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February 24, 2017

Study: Philly's millennial renters save a lot of money by having a roommate

Having a roommate can come with challenges: sharing a bathroom, delegating cleaning responsibilities, etc. But it does give renters one big advantage: It can save them a boatload of money.

That's especially true for millennials in Philadelphia and most major cities in the United States. A new study released Thursday by real estate website Trulia shows just how much cash millennials could save by sharing their living space with someone else.

Millennials, generally defined as the generation currently in their 20s and early 30s, spend about 30 percent of their income on rent for one-bedroom apartments in Philly, according to Trulia.

The median rent for a one-bedroom space in Philly is $1,200. Based on median income statistics pulled from the U.S. Census, renters could save $438.03 a month in the city by getting a two-bedroom apartment instead, and $539.34 a month by getting a three-bedroom apartment.

That's 11 percent of your monthly income saved with one roommate and 14 percent if you get two roommates, according to Trulia.

As previously noted, however, there are cons to living with someone else.

"The tradeoff: you will have less space for yourself, hence less privacy," Mark Uh, a data scientist for Trulia, wrote in the study.

Uh calculated that the average square feet per person in a one-bedroom apartment in Philly was 700. It was 500 for two bedrooms and 395 for three bedrooms.

So if personal space is your thing — and you can afford it — you might want to live alone. But if you're trying to live frugally, living with a buddy or two is your best option.

You can read the full Trulia study here.