Pooling Resources: The Good, Bad and Ugly

One of life’s greatest joys is doing things with friends. Having someone to share the experience and the memories can be very rewarding. Together we are able to accomplish more by pooling skills, strengths and money.

The Good

The greatest benefit of pooling resources is allowing you to accomplish things you couldn’t do otherwise. Whether it’s renting your first apartment or taking a road trip, sharing the cost with others makes it much more affordable. You also learn things from each other, about life and yourself. There are more people to take turns cleaning or driving and you might really like the camaraderie. It can be a really good thing.

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The Bad

Until it’s not so great. Be realistic about differences of personality and preferences. Find a way to carve out your own space. Be mindful of sticking to your own goals and routines, rather than getting pulled into activities that aren’t helping you accomplish what you want. You can actually end up spending more by trying to keep up with your roommates.

The Ugly

Once your name is on a lease, title or contract, you are fully responsible for it. If the other parties don’t pay or cause damages, you may end up having to sort it out on your own or ruin your financial credibility. You can become dependent on others, unable to move out when you choose or have flexibility.

Best Practices

Be clear about what you want to accomplish and let others know

Build up your own savings, so you can move out or up when you are ready

Don’t allow yourself to become financially dependent on someone else for your survival. Sharing is good as long as all parties benefit from the arrangement.

Only sign a contract if you are fully capable of being 100% responsible for it.

What else would you add? Finding your financial zen takes time and through some trial and error. That’s how we learn. So be generous and share; be wise and responsible.