The Student Room Group

Flatmates want me to split costs of things I'm not going to use?

Hi guys,
a few of my flatmates went out and did a shop of stuff like paper towels, cleaning cloths, brush pan, a toaster, etc
They are all things I already have or will not use.
They're now asking for everyone to split the cost (Its not much but finances are tight rn) and I don't know how to explain it to them nicely.
Everyone else is chipping in so I feel bad about telling them I'm not going to.
What should I do?
Do they know you will not use it?
Original post by Anonymous
Hi guys,
a few of my flatmates went out and did a shop of stuff like paper towels, cleaning cloths, brush pan, a toaster, etc
They are all things I already have or will not use.
They're now asking for everyone to split the cost (Its not much but finances are tight rn) and I don't know how to explain it to them nicely.
Everyone else is chipping in so I feel bad about telling them I'm not going to.
What should I do?

Hey there!

Unfortunately it is very common for things like this to be split equally among flatmates. They're the sort of things you do buy communally because everyone will probably end up using them at some point and it's easier to share one set than for everyone to buy their own individually. If you're 100% sure you're never going to use one of their paper towels or a dustpan and brush during your time sharing a flat with them then you're well within your rights to say I won't be using these so don't include me and I'll make sure I don't use them. However, you've got to be 100% sure you're never going to pick up one of their paper towels in your life because if you do and they see it, you'll never hear the end of it. You could try and say that you'll contribute towards the cleaning supplies but not the toaster because you have your own/won't use a toaster. Then it might end up working out that you only owe like 20p and with any luck they won't be bothered but this is a very common scenario unfortunately and it does end up working out a lot easier if everyone clubs in for these things so you don't end up with loads of spare things lying around. Plus if you split the costs of these sorts of things then everyone can use them and no one can be annoyed for other people using their things.

Don't feel bad about telling them you're not going to use something though, my best advice is to just approach the conversation nicely and just politely say that you won't be using such and such so it's not worth you paying for something you won't use but you've got to then lead by example and not touch their things if you want to be excluded from that.,

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU
Original post by Anonymous
Hi guys,
a few of my flatmates went out and did a shop of stuff like paper towels, cleaning cloths, brush pan, a toaster, etc
They are all things I already have or will not use.
They're now asking for everyone to split the cost (Its not much but finances are tight rn) and I don't know how to explain it to them nicely.
Everyone else is chipping in so I feel bad about telling them I'm not going to.
What should I do?


You should have told them beforehand you wanted to be self-sufficient and not share. You can't let them go shopping, and then after the event decline to participate if they understood that you would share. Learning point for communal living - you all need to communicate effectively so decisions are made with full knowledge.

You can still use those products, and it probably serves you best to chip in and save your consumables for your personal use later on. A year is a long time to live with flatmates who think you are a grinch.
Reply 4
Original post by threeportdrift
You should have told them beforehand you wanted to be self-sufficient and not share. You can't let them go shopping, and then after the event decline to participate if they understood that you would share. Learning point for communal living - you all need to communicate effectively so decisions are made with full knowledge.

You can still use those products, and it probably serves you best to chip in and save your consumables for your personal use later on. A year is a long time to live with flatmates who think you are a grinch.

Thank you for the advice but I was not aware that they went out to shop and only found out when they came back with everything.
I know it would have saved me money to split the cost of things but I already bought my own big pack of paper towels, and other cleaning supplies prior to moving in, and I will definitely not be using their stuff when I already have my own.
I also feel like it would cause problems when moving out since who will be taking everything once we leave?
Reply 5
Original post by Anonymous
Hi guys,
a few of my flatmates went out and did a shop of stuff like paper towels, cleaning cloths, brush pan, a toaster, etc
They are all things I already have or will not use.
They're now asking for everyone to split the cost (Its not much but finances are tight rn) and I don't know how to explain it to them nicely.
Everyone else is chipping in so I feel bad about telling them I'm not going to.
What should I do?


Was there any discussion before these purchases were made?

