Are you trying to figure out whether to get a roommate? Most people know that having a roommate can save them money, but what many people don’t know is how to effectively communicate with one’s roommate in order to make co-habitation beneficial for both parties; or how to go about following the tips that will save the both of you money. So if you’re wondering what ways (besides splitting rent) a roommate can save you a few bucks, here are a few tips.

Split Groceries

Groceries take up a huge portion of your monthly expenses, so why not split them? If you’re both not on opposite ends of the culinary spectrum, you can sit down each week to jot down a menu, and then split the bill at the grocery store (don’t forget to share the store’s customer reward card). Extras such as snacks, drinks, or breakfast items you can each purchase at your own discretion, but eating in and splitting the bill can save you money, and even the few extra pounds. Don’t forget to split foods that have short expiration dates (milk, fruits, vegetables, eggs, cheese, etc.).

Split Services

When you’re living with one other person, it sometimes makes more sense to split services like Hulu, Netflix, cable, internet, and home phone. Most companies today offer deals and savings when you bundle their phone, internet, and TV services into one package. Not only will this be more streamlined, but if you’re splitting it two ways, it saves you even more money. 

Make a Plan!

When it comes to success, communications between roommates is key. While you don’t need to be best friends with your roommate, (s)he should be someone you can communicate with regarding your future and present financial goals and concerns. Before moving in together, make a plan of how much each of you wants to save each month, and the ways you each plan to maintain costs down. Whether it’s using less energy, carpooling, or divvying up the price per square foot of your rooms, your plan to save money will not work unless you and your roommate are on the same page. Also, remember to be on the same page about chores. You don’t want to find yourself constantly “splurging” on cleaning services just because you and your roommate didn’t plan out a workable household maintenance schedule. Communicate taking short showers and even schedule monthly car wash days where you wash both of your cars on the same day, one rinsing and the other scrubbing, to cut down use of water. Split the cost of cleaning supplies and household necessities and don’t forget to keep track of expenses everyone has paid, so that spending is equal all the way around. Communication, creativity and having a plan will go a long way in saving you and your roommate(s) money.