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Sharing Living Expenses

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

Many people are opting-in to live with others these days: 65% of millennial couples move in before getting married, some people simply enjoy living with others and many are finding it necessary to live with others to cut down their living expenses.

Living in New York City for over 20 years, I'm no stranger to coming up with creative solutions to cut living costs!

Moving in itself is a stressful process, but moving in with someone you haven't lived with before can be nerve-wracking, whether it's a roommate or a partner. If you've never lived with someone before, check out this IvyPanda article that has great tips on getting along with a roommate.

When you begin conversations about moving in together, this is a great time to discuss expectations for shared costs. Money talks help you align your expectations and avoid any surprises because you assumed that the person you're moving in has the same money beliefs as you.

A good place to start is figuring out how are you sharing the costs of rent, utilities, food, and anything else that will need to be purchased for your new place? Being on the same page with your partner or roommate will help alleviate a lot of unnecessary stress.

Most people I know split everything 50/50, but that may not always make sense. I've seen people come up with interesting ways to manage household expenses:

  • If one partner makes more than the other, rent can be split based on the percentage of total income earned. For example, partner A makes $50K per year and partner B makes $100K. If the rent is $1,600 per month, then partner A will pay $533 and partner B will pay $1,067.

  • Some couples agree that the partner making more will pay the rent and the other partner will pay the utilities and food bills.

  • If you're living with a roommate, it may make sense to split up the rent based on square footage if one bedroom is significantly larger than the other.

Of course, there are other possibilities, have you shared costs differently?

If these tips don't fit your lifestyle, here's a link to my calendar, let's set up a quick call to see what kind of arrangement could work for you. Remember, every problem has a solution. 😉


If you have a money question, submit it here for a chance to be featured in the "Dear Olga" column!

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