Having lived with twelve different roommates (obviously not at one time), I've learned that saving money and cutting back on household expenses with your roommates is possible! Besides splitting the cost of rent, and other bills, there are ways that you and your roommates can save even more money.
Being the roommate who is reading this blog, you can share these household money-saving tricks with your housemates, and hopefully save everyone some money!!
Here are some things you may or may not have thought of....
1. Make a household rule. Every time the rule is broken, a designated amount of change is put in a jar. Or, don't make a rule, and have everyone in the house contribute to the jar regularly. This can be your household savings, to be used when the jar is full for something you all need.
2. Recycle your bottles! Money from recycled bottles can be put toward household expenses, like bills, or other things that everyone uses, like toilet paper or dish soap.
3. Make a clothesline. My roommates and I made our own clothesline, and FYI, it doesn't have to be expensive! You'll need some line, and a pulley, but be creative in where you hang it up (we used trees). Since the weather has been nice, I've seen a significant decrease in our electricity bill. In wintertime, when drying on the line isn't an option, make sure you clean out the dryer vent. Not only is it a fire hazard, but also, the dryer works much more efficiently when the vent is clean!
4. Cook meals together. This is not to say that you need to eat every meal with your roommates. But having everyone contribute money toward a meal plan can make it easier to afford good meals, so you don't have to rely on Ramen...
Also, cooking meals together means less waste, and more leftovers!
5. Start a small garden. This can be a few tomato plants, some lettuce, and a couple of broccoli plants. You don't need ten rows of vegetables, trust me, a few tomato plants will produce more than enough! Plus, these plants are easy to grow, and will save you a few dollars on groceries! Investing in it together can make it cheaper, too.
6. Go places together! If you have errands to run (unless you really just need an excuse to get away), carpool with your roommates. That way, you can all save a little on gas each time you go out. If you live close to a convenience or grocery store, and you only need a few items, challenge yourself to bike instead taking the car. Taking your bike will force you to spend less (because that will mean less stuff to carry). It'll also force you to get only what you need.
7. Have a clothes (or other item) swap. If you have the urge to go out and buy new clothes, and want to take your roommate shopping with you, why not shop each others' closets instead? A clothes swap, or swap of anything else, can be a way for you to get new things, without having to spend any money (and it's almost just as exciting!)
8. Host a yard sale! If everyone in the house is up for it, organize a pile of stuff you want to sell. Then, you can split the earnings at the end, or keep what you made from your items. Not only can you use these funds toward your household expenses, you can also declutter your living space!
9. Make sure the dishwasher is full before using it! Running a half-empty dishwasher is costing you too much money! Plus, if you do this often, you'll be spending money for no reason. Make sure that your dishwasher is full before using it. Otherwise, do the few dishes by hand.
10. Fill your load! I once had a roommate who only washed a few items of clothing at a time. Unless you only have a couple shirts, wait until you have a full load!