Are you going to live by yourself or with other people?
Just You – the Good Stuff
I live by myself because I like to control how much my bills will be. Aside from rent, I have 2 bills every month: electricity and internet. The internet bill is the same amount every month, but the electricity bill can fluctuate. As a result, I like to monitor every kilowatt that is counted on my meter. I know I could not be as obsessive if I lived with others.
Around my flat I can be as noisy or as silent as I like, and no one cares! I can cook a steak at 3am, take a 2 hour long bath or play really really old songs on my radio when I get up in the morning. In a share house I know I would have to limit the number of times I play Rod Stuart’s Maggie May and make sure to be quiet in the wee hours of the morning.
I always know how much milk is left in the fridge. I can put a block of Cadbury chocolate in the pantry and I know it will still be there tomorrow afternoon.
I dry my washing in the living room. The ‘chandelier de bra’ is usually on display from Thursday through to Sunday. If I had housemates, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with them staring at my ‘personals’ while watching TV.
My flat is decorated according to my taste – minimal. I don’t like knickknacks, ornaments or vases with no flowers in them. It’s is my version of home. I know if I lived with other people, it would have to change. My housemates would probably add their favourite stuffed animals to the couch, a nice shag-pile rug and a snow globe of New York. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind these items, but I am trying to explain that share housing does require considerable compromises.
My flat is a peaceful space. There is no arguing and everything is done ‘my way’. If I was sharing with others, it is almost certain that disagreements will occur, and living by myself is a way I can avoid all that.
Share Housing – the Good Stuff
Sharing with a group of others is usually always cheaper than living on your own. You can split the bills and perhaps even afford items you would not normally – like pay television or ducted heating. Or you could put that money into extra savings!
Some share houses divide up the cooking and shopping chores. It is nice to have a meal that is not prepared by me. Living with others, you can share recipes and cooking tips and perhaps even buy food in bulk and save money.
A friend of mine lives with 3 other people and they share the cleaning duties. Each person has an allocated week they have to vacuum, clean the bathroom and mop the floors. My friend loves it, as she only has to do chores once a month and yet every week the house cleaned.
Share housing gives you people to talk to. I know it might sound trivial, but living by yourself can be very lonely, and I often look with envy at my share house friends. They usually go home to a warm house, with cooking smells and people asking about their day. I tend to trudge home to a cold flat with dinner still to be prepared (or unthawed) and silence from wall to wall.
Sometimes you can share household appliances. Another friend of mine has the coolest coffee maker on her kitchen bench. It belongs to her housemate, but she is free to use it. Also they have a full 4 person couch which is great to watch movies on. You can combine the furniture with your house mates and can usually scrounge together a full household of appliances! Saving you money as you don’t have to go out and buy the missing pieces.
Weigh up each option carefully, the financial cost as well as the impact on your personal life. Deciding whether to live by yourself or share is a very individual thing. Make the decision yourself – don’t let people talk you into one way or another. Just because it works for one person, doesn’t mean it will work for you.
And remember, it’s not set in stone. Some people start sharing with others and then move into a place of their own or start by themselves, and find it too lonely and move in with others.