Many Canadians are heading back to school in September and with that comes the financial decision around roommates. There is a trade-off to be made. If you have roommates you can probably afford to live in a nicer apartment than you could afford living on your own. However, you do have to work on setting the terms of sharing other expenses, such as food, internet and utilities. It is wise to make sure that all of your roommates can afford to pay their share of the rent and the other expenses.
A bad roommate teaches students some valuable lessons around joint and several liability – such as when you have to pay your rent and your roommates rent because both of your names are on the lease. There will be other non-financial issues to be discussed, such as who is cleaning the bathroom and getting the groceries? The time to set the rules for sharing an apartment is at the beginning of the school year when everyone is still getting along. Don’t wait until later as the issues crop up. Get the financial rules established early and there will be less drama to deal with later on.
For more tips on financial decisions to be made during your University years (and other times in your life) check out Debi’s book, Every Canadian’s Guide to Financial Prosperity.