The Best Chore Apps for Roommates

Living with roommates can be complicated. Even if you're best friends or romantic partners, negotiating bills and creating a roommate chore chart isn't exactly fun. Thankfully, there's a roommate chore app to make pretty much every task more pleasant and efficient. You just have to find the ones that work best for your household.

Start with a roommate agreement

Before you jump into assigning chores, make sure that you've discussed how you're going to divide the workload and split household costs. Household management and bill-paying strategies are two of the most important topics to discuss with a roommate early on to avoid confusion and conflict later.

Laying out everyone's expectations in roommate agreement can help. A roommate agreement can be verbal or written, formal or informal. The most important thing is that the process of crafting the agreement gets everybody on the same page. Determine how you'll pay rent and utilities and who is responsible for stocking up on groceries and household staples.

Create a roommate chore chart

Chores are a huge part of any roommate agreement. Every roommate will have a different schedule and time constraints to consider. And everybody has chores they love and tasks they hate.

Crafting a roommate chore chart allows everyone to make a plan together. Ideally, every roommate can choose chores they like and tasks that work with their schedule.

Make things easy with a roommate chore app

Thankfully, you don't have to be a brilliant household manager to create a roommate chore chart that works. Just pick the roommate chore app best suited to solve the problem at hand.

There are apps to pay your roommate for your portion of the rent and apps to manage reoccurring expenses. You can even use them to coordinate grocery shopping or to determine the most efficient cleaning schedule for your particular household.

As an added bonus, a roommate chore app helps avoid those awkward confrontations that can make living together more stressful. Since everyone can track the household's progress and the app handles the notifications for you, you'll be able to hold each other accountable without nagging.

1. Tody

tody

Source: Tody

If the very idea of creating a roommate chore chart seems completely overwhelming, outsource the planning to Tody. Available on iOS and Android, this roommate chore app creates a list of tasks and organizes them by room. It also estimates the time it will take to complete each chore and how frequently you'll need to do them, based on your household size.

You and your roommates can customize these duties according to your individual preferences. As you log your progress, you'll be able to see patterns and adjust your habits to be more efficient. Colorful displays make it easy to see when the to-do list is getting long, which might provide a little extra motivation.

2. ChoreBuster

chorebuster roommate chore app

Source: ChoreBuster

Nobody likes to constantly remind their roommates (or kids or significant other) to finish their chores. ChoreBuster eliminates nagging completely by emailing a custom chore schedule for everyone in the household. You can also select a printable chore chart, if you prefer a paper version.

It's easy to set up, although it does take a little time to break down every household responsibility in detail. Enter the names of each roommate, the tasks you need to complete, difficulty of each chore and how often it should be scheduled. Once you input the information, you can set it and forget it.

Or you can adjust your roommate chore chart according to your needs. The web-based program (which you can also launch on your phone) is highly customizable. You can elect to share certain tasks, select days where you want a lighter workload and input your vacations and holidays.

3. OurGroceries

ourgroceries

Source: OurGroceries

It's frustrating to run out of a necessity. It's even more frustrating to leave the store and realize you forgot the very thing you went to the store to buy. OurGroceries makes grocery shopping more streamlined by allowing anyone in your household to add items to shared lists.

It's available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, Android, Android Wear, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices and there's a web interface available, so you and your roommates can update the list from pretty much anywhere.

Add items manually or scan the barcode to make sure you don't forget any of your favorite products. The app's recipe section provides a little extra inspiration to turn those items in your cart into a meal.

4. Cozi

cozi roommate chore app

Source: Cozi

Although it's primarily marketed to families, Cozi features smart, user-friendly features that are perfect for roommates, too. The entire household can access a shared calendar that displays and coordinates everyone's schedules, to-do lists and the household grocery list. The recipe section makes it easy to plan meals and remember dishes you want to try. There's even a list library full of planning checklists for vacations, birthday parties and important events.

It's available on any computer and for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets. Up to 12 people per household can join. The family journal feature allows you and your roommates to share photos and notes easily. You can also email the journal entries and photos to friends and family that aren't on Cozi.

5. OurHome

ourhome

Source: OurHome

If you need a little extra motivation to complete your roommate chore chart, try OurHome. It's designed for families (hence the cute little animal avatars), but adults respond to the incentivized improvements, the ability to set fun customized goals and positive feedback just as well as kids do.

OurHome also helps you create grocery lists, a household calendar and a roommate chore chart in a clean, easy to read format. These features will gradually adjust to suit your household's preferences and activity level. Find it in the App Store, on Google Play or use the web-based version.

6. Splitwise

splitwise

Source: Splitwise

It can be awkward to collect money for rent or utilities, even when you live together. Splitwise removes confrontation from the equation and helps you split and pay bills easily. You can categorize expenses (including reoccurring ones), track balances, pay your roommates back for your share of a bill and add expenses on the go if something unexpected pops up. Pay by percentage, a certain share of the bill or a customized amount.

The app is free for Android, iOS and web. Upgrading to Pro enables extra features like receipt scanning, currency conversation and the ability to track expenses on colorful charts and graphs, which are helpful if you're a visual learner.

7. Venmo

venmo roommate chore app

Source: Venmo

Venmo is an easy way to send money for anything — including household bills. Use it to pay your portion of the rent, utilities, groceries or any household expense. You and your roommates can each attach a bank account, prepaid credit card or debit card to pay each other for your portion of the bills directly through the app. The transfer is quick and free using any of these payment methods. There's a 3 percent fee for sending money from credit cards. (Receiving money is always free.)

Anybody can use Venmo — they just need a valid email or phone number. You can also sync your phone contacts or Facebook to find friends automatically. The app is available on Google Play, in the App Store and online.

Customize a solution with a roommate chore app

There's a roommate chore app for every task. With a little experimentation, time and open communication, you and your roommates will find a bill-paying solution and roommate chore chart that work for everyone.

Alicia Underlee NelsonAlicia Underlee Nelson is a freelance writer and photographer. Her work has appeared in Thomson Reuters, Food Network, USA Today, Delta Sky Magazine, AAA Living, Midwest Living, Beer Advocate, trivago Magazine, Matador Network, craftbeer.com and numerous other publications. She’s the author of North Dakota Beer: A Heady History, co-host of the Travel Tomorrow podcast and leads travel and creativity workshops across the Midwest.

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