Should I live alone or with a roommate — and how do I decide?

Roomies for life🤝

Bedroom with two pink beds
(Image credit: Dormify)

Thinking about moving somewhere new and wondering if you should get a roommate? It’s a decision that can take some thought. Is it better to share with a roomie or to live alone? It’s a tricky question to answer and, to be totally honest, it’s mainly down to personal preference combined with your specific circumstances. 

I’ve seen both sides of the proverbial coin. I’ve found and lived with roommates and I’ve lived alone. I can confirm that both setups have their fair share of pros and cons. On the one hand, it’s obvi great living with your pals, especially if you're moving into your first place. On the other hand, privacy can be non-existent when you share.

Need help to decide whether you should live with a roommate? We’ve rounded up all the advantages and disadvantages so that you can make an informed decision on what’s best for you. 

Reasons to live with a roommate

First, let's think of the pros! Sharing your home with a roommate comes with a number of benefits. See our reasons why bunking with a roomie might work for you.

You’ll save money 

One of the biggest benefits of having a roommate is the fact that you will save money. When you share a home, you and your roommate are able to split a wide number of costs, making them cheaper for each of you. You can split everything from rent and bills to food and furniture, making things waaay less expensive. Plus, if you share with a roomie you can opt for a larger place, giving you both more space than you’d have if you rented separately. 

It’s convenient 

Then there’s the fact that sharing your home with a roommate can be super convenient. Whether it’s having someone to look after your cat while you’re out or to water your plants while you’re on vacation, having a roommate can be great. Actually, living in an apartment can be better than living in a house in general!

You’ll have help 

Another benefit of having a roommate is the fact that you’ll also have plenty of help on hand when it comes to day-to-day tasks, from grocery shopping to household chores — and everything in between. You can cook together or cook for each other, cutting the cost of meals and reducing how often you have to prepare and cook food. 

You won’t get lonely 

Even if you and your roommate aren’t close, you're probably not going to get lonely as you'll have someone around in your space. This can be a great way to meet people and make new friends if you're moving to a new city or starting at a new college. 

Reasons not to live with a roommate

While living with a roomie can be great, it can definitely come with some downsides. Sharing an apartment may not be for everyone, see our reasons why it may not work for you below.

You want privacy 

When you share your home with a roommate, you relinquish some of your privacy. You can’t just do what you want when you want — you need to think about how your actions will impact your roommate. For instance, if you want to have friends over or will be coming home late, if you live alone you won’t need to worry about disturbing a roommate. 

You want to avoid potential problems 

If you’re worried about any potential problems that may arise as a result of living with a roommate then living alone may be a better option for you. You may run into a roommate not paying their share of the rent and bills, arguments over the chores, or issues with different lifestyles. Not ideal!

Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.