Three’s a crowd: Brits don’t care for sharing when living with a couple

By Press releases
  • Nine in 10 (87%) flatmates find living with a couple creates negative feelings when it comes to money

New research from Paym, the UK’s mobile payments service, has found almost nine in 10 (87%) flatmates believe living with a couple creates negative feelings, particularly when it comes to finances. And over a quarter (27%) state having to discuss finances with a couple is more awkward than in a more traditional flatshare.

While couples may be adopting a ‘what’s mine is yours’ approach, other not so loved-up housemates can end up feeling out of pocket with over a third (38%) saying that living with a couple makes dividing bills more complicated.

The research undertaken in partnership with Next Big Thing also reveals it’s not just renting couples who bear the brunt of disgruntled flatmates; “unofficial flatmates” such as partners and friends can also create discord and upset. One in five (18%) say they get annoyed by friends or partners who love to make themselves at home, but don’t contribute to the bills they have helped build. While one in 10 (11%) are bothered by flatmates who are at home during the day but don’t contribute more to utilities.


Bug bears of flatmate finances

Friends or partners who stay in the house but don’t contribute 18%
Having to pay for something you don’t use (e.g.TV sports package) 15%
People who never chip in for one-off payments (e.g. buying food for shared Sunday lunch ) 12%
Flatmates who stay at home during the day but don’t contribute more to utilities than others 11%


With over half of Brits (53%) using their mobiles to discuss finances with their flatmates, technology can also be used to help the payback process, ensuring the financial burden is balanced across singles, couples and guests – with minimal fuss and chasing. Paym allows you to pay back flatmates, friends and family at least £250 a day via your banking app using just their mobile number.


Craig Tillotson, Executive Chairman of Paym, said:

“Relationships between flatmates can be tricky but there is no need to let everyday finances be a reason to fall out. Our research shows 57% of Brits still use cash to pay back outstanding money, but as the UK increasingly becomes a more cashless and mobile nation, it’s time for flatmates to adopt more convenient payment methods.

“By using mobile numbers, which many of us know already or have in our contact list, Paym allows you to immediately pay back and be paid back the exact amount, without having to resort to running tabs, IOUs or arguments.”


To stop your flatshare turning frosty, Paym has put together some top tips on how to avoid financial fall outs:

Group chats – With over a quarter (26%) of flatmates finding the awkwardness of asking to be paid back for bills their biggest issue, group chats using mobile messenger services can be an easy way to broach the conversation without confronting or targeting one particular person.

Use Paym – As many flatmates are busy professionals, easy ways to quickly sort finances and admin can be a lifesaver. Paym allows you to instantly pay whoever you want, the exact amount you owe, using just their mobile number (which you’re almost certain to already have) meaning no need to swap and share lengthy sort codes and account numbers.

Create a calendar – A shared calendar to remind everyone when big bills are due means the responsibility isn’t left to one person.

Communal can be convivial – Don’t forget that sharing can be fun, why not try organising a weekly flat meal to get everyone together and enjoy the perks that come with sharing a home?