Is A Roommate Worth The Financial Benefit?

A new graduate is wondering about the financial benefits of having a roommate – are they worth the drawbacks?

I’m finally at a place where I’m able to afford living alone – and though I much prefer the cost savings of having a roommate (about $400 a month) I’m heavily considering living alone. My only options are to a) live with someone I don’t know b) continue living with someone I know but am very unhappy living with (I now view the savings as a payment to myself for living with this person, like a job). I don’t know anyone who needs a roommate, or anyone who is moving to town within the timeframe that I’d be looking to move.

Faced with spending $400 “extra” a month to live alone, plus the upfront cost of buying things like a TV and furniture (all off craigslist or on sale, and nothing ridiculous like a 50″ plasma – going for the best combination of long term value and cost savings), what would you advise your readers to do? In other words, in situations like this, where does the “personal” get factored into the “finance”?

I have my own ideas about the subject, which pretty much amount to: I’m currently not happy where I live – I haven’t been happy for a good 5 months, yet am planning on staying to finish out the lease. I’m saving $400 a month now my living where I am and finishing my lease out, enabling me to pay off my credit card, build up my emergency fund some more (targeted to be at 1.5 months worth of expenses by the time I move out), and have the cash upfront to pay for my large purchases before moving out to my own apartment.

In my view – paying the $400 extra a month (this includes the increase in rent and utilities) will provide me with a much greater sense of peace with my overall life – something that is a source of constant stress now.

My personal philosophy is this: if you can take an action in your life to relieve a constant stress without seriously damaging your financial state, take it. This goes for everything from switching jobs to switching housing – anything that provides day-in day-out stress is a bad thing for your life in the long run because it has constant adverse effects on your mental and physical health. Those adverse effects keep you from performing at your optimum level and eventually can lead to illnesses – these are real financial effects in addition to the overall effect on well being.

Thus, my first point of advice to the reader is to move out of the current situation, whether now or at the end of the lease. Don’t renew the lease, no matter what. Look for some other housing for your own well being.

So now the question comes down to is the additional financial cost of living alone worth it? There’s no absolute answer to this question because it depends heavily on the individual and how well they get along with people they’re sharing a living space with. Here are some questions to consider if you’ve found yourself in a situation where you’re considering having a roommate:

What do I really want for housing? Some people are merely looking for a pillow upon which to lay their heads. If that’s all you really need, then many more possibilities open up for you. Generally, the more time you’ll be spending at your place of residence and the more possessions you have, the more strict you ought to be in selecting a living situation. I’ve lived in all varieties, from what amounted to a college place with several people jammed into a two bedroom apartment and all my possessions existing in two Tupperware tubs in the corner and a sleeping bag to the family home I live in now.

Would I feel safe, secure, and happy living with a stranger? For most people, the answer here is no. If you’re also saying “no,” then you probably don’t want to post or answer an ad asking for a roommate. In some situations, I’d be fine with this – if I didn’t have many belongings at all, for instance, and had a room that was lockable. I lived in a situation much like that in college with some people I didn’t know well at all (I knew some of the roommates before I moved in, but not all of them).

Would I feel safe, secure, and happy living with a specific person that I know? If you’re evaluating a roommate, ask yourself whether you would be fine sharing living spaces with that person. For example, if you’re a neat freak and this person leaves beer cans out all over the place, you may have problems. Similarly, if you go to bed at ten every night and this person jams to Norwegian death metal while playing World of Warcraft at two in the morning, you may have problems. Does the person have a drug problem or some unsavory relationships? Does this person have any odious personal habits that really bother you? Basically, if you’re thinking of sharing an apartment with someone and there are any big red flashing lights, don’t jump in.

