Thursday, March 6, 2008

Considering a roommate

I sat down during my convalescence and considered my financial situation. I am good financial shape with a decent total of liquid assets, nearly maxing my Roth IRA, keeping up with my mortgage, paying off my credit card bill immediately and keeping within my spending plan. However, there does not seem to be a lot of room to save more money. I could eat out even less, not spend money on clothing, not spend any money on entertainment and end my nearly nine-year relationship with my stylist, but these moves would make me feel deprived. I like having lunch with a friend once a week. I like having the option of saying "Damnit! I am tired of this lunch!" and buying something else. I could give up some entertainment funding, but to let my wonderful stylist go? I do not think so!

So, with a vow to try not spending for one month on items other than necessities, I looked for other ways to save. I could cancel my cell phone contract but I would get charged a fee. I would have to explore this topic more deeply, but I do not use my phone that often so I am considering when my contract is up to get a prepaid cell phone plan. That would save me about $20 month and that is decent money.

I also decided to look at going to basic coverage on my car. It does not save me a lot to drop comprehensive coverage, but it is a modest savings. I did look around a bit but should more aggressively pursue alternative insurance providers. The one company I queried had no savings for me at all.

So then I came to getting a roommate. There is so much wrong with this idea aside from the possible monetary gain. I like my privacy, running from the bathroom to my bedroom without clothing, getting up when I want, going to bed when I want, silence when I want it and my space arranged how I want it. This is my home and I should be able to do what I want! How would I feel sharing my space? I worry that I would consider my roommate an invader. I would have to give up kitchen cabinet space, refrigerator space, bathroom space, closet space, items all at a premium. The room I would rent out is quite small and I am uncertain if anyone would want to share a two-bedroom, one bath half duplex.

In addition, how quiet would he or she be? Would they snore? Would they keep the TV after I go to bed? Would our schedules clash? Would I need to go to the bathroom while he or she is in it? What to do then? Is this hassle worthwhile? I would miss my freedom, my default sloppiness and the privacy that goes with living alone. However, weighing additional money and potential labor saving (I would give him or her a break on rent for lawn mowing or snow shoveling), I still come down on keeping my living situation as is. If the basement was refinished, I think I could deal with having someone in my home easier. I really need to change my mindset before having a roommate is possible.

Still, I am keeping it in the back of my mind because if I do get into a financial bind, I think a roommate would be quite useful to have. I am likely to revisit this topic again and may have more roommate-favorable results.

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