Pros & Cons Of Having A Roommate: For Those Of Us In TV News
The Pros & Cons Of
Having A Roommate:
For Those Of Us In TV News
It’s a common question in newsrooms: “Where do you live?”
Whether you’re there to interview for a job, and wondering about the “good side” of town, or just looking to move out of the horrible apartment you’re living in now, chances are, living arrangements come up. So, let’s weigh some of the pros and cons about having a roommate…
First things first, always look at the cost of living in that area versus what you’ll be making…after taxes.
Write out all of your bills and expenses. For example: a vehicle payment, insurance for that vehicle, groceries, gas, student loans, etc. Try to get as close to an exact dollar amount as possible, but, if you have to guess, always over estimate a little.
Once you have a list of bills, you can narrow down what kind of rent payment you can afford with what’s left of your paycheck. This is a big step determining whether you NEED a roommate or just WANT one.
Another piece of advice, be picky on who you choose. Granted, sometimes this isn’t an option. You need a place, and need it fast. But, if you do have the luxury of not having to make a quick decision, get to know that friend or coworker you’re thinking about living with a bit first.
Something else you may want to think about: Apartment or House?
Most of the time, renting a house can come with more expenses. There is a deposit, and other “set up fees” for things like electricity, cable, internet, and sometimes you even have to pay for repairs, like if there is an issue with the toilet and you need to call a plumber.
Make sure to get all of those details from a landlord and understand the “fine print.” Apartments also require a deposit, but, most of the time, a majority of the maintenance or repairs is taken care of by the apartment’s maintenance staff.
Some apartments also come with free basic cable, and some even offer Wi-Fi in “common areas.” Make sure to weigh all of the included amenities at each apartment complex and/or house.
• Shared expenses (let’s face it, we know how much we make.) As mentioned above, this is a huge—if not the determining—factor of getting a roommate. You’ll share a rent payment, and, depending on where you live, bills for electricity, water, gas, and trash services.
I can’t say it enough, budgeting is extremely important. Be smart with your money.
• Someone to talk to. This business can be rough. We all have bad days and moments we want to quit. Having someone to come home and talk to can make you feel like a heavy weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. Talking it out is a great way to deal with problems. Having a roommate you get along with and can talk to is like free therapy!
• Curb the feeling of loneness. This business can also be lonely. Our schedules are crazy and can change in a snap. This leaves less time for making friends and actually having a social life. A roommate can curb that “I’m all alone” feeling.
• You have a “partner in crime.” You have a built-in person to go out and do things with: attend events, go the movies, go eat, take a hike. Just like that, you have a social life again!
Now, let’s get to the not-so-wonderful things that come with having a roommate…
• They’re always there. If you like your alone time, I’d recommend not having a roommate. While companionship can be great, if you’re an introvert, or like to do things “your way and only your way,” maybe always having another person around isn’t the best for your well-being….or theirs.
• Feeling less independent. You’re out of college, starting a new job, maybe you’ve been working for a few years then bam…life happens, you’re down on your luck, want to save money and have to live with someone again. We all like having a sense of freedom. Sometimes, living with another person can hinder that. You have to take their schedules into consideration along with your own. If you are I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T (sing it like the rap song), and don’t want to rely on anyone, maybe take a second thought on getting a roommate.
• You can’t always trust everyone. Sadly, this is the world we live in. Someone at work may seem like your friend, but, outside of work, that’s not the case. Or, you meet someone who posted a “needs roommate” ad, and your gut is telling you “no way.” Always listen to your gut. If you get a bad feeling about someone, trust your instincts, and move on.
• Sharing isn’t always caring…Living with someone, you get to know them. Really well. That means dealing with their habits and behaviors. Dealing with their friends coming over (maybe they’re loud, and stay to the wee hours of the morning, keeping you up all night), dealing with their way of living: dirty dishes, sharing the bathroom, dirty laundry, and so on. If you don’t feel comfortable having conversations about issues (if you have them), maybe having a roommate is not for you.
If you do end up in a bad situation, there are always ways to get out of it.
You may have to pay to get out of your lease, or live on a friend’s couch for a while until you find something else, but your home should be a place where you feel comfortable and safe. If that’s not the case, do what you can to either address problems with your roommate(s), or get out of that bad situation.
On the brighter side…There are many more positive things that can come from having one or more roommates that are not on this list! You may even build life-long friendships, and be in each other’s weddings!
The key🔑 is (if you have the chance) knowing what you’re getting into beforehand, and knowing your budget.