Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • MSE Sally
    • By MSE Sally 27th Nov 12, 3:33 PM
    • 56Posts
    • 20Thanks
    MSE Sally
    Real-life MMD: Should I share utility switching cashback?
    • #1
    • 27th Nov 12, 3:33 PM
    Real-life MMD: Should I share utility switching cashback? 27th Nov 12 at 3:33 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I share utility switching cashback?

    I share a house. While we split the bills equally, the gas and electricity bill is in my name. When the price hikes were announced recently, I listened to the boss and switched to a fixed deal saving us £150/yr, clicking through a comparison site offering the most cashback. I've done the legwork, made the calls and sourced the deal. Now the switch is nearly complete, do I split the £30 cashback with my housemates? (I'm staying anonymous, in case they're reading...)

    Click reply to have your say

    Note: Please remember that these are real-life Money Moral Dilemmas and while we want you to have your say, please remember to be nice when you respond.

    Previous MMDs:
    View All

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by MSE Sally; 27-11-2012 at 5:20 PM.
Page 4
  • lardaholics anonymous
    Spend it all on booze, or chocolate or a takeaway and share that with your housemates. Don't tell them it is from cashback and they will think you are awesome because you are being generous (which, judging by the bulk of posters here, you are!)
  • florere
    You earned it, they will benefit from the reduction, keep it.
  • Tinkerbell960
    Maybe you could split it, like spending £10-15 on something shared for the house (dine in for £10 meal deal maybe or pizza) and the rest for you.
    • tallgirld
    • By tallgirld 28th Nov 12, 10:42 PM
    • 416 Posts
    • 250 Thanks
    You should keep it.

    If I was your housemate it wouldn't bother me if you kept it.
    • marich
    • By marich 28th Nov 12, 10:57 PM
    • 97 Posts
    • 99 Thanks
    Take the cherry !
    You just baked your house-mates a £150 cake...

    Unless you pointed it out to them , they would never know there was a £30 cherry missing from the top of it !

    It's your name on the bill . If you are happy playing God just now then don't complain about devils when they do their own bit of mischief .

    Enjoy .
  • katemw
    You should explain and suggest you share it - I think if I found out my housemate had kept a freebie or special offer item on something I paid for, I would feel like they nicked something. It's not yours to keep.

    Your housemates may surprise you and let you keep it. Or indeed put it towards communal groceries/loo roll.

    It's too small an amount in the scheme of things to risk getting everyone's back up. It's just not worth it.
    • cheerful
    • By cheerful 29th Nov 12, 1:03 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    Be honest.

    It is almost a guarantee that if you tell your housemates they will not only appreciate your honesty and work but suggest that you keep it. You don't mention how many ways the bill is split but it would surely be £10 or less each if they chose to split it.

    On the other hand, if you conceal it from them, and they later find out, the damage to your relationship with them may well be irreparable. Dishonesty in group finances of any description is always a recipe for souring things for everybody.
  • John_Pierpoint
    This is a difficult one and there is nothing worse than going out for a meal with colleagues and discovering one is being picky over who had what along the lines of I only had the pie, they had the steak or alternatively seeing someone getting stuck into double measures of expensive liqueurs, in a way you know they would not have behaved were the "whip round" not paying.
    Assuming you are living as a household (ie have a kitty and share the basics, generally make meals for each other etc, and you have the status of accountant/banker) then you should act with utmost good faith.
    You are in a position of trust and this is real money.
    Hopefully you have better than a purely dog eat dog commercial relationship with the other members of the household?
    I would recommend keeping an account book, or a spread sheet, with look but don't touch access for all.
    Personally, I would have a sub fund for "windfalls" like this and try to create some sort of communal celebration from it.

    This is not pure altruism, there is nothing worse than the feeling that the banker is somehow a rip off merchant, for poisoning the relationship within the group. Let's face it you are all living together because that is cheaper and hopefully less work and more fun, than living alone, so work at the relationship. Make sure the kitty is always in funds and make it clear that any surplus on the kitty is not refundable or an excuse for being late with this week's payment.

