How to Save Money While Living With Roommates

While there are lots of ways to save money besides rent, you shouldn’t forget about the most obvious way to pay less for your place. Getting a roommate to save money is popular among millennials, cause this is the easiest way to cut your expenses and bring your tight budget in order.

Living with roommates you don’t know is always less fun than sharing a house with your friends, but no one said you can’t have a good relationship with your neighbors and help each other to save some money.

So how come the life with roommates is so profitable besides the fact that you split the rent with them? The answer is simple – being always ready for a compromise and split the house responsibilities to run your household more efficiently.

Use Wholesale Accounts

Costco is not just for old people, having a membership in one of these wholesale stores is actually great when you live with roommates.

When you buy everything in bulk, you always get a decent discount and the pricing becomes more attractive. So the best option for you and your roommates will be completing a full list of the products and groceries you all need and buying everything in one store using your membership pricing.

Shopping for a few people is not an easy thing to do and you should come on a car or a take a ride on a taxi. You’ll have lots of bags, but the good thing is that you can only do it, for example, once a week.

Choose Who Runs The Budget

If you know for sure that you tend to waste your money on things you can avoid consuming or buying, you can offer your roommates to start your group budget.

This kind of business requires you to trust each other enough to allow dealing with your very own money. However, having one budget for the household expenses and even for groceries may significantly affect your wallet and let you plan your month budget ahead.

Assign someone to handle budget

When you choose one person to handle it, you ensure that every expense will be written down and reported. It means that you will be able to see where your money really is and how they’re managed.

Some of you will say that it’s kind of a big burden for someone to watch your common budget and write down the expenses. In this case, we would recommend you a schedule and change the man in charge of money once per month or once per quarter.

As a bonus, you can have a small separate budget where you’ll all chip in and use this money later for a common journey or a party, but that’s optional and it all depends on how much money you want to save.

Cook Home And Establish A Meal Plan

Since you decided that you want to save money now, you’ve got to understand that spontaneous visits to your favorite restaurant or cafe are not the best option for your meal plan.

Eating home is a common way to save money. You will feel how much money it saves especially if you live in a city like New York, where no one really cooks at home and always eats out. However, if you turn this habit around and start cooking on your own, you will sell a huge part of your monthly income.

Living with roommates will definitely help, since now you have a good company to cook together and to share the dinner.

Now we come closer to the food sharing and how you can split the groceries expenses. And should you actually do that? The quick answer will be ‘yes’ and here is why.

We don’t want to waste our money on products we won’t use or will use only partially in our meals, that’s why you and your roommates should create a meal plan. This plan will help you compile the shopping list that you’ll use later in the store. If you share your meals with roommates and establish a particular meal plan, you’ll be always sure that you don’t have unnecessary leftovers in the fridge and you will always plan the expected amount of money with only a few exceptions.


Buy Snacks In Advance

There is nothing more painful for your budget than unexpected spendings for treats and snacks. We all know how this happens and how we can decide to buy something tasty while watching a movie or working hard on some project in our room.

When you decide that you need a snack and go out on a search to the closest store in your neighborhood, you can be sure that you’ll spend extra dollars. When it happens once, you won’t really feel it and your budget too, but we all know that this type of situation can happen constantly.

That’s why we recommend you buying lots of snacks for the whole week on weekends while grocery shopping and stay always prepared for unexpected needs.

Plan Your Entertainment Together

This will work if you established a good relationship with your roommates and maybe if you simply live with friends.

There is always a great opportunity for you to save some money by throwing a picnic together with your friends or simply hanging out together with a common budget.

Plan your hangouts together

Hanging out with your friends is awesome, but hanging out with your roommates is even better, cause this works just as a team-building event that helps you build a stronger relationship with the people you live in one apartment.

Establish The Money Jar Policy

Roommates rules should always be followed in order for you to keep the home environment healthy. Sometimes people like to set some rules for fun and one of them can actually benefit your budget.

For example, establishing the money jar for the ‘change’ is smart, but have you ever considered a ‘swear jar’? This thing can not only help you collect some money, but also cure your swearing habits.

Basically, every time you curse in front of your roommates, you put a dollar into the jar. Later on, when the jar gets full, you can open it and spend this money on a pizza or some snacks for your future movie night together.

Share One Netflix Account Together

Netflix is a great cheap alternative to the cable TV. Yes, you won’t be able to watch the latest show of Colbert live, but you’ll still be able to access a huge library of awesome movies and tv shows.

Share your netflix account

Some of them, by the way, they deliver exclusively for Netflix, so today having a Netflix account is a must. The coolest thing about it is that Netflix allows you to create a few taste profiles for a few roommates, family members or friends.

You can chip in and pay for one account, create a few taste profiles and everyone will enjoy great movies and shows for a few dollars only.

Exchange Furniture With Each Other

Every roommate will have his/her own decoration ideas for own room. Since most of the times we tend to move into the furnished place, your roommates may have chairs, tables or other furniture that won’t fit the room’s design.

Need a chair? Talk to one of your roommates, chances are he/she has the coolest one for your room that he/she doesn’t need at all. It’s a win-win situation since you’ll get the desired chair and your roommate will get extra space in the room.

Share The Furniture And Decoration Expenses

That’s when we talk about your own rooms, but you still have a kitchen and a living room where you hang out together.

Share furniture expenses

It means that you should discuss all the decoration ideas together and decide what kind of a sofa you guys need to watch Netflix in the evenings together.

All these expenses should be covered by your common budget and everyone should have a vote here.

Get Fit Together

Gym subscription is not a cheap thing to have. However, there are lots of outdoor activities that you could do, but you always missed the team members. Now look around, you’ve got a few roommates, why not to carry on your idea to complete your basketball team and play 2×2?

Basketball, soccer, running, swimming, cycling – all these sports are more attractive and efficient when you do them together.


It will always be a huge question of what’s better when it comes to choosing between living with roommates vs living alone. However, we believe that splitting your rent with roommates is a tremendous opportunity for you to save some money and have fun living with your friends.

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