These days around one third of all households have two or more roommates. This number is up from 25.4% back in 2000! Expert say that due to slow wage growth, increasing cost of rent and a recovering economy, people just can’t afford to strike out on their own as early.
Well, if you are going to need to get a roommate anyways, why not choose a friend? If you are going to go that route, here is some basic advice we would recommend to you.
1. Have It All Financial Agreements Written Down
When you are friends, it is easy to let small expenses slide. Unfortunately, letting small expenses like toilet paper, trash bags, hand soap and that type of thing can add up. That is before you even begin to consider utilities and rent. Make sure that you all have a written agreement about what the financial expectations are from everyone. This way if there is any conflict in spending, you can just refer back to the paper.
2. Give Everyone Space
Just because you are best buddies, doesn’t mean that everyone couldn’t use some space. When you spend enough time with anyone it can get loathsome, so make sure to know how to say you need to space. Also, make sure that you don’t spend excessive time around your friend at home.
3. Talk About Expectations
Having a discussion about house rules and expectations can avoid problems that will inevitably come up. Quiet hours, party rules, chores, bill due dates, etc. are all topics that should be covered. Also, if anything new comes up in the future make sure that you talk about it rather than letting the situation get out of hand.
4. Nothing Is Personal
Have an understanding that nothing is personal. If someone cannot afford to live in a place, they can’t expect you to cover their butt just because you’re their friend and visa versa. This may seem like common sense, but saying it out loud will make sure you are both on the same wave length about this issue. And again, when you communicate freely, you can refer back to the communication if issues do come up in the future.
5. Is It A Friend You Can Live Without?
Sometimes things come up when you live together. Acts of god, natural disasters, economic disasters, personal disasters- life has a tendency to throw us curve balls when we least expect it. If this is a friend that you can’t imagine living without, then maybe you should consider whether or not you want to risk that friendship by moving in with one another. If you are not one of those people who can easily forgive and forget, then perhaps just move in with a stranger instead. This way if they mess up (or you mess up) no one will be personally offended, and you won’t end up with one less friend in the world.