Living On Your Own… With Others

Living On Your Own… With Others

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I have been living on my own for ten years now. And over the course of those years, I have lived with 23 different roomates!

From a financial perspective, living with roomates is a good deal. All your rent and living expenses are shared. Rather than pay $100 for cable/month I am paying $34. Also, in states with a higher cost of living (such as New Jersey), renting a one bedroom apartment for $1000+ isn’t an option for many (including myself).

Here’s the breakdown of my living expenses:
$535/rent (3 bedroom, 2 floor townhouse)
$34/cable+internet
$50-$80/electricity+gas
$9/water

I live with two other girls (both students). We each buy our own food and switch up taking care of house chores. Many are concerned about personal space. Well, you have your own bedroom. No, you can’t just leave your personal belongings scattered all over the common areas, but adults shouldn’t have a problem cleaning up after themselves.

Now, as a 27 year old, I sometimes ask myself if I’m too old to be living with roomates. Many of my friends own houses (even the unmarried ones) or are making enough to afford the high one-bedroom rent. Really though, I don’t see any reason to spend $500 or more a month on living expenses if my situation is currently working for me.

Do you think there is an age limit for living with roomates? Is your privacy worth the extra money to you?

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5 Replies to “Living On Your Own… With Others”

  1. Absolutely no age limit on having a roommate! If you can get away with saving your money by sharing living spaces, more power to you!

    Because I’ve lived on my own for two years, I don’t know if I could go back to sharing my space with a roommate. I do share space with D and that cuts my bills in half. But he’s hardly ever home because of his second shift job so it still feels like I live alone a lot of the time.

  2. Absolutely no age limit on age to have roommates. I had roommates until I was 26, and I know a lot of people who are still boomaranging with parents. I see it especially more prevalent on the coasts, where people tend to marry later and have higher costs of living. In the midwest the average age of marriage tends to be around 24-25, so most people don’t have roommates as long.

  3. In NZ it’s kind of the normal thing to do. Which I’m glad for! One bedrooms are SO expensive here, not to mention tiny and usually hopelessly outdated.

  4. I’m 26 and will probably have roommates until I get married, even though I currently live in a city with a low cost of living. I’ve had my own apartment before, but spending $300-$400/mo less on rent gives me the freedom to put that in my roth IRA, or take an extra trip every month–and I love to travel! My total for everything is around $600/mo.
    I guess it depends on the person, though. I’m a people person and got lonely when I lived alone, though I did like not having to worry about cleaning up until I had the time.
    Currently, I have two roommates, and because we each have our own spaces and share the cleaning evenly, it works. Even if I decide to buy a place, if I had the space I’d like to have a roommate so I wouldn’t have to foot the mortgage on my own.

    And I think that being forced to clean up after myself every day just reinforces good habits. Having a neat home is much less stressful than when people leave stuff lying around everywhere!

  5. Great post! It really got me thinking about my own history of roomies versus living alone. Right now, I’m 26 and living in a rented house on the outskirts of Seattle with 1 friend(28) and with my boyfriend(27). My only transportation expense is my train pass, rent plus utilities is just under $600/mo. My job isn’t very stable, so it’s good to have money after paying rent to spend on classes to get more in-demand skills.

    I definitely think it’s OK to have roomies at every age and stage in life; it beats moving back in with parents like so many people of all ages are doing. It also beats going deeper into debt. It does seem to get harder and hard to find compatible roomies (my personality always made that a challenge); I feel lucky to have the roomies I have right now.

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