The cost of living has significantly increased in the United States over the past 20 years, higher than wages and inflation. Housing and rent costs are at the center of this economic issue. In urban areas, a dingy, dilapidated studio apartment costs over $1000 for the size of a shoebox (or “micro apartment”). To maintain affordability, renters have to sacrifice space and comfort, or live with three other roommates in a home. In less populated cities, wages are rising which causes rent prices to go up, and the cycle continues. There, however, is a way to have the space you need and still pay more affordable rent. The solution? Co-living homes.
Saving money by renting a room in a co-living home has never been easier. With these homes, roommates split the cost of rent and utilities. There are no high, unexpected bills because everyone pays their share. That being said, the way this is done is by splitting what was once a single family home into multi-tenant bedroom leases. Co-living companies allow these rooms to be rented per the individual. They rent rooms, not entire apartments, and share the common space. This is still more room than they would have had in a micro-apartment. Because of this, roommates do not have to worry about bailing each other out. If one person does not pay rent, they face the repercussion– no one else has to stress about it.
Another way to save money through co-living homes is through furniture. Most of these apartments and houses provide furniture for shared spaces, as well as in individual bedrooms. This saves the individual money on pieces of furniture such as a dining room table, couches, and more. Furniture pieces that are still necessary for the home can be split with roommates. They can decide what the apartment is missing, and who should pay for what. This helps co-living home residents bond and create their dream home without breaking the bank.
Furniture is not the only amenity that roommates can split. Basic necessities can be split between the group of roommates. Everyone needs products like toilet paper, hand soap, and cleaning tools. Spreading the wealth and sharing these products is a wonderful way to save money in the home. A schedule can be created to determine who buys what products each week. This same idea can be used with groceries, especially on common items like milk.
Organizing activities and streaming services will help save money, too. There is no need for each roommate to have Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Prime Video, and more. Roommates can share these streaming services to cut down monthly costs. This is particularly great if these services are set up in the living room. This helps with finances, but it also gives the home so many more options for movie nights. $5 saved here and there can go a long way. Additionally, roommates can organize game nights or specific activities during the week, which will help them save money they would have spent going out.
Finally, some co-living homes actually include shared spaces, like gyms or a pool. This is a great way to save money on a gym membership. Not all co-living spaces have these amenities, but those that do are well worth the cost.
All in all, a lot of money can be saved by renting a room in a co-living home. The more the individual communicates with their roommates and decides on a financial game plan, the more money can be saved. Working together is key to saving money and living affordability in a co-living home. The first step, however, is signing that lease.