8 Effective Ways to Save Money with Your Roommates
While finding ways to save money by yourself requires less effort since it’s between you and your budget only, then one might think that planning to save money together with your roommates would cause a lot of unnecessary hassle, thus hindering them to even think about doing it at all. This is a wrong move, however, because once you choose to live with other people, eventually their finances become your finances. Everybody needs to get involved in building a steady financial foundation in order for everyone to not spend over their budget. Here are 8 effective ways that you and your roommates can do to save more money.
1. Make a prior agreement about splitting costs
It’s primarily essential for roommates to create an agreement paper to be approved by everybody in the house so that the living flow could be adjusted. There will be lots of mutual compromise between everyone to impede any possible chaos in the future. To add up, in most cases, any matter relating to money is very sensitive, so make sure to also include a prior agreement on how the costs in the house should be split among everyone.
It’s also important to note that the simplest things like groceries should not be missed in your discussion. Sneaky roommates tend to use up others’ groceries when they are not around, so before any finger starts pointing and the arguments heat up, it’s always better to talk it out in the beginning. Split the cost for whatever groceries you and your roommates agree to share (consume together), for example, salt and pepper, eggs, flour, milk, or bread.
2. Consider saving together for unexpected expenses
Unexpected expenses could be very troublesome for everybody in the house. Well, there may be this one roommate who could always lend his or her money to cover up the trouble, but to depend on their money for as long as it could take is not wise. A solution to this problem is to make sure there’s enough household savings to depend upon when times get rough. For example, every person should save a minimum amount of IDR50,000 per week. Moreover, if there are three people inside the house, then in a month your guys’ savings could reach more than IDR600,000.
Some see this solution as kind of unfair due to the probability of, “what if we save up only to help a roommate buy his medicine because someone accidentally threw it away?” Remember, the savings should only be spent on your guys’ living-space related matters, such as broken air conditioners or clogged toilets. BUT, if everybody in the house agrees to spend the savings on a new package of medicine for this one unfortunate roommate, then feel free to help your friend.
3. Prep meals together
Many have failed to realize that eating out everyday costs you a lot of money. Try prepping meals together with your roommates to see how much you guys could save. This one strategy is very convenient especially if there’s a microwave lying around since you could simply heat up the meal for a few minutes before eating. Spend a Sunday afternoon cooking meals that would be enough for a week. However, if you’re not really sure whether everyone will not eat outside/order takeout after two to three days,, just make it for the next two days first. The key is to try because who knows if you guys end up enjoy meal-prepping and get to save money while you’re at it.
4. Be each other’s personal assistant
Though your roommates are not trained as professionals, they could be the best of help. Whenever you need a little massage, a manicure or pedicure, or even a facial, rather than going to an expensive beauty center, why not help each other out? Try out new DIY oil massage or homemade masks you could just make by combining honey and rolled oats, and have everybody pampered at home. Rather than going to a hair salon to get your hair done, have trust in your roommates and let them do the magic with that heated iron wand! The point is that while you are given some alternative options that are cheaper, then why not? Besides, it’s a fun way to spend time together. Think of it as a bonding experience!
5. Make good use of sharable entertainment account
Entertainment platforms such as Netflix and Spotify allow you to share a subscription plan with other people, so why don’t you make good use of it? No, it doesn’t work the way you have to take turns when one is currently watching Money Heist while you want to watch Stranger Things. The two occasions could happen at the same time! The same thing goes with Spotify as well. They’re way cheaper than individual subscriptions.
6. Buy groceries in bulk
Bulk stores are now going viral within the circle of enthusiastic sustainable living energy because they do not sell goods in separate plastic packages, but literally in bulks, thus the plastic waste is minimized, and the price is much lower than those sold in usual retail supermarkets like Hypermart or Carrefour. Some bulk stores provide proper containers for the goods so that the customers could buy as much as they need. It is indeed perfect if you and your roommates have finally agreed that some basic groceries should just be shared because buying them in retail would cost way too much.
7. Make your own coffee
It has been known that most millennials spend their time at coffee shops to get the work done. However, very few of them realize that a cup of coffee a day times by the amount of their coffee shop hopping occasion a month equals an approximate IDR1,000,000. That’s a big amount of money for coffee only! While some could argue it’s not the coffee that primarily matters but the atmosphere, why not think about how much you and your roommates could’ve been saved up if the coffee shop visits were limited?
There are many delicious coffee drink recipes that are disseminated online, so why not try becoming your own barista and make your favorite cup of coffee every day without spending too much? Making something new together with roommates is extremely fun too, so just try and see if you could enjoy it. Moreover, there are many free working spaces you could visit if you really need to focus on it.
8. Hold monthly meetings to always stay on track mutually
This one is probably the most important of all because none of the other seven ways could be truly effective if one has decided to back out from the agreement without anyone noticing. Remember, the key to make it all work is teamwork, meaning that everyone in the house has to commit to whatever that has been agreed upon from the very beginning. By holding monthly meetings, it is easy to check up on how things have been going on; what to improve, what to maintain, what to completely be adjusted to fit the current situation, etc.
All of these 8 ways may not be perfect for everyone, but we all could agree that the main key for every successful step is great teamwork. Whatever it is you and your roommates are planning to do, make sure that there’s direct communication involved. Don’t put passive-aggressive post-it notes on the fridge ever again because based on ruined roommate relationships, they just don’t work at all.