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Finding a Roomate and Splitting the Bills

If you can handle living with another person, you can greatly reduce your living expenses.

Half of the rent of a two-bedroom apartment is usually cheaper than the full rent of a one-bedroom or even a bachelor apartment. Utilities can also be cut in half and, depending on how well you get along, you might even split groceries.

Where to Find a Roommate

Don't immediately ask your best friend to room with you. Best friends don't always make best roommates. Before agreeing to share a living space with someone, think of what bothers you the most about that person. Now multiply that by 100. If you can deal with that, then you might be able to live with them.

If you don't know anyone you think you can live with, you can look in the classifieds. There are usually "Roommate Wanted" ads placed by people just like you. If that doesn't work, place an ad yourself. Living with a stranger can be an intimidating thought. But you may not put the same requirements on a stranger as you would a close friend. You can live separate lives and not annoy each other. It's very difficult to do that with someone with whom you already have a relationship.

Setting Ground Rules

An important part of building a successful roommate affiliation is setting up the ground rules of the apartment.

  • What is acceptable to each of you and what is not?
  • Are there times you need the apartment to be quiet?
  • Would you prefer that your roommate not have a pet (providing the apartment even allows them)?
  • Do you have a thing about dishes left overnight in the sink?

Certainly you should get all the dirty laundry out on the table from the start. But stay flexible. It can be a challenge to live with a roommate, but the benefits to be gained by such an arrangement might really be a boon to your current situation.