College students: living off campus with people/ money etc

Discussion in 'Community' started by acidrock, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. acidrock macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2004
    The Evergreen State College
    I'm in my last year of college, I am living off campus with a friend of mine. I am now concerned about money issues coming between us. For those of you that have delt with this, what have been your experiences, how do you deal with money problems, what have been some of the exciting advantages? I am though really looking forward to it and not being forced to live with people that do pot. -nathan
  2. silentrage macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2004
    the South
    What are you concerned about? If you and your roommate discuss when/how bills will be paid prioer to moving in then you shouldn't have any troubles. I wouldn't enter a roommate situation without having a serious discussion before you actually sign the lease.

    If necessary, put it in writing and post on the fridge as a reminder to both of you.
  3. vraxtus macrumors 65816


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I live in a house with 7 other guys... so if you have money issues, ask me :D

    I've usually found it's not too big of a deal but if one guy is being a bitch about money... well, that's never really that easy to reconcile.
  4. Neserk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2004
    You'll find the same problems in marriage. Sex and money are what most couples fight about the most...

    If it is a matter of one person not paying there share than the only solution I can think of is to go solo. Meaning that each person must come up with their portion of the rent, pay half (assuming there are two of you) of all utilities (you might want to get unlimited long distance if you are both making lots of long distance calls). And buy your own food. You each have a shelf and you don't touch the other person's food.

    I don't know of any otherway to deal with it, assuming that is the issue.
  5. acidrock thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2004
    The Evergreen State College
    actually I was trying to be really understanding about it, I think it was a missunderstanding about paying first and last months rent, we are about to move in the apartment. The thing is I am living with a friend of mine and I don't want anything to damage our friendship. I am trying to be really flexible it, I am not so much concerned about paying bills after I get fin aid, it's just that I don't want to loose one of the few good friends I have.
  6. FlamDrag macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2003
    Western Hemisphere
    Here's a good system:

    If at all possible, avoid paying half of every bill. Divide the whole bills equally. That is to say, if Cable is $40 and Phone is $30 and Electricity is $70 then one guys pays Cable and Phone, and the other guy pays electricity. This keeps each guy responsible for his own credit problems and prevents fights about who owes whom money.

    Obviously, you can't do this with rent. However, it's good to put both of your names on the rent so that if the other dude welches on his half, it'll mark his record and not just yours. Also, if he's not on the lease, he might not be not be liable for any damage unless the two of you have a separate written agreement.

    Keeping food separate is also a good idea as mentioned above.

    If you loan each other money, especially say half a months rent(!), get it in writing. Then you can take him to Judge Judy.

    Pay EVERY bill with a check. Make every loan with a check and write LOAN on the memo line and have him initial the memo line. This way you have a paper trail if things go sour. Your butt will be covered as to exactly what you paid for and when. Cash is a TERRIBLE idea in this situation. Not to mention that some Apt. managers will steal cash and claim you never paid rent.

    One problem - especially with guys - is who's going to clean up the mess. You'll just have to work that out b/w yourselves.

    Just be fair, know the guy you're moving in with really really well and don't be passive aggressive.

    If you can find a good roommate, which isn't always the best friend in the world, it can work out great for all involved. It's cheaper, it can be a lot of fun, and a hell of a ride.
  7. dmaestro3 macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Living in an on-campus apartment last year we did go through some roommate issues. I had one roommate, but there were 4 of us total in the apartment. The things we had issues with were roommates not cleaning up up after themsevles really, it got to be really rude annoying and disgusting. For food we ran into some issues too as people would use some cheese here or a glass of OJ there and I guess it was expected that if you use some of someone's food you'll replace it the next time. Well this didn't work out at first, we revised the system to write our name (or initial) on everything that we wanted as ours, if it didn't have a name it was "anyone's," this system actually worked pretty well.

    For cable, we did run into some issues, because I had no interest in it. They got a "black box" and a $8 a month plan. It would have ended up being about $38 per person for the whole year for all cable costs, legal issues aside. I said I wasn't interested in TV b/c I didn't have time to watch it, and could get entertainment other ways. There was a little pressure at first, but it worked out alright, it was akward when guests came over having to explain that they couldn't watch it, although I ended up chipping in one month.

