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Why Sharing A Bedsitter With Your College Buddies is Bad For Your Money
Why Sharing A Bedsitter With Your College Buddies is Bad For Your Money
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Campus Money Diaries

Why Sharing A Bedsitter With Your College Buddies is Bad For Your Money

Karuana Mwai
May 18, 2023

College life often brings with it a sense of adventure and camaraderie. It is a time when friendships are forged and memories are made. But living on a tight budget at this juncture is often a reality. As students navigate the challenges of higher education, finding affordable accommodation becomes a top priority. However, while sharing a bedsitter with college buddies might seem like a cost-effective solution, it can have unforeseen financial implications. 

In this article, we will delve into the various ways that sharing a bedsitter with your college buddies can be detrimental to your financial well-being and offer some alternative solutions for a more cost-effective living arrangement.

Read Also: 7 Connections That Will Help You On Your Job Hunt After College

1. Higher Utility Bills

When you share a bedsitter with other people, you're essentially splitting the rent and other bills, which can seem like a great way to save money. However, what many people don't realize is that you'll also be splitting utility bills, including electricity, water, and gas.

First of all, it is important to understand that utility bills are typically calculated based on usage, which means that the more people there are in a household, the higher the utility bills will be. When you share a bedsitter with your college buddies, you are effectively increasing the number of people using utilities which can drive up the costs of your bills. 

For example, let us say you are sharing a bedsitter with three other people. Each of you will likely be using water, electricity, and gas for cooking, heating, and other purposes. As a result, the total amount of usage will be much higher than it would be if just one or two people were living in the bedsitter. This increased usage can lead to higher bills, especially if your landlord or utility company charges a flat rate for utilities. 

Another factor to consider is individual usage habits. When you share a bedsitter with other people, you don’t have as much control over how much electricity, water, or gas is being used. Some people may leave lights on all day, take long showers, or use the stove for extended periods of time, which can all contribute to higher utility bills. Even if you are careful with your own usage, you may end up paying more than your fair share of the bills if your roommates are not as conscientious. 

Finally, it is worth noting that sharing a bedsitter with your college buddies can also create more wear and tear on appliances and other household items. For example, if you are sharing a refrigerator with three other people, it will likely need to be opened and closed more frequently than it would if just one or two people were using it. This increased usage can lead to more frequent repairs and replacements, which can add to your overall expenses. 

While establishing a fair and transparent system for dividing utility expenses should be a feasible solution, even with the best intentions, it can be challenging to accurately allocate costs. Splitting bills equally may not be equitable if one person consumes significantly more resources. In contrast, attempting to measure individual usage can be cumbersome and may lead to disagreements. The lack of a clear and efficient system makes it harder to budget effectively, potentially leaving you financially vulnerable.

Read Also: College Life: Splitting Costs With Your Roommate

2. Different Spending Habits

When individuals with diverse spending habits cohabit in a bedsitter, conflicts may arise because of their disparate preferences. One particular source of conflict can stem from the fact that your roommate enjoys dining out regularly, whereas you prefer to prepare meals at home. This creates a disagreement over how to split the cost of groceries, as each person holds different expectations regarding their contributions. Your roommate might argue that their grocery expenses should be lower since they eat out more frequently. Consequently, such conflicts can disrupt the harmony of the living arrangement and impose unnecessary financial burdens. 

Aside from conflicting food preferences, roommates may also exhibit disparities in their overall spending patterns. While one person might indulge in luxury items and entertainment, another might adopt a frugal mindset with a focus on savings. These contrasting approaches often lead to misunderstandings and disagreements regarding the usage of shared space. For example, one roommate may propose investing in new furniture or appliances, while you may advocate for thriftiness and oppose the expenditure. 

Moreover, differing spending habits can result in financial strain. If one of the roommates constantly spends money on expensive items or dining out, they may have less money available to contribute towards shared expenses like rent or utilities. Consequently, this places a burden on the other roommates who are contributing more towards these necessary costs. 

Read Also: The Financial Risks of Living With a Roommate

3. Lack of Privacy

When you share a bedsitter with others, you are essentially giving up your privacy. This means that you may not have a private space where you can relax, unwind, or even study. This constant invasion of personal boundaries can be particularly challenging if you are someone who needs quiet and alone time to recharge. 

Additionally, sharing a bedsitter can make it difficult to establish a healthy routine limiting your opportunities for personal financial growth. When you are living with others; you may find yourself staying up late or waking up early to accommodate their schedules. This can restrict your ability to pursue side gigs, work from home, or create a conducive environment for personal development.

Read Also: 8 Money Rules You Must Follow On Your First Job After Leaving College

4. Added Stress and Conflict

The lack of privacy is undeniably one of the major challenges when sharing a small living space with others. Bedsitters are typically small and cramped, with limited space for personal belongings and activities. When privacy becomes a luxury it can take on one’s mental and emotional well-being. Living in close quarters with others may result in heightened stress levels, reduced productivity, and strained relationships. These factors can have an indirect impact on personal finances as they may lead to a decreased focus on academics or work, potential conflicts, and increased expenses for socializing outside the shared space. 

Moreover, clashes of preferences among roommates, including noise levels, cleanliness standards, and study habits, can fuel ongoing disagreements and arguments. These conflicts not only cause emotional strain but can also become a financial burden. You may require to seek external help or taking time off from studies or work, resulting in additional expenses and potential loss of income. 

Read Also: Why Moving Back Home After Collge is a Bad Idea

5. Unexpected Costs Impact Your Financial Stability

One significant risk that can arise from sharing a bedsitter with your college buddies is a roommate failing to fulfill their financial obligations. For instance, if someone neglects to pay their share of the rent or utilities, you may find yourself in the precarious situation of having to cover their portion. This additional financial responsibility can strain your budget and leave you struggling to make ends meet. Moreover, if you are unable to gather the funds necessary to cover these costs, it could potentially lead to eviction or other legal consequences, further exacerbating your financial woes. 

Another financial hazard emerges when a roommate damages the property.  Unfortunately, accidents happen, and if one of your roommates causes harm to the shared living space, all occupants may be collectively held liable for the repair expenses. This means that even if you personally had no involvement in the damage, you could still be held accountable for the associated costs. Consequently, your hard-earned money could be drained towards repairing or replacing items, leaving you with fewer financial resources for other essential expenses, like tuition, textbooks, or personal savings. 

Read Also: On-Campus Vs Off-Campus Student Accommodation: The Pros and Cons


  • University hostel
  • Finding a bedsitter in a cheaper or more affordable neighborhood
  • Looking for a side job such as online writing to manage your expenses with ease
  • Live in a dorm (private hostel)
  • Stay with family or relatives

Karuana Mwai is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Nairobi Kenya with a passion for telling business, health, and social justice stories. Find here on LinkedIn

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