Author Topic: Should I live alone even though it costs more?  (Read 8760 times)

PoutineLover

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Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« on: April 19, 2016, 11:40:58 AM »
I am pretty sure that I want to move out of my current apartment which I share with a roommate and live alone instead. My last roommate left unexpectedly, leaving me scrambling to find a new one. I did end up getting someone, and he seems fine, but due to the hassle of relying on someone else to pay half the rent and not being able to control their actions, I think I'd be better off living independently. The only problem is, it will cost me a bit more per month (about $250 if I get the apartment I'm looking at). I would still be able to save, but not as much as before. I don't want to move much further to get a cheaper place, since I'm in a very convenient area where I can bike for most of the year and have an easy bus or metro ride during the worst months of winter. I am also at the point where I have never lived alone and I want to see what it's like. I just feel bad because I was planning on saving so much money this year and now I won't reach my goals. Although, I might get more hours at work and then I'd be able to save as much as I was planning to or more (but that's not a sure thing so I can't count on it).
Anyway, this is a bit long, I've probably already made my decision anyway, but I was wondering if anyone else had maybe gone through a similar thing and had any wisdom to share.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2016, 11:49:49 AM »
I think it depends on where you are right now. Do you have any debt? If your hair is on fire (debt of 4+%, for example), I say chin up and keep going with the roommate. But personally? I like life SO MUCH BETTER without roommate (husband excepted, obviously). I would absolutely do that for $250/month. But then, I have always gravitated toward studios rather than roomies. I would prefer to be short on space than short of privacy.

AZDude

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2016, 11:51:18 AM »
Go for it. If you are just saving less instead of not saving at all, and its important to you, then you should do it.

BFGirl

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2016, 11:56:01 AM »
Go for it. If you are just saving less instead of not saving at all, and its important to you, then you should do it.

+1

neo von retorch

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2016, 12:02:22 PM »
I bought a 3 bedroom house in 2007. I always had people living with me. For maybe 6 months, I left one of the bedrooms open and made it into a man-cave of sorts. It was pretty great, but after a while, I felt it was silly and rented that other room out again. In my case, it was a difference of roughly $6000 per year, so it felt pretty stupid to give up that income just to have more room to play. At some point, I started using mysmartmove.com to learn more about potential roommates/tenants, and it helped. Maybe you don't live somewhere such that it's easy to find (reasonably good) roommates, but if you do a combination of research and trusting your intuition, I think you can do well. I've had almost entirely good roommates, with one bad one that almost moved in, but showed his true colors a day too early and did not move in!

PoutineLover

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2016, 12:11:33 PM »
I think it depends on where you are right now. Do you have any debt? If your hair is on fire (debt of 4+%, for example), I say chin up and keep going with the roommate. But personally? I like life SO MUCH BETTER without roommate (husband excepted, obviously). I would absolutely do that for $250/month. But then, I have always gravitated toward studios rather than roomies. I would prefer to be short on space than short of privacy.

I don't have any debt anymore (yay!) so that wouldn't be a concern. It's just my savings rate that would suffer. I was hoping to save at least 40% net this year but I think with the move I'd be under 30%.

PoutineLover

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2016, 12:15:13 PM »
I bought a 3 bedroom house in 2007. I always had people living with me. For maybe 6 months, I left one of the bedrooms open and made it into a man-cave of sorts. It was pretty great, but after a while, I felt it was silly and rented that other room out again. In my case, it was a difference of roughly $6000 per year, so it felt pretty stupid to give up that income just to have more room to play. At some point, I started using mysmartmove.com to learn more about potential roommates/tenants, and it helped. Maybe you don't live somewhere such that it's easy to find (reasonably good) roommates, but if you do a combination of research and trusting your intuition, I think you can do well. I've had almost entirely good roommates, with one bad one that almost moved in, but showed his true colors a day too early and did not move in!

I had a roommate I liked a lot for 5 years, we were good friends. She just decided she would rather live with her new boyfriend instead and bailed with hardly any notice. I'm wary of getting burned again, although I do trust the guy I found. It's more the privacy I would want and the freedom from all the hassle of getting new people in, it's been kinda stressful these past few weeks.

bobechs

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2016, 12:25:20 PM »
If you do enough overtime you will be essentially living at the office.  When you have adapted to that, you can just surreptitiously move some bedding and personal supplies into your workspace, drop the shared apartment, and bank all the overtime plus all of what you were previously spending on rent & utilities.

Think of the savings!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2016, 12:26:17 PM »
I think it depends on where you are right now. Do you have any debt? If your hair is on fire (debt of 4+%, for example), I say chin up and keep going with the roommate. But personally? I like life SO MUCH BETTER without roommate (husband excepted, obviously). I would absolutely do that for $250/month. But then, I have always gravitated toward studios rather than roomies. I would prefer to be short on space than short of privacy.

I don't have any debt anymore (yay!) so that wouldn't be a concern. It's just my savings rate that would suffer. I was hoping to save at least 40% net this year but I think with the move I'd be under 30%.

