How to determine what type of living situation is right for you

Living alone, having roommates, or moving in with a partner...all good choices, but which is right for you?

Have you overstayed your welcome at your parents’ home? Or are you just ready to flee the nest and explore the real world? Either way, moving out is an exciting and exhilarating experience and a major milestone in a person’s life.

One of the things you should consider before you take the leap however, is whether you’d like to live by yourself, with your partner or with a roommate. It is a very personal decision, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question. It comes down to preferences for personal space, whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, how you like to spend your time, and how you like to spend your money. Whether or not you know anyone that you actually want to live with is another important consideration. Are you comfortable finding a room mate online? Do you prefer to move in with a friend? Does your partner make such a mess everywhere it would lead to the end of the relationship?

Here are some tips that might help you make that call.

The perks of living alone

  • You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. So go ahead and eat mac and cheese out of the pot. No judgment here.
  • You have all the privacy you need, so if you want to clip your toenails while watching TV in the living room, go ahead.
  • No roommate drama or “quirks” to deal with.
  • You don’t have to share the shower, kitchen, washing machine, or anything else for that matter.
  • You call the shots on what furniture to buy and what will suit your space.
  • You can feel good about yourself that you’re doing something independently.

The downside

  • It can be costly to have a place to call your own, just take a quick gander at Kijiji.ca apartment listings where the price range varies depending on how many rooms and the size of the place. According to our apartment data, Vancouver bachelor apartments average $997.50, while 1 bedrooms apartments in Vancouver average $1,448.47. 3 bedroom apartments in Vancouver are a little more affordable if split between 3, averaging about $2,131.25. Ottawa bachelor apartments go for an average of $726.03, while 1 bedroom apartments in Ottawa go for an average of $1,172.02. These rents can be tough for one to carry on your own, especially if you are just starting out. In smaller markets, the rents might be cheaper for a bachelor, but you could save even more if you shack up with room mates. For example, Charlottetown studio apartments go for $553.87 on average, but a 3 bedroom apartment in Charlottetown is only $1,044.45 on average. If you love to spend your time going out and don’t spent time around your apartment too much, room mates might be the better lifestyle choice.
  • All the chores will be for you to do because there will be no one else to divvy it up with.
  • Living alone can be lonely.

Living with your partner, a friend or a roommate

  • It’s cheaper.
  • Companionship. There’s someone you can usually vent to about your bad day.
  • You may build a stronger relationship.
  • Perhaps you might meet new people if you don’t already know your roommate. It will help expand your social network.
  • It isn’t so lonely.
  • You can share chores.

Cons

  • You have to trust that they will hold up their end of the rent and chores.
  • You have to be respectful and considerate of the other person you’re living with. This may mean not having guests over at 2 a.m. when your roommate is working at 6 a.m. the next day.
  • Sharing has its downside. Maybe you wanted that last slice of pizza.
  • Being in the same space can lead to some friction. You may get annoyed at each other’s quirks.
  • If you’re moving in with your partner or even a friend you can risk ruining that relationship. You might get on each other’s nerves or argue over who did the dishes last.

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