5 ways to survive living with housemates

So no one told you life was gonna be this way?

We all hope to live the ‘90s dream of moving in with a set of oddballs who eventually become our friends for life… but in reality, having housemates can be a tricky business. Learning to live harmoniously alongside people that may or may not drive us up the wall is part and parcel of becoming independent.

Listen up as Matthew shares his wisdom about living with others and being a good housemate in return:

Let’s recap:

1. Know yourself

  • Before you look for a place to live, ask yourself 'What kind of person am I?'. Are you a party animal? Do you like things neat and tidy? Do you need your own space to just chill? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to make better house and housemate choices.

2. Talk finances

  • You don’t want to be worrying about whether or not your flatmates can pay their bills. Make sure you can talk frankly about money to avoid any tricky situations.

Top tip: make sure that all your names are on the bills so that you share accountability for paying them.

3. Communication is key

  • You may want to come home after a long day at work and just zone out – but it is important to talk to your cohabitees from time to time about what’s going on in their lives. Even if that’s just keeping each other up to date with your weekly plans, or discussing who’s responsible for buying the next lot of loo roll, keep those lines of communication open.

Top tip: start a house group chat so that everyone is kept in the loop.

WARNING: Do not leave passive-aggressive sticky notes! Nobody enjoys living with this person. Be better.

4. Compromise

Finding a middle ground is really important when you're making decisions that will affect you all. You all live in the house so you all need to feel like you have a say and are listened to.

5. Have fun...responsibly!

Moving out and living with others for the first time can be a fantastic experience, but don’t get carried away. Part of successfully living independently is taking on new responsibilities – so don’t let fun get in the way of your long-term goals.

As Matthew says, when you move in with other people,

Striking that right balance between work, fun and responsibility is paramount.

So, to give yourself the best chance of finding your Joey (or Monica, or Rachel, or Chandler...you get the idea!) make sure you take control. Think about what you need and want from a home, and find that balance.

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