...So what will we do if we don't find a roommate

A couple of days ago I mentioned that our roommate is moving out.  Joy.

I want to thank everyone for all their support as we go through the roommate finding process once again.  It will be a challenge - but we're up for it.

One reader, Manshu, asked if we have so much trouble with roommates (which it seems we do lately) - why don't we try moving, and renting some where cheaper.  Well, there's a few reasons for that (I responded to his comment, but I thought I would post it here as well).

I've lived in this place for over three years now...it's not just a house to me anymore, it's where I'm making my home (up until the point where Jordan and I buy something of our own). There are also a few, less emotional, reasons why we choose not to move:
  1. Moving is expensive, and not a fun time in the winter
  2. We risk losing our down deposit 
    1. ...and another should we move into another rental before buying a home
  3. We know this landlord well, and although she's sometimes a pain - things do get fixed when they break down
  4. We just recently got a rent decrease from $1,500/month to $1,350/month
  5. Jordan and I can handle $675/month each (although we would prefer not to - which is why we look for roommates).
  6. In all the years I've lived in this place - the last six months has been the only when we've had roommate trouble...
and finally - when my brother moved out a few months ago, we spent a lot of time looking for a new place to see what was available.  We didn't find a thing that fit our needs and our budget as well as this place does.

So, all that was to say - that we won't be moving.  Here's what we will do:

We're lucking out a little bit because December Jordan get's three pays, but our deal was that we would make the 'extra' payment into our joint account - sticking to the bi-weekly schedule.

We have enough money in our joint account (including what's there now, and the next four payments before January) to cover Dec/January's Rent, paying Jeff his damange deposit back, and paying all utility bills owing for November's usage with about $200 left over.

Come January, if we haven't found a roommate - we will have in increase our bi-weekly joint house account contributions to $437.50 from $287.50 - that's a $150/bi-weekly increase.  That works out to $875/month/each to cover rent, utilities (gas, water, electricity, recycling etc), TV, phone, & internet.  Another way to see that is $1750/month total ($1350 rent and $400 bills).

The increase of $150/bi-weekly is effectively, our house fund.

I did round up when guessing what our utility bills will be - because it's only going to get colder - but after a  month on our own we could re-asses to see if we need to be stashing $400/month for bills.  It seems a little high, but I would rather error on the safe side which will just build us a buffer if it's not accurate.

I'm going to wait before changing the 2010 budget until closer to the end of the month - when we know if we have a new roommate or not.



  1. I am sure that you will find an awesome roommate. Do people ever advertise in the newspaper that they are looking for a place? Do places like COP hire out of town workers for ski season? It might be worth a drive to check if they have a message board. Have you looked on student message boards yet? J could check at SAIT when he is at school. Keep positive - you will do it.

  2. Also, as a last resort, are there schools that need homes for exchange students?

  3. Well, at least you know you CAN make it on your own if you guys have to. So I would just take the time to find the RIGHT roommate.

    Since your current roommate is leaving so unexpectedly I assume that they don't have to sign a lease? You might consider having them sign a 6 month agreement or something of that nature to protect you in the future.

  4. Jessie - after reading htis post and the accompanying comments, I realized there is somewhere you may want to advertise you have a place - Hydro One often has out of town workers coming in to help on contracts what not. Although turn over may be a little more frequent then you may want, it is a place to start. I had luck with sublets through this - always finding some really great people.

    Best of luck on this second journey for a roommate! I'm sure this is just leading you to a really great person in time!

  5. Well it makes sense why you guys don't want to move. And at least yourselves covered for a couple of months! :D

  6. I hope you find a roommate easily -- but it is nice to know that you will be ok if it takes awhile.

  7. It's so easy to say, "Just move!" when it's not you in the situation. There are a ton of expenses that come with moving and with Calgary being a tricky city to even find an appropriate housing, it has to be really worth it to move.

    When I lived in Calgary, I had the best luck finding roommates through the off-campus housing website at U of C. https://www.su.ucalgary.ca/ooch/. I got one really good roommate that way. I also used http://www.planetstudents.com/ to advertise as well. This one is free.

    Just an update on something non-related from the past: I got my yearly refund from my CIBC Dividend card! $70.42 for doing nothing but use my card (and pay it off every month) like I always do. It's definitely worth it.

  8. Thanks for your reply Jessie, and all the very best for your search. I hope it goes smooth.


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