Moving into your first apartment can be made easier if you have siblings who have already forged the path for you! Living with siblings, whether they are older and more established or around the same stage of life as you, can help mitigate the cost of living alone and add some fun to your situation.
The typical roommate rules definitely apply to living with siblings, and with a bit of additional thought, you and your siblings will get the best out of living together.
Set clear rent and bills expectations
Nothing tangles the family tree like money! Before moving in with your siblings, make clear lines of who pays what cost for all bills, including rent, utilities, cable/internet, trash, etc. If you’re moving in with an established sibling (meaning they have been paying for their place by themselves), work with them on a fair rate for you to contribute each month. Have a sit-down meeting or FaceTime to make these decisions, then write them down so financial responsibilities are always clear and you can refer back to what was agreed.
Understand “house rules”
While you may have grown up together, things definitely change by the time you’re an adult moving into your first place together! Talk to them, just like any new roommate, about their preferences, how to split food costs, common courtesies for having guests over, etc. Remember, you may be super-comfortable with this roommate, but they are still a new roommate! Ensure you are on the same page with each other by talking over key living-together points before moving in.
Keep your commitments
Now that you’ve talked everything over and made fair decisions, it’s time to keep your word. Remember that this is one roommate you won’t be able to move out on and never see again, so be a good roommate to your sibling! Always pay your bills on time, be respectful of the house rules you set together, and try to keep your parents out of any disagreements.
Keep your parents out of minor conflicts
Do not pick up the phone to call mom to complain if your sibling eats the last yogurt or leaves their dirty dishes in the sink. Do not tell your parents about your sibling’s new relationship if they are not yet ready to reveal it. Once you both move out on your own, you are both entitled to some privacy from everybody, including your parents.
Enjoy this time!
I have seen this situation happen a few different times first-hand! Most recently, my younger sister finished college with a job in a new state… where my older sister and her family lives! As the job was temporary, my younger sister moved in with my older to save up some money while she decided where she wanted to live long-term. Fortunately, they set expectations (and met them) and are now closer than ever. This is a great opportunity to bond with your siblings, so make the most of it!
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