On Living Cheaply in Los Angeles, Or Trying To

I knew from the beginning that I wasn’t in love with the apartment. The living room space was nice in theory, but difficult to appreciate under its permanent cover of the other girls’ stuff and clutter. My bedroom was at the end of a long, narrow hallway, with one high, small north-facing window that provided dingy light in the mornings, and none at all by noon. There was no built-in storage, and the ancient stove ran cold, with one reliable burner and two that never worked at all. The backyard, which had seemed charmingly ramshackle when I first saw it on a nighttime tour, turned out to be brown and barren, and the front porch was filthy with years’ worth of dust and dog hair.

Soon We’ll All Be Somebody’s Roommate

In a country of stagnant incomes and rising costs of living, cutting costs often means having to find an affordable city to live in, but more commonly, it means finding roommates to split the rent.

Roommate Living

A recent episode of The Colin McEnroe Show discussed the joys and challenges of living with roommates, with guests like Susan Salisbury, the director of residential life at Trinity College, who talks about how she matches college roommates together in residence halls (she looks at the surveys students fill out saying whether or not they’re early or late risers and what their study habits are like, and then matches everyone using pen and paper), The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson, who talks about some of the economic consequences of more millennials rooming together for longer periods of time (instead of buying houses and starting families, which they’re postponing for monetary reasons), and an appearance from two of those dudes from Fortress Astoria (those best friends and roommates who have been living together for nearly two decades). A caller asks something like, “How do you keep the peace when your roommates have a hard time doing things like taking out the trash when it’s their turn on the chore board?” (CHORE BOARD!). The Fortress Astoria dudes respond, “The only agreements we have are to pay the rent, and wash your dishes. Everyone just has to be conscientious of each other.” If only it were that easy.

Golden Housemates

Aging, unmarried boomers are considering who will take care of them when they’re too old to care for themselves—nieces and nephews, perhaps?—and they’re increasingly looking at shared housing situations. This reminds me of something …