.

To eliminate the writing of checks, I recently developed a spreadsheet to track what my roommate and I owe each other, but with a twist! The spreadsheet tells you how much each roommate should write their rental check out to be in order to settle with the other roommate!

As an example, if after entering all shared expenses paid, the spreadsheet determines John owes Chris $100, that $100 would be deducted from Chris’s rent and added to John’s. Therefore, if both pay $1,000 per month for rent, that particular month John would write his rental check out for $1,100 and Chris for $900. They are now even! There is no need for John to write Chris a check for the $100, which Chris would then have to deposit.

The current version of my Roommate Expenses spreadsheet was created using Excel and was designed to work for two roommates. The spreadsheet also works with Google Documents. I plan to continue developing and adding to it so keep an eye out for a new version. Send me an email with any suggestions.

To get started, first download the spreadsheet by clicking the link below.

DOWNLOAD: Roommate Expenses v1.0

After saving it to your hard drive, open the spreadsheet with Excel, Google Documents, etc.

Next, change the example rental numbers and names to match yours. If you each pay a different amount each month (maybe because one bedroom is larger than the other), no problem! Enter each amount.

Change the Expenses categories to match your expenses. The categories named “Etc.” are extra spaces that can be used for more expense categories.

Change the names to match your names. Delete the example numbers and you are off!

If you would like to share it with your roommate so both of you can keep it updated each month, you could upload it to a cloud service such as Google Documents and then share it.

At the end of each month, check to see how much each roommate’s rental check should be, write and send in those checks, delete the numbers and start again. No more writing checks between roommates!