This is from an episode of my favourite podcast of all time where they delved into the topic of dividing up anything fairly.

They refer to it as the ‘rental harmony problem’ and man, I wish I thought of this in my university days.

You and a friend found an apartment with two bedrooms. One of the bedroom is huge, but it has no closet (A). The other one is small, but it does have closet space (B). The rent is $2,000.

After deciding that you’ll be taking the larger room without the closet, and your friend who values having a closet, the smaller room, how do you split the rent fairly?

Both parties will have to first decide individually what percentage of the rent they think each room is worth. Then in a sealed enveople, write down what they consider to be the right value split of the 2 rooms.

You and your friend then get together and open up those envelopes.

Let’s say you valued room (A) to be $1400 and room (B) to be $600 and your friend valued room (A) and room (B) equally at $1000, the amount that each person pay will be the average of the 2 sets of prices. Meaning, you will have to pay $1200 for room (A) and your friend will be paying $800 for room (B).

30 January 2019