What I Learned so Far Living with Roommates and My Tips

It’s going to be so much fun I thought to myself to live with roommates, share great experiences, making new memories, and in the end of all of this is actually saving money I thought!

Well… It’s all fun until the reality kicks in, when you lived for a few months now and some things just starting to (nicely put) really bug you. Whether it is some roommates not doing their chores, leaving a mess behind, eating other roommates food, lack of respect for other roommates or immodest behavior, and others don’t pay their share of rent on time which are the most common problems with roommates.

There are many more issues and I wanted to touch most of them if not all here. You can refer to this post to prevent the issues from happening and fixing them.

Don’t forget to refer to my “How To Move Out of Your Parents House” and “Top Life Skills You MUST Have Before Moving Out of Your Parents House” to be fully prepared to move out.

But firstly, a Simple, Best, and Straight Forward Advice that Can Go Far and Eliminate Many Problems with Roommates from Occurring,

Choose Roommates Wisely!

It is so important that you pick the right roommates to live with. It is absolutely best if you are going to be roommates with your friends that you already knew well before and aware of their bad habits.

Otherwise if you are starting with fresh new people you just met, you don’t know much about them and unfortunately it might be too late after you signed a lease for a year or more.

Here we go with My Tips on Living with Roommates:

1 Setting Rules

As simple as it sounds, setting rules is the number one task you need to all contribute to in order to make the living together convenient and respectful to everybody. Most of you are most likely studying at University. The place you are living in will be pristine when you move in, but it will become a disaster very quick unless you all figure out the following:

  • Chores (Whom and When) – Who is going to vacuum the place? Who is going to wash dishes? Who is going to clean the bathroom? This sounds rather simple, but it will start driving other roommates nuts when you leave your dirty dishes in the sink for a few days.
  • Food – This touches everything that you consume, are you buying groceries all together or separate? Whats the plan with utensils or any cooking needs in the kitchen. If somebody is not a heavy cooker at home, then what? Check out my post on “Simple tips for student budgeting from a student
  • Guests/Partners? – Are guests or partners allowed? How do you let other roommates know? Make sure to respect others and don’t become the roommate where your significant other starts living with you 50% of the time or more. Figure out a system where everybody is allowed to have guests and partners to certain extent.
  • Having Fun – Throwing a party at your place? Make sure others are comfortable with this and work something out with roommates. It is best if you all have similar interests like studying at university where you know that there are exams and tests and there are times when there are break’s which acts as great time to invite gusts over.

After all, have fun and make memories. These simple suggestions above is something that you will need in your lifetime either way. Starting early and learning to respect others is like an investment in yourself.

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2 Utility Bills

This one has its own headline, why? Well, you cannot really runaway from bills, everyone has to pay bills. When it comes to paying bills with roommates is it usually works you pay your share. For example: there are 3 of you, then you will most likely be paying your share of 1/3 of the utility bills. But unfortunately this feels unfair to many for many reasons  and where my “choosing roommates wisely comes” again.

If you ever had to share a bathroom with somebody, did you feel unfair how long that person was taking in the bathroom? Particularly the showers or leaving lights on. If the roommates you are living with and sharing some common rooms like bathroom, how do you feel of paying water bill for somebody that takes 30 minute showers twice a day? Leaving lights on overnight for no reason in their room? The point is to be fair to everybody and somebody paying for hot water knowing that you only take a shower once a day and it takes you 7 minutes.

Well, since you are all in this together, then you best bet is to approach these issues with your roommates, which brings me to another point below.

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3 Addressing Problems

Addressing problems in proper way is something that you need to very well be aware of when living with roommates, and honestly in life too. You need to respect others and not be too aggressive because you are living with these people. It is very important that you approach problems in a diligent way with other roommates which means that you don’t just point something out right away. 

Firstly, is you need to try to hint at the issue by mentioning it and maybe that person will understand. For example if a roommate bugs you, then start wearing headphones around the house, a normal person would get the hint of this with no bad feelings at all. Whenever you get to the point you want to address the problem though, be prepared to ask what they want for you to change about yourself, so in other means – you are not too demanding and judgmental, but instead in caring and respectful way for them and yourself.

4 Cleaning Day or Cleaning Person?

If you cannot organize or decide which person does what in terms of cleaning the place up, then the best alternative would be is to splurge on a cleaning service if everyone wants to split the cost. This bill can be just like another utility bill that all of you can split.

Although hiring a cleaning person could be a costly option, it might still be worth every penny if none of you are just into cleaning. Make sure you all discuss the frequency of the cleaning person to come over and the cost.

If you do decide with the cleaning person, the best way to save on this is to limit them to come in once every two weeks or even once a month, which leaves you and your roommates to do some light cleaning throughout the week or so, otherwise it could get pricey real quick if you want a cleaner to come in every week.

5 Safety Rules

This is an important part because depending where you live everything could be different in many ways. Establishing safety rules from the start will lower or eliminate things being stolen. In case there’s emergency everybody knows what to do and where to go.

This also applies to locking the doors behind yourself and closing windows if necessary to have lees chance of being robbed. Also, the spare keys, are you hiding one of the spare keys in case somebody forgets their keys? If so, find a safe spot which are not known by average person like under the floor mat or a plant. Find a safe place where nobody can find.

6 Have Fun After All and Make Great Memories!

After all, this all is part of experience in life and it is important that you make great memories living with roommates together and things do happen, but don’t let them preventing you from having a great time with your roommates. If there is something that bother you or other roommates, I hope you can find the steps on approaching the problems I listed above useful. A normal person would understand anything that you might not be comfortable with maybe not from the first time, but they will eventually. Later on you will only laugh about these either way 🙂

It is important that you make the memories together, living with roommates is something that you will eventually talk about in your suture about your experiences together and you most likely will make friends with some of them for life.

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Richard Barnett is a student majoring in finance, entrepreneur, marketer, content writer, budget traveler, and financial blog “Student Money Adviser” owner. You can read more about me here.

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