Also, one major tip: lay everything on the table with your roommate. Seriously. If there’s something bothering you and you choose not to talk about it, you’re choosing to let that wound fester and grow far worse. If you think you’re pulling more than your fair share and it’s bothering you, say so. Just be calm and cool and civil about it. Most of the foul roommate situations I’ve seen were caused by expectations that weren’t clear to the other person – if you expect them to do something, at least have the guts to say so or else don’t expect it. If you follow that one little rule, your housing arrangement will go much better.

To me, choosing whether to have a roommate or not is a personal issue first, not a financial issue. There is no amount of savings worth making your day-to-day life completely miserable – it’s not even worth a serious distraction.

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34 thoughts on “Is A Roommate Worth The Financial Benefit?

  1. Amanda says:

    I absolutely agree. I moved from a situation that was supposedly saving me money (with five roomates) & learned that not only did it not save me any money — many of my possessions were ruined beyond salvaging, high utility costs, etc… & I had to take a crazed roommate to court to obtain a restraining order. Personal safety first & do the best you can from there. My roommates cost me so much more money than being on my own though every situation is different. I’ve seen similar scenarios played out with many friends escaping from roommates.

  2. dong says:

    I’m a big proponent of living with roommates. I lived with roommates through the first 7 years out of college. Definitely saved money, and definitely had a lot of fun. The first couple years I lived with friends, but ended up living with people I didn’t know after that. I became friends with everyone I lived with. I agree that if a rooming situation isn’t right, change it, but it doesn’t mean living but finding the right roommates. Then again, I’ve got a Type B personality, and live easily with pretty much anyone.

  3. JC says:

    For the past 8 months I have had 2 roommates. Being able to split rent and utilities 3 ways has definitely allowed me to save a lot of money. I did all of this with the financial goal in mind of being able to buy my first house. I have my new home under contract and will be moving in as soon as my lease is up. I can honestly say that it’s not a moment too soon. After living with others through college and afterwards (about 7 years), I am ready to have privacy and my own space. Living by yourself when you are ready is something you can’t put a price on.

  4. George says:

    If you’re not happy with your current roomate to the extent described, then remedy that situation immediately! There’s no point in letting it drag on, not even from a financial view. It’s kinda like dating the wrong person in that there are other fish in the ocean.

    There are many good roomates out there, so if saving $4,800/yr is a significant chunk of your income (e.g. that’s a Roth IRA payment!), then it’s worthwhile to take the time to find one. I advertised in the local paper to find them. My last roommate ended up being my best man when I got married (and 14 yrs later he’s still living in that same duplex).

  5. Debbie says:

    In answer to the question in this title, it depends on you and on your roommate. In particular, I agree that staying in your current situation (at least beyond the end of the lease) looks like the worst of the three scenarios.

    Options other than the ones you listed (I think):

    1) Move into a smaller place (a tiny efficiency?), with carpeting, and sleep in a sleeping bag and have no TV. Only buy things as you really start to miss them. This may make living more affordable without making you less happy.

    2) Check the want ads for people looking for roommates who already have a place. You can get a hint of what they’re like by what the place is like (though they should be on their best behavior) and you may find a less expensive place. Ask questions about what hours they keep, neatness ranges they’re comfortable with, pets, or whatever’s important. Ask to talk to their last roommate(s).

    I love having roommates and seeing how other people do things. I’ve had about 15 roommates, mostly strangers, and never had any big problems. The worst is when they are boring and won’t do their dishes or have to be verbally reminded to pay their rent. The best was getting new recipes, learning to juggle, discovering new music, working on interesting creations, etc. I understand I’ve been quite lucky.

    I like the idea of thinking about putting up with a no-fun roommate as a paying job. I also like your being responsible about the lease. You may want to read your contract and see if you can leave earlier (for free) if you give enough notice.

  6. Christine says:

    In a sophmore now, and living on campus so a roomate is pretty much mandatory. But she is awesome, and I’m so glad I have a roomate! I lived alone over the summer, because I was doing an internship, and it was horribly lonely.

