How to Save Money While Living With Roommates

How to Save Money While Living With Roommates

Data reveals that renting seems to be the popular choice today, more so than observed in the last half-a-century! Incredible? Pretty much. If you’re looking to live in a big city with prices of things going through the roof, you’re going to have to fork over a considerable amount in rent and utilities. So, it makes perfect sense to look for a roommate through different roommate finder websites to share those expenses with. At the same time, there may be other recurring expenses you may have to deal with, such as groceries, while wanting to set aside something for entertainment purposes. Also, wouldn’t you want to save money for your future investments? Considering that expenses can crop up like mushrooms now and then, it’s wise to find other ways to save money while sharing a house with someone else. How? Let’s look at 14 ways you can save money:

1. Divide the cost of groceries

You may not want to share all your food items with your roommate, but instead of buying way more things than you need and then wasting them, it’s a good idea to purchase essential items that you both can share and not buy two of each, like bread. You could consider sharing items, such as bread, milk, fruit, butter, eggs, meats and cheese, and sauces and dressings.

Buy the groceries and split the costs. Or you could consider taking turns to buy these essentials weekly after discussing the matter with your roommate. You do get to save money!

2. Purchase essentials in larger quantities

Stores such as Sam’s, BJ’s, and Costco offer you excellent discounts when you buy items in considerable quantities. And the membership isn’t restricted to older adults and families but is open to everyone. So, if you happen to be a member at any one of these stores, use the membership benefits to buy a whole host of household and food items and pay far less than the 24-hour stores that sell everything at higher prices. You get to save money and have supplies that last for ages!

3. Prepare home meals with a meal plan

Since the primary aim is to save money, preparing meals at home with your roommate is a much wiser option than ordering takeout or heading over to diners and restaurants for all your meals. Besides being expensive, the food might not suit your health.

Rather than having one person cook at all times, put together a schedule, and you each get to cook a couple of meals a week. Even better, prepare a meal plan containing what dishes you’d like to have each day. Keep it simple, nothing fancy, and you’re good to go! That way, you get to buy groceries in doable quantities, and nothing’s wasted.

4. Assign the payments to one person

As far as rental and other payments go, one system you can follow is having one person take care of them monthly, if there are more than two of you. However, instead of streamlining the process, it might lead to problems because one of you might not remember to pay them on time. In turn, all of you end up paying the price in late fees.

Therefore, it makes more sense for one roommate to take up the onus of paying all the bills timely. If it’s you, make sure you collect their share of the payments without delay before they start coming up with lame excuses about why they couldn’t pay.

5. Get snacks beforehand

Sometimes, when you feel hungry and there’s nothing to eat at home, you go to the closest store and buy some quick sweet or salty snacks. Buying from convenience stores is more expensive than buying from a supermarket. And the more frequently you indulge in such practices, the more money you waste.

Then what? Rather than buying treats in bits and pieces, go to the store once a week on weekends and buy them in bulk. You not only get to keep some extra cash in your pocket but also have your stock ready to dive into whenever you get hunger pangs!

6. Pursue your interests at home

Whatever your interests may be, whether it’s reading, painting, or dancing, you can always find a way to pursue them at home. Why? Because stepping out for dance classes, painting lessons, or buying books often will involve money, maybe a good deal of it. 

Today, thanks to the World Wide Web, there’s nothing you can’t do from the comfort of your own home without having to spend money or too much of it anyway. So, take up online classes on dancing or painting, learn and enjoy them simultaneously!

7. Plan to hang out together

To save money, consider looking for entertainment options that don’t require you to step out. While getting a cup of coffee or drinks is tempting, it’s not free. 

Also Read: Top hobbies for the student that make money

Depending on the relationship you share with your roommate, you could spend weekend nights watching movies, playing games, running a spa session at home, or simply whipping up a mouth-watering meal for yourselves! You have fun, bond, and you don’t have to spend a penny!

8. Have a coin jar system

You may have heard of money jars used to keep change for household supplies and stuff. Why not try it out? You and your roommate can put all the change you collect into the jar. After a couple of months have gone by and the jar’s almost full, use the money to get groceries, cleaning supplies, and other essential items for the house. It’s a great way to buy the stuff you need to sustain without breaking the bank!

9. Contribute to furniture and decoration costs

When you start living together, all you have is space. So, you and your roommate need to work together to figure out what furniture, household, and decorative items you’re going to use to furnish and beautify your place.

Have a candid discussion with your roommate to decide who wishes to buy what. Maybe you can buy stuff to equip the kitchen with basics such as pots and pans, while your roommate can buy reasonably-priced dual-purpose furniture, such as a couch and a coffee table for the living room. Keep it simple and attractive at the same time without going overboard.

10. Divide the cost of a Netflix subscription

While cable gives you a ton of channels to surf through and watch numerous movies and TV shows, it’s pricey. So, if you intend to save money, you need to look for something that costs way less than cable but gives you an array of movies and shows to choose from. Here’s where Netflix comes in! It might not give you a hundred channels, but you get to view some of the most recent, hard-hitting, and award-winning series and movies ever! Interestingly, many such series and movies are made especially for the Netflix platform, so it’s more of a recreational necessity. And it’s much cheaper than cable, so it’s a win-win!

11. Exercise together

For many, the idea of working out is associated with a gym, yoga or fitness studio. The concept of a home workout doesn’t gel well with them. But since we’re talking about all the ways we can save money, these methods won’t work even if you believe these are the ideal ways to remain fit. 

Then what? Get a couple of yoga or fitness videos or DVDs and find a suitable time to do them together. Running and cycling are fantastic ways to stay in shape, so if you’re both morning people, get up and get going! Or find some time after work to get together and work out. If you’re interested in sports, basketball or football are great ways to stay healthy. Last but not least, swim your way to perfect health!

12. Start a home garden

Ever had a garden or done any gardening? No? That’s okay because it’s never too late to start! Buy some seeds and set up a container garden in your home. Such gardens work well for homes with minimal space, but you get to grow a range of vegetables and herbs. Also, this serves two purposes: one, you save money on supermarket vegetables, and two, you get to use what you grow to cook your own food! All you need to do is ensure that once they’re planted, they get enough water and sunlight, and you’re all set!

13. Do your own laundry

As much as you may be tempted to go to a dry cleaning shop and get your clothes washed, it’s a lot of money. To save as much money as possible, it’s a given that you have to reduce your expenses. 

So, the more economical option would be to use a laundromat service. Costs reduce substantially, and your clothes come out cleaner than ever!

14. Allow more natural light into your home

Natural is always preferable to artificial, don’t you think? We agree! During the day, keep your blinds or curtains open and allow the sun’s rays to enter your home and turn it into a warm, homey, and happy place. In fact, this is an amazing way to reduce your utility bills. Wondering how? During a bitingly cold winter, the use of the heater leads to high electricity bills. Allowing natural light to enter your home reduces the need for artificial lights and helps you cut costs. When you cut costs, you save money!

So, are you ready to move in with your roommate and start saving money? We believe you are! While all these tips sound great, it might be wise to have open discussions with potential roommates about your respective financial situations and objectives. Seek agreement to work together to reach them. Only when you find someone whose thought process is aligned to yours, financially and otherwise, do you know you’ve found the right person!