Living with roommates is a formative experience a lot of us go through, but it's not always an easy one. Especially as we get older and feel like we should be able to buy a place of our own but we're too busy buying avocado toast and drowning in student loan debt and a housing crisis to do it. So it's all the more important we createcomfortable living situations at home.
Living with roommates is the smart — and only — option for a lot of us. You may want to branch out on your own, but it's not always realistic. It's definitely not for any of my friends. "When you're deciding where to live, try to keep your housing costs at 30 percent or less of your income, which will give you room to save for the future and pay down your student loans faster," Brianna McGurran, student loans and personal finance expert at NerdWallet, tells Bustle. "When you're in your 20s, any money you save for retirement, for instance, goes so much further than it would later on, thanks to compounding. So stick with roommates a little longer, or put off getting a second bedroom if you and your partner are apartment-hunting together. It's important to live in a place you love, but this decade is all about balancing your short-term needs with your long-term goals."
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But in order to make having roommates work for you, you need to have a financially equitable situation. And that means talking it out. Because many of us live with our friends, discussing the ins and outs of our financial situation can be really uncomfortable. Even with strangers, it can be awkward AF. Here's what you need to figure it out — and how to do it.