College roommates are a fact of life. You get to make potential life long friends, but you also have to learn how to manage and share expenses. The best way to split expenses might seem like a no-brainer. However, your idea of what’s reasonable may be completely different from what your roommates think; keep these tips in mind to help you manage your shared roommate expenses.

Set Rules Ahead of Time

Your bill payments will go by more smoothly if you and your roommates have a plan. You’ll need to decide who pays for what, how much each person pays, and when payments are due. Costs to consider include utilities, cable, Wi-Fi, and groceries.

Rent is the biggest consideration. Typically, rent is split evenly between roommates. This arrangement may not work, however, if one person’s room is significantly smaller than the other rooms. That roommate might not want to pay as much as everyone else. If that’s your situation, you can use an online rent splitter calculator to figure out a fair price.

You may also want to create an overnight guest policy. A common issue for roommates is the new girlfriend or boyfriend who suddenly starts sleeping over all the time. How much is too much? At what point — if any — should that person start contributing to the household bills? These are the sort of rules you should set ahead of time to help prevent arguments later.

Keep Some Costs Separate

When it comes to splitting costs, groceries fall into a gray area. You might all agree that common items, such as milk or bread, should be shared, while other items should be purchased separately. For example, your vegetarian roommate will never eat your box of frozen chicken wings, so it makes more sense to buy it yourself. Likewise, you shouldn’t have to pay for her almond butter that you don’t eat.

You should also avoid splitting the cost of furniture and electronics. That way, when it’s time to move out, you won’t have to decide who gets to keep the PlayStation 4. Talk to your roommates ahead of time about what shared items you need and figure out who should pay for what.

Hold Each Other Accountable

Nobody likes confrontation. However, if your roommate is behind on a payment, you can’t just ignore it. Try to bring it up without attacking them. It’s possible that they just forgot or had something come up. If forgetfulness is a common issue, you may want to use a money app such as Splitwise. It helps you keep track and split expenses. It also lets you send reminders for upcoming bills and notifications for outstanding IOUs.

Does one person have a habit of blasting the A/C, and now the utility bill is sky-high? Or maybe you’re the one who keeps eating all the cereal that everyone else pays for? Nobody is perfect, which is why you’ll need to hold each other accountable to keep your finances on track.

Living with roommates helps keep your living costs low, so long as you do it right. Follow these tips, and make sure you’re splitting the expenses fairly.

When you’re in college, keeping up with your coursework is challenging. This is especially true if you have other commitments like a part-time job, on-campus activities, or caring for a child. To keep your stress levels under control, try following these four tips for staying on top of your assignments.

Start Right Away

It’s easy to procrastinate, especially at the start of the semester when you only have one or two readings to do. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to just leave it for later. However, it doesn’t take long for those two chapter readings to turn into three, then four, then five — you get the idea. Certain assignments could also take more time to complete than you expect. Therefore, it’s important to start them early before they snowball into an unmanageable amount of work.

Create a Timetable

The only thing worse than writing an assignment at the last minute is missing the deadline completely. You definitely don’t want to show up to class and wonder why everyone but you is handing in his or her statistics assignments already. Isn’t that due next week? Nope! It’s your biology paper that’s due next week.

To avoid this horrifying situation, use a calendar or an app to keep track of upcoming tests and assignment due dates. Schedule time for studying, and make sure to account for unexpected events. You never know when you could come down with the flu or have a family emergency. Aim to finish your assignments two days early. That way, you’ll have an extra cushion of time in case you need it.

Use the Library

If you’re the type of person who can study in your room without getting distracted by social media or whatever your roommate is doing, you may not need the library. However, it’s the perfect place for those who prefer peace and quiet. The library comes in handy if your printer breaks down or you can’t find the peer-reviewed article you want online. You might even find some of the textbooks you need. Bonus: Depending on your school, the library may also have a coffee shop.

Join a Study Group

If you prefer to work with others or just need help with a particularly tough class, consider joining (or creating) a study group. Other students may have insights or study methods you didn’t think of, and discussing the class material can help you understand it better. If you happen to miss a lecture, someone in your group can fill you in.

A study group also helps you stay motivated. Do you want to be the only one who hasn’t read chapter five yet? Probably not. Just keep in mind that a study group is only helpful if everyone stays focused. Making new friends is great and everything, but you should join a different group if your study sessions feel more like hangout sessions.

College students are notorious for pulling off all-nighters and dealing with last-minute panic, but that doesn’t have to be you. Follow these study tips, and you’ll have a much easier time staying on top of your assignments.