Saving under one roof | MoneySense

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There are good reasons for this trend. The cost of housing continues to skyrocket (consider that the median price for a detached home in Toronto reached $1,185,000 in September 2020—a jump of 10% over the previous year). Loneliness is being recognized as a serious health risk, especially for people 50 or older. Affording child care is a struggle in most cities across the country. Moving in with extended family or friends, and sharing the load makes life a little easier for all involved. 

One of the great benefits is sharing the cost of living among multiple adults under one roof. What they might be missing out on, however, are seemingly individual expenses that could be bundled to save everyone money. Here are four ways in which adults sharing a household can trim their individual expenses by bundling services. 

Get together on a family or shared cell phone plan

Share plans with Canada-wide phone calls included start at around $50 a month. (Keep in mind the bill usually goes to only one person, so you’ll need to organize how everyone properly covers what they owe.) Also, remember that price isn’t the only consideration; make sure you’re getting the features you need, and enough data so you aren’t continually being hit with overage charges.

Share a car

Owning and operating a compact car costs about $3,300 a year, according to the Canadian Automobile Association, and that doesn’t include financing. If you can swing it, reducing the number of vehicles in your household could save you a significant amount each month. Just be sure to confirm that anyone who needs to drive the shared vehicle (or vehicles) you keep is insured to do so. 

Bank together

A new way for shared households to save on expenses is by bundling their bank accounts together—and BMO offers a solution for that, with the BMO Family Bundle. Here’s how it works: When one member of the household has a BMO Performance or Premium Chequing Account, everyone else in the household can get their own account without paying an additional monthly fee.

Any combination of two or more adults living in the same household can qualify to bundle up, but know that the more members you add, the more you’ll all save on fees. If you’re worried about privacy (its for the best that you dont know how much your adult kids still spend on online video games), you’ll be happy to know that one thing account members won’t share is their balance or transaction information; that stays private and individual to the person who owns the account.

As a reward for the person in the household who spearheads Project Chequing Account (you?), for a limited time there’s an opening bonus of $3001. Plus, get an extra $501 when a family member you invite to join your Family Bundle opens their account.

Streamline your in-home entertainment

Family members can use this hack whether or not they live under the same roof: Share your streaming services. Depending on the number of people in your household who want to watch different things at the same time, you may not even have to pay for an upgrade to accommodate. For example, a standard Netflix subscription costs $14.99 a month, and allows up to two screens to use it simultaneously—and you can add as many individual profiles as you wish.