If you thought having a roommate was just for college kids, think again — many young adults are choosing to have a roommate to save some money on living expenses. It goes beyond just rent, and if you’re hoping to live in a popular, high-rent city, having a roommate can definitely improve your chances of finding an apartment within your budget and in a desirable area. Here are some of the obvious and not-so-obvious ways that a great roommate can make your financial life a whole lot easier.
Before you move in…
Finding a financially responsible roommate is incredibly important. If you aren’t moving in with someone you already know, ask some questions around money habits: how long have they had their job? How do they feel about paying rent on time? How do they envision splitting utilities? No matter how focused you are on saving money, this assessment needs to come first. Set yourself up for success.
Bills, bills, bills
The bills for two people will inevitably be a little higher than just one, but you might be surprised to see that costs don’t increase that much. Splitting the cost of electricity, the internet, water, heat, and so on will translate into major savings in the long run.
Buy in bulk
Once you and your roommate settle into a good routine, you will figure out what products and staples make sense to buy together, in bulk. Toilet paper, cooking oils, rice or pasta, and maybe even some fresh foods like greens make much more sense to buy together rather than have two separate cartons of eggs. Create a checklist of who purchased what to track the expenses, and make sure you square up at the end of the month if one of you has spent significantly more.
Share meals and grocery costs
Rather than risking your food spoiling or leftovers going to waste, establish a rhythm of cooking together to share and save on groceries. Coordinate grocery trips so that you don’t both buy a gallon of milk on the same day or end up with two pounds of carrots, and plan out an intention for that food. What kinds of meals do you both like? Cooking together will also encourage you to eat at home rather than develop a takeout habit, and we all know that’s better for you on many fronts.
Furniture and decor is a shared affair
Perhaps your new roommate has a couch, you have all of the pots and pans, and together you can outfit a new apartment. The savings on household furnishings alone can be enormous, so long as you can both agree on a color scheme and what kinds of decorations create the right vibe.
Get friendly with DIY
Tempted to hire a cleaner because you can’t stay on top of your chores? With two of you on duty, the weekend cleanup goes twice as fast — meaning you’ll have more time to focus on more exciting things. You might also find yourself more likely to take on DIY household projects when you have a partner in crime. Things like re-painting a bookshelf, creating some succulent arrangements for the windowsill, or adding lighting fixtures, are much easier when there’s someone to cheer you on.
Make plans with your roommate
All of that going out to bars or movies adds up over time. Make plans with your roommate to host small gatherings, or have a movie marathon, or even have a cook-off. With a built-in social life, you can spend less on all the expenses that come with going out on the town.
Get fit together
A lot of people need an accountability partner, so they opt for group fitness classes instead of working out at home. Go on runs together, take a long bike ride, do some in-home fitness videos, and support each other to stay in shape without the price tag of a group fitness class.
Ready to make the move and find the perfect roommate? Save some money there too, and let Unpakt connect you with movers that will give you exact prices with no hidden fees.