Splitting evenly with your roommates can be a tricky proposition, especially now that both of them started doing hot yoga. To ensure that at least paying the landlord is a fair contest, crunch some numbers at SplitTheRent.org.
A "fun side project" from an astrophysicist and Harvard Ph.D. candidate who's basically like the Charlie Sheen of pragmatic algorithm-based web tools, Split The Rent helps you do just that, proportionally and fairly, via a free calculator he insists is "neutral and objective" -- sure, but can it spell "boobless"?? Here's how it works: plug in the total monthly damage, number of bedrooms (with details like square footage, closet size, and window quality on a scale from "none" to "awesome"), then use a visual aid to estimate the size of the common area (which'll affect the relative importance of bedroom quality), and the calculator will spit back suggested individual rents -- though if that's what you've got, you're probably only staying in one's basement on weekends. The algorithm itself was extrapolated from a survey of over 40 collegiate peers/ Facebook friends, who where asked what factors were most important when it came to splitting things up, which then determined coefficients that do everything from more heavily weighting the existence of a private door, to de-emphasizing the importance of a large closet, and in turn, a large R. Kelly.
As with any fun side project, the calculator will also continue to become ever more ruthlessly accurate, as online users like you note whether or not its calculated balance was fair, which'll also force you to consider whether, just like your roommate doing The Plough, your current position is getting you the shaft.
Published: March 3, 2011 at 4:00am EST
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