The great thing about being a renter is the flexibility of your living arrangements. From space to budget and amenities, renting an apartment is a good fit for different people at different times. Depending on your situation—as well as your personality—another very important question to ask yourself is “Should I rent alone or find a roommate?”
As with most things, there are pros and cons to either option, so there is not one correct answer. Evaluate your situation, think about what type of person you are, and then decide if roommates or solitude are your best fit.
If you decide to rent your own place, you’ll have a lot of freedom. You can personalize every room the way you want to, without having to worry about the preferences of anyone else, other than the landlord. You also don’t have to think about abiding to someone else’s schedule; so, any time you feel like singing or watching TV or blending some fruits, you can make all the noise you want.
Privacy is guaranteed, and it weighs a great deal if you’re someone who needs their space. However, if you like having people around and you’re not used to being on your own, it might be difficult to deal with all the alone time.
Renting alone also comes with a lot of responsibility, meaning you’ll have to clean and maintain the apartment yourself, pay the bills on time, and manage the costs of groceries and other expenses on your own. It also might be more expensive to rent alone, even if you’re renting a smaller apartment. But, if you take control of your finances, you can end up saving money.
Renting with Roommates
Co-living is trending right now, and for a good reason. More people means more money to spend, which automatically means more space, even if it is shared. Privacy will be sparse, so if you value your alone time, think about the implications of almost always having people in your home. Depending on how much you’re all willing to compromise, you can get an apartment that is much larger than the one you could get on your own.
Sharing a place means you will also share the cost of utilities—and maybe even groceries—with your roommates, cutting down on expenses. This is especially helpful with subscription-based services such as internet, cable, or Netflix, where you’d have to pay the same amount even when living alone. Cooking together and splitting the cost of food will also lead to some serious savings if you manage your finances properly.
Besides splitting bills, you’ll also be splitting chores. This can be a friction point, so it’s best to set some ground rules and create a schedule to which you all agree. If you do so, some of the painful cleaning and decluttering can actually become fun.
But remember that roommates can be wildcards – you never know what you’re going to get. If you don’t have any friends or acquaintances who want to join you in sharing a rental, be sure to turn to a trustworthy source to avoid scams. Do your research, ask a lot of questions, and make sure you find a roommate you’re compatible with.
Whether you choose to rent alone or with someone else, there are many ways you can save money as a renter. Adopt a frugal lifestyle focused on minimal expenses and follow the golden rule of 50-30-20: 50% of income goes to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings. It may seem complicated at first, but with dedication and experience, you’ll be saving money in no time.
About the author: Mihaela is a passionate reader and writer, with an affinity for language and linguistics, as well as the latest technological developments. She discovered her passion for real estate at RENTCafé, and you can read more of her articles on their blog.