    I definatly say try and find a good roomate. But if it a choice between a bad roomate (My freshman year roomate comes to mind) and no roomate, pick the no roomate.

  7. Matt says:

    I’m living on my own for the first time and am paying $620 in rent. I figure I could save about $250 a month (factoring in shared utilities) if I lived someplace with a roommate. Sometimes I think that extra $250 a month would be nice to have but on the other hand it feels great to be completely responsible for myself and my well being.

    I’m lucky though. I found a furnished bachelor suite so I didn’t need to buy a bed or furniture or anything major.

    I have 8 months to go on my lease at this place and have been thinking that I might look for a place with a roommate next year but I’ll be very selective if I do choose that route.

  8. rstlne says:

    Experience has shown that after a certain point, almost anyone can drive me crazy. That’s why I’ve always lived alone. It’s an incentive to be frugal enough in other areas in order to afford the rent.

  9. catherine says:

    I prefer to live alone, but I have had roommates when the situation was right, namely: the roommate was there for an agreed, limited term, usually 6mo or so e.g. a colleague needing a short term rental prior to going overseas. It’s given me a break from the rent (one I could afford on my own anyway), and resulted in some good friendships. In any event, make sure YOU hold the lease, and don’t take anyone on without a substantial trial period.

  10. Beth says:

    Roommates can be really enriching, in more than just financial ways, but a bad living situation is not worth major sacrifices. The poster doesn’t specify where he/she lives, or his/her debt situation, so it’s hard to be too specific with advice here.

    I found having inexpensive rent (as low as $375 in a great location) allowed me to feel really flexible in terms of radically changing my career path and income levels. It’s not a good idea to “have” to make x dollars if you can avoid it. But having a bad living situation isn’t worth the stress.

    Look at studios and don’t buy a lot of stuff, so if you decide to go back to shared housing, you won’t have a lot of crap to move in with you.

  11. Ann says:

    Try checking on websites like Craigslist (if there is one for your area) for people looking for roommates. I live in NYC, where roommates are pretty much mandatory, and since there are so many people looking for apartments/roommates, it was pretty easy to find someone who was nice and responsible. You could even post an ad yourself, specifying your roommate criteria.

    Technically, it would be possible to live by myself here, but I’d rather have a roommate and use the extra money for savings and for enjoying life. Living alone and subsisting on ramen noodles, never going out and not having cable just doesn’t sound like much fun to me. But it’s all about personal choice, and if I had a rotten roommate, I’m sure I’d feel differently.

  12. Sick of Debt says:

    I’m pro-roommates (probably because I have 2 and looking for 2). As the graduate stated about finding TV’s, etc off of Craigslist, we do the same for roommates and s/he could look there for someone.

    In the end though, it depends upon your personality. If you enjoy having people around you in that environment, consider the existing situation as a bad one to learn from. We’ve had our bad one’s as well (stayed for a week, took the keys and never came back), but it taught us signs to watch out for.

  13. Elaine says:

    My rent would at least double if I wanted to live alone. I found a roommate advertising on Craigslist and it works well. We’re both stable adults and she owns the suite, so no worries about her not coming up with rent on time. We have arguments occasionally, but who doesn’t? There are plenty of excellent people looking for roommates, especially if renting is more common in your area than not. You’ll often find professionals in their 30s and 40s sharing a house.

  14. I have always lived with roommates, but as I get older and more financially stable (paying off my last credit card next month!) I find myself much less interested in a roommate.

    I currently live with my girlfriend, but if we split up and I was looking for a new place, I don’t think I would consider living with someone else unless I was already pretty good friends with them.

    To me this decision is a determined by age and income. As my income goes up I am less concerned about the additional cost, and as my age goes up I am more concerned about dealing with a roommate.

    Great topic.

  15. mapgirl says:

    I’ve had good roommates. I’ve had bad roommates, luckily nothing horrible has happened, but I am still holding IOU’s from some of them and it still bugs me. But when I started living alone for the first time in my life in my own condo, I was really happy and better able to focus on what I was doing for greater prosperity.