    If you keep the ££ kick back, this petty corruption tends to grow, where do you draw the line ? Do you want to end up with the morals of a traffic cop in Nigeria ?
    Last edited by John_Pierpoint; 29-11-2012 at 3:44 AM.
    • 2louche
    • By 2louche 29th Nov 12, 4:05 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    No don't share it. You did the legwork as you said and the cashback should be for your time an initiative.

    You have already helped the others financially by sourcing them the best deal.

    The cashback is the wage for your time and effort.

    Keep it under your hat and be ready to defend yourself if you are questioned about it.
    • Tiptaker
    • By Tiptaker 29th Nov 12, 5:17 AM
    • 31 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    If I was the flatmate who had done nothing to reduce the bills, I'd be grateful someone had saved me £150 & wouldn't expect the cashback too.
    • joehoover
    • By joehoover 29th Nov 12, 9:42 AM
    • 119 Posts
    • 203 Thanks
    Fine to keep it, you are not ripping them off, they haven't lost money, they are saving money and no one is losing out.

    Would any of them have gone to the trouble themselves? In most houseshares one person often has to control the bills, otherwise things have a habit of not being paid.

    Many people that I know would rather someone sort it for them, they are not so concerned about savings and just want someone to do things as they can't be bothered. That's worth something, and you are not stealing from their pockets

    Had you not found a better deal, that extra £150 would have to be paid, what you did with the £30 is a perk, it exists in many jobs where you benefit from doing some legwork that others don't.

    It's no different as some people do in houseshares by being paid to to extra cleaning or chores that some people can't be bothered doing, those people are happy to pay others to save themselves a job, believe me, I know these people. That's no different to you doing the extra work to get a better deal for everyone.
  • V Chic Chick
    I wouldn't keep it - in just the same way that I knocked about £800pa off my shared house's gas and electricity bill () and got free insulation installed (another £200pa saved), but never in a million years would I expect to be able to keep that grand for myself . . .
  • sledge82
    As the bills are in your name I assume that only you can negotiate any deals so I suggest you stop overplaying how hard it was to get the deal and take all your flatmates out for a drink on your windfall.
    • rev_henry
    • By rev_henry 29th Nov 12, 5:15 PM
    • 4,786 Posts
    • 2,035 Thanks
    Actually, I DID tell the first housemates about the cashback, but by the time it had come they'd forgotten about it (or maybe didn't understand it in the first place) so I kept it.

    The spreadsheet idea is a good one. I don't bother this year as I'm only in charge of one bill.
  • mduefy
    Seeing as you did all the hard work, then you keep it!!! I got sick of doing all the leg work during the years I house-shared, then finally kept the final yrs cashback my self. Without your work, you would all be paying more anyway!
  • Ashagill
    Man, keep it. It's only £30.
    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their validity." ~ Abraham Lincoln
    • kaysafus
    • By kaysafus 1st Dec 12, 8:55 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 982 Thanks
    I would probably keep it - think of it as a fee for you doing all the leg work! If you feel guilty about it you could always buy a communal box of chocolates for advent or something
    I would keep it,your'e responsible for paying the bills anyway.As others have said - it's been all your hard work.
    • IDProtected
    • By IDProtected 4th Dec 12, 3:14 PM
    • 185 Posts
    • 159 Thanks
    I think you've been working with Martin Lewis for too long! Remember that the love of money is the root of all evil - it's not a life changing sum, don't be so mean, share it with the others!
    Owed @ LBM, including mtg: £85961.15, One year later: £82797.37, 2 years: £73079.84, 3 years: £64676.66, 4 years: £61948.34, 5 years £51307.91, 6 years £40,196.31, 7 years £36,260.93. As of 1st October 2015: £17219.60 (including £5768 tax credits )
    • JayD
    • By JayD 20th Dec 12, 9:32 AM
    • 462 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    Of course you should share the cashback with them - or sepnd it on a treat you can all enjoy together. Keeping it for yourself is just mean!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim's to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

806Posts Today

4,567Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • On way to @GMB to talk Black Friday Deals (are they worth it, and the best) and the autumn statement including the student loan u turn

  • I must confess I'm incapable of making photo t-shirts. I just dont know how I ran a successful enterprise without that skill #bbcapprentice

  • RT @jandyc73: @MartinSLewis Naive sister remained on standard gas/electric. Big brother stepped in, signed her up for cheap energy club, sa?

  • Follow Martin