Do you live alone, with your own bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and car? If so, then you know how expensive it can be, to have a place all to yourself, a luxury that’s only becoming pricier as the cost of living in San Marcos goes up. It seems that in our search for independence and breathing room, we end up having to sacrifice monetary efficiency. But does the alternative—living in a shared space with a larger group of people—really make that much of a difference?
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the ways that living with more people might save you money, from rent and utility payments to transportation costs. We’ll also provide some tips for keeping your sanity while living in a smaller space with more people, so you can decide for yourself if it really is worth it to give up all the personal space of living on your own.
Lowered Cost of Rent & Utilities
Exactly how much does it save on rent and utilities to room with a group of people instead of on your own? Let’s break it down.
Say you have some friends or family whom you’re considering rooming with, but currently all live in their own place. Each person either has to pay their own rent or mortgage, that might come to easily $1000 a month or more for a one-bedroom here in San Marcos. Then add in another hundred or two utilities along with a couple hundred more for those in houses maintaining their own yards and maintenance, and you can see how quickly the costs add up collectively.
Compare that to a large house with 5 bedrooms. The cheaper end might have 3 bathrooms, 2 half baths, and a cost of around 400k or less if you’re lucky. If you take out a loan or mortgage on a house like this and split it 5 ways, you’re looking at only a little above $600 per person, compared to the 1,000 or more from living apart. An even bigger house with 4 full baths would only cost you a hundred more a month.
And these savings don’t even include utilities, which would be much cheaper when dealing with a single building as opposed to 5 separate ones. Splitting water, electricity, internet, cable, and lawn work among 5 people would result in a much lower cost than having to pay for utilities in a smaller building all by yourself.
Another benefit to sharing a home with other people is the fact that all your vehicles are in one place—which means you won’t need as many. While someone living on their own would absolutely need their own vehicle, a group of 5 people with differing work or school schedules would be able to get away with sharing only 3, which would cut costs down dramatically.
This doesn’t even take into account the options of carpooling or Uber rides. Living together, you can arrange to carpool with some of your roommates and then order an Uber return to drop off the vehicle back at the house. You can even have a community Uber card that everyone shares and splits the cost of according to usage.
Shared Groceries & Chores
Last but not least, living with more people can cut down on your grocery bills. By making fewer, bigger grocery runs as a group, you’ll not only have less food go to waste but also save a lot of gas in the long run. And cooking for 5 isn’t much more work than cooking for 1, cutting down on overall chore work. Other chores can be split as well, adding another benefit to rooming with a larger group.
Making Living Together Easier
So it isn’t difficult to figure out that living with more people will make your cost of living go down. But the question then becomes, is it possible for everyone to get along? Whether it be with immediate family, extended family, or a group of friends, living with that many people in a relatively small space can be difficult. Will everyone have enough personal space? Will people get into arguments? Sometimes this feels like something you can’t help.
What you can do, however, is put some of your savings to good use to help alleviate this stress. If it gets rough living with family, you could pay for a family therapist. This can help keep your relationships on good terms if anyone gets on a family member’s nerves. Likewise, renting a vacation home on the beach could provide a nice getaway for everyone to take turns using.
It has its difficulties, but living with more people can work out if you put in the effort. Next time you’re consulting with your San Marcos real estate agent, have them look for some larger houses nearby that you can split with some friends or family. Even if you decide it’s not for you, it’s a very good option to consider that could give you a chance to save up thousands of dollars over the months!