Every week Moneywise’s product researcher, Tom Wilson, picks out his favourite deal. This week it’s Billhub – a hassle-free way to avoid squabbles about bills in shared accommodation at university and beyond.
What’s the deal?
Billhub.io is a website that puts all of your household bills into one place where everyone can see them. Flatmates can:
- Ask each other for money at the touch of a button by taking pictures of bills as they come in. Regular bills, such as water, broadband, council tax and energy can be managed and paid through the app.
- Sign up for new tariffs recommended by Billhub, using data from comparison site uSwitch.
You won’t be charged to use the service, as the company relies on advertising to make money.
Why should I care?
If you’re in shared accommodation, keeping on top of who owes what for what can be tricky. Emails, texts, or notes on the wall might lead to confusion and bills potentially falling through the cracks.
James Harrison founded the company after struggling to keep track of his household’s bills at university. Sharing with eight other people, he found the process a “complete nightmare”.
“A spreadsheet and a monthly chase [of my housemates] doesn’t seem robust,” he says.
He adds that an additional benefit is that it could also help people who get embarrassed asking friends to settle small debts, citing research saying four in five people would end up writing off debts up to a fiver instead of asking for money.
What’s the catch?
When comparing tariffs using Billhub you’re initially own shown a few tariffs that are considered best for you but these may not be the cheapest. You can click through to see a full view of the market though. Do make sure you search on a few comparison websites before switching to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
There’s no mobile app for Billhub, though the service can be accessed through the web browser on a mobile.
Are there any similar tools available?
Mobile app Circle Pay works slightly differently to Billhub, but it can be useful for managing small payments between friends and housemates.
It’s more like a Whatsapp – the instant messaging service - with payments; letting people send messages to each other that include cash payments, or payment requests. It also has a an extensive range of emojis, and the option to send pictures with payment requests, which means it’s easy to show recipients what they are paying (or being paid) for.
Circle Pay can also be a good way to transfer money abroad, though there is a small fee for some card transactions. It even lets you make payments in bitcoins, if you’re that way inclined.
Where can I find out more?