I do anything I can to save a few bucks, whether it's using coupons at the grocery store or shopping in the sale section at my favorite clothing boutiques. After apartment searching in the city of Chicago, I've discovered another wonderful way to save money: a roommate. Thankfully, my brother needed a roommate as well, so we're sharing the rent, making that monthly expense a lot more manageable.
However, if you want to save money, but don't have anyone to live with, you may consider moving in with someone you don't know. Maybe it's someone you found online or a friend of a friend. Either way, you don't know each other, which can be super awkward if you're living together.
Rather than wait until the awkward situations subside, take matters into your own hands. Any of these icebreaker activities should help turn you from random roommates into friends (hopefully):
You don't have to interrogate each other in interview format– instead, stick to fun questions that will help you get to know each other.
Take the pressure off of both of you by making a bowl of popcorn, turning on a show you both like, and during commercials, have fun answering any of the following questions:
I probably wouldn't have put this offer on the table with my old roommate from college, as she tried to cook a frozen waffle in the oven. But assuming your roommate knows what general kitchen appliances are for, this could be fun.
Whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner, food can really bring people together. Look through a cookbook or choose a dish to make off of your food-themed blog or Pinterest board, and head to the store to pick up the ingredients.
Cooking gives you something to do with your hands, so you won't feel uncomfortable just standing there staring at the other person, waiting for them to speak. You can even play the 20 questions game I mentioned earlier while you make the meal.
When you sit down at the table to enjoy your meal, pour a drink and cheers to the beginning of a great roomie relationship.
This has to be one of my favorite icebreaker activities. You may have played this game, or know it from the popular TV show "The Office" when Jim played with his co-workers. This fun game actually is a pretty good way to get some insight on your roommate. Here's how to play:
Let's say your roommate is trapped on a desert island– ask them what five items would they bring with them. You can get a bit more specific, asking what five movies or books they would bring. The movies or books they choose may help you get to know them a little better and give you a sneak peek into some of the things they can’t live without.
If you're new to town, but your new roommate isn't, ask him or her to show you around the neighborhood. Explore your surroundings on foot, or go for a drive if one of you has a car. You can check out his or her favorite places, like a local bar, restaurant or store.
If you're both new to town, do a bit of research before you leave your apartment. Find nearby attractions that you can visit, or read some Yelp reviews on local restaurants to figure out where to go for dinner.
Become better roomies by putting your energy into decorating your new place. Go to the store together to pick out paintings, blankets, rugs or tables that you both like.
Along the way, you'll begin to get an idea of your new roomie's style.