When solving simple mathematical equations, you can be sure that you will arrive at a definite answer. However, answers get more complicated when discussing living situations in the real world. Take one of the toughest questions you'll have to answer when moving to NYC: which is better between living alone vs roommates?

Truly, there is no straight answer to this question. Any rash decision can potentially make your life great, or cause unnecessary struggle. This is why you must do due diligence before answering the big question of whether or not to live with roommates. It all depends on you.

Either way, you have to choose the living situation that best suits your needs before signing that apartment lease. Luckily, you don't have to do it alone. In this article, we have put together a list of pros and cons to help you decide which is best for you between living alone vs roommates.

Pros of living with a roommate

Shared financial burden

Compared to living alone, living with a roommate means you get to share the financial burdens. This is particularly important if you are a college student or just starting as a professional. Or, maybe, you're saving your money for something in the future. By living with a roommate, you get to divide the bills in a pre-arranged manner.

From water bills to cable bills, heating to air conditioning, wifi-sharing to TV subscriptions, you can share it all. Even grocery costs can be shared depending on your agreement.

Invariably, this translates to more money in your pocket to do other things. Now, who does not like a little extra cash?

A bigger apartment

By pooling together your resources with your roommate, you can get a bigger apartment. That can mean more value in terms of space for the same amount. This may not be possible if you choose to live alone. It also means that your potential roommate may not necessarily have to be in your space most of the time. 

A support system

Maybe not every roommate becomes a BFF. Most people, however, tend to form close friendships with the people they live with. Such roommates can become support systems on your low days when you need someone to talk to. Again, there may be days when exhaustion is your companion. On those days, provided there is a good relationship with your roommate, you can bank on someone to help you get your house chores done.

Related: Everything you need to know about apartment fees

Cons of living with a roommate

Of course, living with a roommate is not all roses and lilies. This arrangement can turn sour if you choose the wrong roommates or do not set clear boundaries from the start. Here are some likely challenges to expect.

Personal space

If you enjoy being on your own, living with roommates may not be for you. This is because personal space may be tough to find. Even if you do not share bedrooms and bathrooms, you still have to share every other space in the house. This means sometimes you cannot do what you want when you want.

Clashing schedules

Maybe you are a night owl while your roommate is an early riser. It would mean that your roommate would have settled into bed when you are just getting started. This conflict in schedules and nature can make living with roommates a hassle that needs to be avoided.

When your schedule constantly clashes with that of your roommate, either because of work or lifestyle, the relationship can become strained. Be sure to have a discussion with potential roommates about schedules. 

Related: 12 questions to ask your Landlord before signing the lease

Pros of living alone vs roommates

You decide what your house will look like

If you have a thing for decorations, then living alone is the better move. When staying on your own, you get to choose what colors you want to paint your walls, how you want to hang your frames, what direction you prefer to arrange your house, etc.

Complete liberty

When you live alone, you can do as you deem fit. You can leave the house untidy without anyone complaining. You can keep it squeaky clean without someone messing it up. You can walk around the house naked, eat late-night meals, stay up as long as you want, etc. You can be as quiet as you choose or if you get bored, invite people over for a party.

Staying alone leaves you feeling free like a bird. If you like that sense of freedom, this may be what you choose.

Cons of living alone

Absolute responsibility

If you stay alone, then you'll have to do it all alone. Apart from taking care of all the bills, you'll be responsible for getting every chore in the house done. Even if you are a very independent person, that is a scary position to be in.


Humans are social animals at the core of their being. Even for an introvert that enjoys staying alone, there will be days when you will do better with company around. And if you are not used to living alone, prepare for bouts of loneliness if you choose to live alone.

Related: Ultimate Guide to Renters Insurance for College Students

Bottom Line

Whatever you choose, the good thing about living in a rented apartment is that you can always adjust your choices. If you chose to live alone and it gets too lonely or expensive, you can get a roommate when renewing your lease. If you choose to live with a roommate, and it gets too annoying and problematic, you can live solo in your next apartment.

If you're worried about conflicts with your roommates, check out this video for tips on how to live more harmoniously!