Renting with other people has always been considered an effective way to save money on rent. Different forms of co-living have been an integral part of the rental lifestyle for decades, and most renters vouch for its efficiency when it comes to budgeting. But, besides the obvious split of the monthly rent, how does renting with others benefit you in the long run?
From dorm rooms to friends to trustworthy people you meet on roommate-finding apps, it’s easier than ever to find someone to share a rental with. But, is sharing your space worth the savings?
If you’re thinking of splitting rent with someone else for financial reasons, there is one pro that often outweighs most cons: every bill is split down the middle, including flat rates for internet subscriptions and streaming services. This is where you need to choose your services wisely and decide if you really need that TV package.
The math here is simple: more roommates mean more people to split the daily costs. Everybody’s rent covers not only their assigned room, but also the bathroom, kitchen and any other common area inside the rental. With more people sharing these facilities, everyone’s share of the rent goes down.
First, make sure everyone in the group understands the cost of basic utilities and is aware of their financial duties overall. If there are inexperienced renters among you or just people who are not good with money, choose someone trustworthy, reliable, and responsible who can run the house budget—or at least remind everyone when a certain bill is due and the amount each person has to contribute. Whether it’s the same person or the group chooses to do this by rotation, make sure to keep all of the receipts.
For energy and gas usage, consider discussing your consumption ahead of time. Agree on a reasonable inside temperature, as well as stove and microwave usage, and try to avoid hot showers multiple times a day—both for Mother Earth and for your wallet.
You may also tend to spend more money than you realize on conveniences like food delivery and coffee to go. Chances are, if you are struggling with your daily commodity budget, your roommates are, too.
Have a weekly house meal where everyone contributes with groceries and cooking. Or, buy groceries in bulk—especially non-perishables like canned foods, dried goods, oil, and spaghetti; this is where wholesale membership accounts and their discounts come in handy. While you’re at it, suggest a monthly shopping list you can all contribute to—including essentials like soap, toilet paper, laundry detergent, trash bags, and cleaning supplies.
Finally, sharing is caring even in the wardrobe department. As shallow as it may seem, one of the hardest things to do nowadays is to resist consumerism and fast fashion. If you have any pieces of clothing that you no longer use or wear, have a swap meet. Your roommate might have the exact work shirt you’re looking for.
As long as you have a good group with the same financial goals, renting with others can be an enjoyable experience. However, there is such a thing as too many roommates, so make sure you don’t prioritize saving money over your general well-being.
About the Author:
Alexandra Ciuntu is a creative writer and researcher for RENTCafé. With a background in e-learning content writing and a passion for knowledge-sharing platforms, she has previously covered topics from prop-tech to renters insurance. She now enjoys researching and writing about the renting lifestyle, renter demographic shifts, and residential real estate market trends and news.