At 23 years old and just a year out of college, I live in a huge three-bedroom house with a pool, in one of the nicest neighborhoods in Austin, Texas. And I’m paying less than I did last year for my one-bedroom apartment in a neighborhood where I didn’t even feel comfortable going for a walk with my 60-pound dog in tow.
How is it possible? Communal living.
My boyfriend and I recently moved in with another couple that we’ve been friends with for a long time and we’re now splitting rent, cable and utilities four ways.
Taking Austin as an example, the savings can add up to $566 in just one month.
Rent: The most obvious savings - moving from a $1,000 one bedroom or studio into a $2,100 two or three-bedroom house with two roommates immediately cuts $300 a month from your budget.
Cable: The major local cable company, Time Warner (Stock Quote: TWX) offers cable, phone and Internet for $99 per month. Split the three-for deal three ways and you’ve cut another $66 each month.
Utilities: The savings would likely average out to about $50 as moving into a bigger place means higher utility bills but certain set fees like trash will be split equally.
Pet-sitting: While these savings may not apply to all, it certainly has for us. When many borders charge up to $50 a day per pet, having roommates to look after the four-legged family members can add up quickly in just one weekend.
Groceries: Splitting things like milk, eggs or bulk items that just don’t make sense for a single person or a couple can add up quickly on a monthly food bill. My savings have been around $50 a month.