When times are tough, adding a roommate to your apartment may be an attractive money-saving option because it means having someone else with whom to share the rent, utilities, and other apartment living expenses.
Renters sometimes encounter financial difficulties despite prudent budgeting, and they start to have trouble making ends meet. For example, a difficult economy may cause your employer to freeze salaries or withhold bonuses, or you might learn that you're getting laid off from your job as part of your company's cost-cutting efforts.
No matter what's affecting your wallet, adding a roommate can help improve your financial situation.
If you're already living with a roommate, you can probably take on an additional roommate without having to switch to an apartment with an additional bedroom, and without your landlord telling you that it would violate state and local occupancy restrictions. For example, if you're already sharing a two-bedroom apartment with another person, consider taking on an additional roommate to occupy the living room, or carve out a section of the living room using room dividers.
When determining how to split the rent in such a scenario, the roommate who occupies the living room (or part of it) should probably pay less than an equal share. However, even if you're paying a greater share than your new roommate, having this extra person to split expenses will still help alleviate your financial burden.
It's always a good idea to put your rent-splitting agreements and other arrangements in writing. If you've already signed an agreement with a roommate and then welcome an additional roommate, take a moment to amend your agreement to reflect the new person's responsibilities.