You're ready to move out of your parents and live with friends? Here are six areas to consider and prepare before you take the leap.
Moving in with friends can seem like an appealing way to leave the nest but also save some money; however, it can also become a stressful situation if everyone's not on the same page. Let me share with you 6 ways to make sure your roommates don't make you broke.
You may have noticed not everyone is good with money or the most responsible. It is important to ask some tough questions of anyone, even when considering living with friends. Ask logistical questions like for a pay stub to ensure they have a stable job. It is also important though to ask non-logistical questions like how they would respond to certain circumstances. Personalities should mesh well because if they're a spender and you're a saver, that can lead to bigger problems like not paying rent on time, so choose wisely.
Get all parties in one place and discuss some ground rules everyone can agree on. Whose name will be on the lease? How are utilities to be split and managed? Who will take out the trash? And, what happens if something needs to be repaired? These are just a few of the questions to be asking when considering living with friends. Talk through each of these questions thoroughly because, while you are not drafting the next Constitution, you are determining the culture you're creating for your shared space.
Make sure you keep the three-Fs totally separate (food, furniture and finances) when living with friends.
With food, it can be very easy to blur the lines and find someone has eaten what you paid for. Keep your food separate, using containers and a label-maker. If someone is short on something and needs an ingredient, set some ground rules for what items can be used and when how they are to be replaced.
While this cost can be big, sharing is only setting you up for a fight down the line. No matter how hard you try, when you cut a couch in half, it doesn't create two loveseats.
Never mix your money. Keep your money separate, otherwise you don't have any legal protection if and when the relationship turns sour. One of the most common mistakes I see is a couple, who isn't married, living together and mixing everything. Then, when the relationship doesn't last, they end up with an ugly mess.
Chances are, whether there are two or six roommates, one of you is a more naturally gifted administrator. This person would be the point person for collecting rent and other costs like the bills from all the roommates, paying said rent and utilities, communicating with the landlord, and more. They are the captain of the ship and if there are too many captains, your living arrangement is going to sink. Without a defined leader, something is bound to blow up. So, make sure you pick a solid administrator when living with friends.
Even if for just a few minutes each week, get all the roommates together to touch base on bills, provide a forum to deal with any potential issues, and more. The last thing you want to do is breed neglect. Clear communication will help you avoid this.
Define all important and pertinent details in an agreement for all to sign: cost of rent, administrator, regular group meetings, repercussions for not following the ground-rules, etc. Clearly define and agree upon everything in writing. Does this sound like overkill or unnecessary? It's not. It's called adulting. Welcome to the brave new world! Apply these new tactics and enjoy your new found freedom without the unnecessary headaches. For more information on moving out and up, check out the free checklist from "How to Crush Moving Out of Your Parents" to transition into this new season well and potentially find more money to fund your dreams.
Question: Do you plan on living with friends? Do you need help navigating the process and doing it well? Don't put yourself at risk. Let me help.
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