You’ve signed a lease with some friends and are looking forward to moving into together, but then there’s the awkward conversation about rent cheques, furniture and splitting utility costs. Below are six tips to make this transition an easy one!
Talk to a real person on campus!
Many Universities and Colleges have departments designated towards helping you and your roommate’s transition smoothly from the comforts of residence, to the new experience of living off campus. These departments might be called “Off Campus Living” or “Off Campus Housing”. These resource centers are equipped with helpful people so take your questions to them!
Write it ALL down.
Gather your roommates; have someone be the “recorder” and write down all of the expenses from garbage bags and ketchup to high-speed internet and Netflix. Getting everything out on the table ensures that you are all clear about which expenses are shared, and which are up to each individual roommate. This way ketchup doesn’t go missing, and there is a mutual understanding to fall back on when or if, lines get crossed serious weight loss pills.
Be honest, with yourself and your roommates.
If making the list has you stressed out about all of the expenses, say something! If there are things on that list you’re not comfortable sharing, be honest with your roommates now before the bill comes! As someone who only submits herself to watching the Bachelor for a couple hours each week, “Satellite TV” as a shared expense just wouldn’t sit right with me. It’s much easier to have the conversation now.
Humour is the best helper.
Has your roommate not paid their share of the internet charges for this month? Crack a joke about it; laugh a bit before you pounce. Humour has an incredible way of breaking the tension while also getting your point across. Maybe your roommate just needed the reminder, or maybe they’re waiting on a paycheck before they send off the funds. Whatever it is, ease into the subject.
Get help BEFORE you need it!
If expenses seem to be overwhelming, or you just need someone to help you sort out the payments, don’t hesitate to make an appointment to discuss your finances BEFORE you get into a tough spot. Check out blogs like this one, or visit your local financial institution to help create a plan for your payments. A financial advisor is also a great resource to discuss budgeting, saving and online banking options that make organizing your finances easy and accessible. Don’t wait, go into your nearest branch to chat and make sure your Off-Campus experience is a success, not a mess.
Living off campus can be an incredible experience, plan correctly and you will enjoy your time without worrying about sharing expenses with your roommates!