Tips for Roommates, Part I

If you’re like many Colorado residents, then you probably live with at least one other person. Whether they’re a close friend from college or someone you found online, having an extra person to split the cost of living with can be financially liberating. It’s important to foster a good relationship with whomever you’re living with, and in today’s post, we’ll provide you with several tips that can help you make the most of your living situation.

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Set Ground Rules And Communicate

Before you decide to sign a lease with a roommate, have an open and honest discussion about your priorities and expectations. Does it bother you to see dirty dishes constantly piled up in the sink? Do you need to have time to yourself in the mornings or in the evenings? Clearly communicating your expectations will ensure that you’ve minimized the possibility of a serious dispute arising shortly after you’ve moved in.

If you do notice yourself becoming annoyed or angry at something your roommate does, address the issue in a friendly, non-judgmental way. We tend to become defensive and angry when we feel like we’re being accused or judged for something, so try to communicate your frustration in a constructive way that won’t lead to an escalating conflict. If you’ve ever thought about leaving a note about a certain behavior, don’t. Passive-aggressive communication will only create a simmering, ongoing conflict between you and your roommate. Leave a note about leftover baked goods in the fridge, but don’t leave a note that conveys your frustration about the state of the bathroom.

Track Your Expenses

Even if you’re best friends with your roommate, a dispute over money is one of the quickest ways to damage your friendship. You and your roommate likely work full-time jobs, and you may find yourself forgetting when certain bills are due. Create a shared calendar for your household that lists the amount of each bill and when it’s due. You may not always have a checkbook or cash when it comes time to pay your roommate back for a bill, but you can now easily send and receive money through certain smartphone apps.

Though these are only two tips, they’re by far two of the most important rules for roommates to observe. Keep an eye out for future posts in which we’ll continue to provide you with even more tips for living with a roommate.

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