    Without knowing more specifics or motivation, it’s hard to say. There’s a case for peace of mind, but how bad is it? I mean, there’s annoying because they whine about their problems every night. And there’s dangerous and you have a gun under the pillow. If it’s not as bad as breaking the lease to get out, then I’d take a chance on another roommate who sublets from you so you can kick them out if they get crazy. If it’s bad where it’s creating trust issues and effecting relationships with other people, then maybe it’s time to try living alone.

    I wish your reader luck! I’ve been stressed out by my roommates before, but it was always bearable and even those roommates are still friends of mine.

  16. 3bean says:

    After 2 years of living solo and 3 years of living with my spouse, I’ve recently found myself living with a roommate again. My spouse needed to move for a job and I still have another year of grad school left. My solution was to stay put in the house we’ve rented fro the past 3 years and get a roommate to offset the expense. At first I thought I’d get my own place, but I soon realized that I would never be able to find my own place for what I’d pay with a roommate. Aside from rent, a roommate helps a great deal with utilities (high speed internet alone is $55 / month)! My roommate situation is working out well, but I did a great deal of screening to find someone who seemed compatible with my personality. With that being said, you need to feel “at home” when you’re home. If your roommate prevents you from feeling that way and you can afford to leave, do it!

  17. Dreadnought says:

    If you have some interpersonal problems with someone, the best solution may not always be to run away. Working through your differences with your roommate could teach you valuable skills, which will help you later in life. If you plan to someday get married, you will no doubt have issues with your ‘roommate’ which you will need to work through. Later in life you may work with people you dislike. You may end up with a boss that rubs you the wrong way. In all of these situations, you can cut and run, but finding creative ways to deal with problems may yield better results.

    As Trent mentioned- “I’ve lived in all varieties, from what amounted to a college place with several people jammed into a two bedroom apartment and all my possessions existing in two Tupperware tubs in the corner and a sleeping bag to the family home I live in now.” I am sure that experiencing this variety of different living conditions has made him a better person in the end.

  18. Kristi says:

    “anything that provides day-in day-out stress is a bad thing for your life in the long run because it has constant adverse effects on your mental and physical health.”

    I could not agree more. I have some real roommate horror stories and even though I spent more each month my last year of college, I could not have been happier or more productive because I chose to live alone. I had more time to relax, TONS less stress and total privacy. It was very much worth it. Like I said, it made me a more productive person. Instead of spending time trying to entertain my roommate’s guests, I was spending time on studying. Instead of getting woken up by my roommate coming home late, I was getting more sleep.

    In the long run, it helped me financially because I got better grades that year, and had more time to myself to work on my professional portfolio and resume. I ended up getting a great job that’s making me more money than I would if I would have had lots of distractions a roommate would have caused my senior year of college because I wouldn’t have had the time to spend on my professional development.

  19. Tom says:

    Roommates aren’t worth it unless you’re saving TONS of money.

    Just think of it –

    You buy a ton of groceries, come home a day later and find them half gone.

    or your roommate decides to have a bunch of people over the night before you have to wake up early.

    The list could go on…

  20. Kristi says:

    I should add that I have lots of great roommate stories as well. Over my college career, I had 17 roommates (for a while I lived in a house with 8 other people – surprisingly, I liked that better than having just 1 roommate). So, there are perks to having roommates. Some of my best friends to this day were people I met by being roommates in college. I also had roommates who stole and thought they were princesses – seriously.

  21. It really depends on what your goals are and how much that extra savings is worth.

    I’ve lived through so many bad roommate situations and currently living with two guys which is always challenging and a constant learning process.

