a-hemmm… still working on this overview… but you can learn about what the financial situation is like at the Beehive Collective House

In a rental, or if you own your collective house, shared finances likely include:

  • food, that is assuming you’ve made the fabulous leap and you enjoy shared common food!
  • monthly house payments such as rent or mortgage
  • bills such as electricity, water, heat, cable, internet, phone, shared transportation costs, etc.

Use a shared bank account to cover houses expenses?

Transitions & Paperwork: Different banks have different rules about who and how to set up a shared account. Challenge: often ALL account owners need to be present to sign when adding or taking someone off the house account. This is a hassle if you have frequent transition in your house.

All or some? Does everyone need to be on the house account? If you have few stable folks, they can jointly have a bank account that gets used for house things only.  You may each have your own bank card on the house account, or you may keep a few bank cards in a central location for folks to grab on their way to go shop.


Are one, or many people responsible for finances?

One person as Financial Officer

Each person responsible for one bill in their name

Rotating responsibility for paying bills.


Maintain a surplus.

Great if you can do it. This way if someone is late paying rent, your check won’t bounce. You will have enough if you want to purchase food from a Community Supported Agriculture project where you are required to pay up front for a season’s worth of produce.


Food Finances

How to buy it?

If  lots of people in the house shop for food regularly. OPTIONS:

  • use house cash to buy food
  • use house bank card to buy food
  • use personal cash / bank card, save receipts, then deduct monthly total from upcoming rent owing

How much to buy?

Weekly or monthly spending targets are useful for fresh food purchases. OPTIONS:

  • create envelopes of cash for weekly shared food purchases. House cash is then used to buy house food. Receipts are left in the envelope signed by purchaser (which makes it possible to track back if you ever need to).
  • keep a “I spent this” list on the fridge: Date, what you bought, who bought it, how much it cost, running total of spending for the week or month. This gives the shopper an idea of how much is being spent on food. Maybe say no to the brie cheese and organic avocados if you’re house is spending heavily this month?
Published on January 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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