Is a Roommate the Right Choice for You?

  |     |   Rental Tips & Advice
cooking roommates-flickr

It’s no secret that having a roommate is the ideal way save money on household expenses. When you split the cost of rent, utilities and even groceries with another person, you could easily save hundreds of dollars each month, if not more.

But is bunking with another person really worth it? In many situations, taking on the financial responsibilities that come along with living alone just might be the easiest route. Let’s take a look at the breakdown of the good and bad that can come along with living with someone else.

Pros of having a roommate:

  • That person will likely come with lots of useful belongings–perhaps a TV, sofa or microwave–that you won’t need to buy. If you’ve been stressing over filling up the apartment, a roommate who already owns those things will help, assuming they are willing to share.
  • If you two get along, you’ll never be lonely and will always have someone to chat with after a long, hard day. It may not seem like it now, particularly if you don’t know your roommate very well, but a healthy roommate arrangement can lead to a lifelong friendship.
  • Even if you are apprehensive, having a roommate can teach you a lot about communication and teamwork that will be useful throughout life.
  • What if you go out of town and have to leave your pet at home? And who’s going to water your plants? A roommate can lend a helping hand until you return.
  • Everything won’t fall solely on you. Cleaning the apartment from top to bottom and tasks like grocery shopping can easily take up an entire Saturday. But it doesn’t have to when you have someone to split those chores with.

Cons of having a roommate:

  • The biggest concern is whether or not you’ll be able to rely on that person for their half of the rent month after month. You may have to fork over extra cash if they are not able to.
  • It could be an uncomfortable living arrangement if that person has strange personal habits, or if they like to invite people over all the time.
  • You might be resentful if you highly value your privacy, prefer lots of quiet time or you don’t like to share. There’s nothing wrong with preferring to be a loner, but it can make your roommate feel uneasy in their own home.
  • If your roommate does a lot around the apartment (cooking, fixing things, decorating), it could cause you to become a bit too dependant on them to do tasks for you. How will you manage if that roommate moves out?
  • On the other hand, a roommate who doesn’t do much cleaning or tidying at all can become a problem. You certainly wouldn’t want to be the roommate who’s always cleaning up after someone else.

The bottom line is this: Although you can weigh the pros and cons until you’re blue in the face, there’s no way to know for sure if a particular roommate is right for you until you take the plunge and sign on the dotted line with them.

Related articles:
4 Advantages of Living Alone
How to Control Your Messy Roommate Situation
Smart Ways for Roommate to Handle Grocery Shopping
Splitting Bills with Roommates
3 Benefits of Having a Roommate

Tiffany Maberry

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