Finding a roommate can be easy: there’s always one in your college class, and everybody else thrives in the Internet.An ever-cooperative roommate is nothing but a lofty ideal, especially for someone who just landed at your doorstep after reading your post on Craigslist. (Probably not trustworthy.) But finding the almost perfect roommate takes time and effort. If you already have one, and during your first month the two of you are tossing each other’s clothes outside, and shouting expletives here and there, consider making yourself a cup of tea. Then keep calm and read this list.
CRUNCH THOSE NUMBERS: Depending on renting agreements, most apartments have separate bills for utility, etc. and yes, it’s up to you how and when to pay it. Keep records of billing statements and—this is the number one rule—always pay on time. Remember to let your roommate know if things are under water: posting bills and *gasp* credit card balances on the fridge is one way. Try to avoid having debts to each other; if inevitable, settle it as soon as you can. The first few months will be tough, but saving up little by little—whether it’s for miscellaneous buys or emergency funds—matters. It’s also about the mindset: think of your life in an apartment not as a haven for staycations, but as a phase in life to help you obtain financial freedom.
COOK YOUR OWN MEALS: Nothing beats good old home-cooked food, but only a small percentage of renters know how to cook. Try searching for ten-minute meals that are healthy and affordable: it may be laborious at first,but a recent survey in health issues of renters show that most of them suffer from diabetes and obesity duefastfood consumption. If you’re in for a pizza night with your buddies, think about serving eggplant calzone. Throw away your cabinet of coupons screaming free burgers and brochures with hotlines for pizza deliveries! Blanching and steaming vegetables, frying eggs and tossing salads save time and money. Plus, it gives you a renewed palate for everything healthy.
DELEGATE TASKS: It’s always practical to have a roommate when you rent any kind of buffalo apartments as long as you share tasks with each other. Between the two of you, someone should be in charge of taking out the garbage and doing groceries every Friday. Print each other’s schedules and tack it somewhere visible, and respect it. Come up with strategies: should we use paper plates and disposable utensils once in a while should help save time and energy in dishwashing?
UNDERSTAND:There’s no doubt that one of the most intimate relationships a person has had in his life is with his roommate. It’s not just about the rent, or the tasks: more importantly, it’s about cohabitation. A roommate has to have common interests with you, otherwise let him go before the entire apartment goes out of hand.
Acknowledge the fact that the two of you are coming from different backgrounds, even if you have been friends with your roommate since childhood. Try to think about having second thoughts on buying a Persian cat if your roommate has allergic reactions to pets in general. Steer away from arguments: take note of pet peeves, even if it’s as irrational as keeping the front door open. Packrats are surely in for a living hell with an OC-type, but acknowledging these differences takes time. Address issues as soon as possible. There are some that can be handled by a sincere apology: there’s the fact that your roommate is a slob at washing the dishes, but that’s manageable than a roommate who happened to sell drugs, for example, or blare loud music from his room during the weekends.
It takes two to tango, they say;as long as things get done and are well managed, it pays to understand differences, and to compromise.
SET LIMITATIONS: A roommate eats up space and at some point invades privacy. This is always at stake between roommates, and it’s important to know your limits. Always be considerate of other people’s space: knock when the door’s closed; ask when borrowing scissors. It’s these little things that build trust between roommates, and this would also make an apartment conducive to good and healthy relationships.
Though getting an extra hand to help you in taking out the garbage is one of the perks of having a friend sleep over for a couple of days, it’s always better if that friend is willing to pay half of your rent. Initially, these reasons strike us practical, but developing a good relationship with your roommate will do us good, and will eventually earn us a friend.