    How often would you be home? Have you talked to your roommates? Communication really helps.

    when I moved in my roommate neglected to tell me his girlfriend would also be living with us. they were always in the kitchen and no one likes to be living with a couple – it’s just awkward. i didn’t say anything for a month and it bothered me. it wasn’t until I got really pissed and threw a fit ( that was a bad move on my part) my roommate and i sat down and talked about what needed to happen to make the living situation bearable.

    My roommates were extremely messy – leaving dishes stacked in the sink for days unwashed or my other roommate who would leave the bathroom floor wet after showering. Or there was the time my roommate neglected to tell me a few times he was having guests over for dinner like his parents and I just came home from the farmer’s market about to cook dinner. And I’m usually pretty tolerant having lived with guys before but this time it was much worse. And I never said anything. It wasn’t until I finally brought up the issue and communicated and see if we could find middle ground that things started to slowly change. Granted my roommate turned around and complained I was leaving dishes in the sink, it didn’t matter.

    I tried to make the conversation about working together. Luckily we don’t have a common area – it’s just three bedrooms and one bath. But my roommate emails me if he’s having guests over so I’ll usually eat out that night or go out and come back late. It’s not the most ideal situation but I realized I’m usually home for dinner and to sleep and work on my own projects in my room so paying more to live alone isn’t worth it right now. And I can’t afford it.

    But if you can afford to live on your own and if it’d make your life a lot simpler and less stressful, go for it and just furnish your apartment with the bare necessities. sometimes you can’t put a price on your own freedom and sanity.

    Good luck!

  22. tyler karaszewski says:

    I live with a roommate, it’s not bad, he’s a good guy. But, if his half the rent was only $400, I’d live on my own in a heartbeat. I just like to have my privacy and my own space. I’m 26 now, and I think I’m ready to have my *own* place.

    But, I live in San Francisco. My half the rent in a two bedroom apartment is $950/month. If the whole place was $800/month, I’d pay for it myself no problem, but I have a hard time coming up with $1800/month to rent an 850 sq.ft., 80-year-old apartment.

  23. Baz L says:

    If you and that person share common interests, sure. If you’re in a place like New York or other big city where rent is ridiculous, yep.

    But down here in the TX, not really. I work from 8:00 to 5:00 (sometimes later) every day. Last month we hit 100 degrees a couple of days, so my electricity bill was a whopping $44.00 (yes the decimal is in the right place), I don’t think I could have pulled this off with a roommate.

  24. plonkee says:

    The only drawback to living without a room mate is that you may not ever want to go back to sharing, which is limiting. Great roommates are enriching people, but I live on my own now because I’m the one that doesn’t do the dishes, and I don’t want to annoy other people. And I’m finally in a position where I can live on my own, and its what I’ve always wanted to do.

  25. Sarah says:

    Had roommates for about six years. Loved loved loved some, eh about some. I’m now living on my own for the first time in my life, and I love it. I was ready to live on my own.

    I would say, however, to not simply discount living with roomates because of apprehension of living with a stranger or if you’ve never lived with roommates. Many people do, and within a couple of weeks, they’re not strangers anymore. If you really want to live alone, yes, fine. But wanting to live alone and being apprehensive of living with roommates is not the same. Living with roommates is an experience that I think everyne should have, honestly– teaches you a lot about people and cooperation and communication.

    Also, @Tom: that’s because those are bad roommates.

  26. Michelle says:

    I’ve had roomates through college and vowed never again. Some were not so bad, but I value my privacy way too much. Even though I had my own room with a lock, I still was annoyed by people always there in the living room, or them always in my business of where I am going and what I am doing. I would rather live on my own. The same goes for living with my parents. I could save a lot of money by doing this, but I don’t think it would be beneficial for our relationship.

