Big decisions: Who to live with

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Credit Image by Popchart

“Start here”

The arrow points to the text “Can you afford an apartment by yourself? A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your income on rent.”

One arrow points to the text “I got this!”

One arrow points to the image of a toothbrush in a cup, and the text “ Are you okay with living alone?”

An arrow points to the text “I love my independence!”

The next arrow points to the image of a fairy-tale castle, and the text “Do it! Be the king or queen of your castle.”

An arrow points to the text “Not my cup of tea.”

An arrow points to the image of two toothbrushes in a cup, and the text “Do you have a significant other?”

One arrow points to the text “Yes, we’re in love.”

Another arrow points to the text, “I guess you could say that.”

An arrow points to the image of a heart-shaped key and a lock, and the text, “Do you feel ready to take that next step?”

One arrow points to the text “Without a doubt.”

Another arrow points to the text “Thinking about it.”

Arrow for both answers above points to the image of a tree stump with age rings, and the text “How old are you? Studies show that living together before age 23 is critical risk factor for splitting up in the future.”

One arrow points to the text “23+”

Arrow points to the image of two lovebirds sitting on a perch, and the text “Go ahead, you lovebirds.”

Another arrow points to the text “Younger than 23.”

Arrow points to the image of a roommate-finder website, and the text “A fun roommate awaits! Put the word out through friends andfamily, all of your networks (including alumni networks and your social media accounts), or try online roommate sources.”

Another arrow points to the text, “I’m living the single life.”

Arrow points to the image of a roommate-finder website, and the text “A fun roommate awaits! Put the word out through friends andfamily, all of your networks (including alumni networks and your social media accounts), or try online roommate sources.”

Another arrow points to the text “That would be tough.”

One arrow points to the image of a big house, and the text “Do you get along with your parents?”

An arrow points to the text “We get along pretty well.”

Arrow points to image of a big house with a moving van out front, and the text “Move back in with Mom and Dad. Remember, it can be temporary. It’s a great way to help you save money and pay down debts. You should probably do your own laundry, though.”

An arrow points to the text “Like oil and water.”

 

 

Arrow points to the image of a roommate-finder website, and the text “A fun roommate awaits! Put the word out through friends andfamily, all of your networks (including alumni networks and your social media accounts), or try online roommate sources.”

Why it took five years and a 750-mile move to decide to live with my boyfriend.

Who to live with: Choosing a roommate - Kari Smith According to my alma mater, I am a “woman of influence.” I graduated from a small women’s college in upstate New York and knew from the get-go that I did not want to move back home with Mom and Dad. So, with a stubborn independence and the world at my fingertips, I moved to Boston on my own to begin my publishing career. It wasn’t easy, but I found roommates on Craigslist to help make ends meet, and I was excited to explore a new city. At the same time, my boyfriend, Michael, moved to New Hampshire to begin his career in engineering and later started an MBA program that consumed his evening hours. We were grateful to have found great career opportunities in a troubled economy and spent the next few years focusing on our jobs. During that time, I tossed around the idea of changing jobs so we could be in the same place and potentially move in together; but no opportunities arose, so we maintained the status quo and kept our noses to the grindstone.

We made our relationship work by seeing each other on weekends and traveling together to see both our families at every holiday and special event. We each had our own routines and enjoyed our independence — spending time with coworkers, exploring local areas, playing in softball leagues — but also savored any time we could share together.

However, when our relationship reached the five-year mark, we were presented with a big decision. His employer was relocating him 750 miles away, to North Carolina — a state I had never even visited before. Would I go with him?

Within days of the relocation news, Michael’s father passed away suddenly. In the hazy days that followed, we relied on each other for strength, love, and support as we tried to make sense of our new reality. His father’s death put many things in perspective for us and made us value our relationship even more. Instead of fears about what could go wrong if we took the leap, we were filled with hope and excitement for an unknown future. Would I go with him? Absolutely. So, a month later we jumped in with both feet and began our adventure south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Sometimes the universe presents opportunities, and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you have to make decisions using reasoning and logic, and sometimes you have to make decisions using your heart. Sometimes things just click. Soon we developed new routines — we have guys’ nights and girls’ nights (because we still value our independence), but also spend time with coworkers together, explore local areas together, and now, after seven years of dating, are planning a wedding together … all while living under the same roof.

 


Sometimes you have to make decisions using reasoning and logic, and sometimes you have to make decisions using your heart.


Financial factors: living with roommates

Whether living with your significant other or a roommate you discovered on Craigslist, there are a number of financial considerations to agree on before moving in together. 

  • How you’ll split rent, the security deposit, utilities, and renters insurance.
  • Whether you’ll share food costs, or just keep your own food on separate shelves.
  • What to do if one of you wants or has to leave before the lease ends.