Living with roommates can be particularly challenging and very few go for it by choice. Living alone gives you an exhilarating feeling of freedom and time to discover yourself. Whereas, when talking about living with roommates, it has it’s own benefits. It gives you an added sense of security, help in daily chores and ultimately it all comes down to saving the “almighty dollar” that mainly pushes anyone to share their space and privacy with others. So, let’s learn the do’s and don’t of living with roommates in order to keep your money matters crisp, clear and nominal.
Saving Money While Living With Roommates
1. Be Clear and Direct- Being roommates means sharing everything including your utility bills. You must keep all the money matters clear from the start. You shouldn’t take charge of everything alone, as if it is solely your responsibility and only you will be liable to pay any sort of penalty. Give your roommates plenty of notice before each bill is due, so they have plenty of time to get the funds together and has no excuses for paying their chunk late.
2. Be Wise- Spend wisely on furniture that are essential for you. Pay for your furniture only so that you get to take it when you move out. If there is a need to buy furniture for common use, make sure you go ditch and buy a used furniture instead. Make sure your roommates are responsible enough because you need to keep the apartment in reasonable shape in order to get your deposit back, also ask your roommates not to leave the air conditioning or heater unnecessarily on, nor leave multiple lights and electronics on. To save few extra bucks share single AC and embrace natural lights during the day.
3. Make a Chart- The best way of keeping track of who owed what is to create a chart each month and keep it on the fridge. List everyone’s name along with columns for rent and utility costs. Cross off people’s name as they pay. Everyone will be aware of who paid and who still owed, which will keep everyone motivated to pay on time. Just make sure everyone is on board with this before putting up your chart. If you do it without warning, your roommates might feel attacked, and that can only lead to tension and arguments.
4. Go to the Store Together but Check Out Separately- Everyone has different choice and budget. Your roommates may be fond of expensive organic produce that you may find unnecessary, and would rather go for the “buy-one, get-one” bulk deals. Better go to the grocery market together but shop separately, in this way you won’t have to pay unnecessarily. Share cost for basic, must have meal like rice, pulses and wheat flour. Cooking together will save gas which will again add few coins to your savings. Also buy separate lotions, cleansers, perfumes and other toiletries.
5. Don’t Split the Cost on Dairy Product, Eggs & Fruits- It might sound like a good idea for everyone to split the cost on these but certainly it is not. You and your roommates are not going consume it on a regular basis and in a restricted quantity, so to keep things fair always buy for yourself and pay for yourself.
6. Don’t Leave Passive-Aggressive Notes- Of course, notes are sometimes called for. You and your roommates might work different schedules, missing a chance to talk to one another in person. If you have to leave a note, just make sure it’s necessary and polite. Stick to bills, maintenance issues, and other important stuff, always work out a problem together, and contribute genuinely for unexpected problems.
7.Don’t Forget to Maintain a Diary- Don’t keep an account of money spent mentally or verbally, just note down everyday penny spent while traveling or shopping, and keep a record of money lent to your room mates on a diary, to keep things aboveboard.