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Big Taste, But Small Budget? Live with a Roommate!

By: Green Panda | Date posted: April 11, 2012 (5:00 am) | Write a Comment (0 Comments)

If you’re a new college graduate and you’re looking for a way to upgrade your lifestyle without emptying your wallet, getting a roommate (or two) may be just the answer. I have a friend that found a house and shares it with 2 roommates (including the owner) and she’s really enjoyed it. Besides saving money, she’s also enjoying their company.

Economics of Roommates

Splitting living space for some people may have some downsides, but if you take the time to find the roommate, the advantages can be huge over living on your own.  Ever dreamed about nice conservatories, pool room or at-home gym? Might be easier to achieve when you find a place with roommates. Sharing living expenses with a roommate can help you to pool your resources to get a better apartment than what you could find on your income alone.

With the housing market as it is, you may be able to rent a bigger space (giving both of you plenty of room) and keep still keep you within budget. the idea is that you’re lowering the typically big expense of housing and redirecting that saved money towards other financial goals, like a down payment on a house, contributions towards your IRA, or paying down your student loans faster. Don’t waste this opportunity by simply splurging everything.

Cutting Back on Commuting Costs

By opening up the pool of possible apartments, perhaps you and your roommate can use this as a way to find a place that can give you shorter commutes, lowering transportation expenses. With gas prices fluctuating between hovering around $4/gallon in the United States, this can be significant savings over time. Better yet, if you two live in an area with decent public transportation, you can further drive down your monthly expenses (plus have an added bonus of helping the environment).

Take Turns Cooking In

Another benefit of sharing a space with someone is splitting cooking duty. You may not like to cook, but eating in is usually the cost effective option. Divvying up between you two (or three) can make it doable and give you some variety with meals. If you’re looking for ideas, I did a dinner party series awhile back that takes you from appetizers to desserts.

 As the name shares, it’s about having a good time without a fuss.

 Thoughts on Roommates and Finances

I hope this information helps you to find a roommate with whom you can not only share a space, but also manage to encourage one another with savings. Of course, before signing a lease with someone, make sure you two have sat down and agreed to all of the provisions in the application and the apartment’s lease. You don’t want any surprises down the road to sour your finances and living arrangements.

Do you or have you ever rented a place with a roommate? How was the experience? What tips do you have on finding a great roommate?

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