    Luckily for us, rent, bills, 10MB Internet2 :D were all included in our tuition (a + of on campus living).

    Coming up with "systems" early on seems to work well. One thing everyone should remmeber is tell someone when they do something that "pisses you off" because communication between roommates is important for everyone to be happy. Also remember to be more tolerant of things that you necessarily wouldn't do. It sounds like you're responsible if you're already wondering how to make things work so whats important is that you get everyone to take things seriously.

    I have found that sometimes its easier to live with people that aren't your "friends" and get along better with them than your friends because sometimes you have to worry about your friendship etc. Its easier to live with someone who has a similar living style (neat vs. messy), organized vs. unorganized, early riser, night owl, bf/gf status etc.

    I can't wait to get back to school.. not till January.
  8. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    A quick solution would be to get to know their parents. Make sure that their parents will agree to step in and pay his portion of the rent/utilities if he doesn't.
  9. Archaeopteryx macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2003
    pfft You want to know slumming it.. Back when I was growng up my best friend was so ghetto he ate Goverment Peanut Butter .. It was a gallon sized can (non resealable) with a white lable except for the huge black words "peanut butter"... I dont know where he got it from but every month they had a new jar... Never wasted a dime on food...

    as for me.. i just charged it :-/
  10. acidrock thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2004
    The Evergreen State College
    hey actually the reason I wanted to live with him was because he was neat and picked up after himself. I'm not sure how much additional cleaning he does, I also know he's not into durgs and not into big parties, he has a girlfriend but she's nice, and we have our own rooms so I was OK with it. He is a lot like me, in some ways. Last year I lived with five people, even though we had our own rooms it was just to much, and on campus situation was frustrating me. The new food service there is going to be so bad I won't buy one food time from them, they served my old school on the east coast. That is one of the big reasons I wanted to get off, this all got confusing because our move in dates switched because he wanted to go to school early

  11. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    on campus dorms and off campus housing (with cafeteria staff) were the easiest and one didn't have to think about anything outside of school and recreation...for many young people, who were in their late teens but were mentally 12 years old, this was the safest choice

    by third year, i lived with two upperclassmen and we shared the chores and all the bills...and we shared all of our food...being 20 or 21 and through two years of school already made it easier for us to deal with the real life experience of dealing with bills without stressing out

    for the rest of college, i was pretty much a full fledged citizen with car, bills, activities, work (sometimes) and felt more ready to face real life...of course, it took a few more years to get it down and escape the high school mentality ;)

    take your time and don't expect to get everything right on your first try...mistakes are bound to be made but they also teach you more
  12. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I think that it is important for the first two years to live on campus. It's a great learning experience. Then during that time you may meet some friends that you want to share off campus housing. Money can be a very negative thing to friendship. So I agree that a decision about how bills will be shared should be decided ahead of time.
  13. acidrock thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2004
    The Evergreen State College
    hi Actually it was not my friend, I think I realized what happened. First the management had trouble remembering him, and thought she did but then said that he didn't have the money, he had told me differently spring quarter, so I thought that was strange. But there was also a question about us paying first and last, and part of the problem was we are moving in at different dates. I was just trying to make sure everything was paid. I think the management was stressed out because they had not fully noted everything on our account, I had mostly worked with them before, but I had also worked with several people on the phone. Also they have a lot of people moving in. My friend was really upset about it but I tried to point out they also had a lot of people moving in and that that was probably hard for them dealing with it all, so he calmed down.

    I'm not sure if I wrote this but I am a senior and we are both really excited about living off campus, and as friends so I think it will be OK. I also happen to be 26 now. We have sorted everything out so I am now looking forward to it. Management will be fine as long as everything was paid and they were trying to accommodate us. I think they were seeing that I have been working a lot to pay rent and I'm not having my parents do it hopefully.

    Final Thoughts
    I think that for college students the best way to get a full experience is to live some off campus? do you guys agree? thanks for the advise and tips but I think it will be good living with him. What else have you guys thought about it? Did you have cars? I have been at some schools that are very isolating and want people to live on campus and barely leave campus, is that common?


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