In that case? I think it's 100% worth it for sanity and stability. Of course, we just moved our roommate (of the last 10 months) out this weekend, increasing our rent to the tune of $500/month, and I couldn't be happier! So I may be a bit biased.

PoutineLover

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2016, 12:33:30 PM »
If you do enough overtime you will be essentially living at the office.  When you have adapted to that, you can just surreptitiously move some bedding and personal supplies into your workspace, drop the shared apartment, and bank all the overtime plus all of what you were previously spending on rent & utilities.

Think of the savings!

Great idea, why didn't I think of that?! but what would I do with my cat..

bobechs

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2016, 12:43:42 PM »
If you do enough overtime you will be essentially living at the office.  When you have adapted to that, you can just surreptitiously move some bedding and personal supplies into your workspace, drop the shared apartment, and bank all the overtime plus all of what you were previously spending on rent & utilities.

Think of the savings!

Great idea, why didn't I think of that?! but what would I do with my cat..



Get your cat a job where you work.  Do I have to explain everything to you?

PoutineLover

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2016, 12:47:17 PM »
If you do enough overtime you will be essentially living at the office.  When you have adapted to that, you can just surreptitiously move some bedding and personal supplies into your workspace, drop the shared apartment, and bank all the overtime plus all of what you were previously spending on rent & utilities.

Think of the savings!

Great idea, why didn't I think of that?! but what would I do with my cat..



Get your cat a job where you work.  Do I have to explain everything to you?

She is very lazy though. Her job would be napping and looking cute :) Unfortunately I don't know anyone who gets paid to do that, otherwise it would totally be mine too.

bobechs

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2016, 12:51:40 PM »
If you do enough overtime you will be essentially living at the office.  When you have adapted to that, you can just surreptitiously move some bedding and personal supplies into your workspace, drop the shared apartment, and bank all the overtime plus all of what you were previously spending on rent & utilities.

Think of the savings!

Great idea, why didn't I think of that?! but what would I do with my cat..



Get your cat a job where you work.  Do I have to explain everything to you?

She is very lazy though. Her job would be napping and looking cute :) Unfortunately I don't know anyone who gets paid to do that, otherwise it would totally be mine too.

Well, if it is just a question of salary I would investigate the possibility of an internship.

neo von retorch

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2016, 12:59:13 PM »
Ah yes - another thing was that I didn't used to take security deposits. Then I started to take $200, and before long it was up to $500. If you didn't give me 30 days notice, kiss your deposit goodbye! If $250 * 12 => $3000 is 10% of your income (i.e. moving savings from 40% to 30%) then I'd be on the fence. It's not at all insignificant. Obviously, neither is living with people. Finding people can be stressful, but it's an infrequent event, rather than something you live with everyday.

It's good to optimize recurring income/expense ratios, and sometimes it's worth one-time costs or efforts.

PoutineLover

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2016, 01:08:28 PM »
Ah yes - another thing was that I didn't used to take security deposits. Then I started to take $200, and before long it was up to $500. If you didn't give me 30 days notice, kiss your deposit goodbye! If $250 * 12 => $3000 is 10% of your income (i.e. moving savings from 40% to 30%) then I'd be on the fence. It's not at all insignificant. Obviously, neither is living with people. Finding people can be stressful, but it's an infrequent event, rather than something you live with everyday.

It's good to optimize recurring income/expense ratios, and sometimes it's worth one-time costs or efforts.

It's illegal to take security deposits where I live, so I'm not sure if I could get away with that, although roommate agreements are quite informal in my experience. It is a significant fraction of my income, and it would set me back a bit in terms of savings for the moment, but if I did end up getting the extra hours it wouldn't be so bad, that would work out to about a 25% raise. I have lived with strangers in the past and I just didn't like it that much, it's awkward having guests over sometimes and I can't walk around naked (whether that freedom is worth $250 a month though, I can't say)

jenn_ifer

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2016, 02:13:53 PM »
FWIW, I have lived alone for the last 11 years, and I absolutely *love* it.  But, in hindsight, I could have saved a LOT more money and been in a much better situation financially if I had just sucked it up and had roommates in my 20s.  The freedom of having your own place is wonderful, but I am not sure it's worth sacrificing your financial freedom quite yet and would personally recommend sticking it out until that $250 is significantly less than 10% of your savings rate.

NV Teacher

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2016, 03:01:40 PM »
I have lived alone since graduating from college and it's been worth every penny.  I deal with people (big and little) ALL day long at work and I need that time to myself to keep my sanity.

ormaybemidgets

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2016, 03:56:36 PM »
If you do enough overtime you will be essentially living at the office.  When you have adapted to that, you can just surreptitiously move some bedding and personal supplies into your workspace, drop the shared apartment, and bank all the overtime plus all of what you were previously spending on rent & utilities.

Think of the savings!

Great idea, why didn't I think of that?! but what would I do with my cat..



Get your cat a job where you work.  Do I have to explain everything to you?

