Roommates. Unless you’re living in Manhattan, they are not necessary for most people. Therefore, most people don’t bother with them. They would rather just pay the entire rent bill or mortgage on their own. The biggest reason people cite for doing this is that roommates are a pain. I’d like to rephrase those sentiments. Roommates can be a pain.
In the past few years, I’ve lived in a few different places. 3 or 4. It’s hard to remember. I lived alone in one house, in the others, I had roommates. Because I got good at finding roommates and dealing with them, I actually preferred having roommates.
The Astounding Things about Having a Roommate:
- It helps plug you into the city’s social scene
- The house never seems too lonely or empty
- You get a break on your mortgage/rent – some people even live for free just for having a roommate or two!
- Home security: having lights on and movement around the house will keep burglars away
- Fun: sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get an awesome roommate. Some nights you won’t even have to leave your house to have a great time.
- You get to see how someone else lives. You may pickup some good tips and tricks. For instance, your roommate may sing the praises of meditation. You think to yourself maybe you should give it a try.
What You Want in a Roommate…
- Someone who isn’t too high maintenance
- Someone who has a stable source of income
- Someone who has a good credit history
- Someone who is clean
- Someone who doesn’t bring about drama
- Someone who is a mix between introverted and extroverted. Someone too introverted may stay at home all the time – never allowing you to just chill at home alone. Someone too extroverted will always be getting in late, having friends over, and keep a weirdo schedule that may affect your life very negatively.
- Someone who is a ‘clean freak’
- Someone who wants to rent long-term
- Someone who lives a similar lifestyle to yourself – this will help you keep good habits like eating healthy or keeping a tidy house.
- Someone who doesn’t have too much stuff that’ll be cluttering up the common spaces.
- Someone who has local roots so they may very well be your roommate for years.
How to Care for a Roommate…
You may or may not have a choice of roommates. So after the roommate has been chosen, this is how you get along with one. I’ve lived with about 20 roommates and this is what I’ve learned:
Set out some ground rules. Trial-and-error is a terrible way to start a roommate relationship. Decide simple things like:
- Do shoes come off when entering the home?
- Who cleans dishes?
- Who takes out trash/recycling/garbage?
- Who cleans the common spaces?
- How often does everything get done?
- Who gets the garage?
- Who gets the washer and dryer, when?
- What are the emergency numbers to call if something breaks: the internet, electricity, plumbing, etc.?
- Are pets allowed?
- When can friends come over?
- Can friends stay over night?
- What happens if someone gets locked out?
- How are the bills paid?
Having a roommate can be fantastic! Use this post as a guide when dealing with roomies. You’ll get along with them and save BIG money!!
I’m a personal finance freelance writer and webmaster. I welcome you to visit me at www.thefrugalpreneur.com