I have almost always lived with roommates and some of them were a pleasure to be around, while others were a real pain. With some we would make dinner together, or go out, and with other we wouldn’t talk for months. Obviously the first is nice while the later isn’t that great.
When I moved to the UK in 2007, I ended up in a house shared with five other people. The landlord would rent randomly to anyone willing to pay, meaning that the housemates didn’t know each other, barely talked and didn’t get along well. I was tied to a 6 months contract and couldn’t wait until I was able to move out again.
Yet I couldn’t afford to live on my own without making a serious dent in my budget, postponing the date when I would be financially independent. So when it was time to move, I looked for a 2 bedroom flat and shared it with my boyfriend and another couple. It ended up being roughly the same financially as sharing that big house between six people. Much nicer situation.
I could have chosen to live alone, or just with my boyfriend. But if I remember correctly, a one bed flat was about $700, while the 2 bed flat was $900. So each couple paid $450 and we had a bigger living room, a nice kitchen, and shared utilities, taxes and other house related bills. In total, we paid about $600 monthly while on our own we would have paid $1000.
So is it worth $400 a month to have a roommate? In our case, definitely. We were young, my boyfriend didn’t have a steady job, I have just started an entry level job and wanted to save for a house deposit. So I could bear to live with two other people for a few month.
Say you want to live on your own, because you don’t like community living, or want your space, or need somewhere to work from home, be an artist… You are missing out on $400 a month, or $4800 a year. Tax free. You may consider it worth paying for the freedom of doing whatever you please when you please in your home. But to me, the sacrifice was pretty small in order to reach my savings goal faster.