  27. redhelper says:

    The best way to find out if a roomate will work out for you is to find a way to look inside their car — walk them out to it, whatever. My car is somewhat clean – some stuff here and there in trunk and extra seats and usually a dusty dash, but mostly okay — precisely my cleaning style.
    Also, I’ve been called the best roomate ever twice, that’s because for the first few months I am all business and courtesy. Roomate or relationship – choose wisely. I also had great luck with roomates.com and always met for a meal (watch courtesy and manners) and never made a same day decision. Lastly, I always liked rooming in a house where I helped the owner make their mortgage — good Karma in the Grand Scheme.

  28. Chris says:

    I just faced this same situation not too long ago…several times

    I graduated college and found a job several states away (from Florida to Michigan). I had roommates throughout college and wanted to get a place of my own and really feel independent. That, and I didn’t know anyone in Michigan.

    I found an apt about 2 miles from work that the HR dept at my new job recommended. I was making a little over 40k and the apt was 725 a month (about a third of my monthly/after tax take home pay). I recommend taking the annual pay, multiply it by 0.7 to estimate take home pay

    I drove from FL to MI in my pickup truck with a couple wardrobe boxes of clothes, some dorm items (a desk lamp, computer, a cooler, a pair of pots, a pair of pans, some flatware, etc), and a TV. I didn’t have a bed as my dorm had bunk beds provided. I did have a twin sized inflatable mattress pad cover (about 3 inches think) and slept on that for the first couple of weeks. I used the cooler as a TV stand and that was all the furniture I started out with.

    After a few weeks, I had saved enough to buy a queen sized “EZ bed.” ( http://www.grandinroad.com/jump.jsp?&itemType=PRODUCT&itemID=10731&k=ZZ50882 ) Bed, Bath, and Beyond used to sell them and it was on sale (significantly less than a mattress and box spring combo). It comes in a suitcase on wheels. You simply unzip, plug it in, and turn the knob. It then inflates and expands and folds out of the suitcase on its own. Throw on a sleeping bag (and later some sheets) and you are in business.

    I was always on the lookout on Craigslist under the free section. Because I had a pickup truck, I could pretty much take anything…and usually did. Before you knew it, I had a grill, patio furniture, and a dining table and chairs for the price of gas. I would’ve also used freecycle.org if I had know nabout it at the time.

    I then asked around work about some used furniture stores. My company was large and had a bunch of short term contract workers, I made a few friends and offered to buy stuff from people whose contracts were up. And since they were leaving anyway, they would offer very good deals. Bulletin boards at work often displayed peoples’ stuff for sale. There was also a large Salvation Army that had an entire basement full of furniture. In fact, I bought a couch from Salvation Army, got a better one for free off Craigslist, and sold the SA couch for more than I paid for it.

    If you decide to live alone, there will be a few sacrifices along the way, but there is a great feeling of satisfaction to seeing just how far you’ve come. Also, if you live rockin to Norwegian death metal, you will only interrupt the people who live below you (and who really cares about them anyway…only kidding).

    I then got a new job in another couple states away. It took a Uhaul and a car trailer, but I had accumulated a lot of good stuff. I had lived alone and knew what I wanted in an apt, but the cost of living in my new location was a lot higher. I got a 2 bedroom apt and immediately went to rent.com, roommates.com, and craigslist to find a roommate. I met with a bunch of people and had brought a contract I had written up about what I expected from the roommate and what they could expect from me. Things like no dishes in the sink longer than X days, vacuum every Y days, split utilities 50/50, this cable package and that internet provider. Whether live in boyfriends/girlfriends were allowed, how they would pay rent, number of friends over, smoking vs not, who takes trash out…everything I could think of. Both roommates I have had have been absolutely perfect. My utility bills were reduced a bit, the cable and internet was split in half, and we had a bigger apt which was nice.

