How to Have Fun Living with Roommates
Larger cities typically have a higher cost of living. An excellent way to combat the cost of living is sharing an apartment with a roommate or two. It may not always be living-on-easy-street, but it’s normally more fun than living alone and tends to be a gratifying experience. Make it an enjoyable experience and be mindful of this advice when it’s time for you to move in with some roommates.
Pick the Right People
Good friends or complete strangers, it’s incredibly important to be living with the right people. Regardless if you know them before living together, you have to know you can trust and depend on them. It is super normal to want to live with your friends, but you won’t always be able to do so. Eventually, at one point or another, you will have to live with someone you don’t know prior. When looking for a roommate, you will have to do research your prospective roommate on social networks and learn about who they are, what they do, and if you’ll be able to live with them. Once you have an idea of who they are, you will need to reach out, trade phone numbers, and speak on the phone to decide if you should meet up in a public place for a cup of coffee or food and continue discussing life together. Finances is usually never a fun conversation, but it’s necessary to be realistic and talk about how much it will cost each month to share an apartment. Topics that need to be covered during the face-to-face meeting are going to be the total cost of rent and every other bill each month, what the two of you do for work and your work schedules, and especially how long each of you want to be living in the apartment you intend to share. Trying to fall asleep in the same place as a stranger is a scary thought to everyone, so break the ice and start building a relationship sooner rather than later.
Sign the Lease Agreement
After you have found your roommate or roommates, make sure they sign the lease. Sharing an apartment is so much easier when everyone can be held responsible for their actions. If your roommates don’t sign the lease, you will only make your own life harder should they decide to move out before the lease is up or damage the apartment, as they will not be held accountable for what they’ve done. Once everyone has signed the lease, you will have to divvy up the bills. It is extremely rare that the bills will split evenly amongst your roommates, so it is necessary to figure out who will be in charge of paying what bill each month. For example, one person will mail the rent check each month and you will all reimburse them the same even cut each month. However, bills such as gas and electric tend to fluctuate month to month, so whoever is responsible for paying that bill each month will be responsible for communicating with the other roommates the total cost of the bill and what the even split is. Another roommate may take responsibility of the internet bill, and that’s usually a flat rate each month. The next roommate might take responsibility over the water bill, and depending on your lease agreement, it may be a fixed or fluctuating expense. Never expect your roommates to remember to ask how much they owe you, you will need to cordially remind them after you have paid the bill. This is a good time to ask your roommates how much you owe them for the fluctuating bill they’re responsible for. You don’t need to run to an ATM every time you have to reimburse your roommate, you can instantaneously reimburse your roommates with Venmo or CashApp. However you divide the bills with your roommates is fine as long as everyone is on the lease and one person isn’t paying more or less than everyone else each month.
Make Yourself Available
When everyone in the living situation is able to speak freely with each other, the hard conversations about money and bills are easier to discuss. Otherwise simple conversations can create tension and conflict when people feel like they can’t express how they feel with roommates. All the tension and conflict can be avoided when everyone is comfortable talking openly with each other. Having open communication amongst all roommates is critical to a healthy living situation.
Setting rules early on will eliminate trivial conflicts later on. You will need to establish a cleaning schedule, agreeable times to have friends and family over, when everyone needs to be quiet, and of course everyone paying the bill they’re responsible for on time.
Apartments Available in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Have you found the right roommate but not the right apartment? Look at these wonderful two-bedroom apartments now leasing in the Milwaukee area! You and your roommate are bound to find what you’re looking for!