Author Topic: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?  (Read 2696 times)

All That Glitters

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Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« on: March 18, 2018, 06:42:32 PM »
Hi Mustache People!

Would love some advice...

I'm a mid-30s single gal and I've been buckling down hard trying to get out of debt and managed to pay off $14,000 out of $36,000 debt btw Nov and March (in 5 months). My goal is to pay off the entire debt by January 2019 (in 9 months). I teach yoga/meditation and my income is highly variable (btw 4,500-10,000 per month, with plenty of hustle I've been managing to make 6,000-7,000/mo). In order to meet my goal I need to average paying about $2,700 to debt per month.

After I pay off my debt I'd love to build an emergency fund of $20,000 between Jan-June of 2019.

The cost of my life here in Brooklyn, NY, (including a training I'm cash-flowing this year), adds up to about $4,000 per month.

Here's my question: I live in a small apartment that costs $1,500/month (it will likely go up to $1,700 in July). I have lived in this apartment for 5 years, it's in a sweet spot next to beautiful Prospect Park, but I feel like it's time for a change. The lease is up July 1st and I'm considering getting really hardcore and moving out, renting a room for 6 months to a year, to slay the rest of my debt, and start to build an emergency fund, and savings. I'd love to have $20,000 savings by June 2019. I could probably rent a decent room for 1,000/month.

So, is it crazy, at my age, to move into a shared space? Will I totally resent not being able to do whatever I want when I want (including leaving dirty dishes in the sink, etc.)? Will people think I'm a loser? Or will it be totally liberating to be saving the money? Will I enjoy living with people after being alone all this time? Will I feel refreshed and inspired? Will I love having a significantly lower financial burden?

I've been pondering this for months and can't come to a clear conclusion... any insight is greatly appreciated!



lhamo

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2018, 06:49:15 PM »
It depends a lot on who you get as roommates.

I would start putting out the word that you are looking to share now, and look closely at how anyone you might be interested in sharing with actually lives -- make sure you can tolerate the level of mess/noise they live with as a visitor before you commit to sharing the space with them full time.

@MonkeyJenga and @norabird have both had good roommate setups in NY (and I think norabird is currently in Brooklyn), and may have useful advice/suggestions about how to ensure you get a good situation and not a disaster.

I would be prepared to pay more to renew your current lease if you can't find the right setup.  It is better to wait for the right thing or pay a bit more for what you have than to jump into something questionable and have the resulting stress/chaos affect your ability to work. 

limeandpepper

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2018, 07:29:06 PM »
So, is it crazy, at my age, to move into a shared space? Will I totally resent not being able to do whatever I want when I want (including leaving dirty dishes in the sink, etc.)? Will people think I'm a loser? Or will it be totally liberating to be saving the money? Will I enjoy living with people after being alone all this time? Will I feel refreshed and inspired? Will I love having a significantly lower financial burden?

It's definitely not crazy to sharehouse at your age (or any age). You'd be surprised at the diversity of people who do sharehousing. In my most recent sharehouse, I was the youngest, my other housemates were in their 40s and 50s. One has a wife and kids in another country. Another guy is divorced, does fly-in-fly-out work, has a teenage daughter and an adult son who live interstate. The other one is the landlady, a woman who has a husband who does fly-in-fly-out as well, she lives with him in their own place when he is not working, and lives in this sharehouse when he's away for work, because it's closer to her work.

If you have reasonable housemates, sharehousing isn't that difficult, unless you're lazy or fussy. I.e. if being able to leave dirty dishes piling up in the sink is important to you, then probably best that you live on your own rather than inflict that upon other people. Or if hearing other people talking or watching TV or pottering around disturbs you greatly, or if you want to cook whenever you like and not have to potentially wait for someone else to be finished with their kitchen usage. But sharehousing has its perks too, if for example you have a handy housemate who knows how to fix things around the house, etc. It's the sort of thing that is very dependent on your personality I guess. I'm an introvert and love having my own space, but I love saving even more, so I sharehoused for a long time!

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2018, 08:08:02 PM »
It's not crazy and people won't think you're a loser. NYC is expensive, lots of people have roommates. For the savings, it's worth trying it for a year and seeing how you handle it. I prefer living with people, even aside from the cost savings. You may surprise yourself!

But even if it's not ideal, saving almost ten grand a year is a no brainer. Good luck!

teltic

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2018, 01:08:39 PM »
No one will say "look at that mid-30s single with a roommate, what a loser."  If anything people will say, "Oh shit, she is saving $500+ a month by sharing an apartment with someone..."

