Sometimes, saving and planning for the future means making sacrifices in your daily life. One solution many people choose is to combine living arrangements with someone else, or, in layman’s terms, find a roommate. Since the biggest, most challenging expense people struggle with is their rent or mortgage, splitting it with someone is the easiest way to give yourself a little relief and allow you to get ahead financially. While sharing a space with someone might not sound like the luxurious adult life you dreamed of, it might be the option that can help you get to where you want to be down the road. Here are a few tips on how to make finding and living with a roommate a positive experience.
Find the Right Person
If you don’t already have a roommate in mind, searching for a random person to live with can feel intimidating. Before you go placing ads on craigslist, consider some of the social groups that you are a part of. Ask trusted coworkers, members of a social club you are involved in, church, or family members if they know anyone that is looking for a roommate in the area you are in. Posting on Facebook that you are trying to find a roommate also helps any one candidate at least be filtered through the people that you already know, and this can give you some confidence before even meeting anyone for an initial conversation about living together. Beginning your search among the people are familiar with should help ease the anxiety of meeting a new potential roommate!
Discuss What Matters to You
Everyone is different and values different things. If your home space is very important to you, then you need to be sure that some of those values are shared when it comes to a shared living space. Having a lifestyle that can at least exist in the space with the person you are living with is really crucial in having a happy and peaceful home, so ask questions about your potential roommate’s life style! Do they work or go to school? Are they extroverted or introverted? Do they like entertaining or having overnight guests frequently? If so, consider if that would bother you. Get to know each other’s habits and what you define as “clean” for everyday living. Do you want to share food or keep it separate, or are you okay with a general give and take? Do they or you play any loud instruments? Asking these types of questions not only helps you get to know the person, but it can help take away any unpleasant surprises after you have already signed a legally binding agreement that commits you to living with them.
Have an Open Mind
If you are already used to a different roommate or have lived by yourself for a while, the thought of making any allowances for someone new can be hard. Remember that your living space isn’t going to be all about you, and it is important that both or all parties are comfortable with the situation.
Apartment/House Shop Together
If you don’t already have a place picked out, then decide on a place together. This will help you and your roommate both have a sense of shared ownership of the place! When everyone involved feels included in the process, then it automatically helps create a positive shared attitude moving in.
Above all else, remember that there are no perfect people or perfect roommates. But, if you go into the roommate search with the right attitude and ask the right questions, you might just find the perfect roommate for you!