Between finances and roommates, there’s a lot to think about before you decide to live in off-campus housing near North Carolina Central University. Fortunately, this helpful guide breaks everything down. Read on to learn about roommates, budgeting, and more!
Find a Roommate
Nothing compares to the financial woes of being a student. You probably aren’t financially stable enough to stand on your own two feet just yet, so you’ll likely be shacking up with roommates. Don’t let the roommate horror stories fool you; living with someone doesn’t have to be a complete nightmare. All you need is a little patience.
Finding a compatible roommate will take time. If you rush your decision, you’re only going to have trouble down the road. You could always live with a friend or a coworker, but then you run the risk of becoming too entangled in each other’s personal lives. It’s also really difficult to have an objective relationship with such a close friend.
Friends of friends and acquaintances, i.e. your friend from yoga class, your old lab partner, etc., make the best roommates. You’re close enough that you get along and feel comfortable living together, yet you’re able to have an objective discussion without any messy confrontation.
Whether you’ve just moved to Durham or want to live with someone totally new, make a profile on a roommate finder website like roommates.com or roomiematch.com. Make your search public by Facebooking, Tweeting, and Instagramming, and ask your friends to share your posts to their networks. If you aren’t new to Durham, tell everyone you know here, including professors, advisors, classmates, friends, and coworkers, that you’re looking for a roommate.
Create a Roommate Agreement
Once you’ve finally found a roommate or two, sit down together and write up a roommate agreement. It might seem a little silly to draft your own version of a legal document, but having a contract that each of you signed is seriously helpful. It holds everyone accountable for their actions and helps to minimize conflict.
Include whatever you think is necessary in your agreement: how you’re going to handle chores and cleanliness, how you’ll split utilities, whether or not you’ll be sharing food, whether overnight visitors are allowed, etc. The more specific, the better. You can write your roommate agreement yourselves or find a free template online.
Have a Budget
Students and financial security go together about as well as peanut butter and ketchup, but now is as good a time as any to start honing your monetary skills by creating a budget and sticking to it. Compare your income with your spending habits. Every penny counts, so stop any and all frivolous spending, including daily visits to Starbucks, impulse shopping trips, etc.
Even if your parents might be helping you out financially, it’s never a bad idea to have your own money. You probably have breaks during the day, and you likely have nights and weekends off, so why not get a part-time job? NCCU’s Eagle Career Network is full of student employment opportunities for jobs on and off campus.