It makes even more sense if you work over 40 hours a week (more work = less time you'd spend in your private apartment). Stash Cash!

asosharp

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 02:55:49 AM »
First of all, there's nothing wrong with sharing a household. I know empty nesters who rent rooms to people, isn't that almost the same thing? Or are you afraid that your potential boyfriend/girlfriend will think you're a loser cos you're sharing a house with someone? Does it really matter what they think?

Sometimes people just want company because they don't want to live alone in the house by themselves for security reasons or whatever it may be. Some people are fiercely independent and just want to stay by themselves. Either way, that's completely okay.

The only danger comes with selecting a housemate, ensuring that you and that person will gel. You don't want to have a housemate from hell. So choose wisely.

secondchance

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2018, 10:13:08 PM »
It's totally normal to share in your 30's in NYC (so says the 30-something moving back to NYC, defensively) BUT you need to have a good vibe about the people you are living with. You'll spend more time with them than any romantic relationship.  If you move into a bad situation to save some quick cash, you'll just end up moving out again.  And remember that moving itself is stressful and moderately expensive.

ElleFiji

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2018, 05:45:35 AM »
I would love to hear more about how you structure your teaching to bring in your income. I'm still building, and it would be amazing to build to that point

norabird

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2018, 08:22:46 AM »
Oh hi neighbor! I’m off prospect park too :) I am fortunate to live in an apartment my parents bought (I had a bad breakup and my parents are very generous), but it’s a three bedroom and there are four of us living here and sharing the cost of the mortgage and condo fee, so it’s not really any different from any past situation I’ve had in the day to day. My boyfriend moved in with me and then we ended up finding two very lovely roommates who are as wonderful (er, mostly absent and also very good about chores) as can be. I have friends who rent their own places and I honestly can’t imagine it—I make an okay salary now but affording rent on my own is both unrealistic and not super interesting to me. If I could I would have a dozen bedrooms here and people like you could live in them all! I’m 34 but I find it nice to have a shared place; we joke that it’s a standup incubator now as the new roommates are both comics. For the first three years in my place I had two other roommates who were also lovely, and we still hang out together. You can always look around on Craigslist to see what’s out there, and you should join the Prospect Lefferts Garden and Flatbush neighborhood group on admittedly evil Facebook to check out posts there. I’ve never paid more than 625 or so a month, in places in Bay Ridge, Park Slope, and Bed Stuy, though I know most shares are closer to 800-1000. Those probably get you a nicer space!  I’ve never once had a roommate problem and even paying 1000 a month you’d save a cool 500 a month.

dcheesi

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2018, 08:59:43 AM »
A while back my brother was 50-ish and happily renting a room in Manhattan, so it's definitely doable. Of course he's also very un-mustachian and spent many of his nights out, which helps relieve some of the space and sharing issues but also cuts drastically into the potential savings of such an arrangement.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 09:02:35 AM by dcheesi »

Dicey

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2018, 09:24:42 AM »
I recently outlined a list of financial mistakes I made on the way to FIRE, but not the smart things I did that saved my ass.

One was having a couple of jobs that included company cars and cellphones. The other was having roommates. I was the master tenant in an apartment for a decade, then did some houseshares, then bought a couple of places and had roommates. Didn't marry until I was 54, had roommates for all but 4 or 5 years, max. I made some good friendships along the way. 

All That Glitters

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2018, 05:29:57 PM »
It makes even more sense if you work over 40 hours a week (more work = less time you'd spend in your private apartment). Stash Cash!
[/quote]

Ha ha. So true! I think about this a lot. The people who have the nicest places are often very rarely in them.

All That Glitters

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2018, 05:33:45 PM »
Oh hi neighbor! Iím off prospect park too :) I am fortunate to live in an apartment my parents bought (I had a bad breakup and my parents are very generous), but itís a three bedroom and there are four of us living here and sharing the cost of the mortgage and condo fee, so itís not really any different from any past situation Iíve had in the day to day. My boyfriend moved in with me and then we ended up finding two very lovely roommates who are as wonderful (er, mostly absent and also very good about chores) as can be. I have friends who rent their own places and I honestly canít imagine itóI make an okay salary now but affording rent on my own is both unrealistic and not super interesting to me. If I could I would have a dozen bedrooms here and people like you could live in them all! Iím 34 but I find it nice to have a shared place; we joke that itís a standup incubator now as the new roommates are both comics. For the first three years in my place I had two other roommates who were also lovely, and we still hang out together. You can always look around on Craigslist to see whatís out there, and you should join the Prospect Lefferts Garden and Flatbush neighborhood group on admittedly evil Facebook to check out posts there. Iíve never paid more than 625 or so a month, in places in Bay Ridge, Park Slope, and Bed Stuy, though I know most shares are closer to 800-1000. Those probably get you a nicer space!  Iíve never once had a roommate problem and even paying 1000 a month youíd save a cool 500 a month.