    I later wanted to buy a house. For what I was paying in rent, I could just as easily buy an adequate condo/house. I looked and looked, but at the time, prices were too inflated for what I wanted in a house. My real estate agent then casually mentioned renting a house. This was something I had heard of, but never looked into because I thought it would be too expensive. It turns out that I was able to find a house that was twice as big as my apt, was 4 miles from work, and had a 2 car garage (which is nice in the Northeast). It was also $245 less than my old apt, affordable if I wanted to live there alone. My roommate moved out there as well and we are both happier in the new place. The only downside is that I have to cut the lawn, but overall I am much happier. Guitar Hero is much more enjoyable at 120dB, something unattainable at the old place. On the plus side, if/when I buy a house, I will have all the furnishings, lawn eqpt, washer/dryer I need. Several less expenses to worry about down the road. I’m surprised Trent has not done a post about items that he bought after buying the house (besides CFLs and the deep freezer).

    In summary, both options have their advantages. With the right roommate, living with roommate is great in a financial and personal aspect. This is even better when the roommate brings good furniture and kitchen supplies. Living alone is great for listening to Enya with impunity, walking around in birthday suits, doing whatever…whenever…with whomever. You also collect some of the items you need when/if you ever decide to move to something bigger like a condo or house.

    Good Luck!

    CBus

  29. melanie says:

    I lived with roommates for the first 3 years I was on my own. The 8 years I lived solo (before marriage) were worth EVERY PENNY. It really helped me figure out how to do things alone (make a real dinner, decorate for the holidays) and for myself (fix my broken toilet, hang pictures, paint a room). It was an invaluable experience.

  30. summer says:

    i used to have 3 roommates because we rented a house that time. i just realized that living with family before is tough, living with other people that aren’t your family is tougher! i admit i am an OCD when comes to cleanliness and neatness and orderliness but good God the 3 roommates they are just sloppy. we are friends don’t get me wrong but they don’t clean up for themselves. one roommate doesn’t fold her laundry and it’s all over her room, you can’t even see the floors anymore. one roommate doesn’t wash her dishes. the other one doesn’t empty her trash. the time came that i was approved for my own house, i told myself that i will not get any roommates ever at all. even though extra money is good, but i’d rather work some extra shifts than to deal with roommates again. now i clean as i go, my trash is emptied daily, my laundry is always folded, my floors are squeaky clean and no dishes in the sink. i can sleep good knowing that i won’t be having bugs or ants. sigh!

  31. Rachel says:

    I’ve found that roommates.com is an invaluable resource for finding a good roommate. It allows you to narrow your searches by area, gender, etc. and you fill out a personality profile, almost like a dating service. It worked superbly for me to find a fantastic roommate I meshed with. In fact, although we’re no longer living together, we are still friends (meeting for lunch later this week!). I think the most important things about having and being a roommate is being open-minded and communicative. Be willing to give all possibilities a chance, but communicate clearly what you are looking for and find out what they are looking for. No detail is too small to discuss when meeting with a potential roommate, from musical preferences to whether you prefer only phosphate-free laundry detergents be used in the washer. It pays to be flexible with the little things.

  32. battra92 says:

    I am currently living at home with my folks and pay rent of about $200 a month and I help out with some expenses. Not exactly common or desirable for a 25 year old one year out of college.

    It totally kills my social life and dating is not exactly easy (but since I have been a bit bitter towards the institution I am not minding it so much) but the financial gain and savings really is helping.

    It’s not an option for everyone, and living in a room about the size of a dorm room (with the use of some shared family area) does seem better than $700+ for an apartment.

  33. coloradoboarder says:

    I have lived with roommates thru college, some of whom stole $3K worth of gear while I was in another country. However, I have a roomie now who is totally cool but I am still enthusiastic about spending his $550 to pay for the whole house to myself. I love the tone of this post. I am an artist and have realized the benefit such space will give me, room to spread my work out for the first time in three years. Totally worth it.

  34. tentaculistic says:

    I hate living alone, I get lonely. If I weren’t married, I would definitely want to live with roommates. I think having 1 roommate is too much forced intimacy, which can easily lead to tensions, but sharing a house is a better option. The only drawback is that then the kitchen is always a mess.

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