Chances are you lived in a dorm with dozens of other students as an undergrad. Now that you’re in graduate school, you may be considering living alone in an off-campus apartment. What you might not realize is that having a roommate is more beneficial than you think. In fact, an increasing number of people well into their 30s, 40s, and beyond choose to cohabitate with roommates. Before you sign the lease for that tiny studio, consider why continuing to live with others is beneficial.
1. You Will Save Money
In 2020, the average price of a 1-bedroom apartment in the United States was $1,621. When you factor in utilities, transportation, food, entertainment, and other miscellaneous expenses, you’re likely looking at an additional $1,000 a month at a minimum, which means you’d need to make $2,621 a month just to break even.
On the other hand, the average 2-bedroom apartment in the United States was only $1,878. When splitting the rent with another person, you’ll only pay $939 a month. Even with other expenses, your total would be less than $2,000 per month. This means you’d save a little over $600 in a month or $7,200 in a year. That savings can go toward paying down debt, saving to buy a house, or even just enjoying more entertainment.
2. You Don’t Have To Do All the Cleaning
After a long week at work, the last thing you want to do is to spend your entire Saturday doing dishes, scrubbing toilets, and mopping floors. If you live alone, all of the household responsibilities fall on you. Coliving allows you to split the household chores between you and anyone else that lives in the house. If you all do your own dishes, wash your own laundry, and split the rest of the household chores, you’ll have more free time on the weekends.
How you split the chores is up to you and your roommates. Some people prefer to take turns, with one person doing all the chores one Saturday and the other doing them all the next. Other people prefer to simply pick a day of the week for everybody to pitch in together for an hour or two to get it done. Regardless of how you decide to split the household responsibilities, it’ll beat doing it all alone.
3. Living With Other People Is Safer
Even if you don’t need to save money and don’t mind doing all the household chores yourself, living with other people is still a good idea, especially if you’re moving to an unfamiliar city. This is because studies show that homes with two or more adults living in them are less likely to fall victim to burglary. Additionally, when you live with other people, you can let them know where you’re going and when you’ll be home. They’ll know whether you’re later than expected and can notify the authorities if something seems amiss. Roommates may also help you get away from bad dates or unsafe situations by being able to call you about an “emergency” at home. There is safety in numbers, and that includes cohabitation.
Above even safety, cleanliness, and savings, living with other people could help you to make lifelong friends. Consider what it is you want from your roommate experience and then begin your search. Whether you want someone who respects your need to be alone or a person who will binge-watch Netflix with you, chances are you’ll find someone who fits the bill.