Roommates: The Pros and Cons of a Shared Living Space

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Sharing your living space can be great. There are many benefits to having roommates, but nothing is perfect. There are downsides to having roommates. Before you make the decision to share your living space, carefully weight the pros and cons.

Pros of Having Roommates

Saving money on rent. Obviously, the more roommates you have, the more ways the rent is split. This may be a necessity for you, for example if you have lost your job. In this situation, finding roommates can be critical to make rent if you want to stay in your apartment. Splitting the rent can also be lucrative for you. If you are able to afford the rent on your own, think of this not just as saving money, but making money. The less you pay towards rent, the more money in your pocket.

Saving money on utilities. Similar to saving on rent, the more roommates you have, the more ways the utility bills are split. This will also put more money in your pocket.

Sharing in household chores. No one likes to clean the bathroom. It is something that most of us do only as often as we have to. By having roommates, you don’t just split the rent, you also split the household chores. Rotate cleaning the apartment, or split up and assign tasks. More roommates equals less chores (per person).

Friends for a lifetime. Your roommates could become your best friends. Sharing your living space means sharing your life, so it is likely that you will confide in each other, and become quick friends.

Cons of Sharing Living Space with Roommates

Sharing your living space. Sharing apartment costs and chores is great, but sometimes sharing the actual living space is not so great. We all have days when we feel like being alone, but when you have roommates, this isn’t always possible. Also, just as husbands and wives bicker, roommates bicker. Sharing bills can cause arguments, and seeing each other too much can also cause arguments. Make sure you have times when you are not together, just as much as times when you are.

Relying on others. When you live alone, you are the only person you have to rely on. When you share your living space with roommates, you rely on them too. You rely on them to pay their share of the bills on time, to keep the apartment neat, and to be responsible when inviting guests over. Try setting up a list of due dates, and responsibilities and posting it on the fridge.

Unwanted guests. You may love your roommates, but not their friends. Or, sometimes, friends overstay their welcome. It is important to set up ground rules on guests before moving in together. Without ground rules on guests, you may end up feeling uncomfortable in your own space.

Sharing your living space can be great, but it is important to realize that there are pros and cons. If you can figure out a solution to the downsides, as suggested here, then sharing your living space with roommates can be a great experience for you!

Emily Gojko: I am a writer, marketer, and manager with a strong background in real estate development and management. I am also a native New Yorker with an obsession for home design shows, so I have personal and professional experience making the most of small spaces, and dealing with good and bad living situations.

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