If you’ve never lived with roommates, the transition can be a challenge. When you have your own space, you can do things your own way and in your own time. When you begin living with someone else, you have to adjust your behavior.
Below, you’ll find three of our best tips for living with roommates. Whether they’re someone you found through a posting online, a friend of a friend or someone you’ve known for a long time, this can help make your transition much better.
1. Choose Your Roommate Carefully
Finding a roommate can be a challenge itself. No matter who you live with, whether you put out an ad online or are considering asking a friend, you need to give a lot of thought into choosing the right person.
Just because someone is your friend, it doesn’t mean you will make good roommates. And, just because someone is a stranger to you, it doesn’t mean they won’t make a good roommate.
Before agreeing to move in with someone, you both need to talk about different points to see if it would be a good fit. If you just jump in, sign your lease and move in, you may find you or you both are unhappy. At that point, it would be too late.
Discussing your behaviors, your routines and your expectations before moving in together will make the transition much easier because there will be fewer surprises.
2. Always Use Open and Honest Communication
Communication is essential at every stage. Talk to each other before you move in to set boundaries, and always choose to talk through any issues you have after your move.
No one likes passive-aggressive behavior, even though it can be easy to fall into sometimes. If your roommate is doing something you don’t care for, it’s much easier to just talk to them about it instead of brooding over it in silent annoyance. You would much rather they talk to you, too, right?
Honesty can be hard to hear sometimes, but keeping things out in the open is better for roommates’ relationships. Your behavior affects other people, so it’s only fair you have some say in changing it.
3. Decide How You’re Sharing Expenses
One of the main perks to living with roommates is sharing expenses. Even when you live with one other person, cutting bills like rent, utilities, internet and groceries in half will save you a ton of money.
Before your lease begins, you need to talk about which expenses you want to share. It’s common to split rent and utilities at the very least, and some roommates may choose to split them unevenly. For example, if one of the bedrooms is bigger or if a roommate runs more electronics than another, it’s common to be more equitable instead of equal in sharing the expenses.
You may share other expenses besides rent and utilities, too. With more than one person sharing the cost, you may want to get an internet package with faster speeds than you could afford on your own. Or, there may be certain foods you want to share the cost of but have others you want to pay for and eat by yourself.
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