She is very lazy though. Her job would be napping and looking cute :) Unfortunately I don't know anyone who gets paid to do that, otherwise it would totally be mine too.

Well, if it is just a question of salary I would investigate the possibility of an internship.



"In January 5, 2007, railway officials decided to officially name Tama the station master. As station master, her primary duty was to greet passengers. The position came with a station master's hat; in lieu of a salary, the railway provided Tama with cat food."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tama_(cat)

Fred2004

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2016, 04:09:31 PM »
For $250 get your own place.

The difference between having a roommate and not in SoCal is about $1,000...

I didn't see a mention of age or income.

Roommates can be great, or they can be your worst nightmare.

bridget

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2016, 05:06:38 PM »
I think it depends on where you are right now. Do you have any debt? If your hair is on fire (debt of 4+%, for example), I say chin up and keep going with the roommate. But personally? I like life SO MUCH BETTER without roommate (husband excepted, obviously). I would absolutely do that for $250/month. But then, I have always gravitated toward studios rather than roomies. I would prefer to be short on space than short of privacy.

I don't have any debt anymore (yay!) so that wouldn't be a concern. It's just my savings rate that would suffer. I was hoping to save at least 40% net this year but I think with the move I'd be under 30%.

In that case? I think it's 100% worth it for sanity and stability. Of course, we just moved our roommate (of the last 10 months) out this weekend, increasing our rent to the tune of $500/month, and I couldn't be happier! So I may be a bit biased.

Amen. This would be a no-brainer for me. I'd happily cut almost every other expense to the bone before I got a roommate again (my spouse excluded). I bet you can get creative and find at least some of that $250 in other parts of your budget. Some parts of living alone are actually cheaper - you get complete control of the thermostat and electricity use, for example. When you find a great sale on chicken, you can stock the freezer to your heart's content. Nobody borrows your milk without replacing it. There may be little savings that can ease the burden of the $250/mo.

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2016, 11:34:54 PM »
For $250, given you're already saving 30% of your income, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

But set yourself the goal of increasing your income and other expenses. Do that overtime, work on getting a payrise, eat at home more, and bulk cook like crazy, given there are no annoying flatmates clogging up the kitchen.

Also, review after a year - how much have you saved? How much do you like / dislike living by yourself? Is it still working for you? No shame in going back to living with a someone after that.

Personally, I think it's a great thing to have lived by yourself once in your life. Not everyone has to do it but if you're interested (and you said you are) then, give yourself the gift of independence, solitude and freedom. 

Epry123

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2016, 03:05:09 AM »
Looks like alot of people are kind of split 50/50 on this topic and its understandable because the answer is really dependent on who you are. Ive had several room mates only to learn i like having friends and all but living with someone else just isnt for me

For $250 I would deff live alone

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2016, 03:28:49 AM »
But then, I have always gravitated toward studios rather than roomies. I would prefer to be short on space than short of privacy.

+1 on that!

Personally, I'd go it alone too for only 3K a year more. 

Don't forget the hidden costs of having a roommate.  In my experience, its rather common to have one split early (as you've seen) or coming up short on cash for rent and bills here or there.  Even if its just one months rent or a couple months utility bills it can quickly eat into the 3K of savings.  Plus it's easier to optimize frugal living if you don't have a consumer suck'a for a roommate.  A/C on all the time, cable you have to split, food disappearing, you having to "go out" just to get away, etc.  These can all be difficult to identify leaks in a frugal budget that can quickly add up to a couple hundred a month anyway.

...And get a less lazy cat!

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2016, 07:31:53 AM »
I would try living alone for a while.  You may not like it.  You can always move again and get a new roommate.  I had room mates for 11 years and then lived alone for one year and then my husband and I moved in together.  It was good to have that time alone to have things exactly the way I want them and no sharing.  My then-boyfriend was working two and half hours away from where I was working so we both had our own places.  I think it helped us both out to know what running a functional household was like before we figured out a a way to work in locations closer together so we could move into together.  I totally think of the extra rent that I spent that one year helped me know what was important about my living style.

PoutineLover

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Re: Should I live alone even though it costs more?
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2016, 08:38:09 AM »
Thanks for all the input. Seems like for some people, the extra expense is totally worth it, while for others it's more like why spend more if you don't have to. I know I don't have a super high income yet and I can't afford luxuries, which is why my apartments (current and prospective) are not really fancy but they are functional. It might seem trivial but the new place has way more windows, and I'm looking forward to that extra light (but I will put plastic on them to save on heating).
I am working on increasing side hustle money, I have some extra income from working at a club I belong to which pays my dues there and a bit extra. I can definitely use the increased storage space to save with bulk groceries and I like having the heat on low and bundling up, while my roommate would walk around in a t-shirt and crank the heat. So overall I can probably control the rising costs a bit and the psychological benefits of getting my own place will balance out the financial hit.
And I'll get my cat an internship ASAP, she needs to start pulling her own weight around here. Preferably one that requires a cute costume, she'll hate that but it'll look so good on her.