Ah this is awesome and inspirational! I love that you and your boyfriend live together and still have roommates. I think it's a sign of a healthy relationship that you aren't all isolated and stuff. Thanks for the FB page tip!

Since I wrote this a friend offered me to stay for free in his spare room in Chelsea til I'm out of debt. Tres generous. So interesting how the world meets you to support you when you put it out there...

All That Glitters

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2018, 05:35:00 PM »
I recently outlined a list of financial mistakes I made on the way to FIRE, but not the smart things I did that saved my ass.

One was having a couple of jobs that included company cars and cellphones. The other was having roommates. I was the master tenant in an apartment for a decade, then did some houseshares, then bought a couple of places and had roommates. Didn't marry until I was 54, had roommates for all but 4 or 5 years, max. I made some good friendships along the way.

This is so cool. Thank you for sharing your story. I love that you married at 54. I'm in no rush, but I'd like to some day.

Padonak

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2018, 05:46:06 PM »
Oh hi neighbor! Iím off prospect park too :) I am fortunate to live in an apartment my parents bought (I had a bad breakup and my parents are very generous), but itís a three bedroom and there are four of us living here and sharing the cost of the mortgage and condo fee, so itís not really any different from any past situation Iíve had in the day to day. My boyfriend moved in with me and then we ended up finding two very lovely roommates who are as wonderful (er, mostly absent and also very good about chores) as can be. I have friends who rent their own places and I honestly canít imagine itóI make an okay salary now but affording rent on my own is both unrealistic and not super interesting to me. If I could I would have a dozen bedrooms here and people like you could live in them all! Iím 34 but I find it nice to have a shared place; we joke that itís a standup incubator now as the new roommates are both comics. For the first three years in my place I had two other roommates who were also lovely, and we still hang out together. You can always look around on Craigslist to see whatís out there, and you should join the Prospect Lefferts Garden and Flatbush neighborhood group on admittedly evil Facebook to check out posts there. Iíve never paid more than 625 or so a month, in places in Bay Ridge, Park Slope, and Bed Stuy, though I know most shares are closer to 800-1000. Those probably get you a nicer space!  Iíve never once had a roommate problem and even paying 1000 a month youíd save a cool 500 a month.

I had roommates as a student but prefer to live alone even if I have to commute longer and live in a not so cool area (I also live and work in NYC area btw). Having roommates is ok if you share a big house with en suite bedrooms and good sound insulation, maybe even separate entrances to different rooms. However, in New York good luck finding that. There are so many problems and awkward situations when you share an apartment.

For example, what do you do if you have to fart very loud? In my separate apartment, I don't really talk to neighbors downstairs/upstairs that much so I don't care if I let it rip and they car hear it.

What if you bring home a special someone and have sexytime? What if she is a screamer? Or maybe he is, I don't know if guys scream lol. Not like it happens very often, but if it does I don't care that much what neighbors in other apartments think. It would be different with roommates.

What if you have a party, get drunk and say or do stupid stuff, your friends do the same, maybe say something stupid or controversial? Don't you feel embarrassed when you run into your roommates after that?

What if you think about something, get carried away and say something out loud? It happens to normal people too, not only bums on the subway. Definitely happens to me sometimes. I would be embarrassed if roommates could hear it.
 

« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 05:52:07 PM by Padonak »

Igelfreundin

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2018, 09:15:03 PM »
I'm in DC, not NYC, but around here a 30-something in a shared apartment is not unusual. I own a house and rent out a room. The key for me was identifying my dealbreakers. I really like a clean house to I screen for neat people (although they can keep their room as messy as they like obviously), and I am really quiet so I look for non-talkers. I've had six roommates so far, and they've all worked out well.

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grantmeaname

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2018, 09:17:20 PM »
things
People fart. It sounds exhausting spending that much time worrying what strangers across walls might think.

norabird

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Re: Should I move into shared apartment to save $$?
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2018, 07:20:43 AM »
Definitely the friend in Chelsea option sounds great! Once you open your status to open with roommates, really lovely arrangements can come about.