How much are we talking about? I would say your can save your own stuff and chip in ...
Original post by Anonymous
Hi guys,
a few of my flatmates went out and did a shop of stuff like paper towels, cleaning cloths, brush pan, a toaster, etc
They are all things I already have or will not use.
They're now asking for everyone to split the cost (Its not much but finances are tight rn) and I don't know how to explain it to them nicely.
Everyone else is chipping in so I feel bad about telling them I'm not going to.
What should I do?


Anon,

They should have consulted you before they went shopping as you would have been able to tell them you had your own stuff. I don't feel you should feel pressurised to chip in now. I think you should explain to them that you're happy to chip in with things that are needed for the flat but that you would like to be told first before things are bought. Maybe that's flat meetings once a month or starting a WhatsApp group where people can share things that need to be discussed, but communication does need to be better with you and your flatmates.

People should not assume that people will put money in for something before asking. It's like when students decide to buy a gift for their lecturer. People should ask if people want to contribute and people should be free to contribute if they want to or not. A group of students should not just go and buy a present and then expect people to chip in. It's not fair and it does not respect your autonomy. They might think that you are being tight or not being a team player, but it's better to address this issue now or they'll think it's fine and that you have no problem with them buying things and you chipping in later.

You are free to use your money how you want. You should not have to give money out of peer pressure.

Hope that helps,

Oluwatosin 3rd year student University of Huddersfield
Reply 7
Original post by University of Huddersfield
Anon,

They should have consulted you before they went shopping as you would have been able to tell them you had your own stuff. I don't feel you should feel pressurised to chip in now. I think you should explain to them that you're happy to chip in with things that are needed for the flat but that you would like to be told first before things are bought. Maybe that's flat meetings once a month or starting a WhatsApp group where people can share things that need to be discussed, but communication does need to be better with you and your flatmates.

People should not assume that people will put money in for something before asking. It's like when students decide to buy a gift for their lecturer. People should ask if people want to contribute and people should be free to contribute if they want to or not. A group of students should not just go and buy a present and then expect people to chip in. It's not fair and it does not respect your autonomy. They might think that you are being tight or not being a team player, but it's better to address this issue now or they'll think it's fine and that you have no problem with them buying things and you chipping in later.

You are free to use your money how you want. You should not have to give money out of peer pressure.

Hope that helps,

Oluwatosin 3rd year student University of Huddersfield


Thank you so much for the advice!
Original post by Anonymous
Thank you so much for the advice!


What happened in the end?
Reply 9
Original post by Kutie Karen
What happened in the end?

Hey, sorry for the late reply!
I ended up splitting the cost just for the sake of having a good relationship with them. It was a waste of money unfortunately since I haven't used any of the stuff ):
Original post by Anonymous
Hey, sorry for the late reply!
I ended up splitting the cost just for the sake of having a good relationship with them. It was a waste of money unfortunately since I haven't used any of the stuff ):


Using your private supply when you’ve paid towards the flat supplies is ridiculously petty.

when you bought your huge pack of paper towels why didn’t you ask your flatmates if they’d like to contribute towards the cost and use them as the shared supply. You could still do that if it looks like the shared supplies will run out and need replacing. It’s not like paper towels will go out of date.

you’re basically paying double because you tried to stockpile before talking to your flatmates.
Original post by Anonymous
Hi guys,
a few of my flatmates went out and did a shop of stuff like paper towels, cleaning cloths, brush pan, a toaster, etc
They are all things I already have or will not use.
They're now asking for everyone to split the cost (Its not much but finances are tight rn) and I don't know how to explain it to them nicely.
Everyone else is chipping in so I feel bad about telling them I'm not going to.
What should I do?


Hi there,

This is super common at uni and, for future reference, I think that it's really important to have a conversation when you first move in about your intentions for sharing things like this. If you really have no intention of using (now or later) anything that they've brought, then I'd just politely let them know that you actually have your own and would be more comfortable not sharing.

It's totally fine to have your own preferences so long as you keep to them and share them respectfully.

All the best,

Jaz - Cardiff student rep
Original post by Anonymous
LMAO calm down mate.
I never said I bought a HUGE supply of paper towels. it was literally a pack of 4 which I bought before moving in.
It's never that deep. Now get off my thread

"It's never that deep" you started a whole thread on TSR to moan about it :rofl: Save your 4 pack of kitchen towel for best and use the communal stuff

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