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In Los Angeles, having a roommate saves $6,696 per year

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Sharing equals savings

The fact that living with a roommate can save you money shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to most Angelenos. But just how much can you save by splitting rent with someone else? That’s what a new study by Smart Asset sets out to discover, and according to its data, Los Angeles residents can save an average of $6,696 per year by shacking up with someone else.

To get that number, Smart Asset took the average price of an LA two-bedroom (a hefty $3,298), halved it, and compared the resulting $1,649 to an average one-bedroom price of $2,207. By that calculation, roommates stand to save $558 every month they don’t go venturing off by themselves.

That’s great news for those willing to share a living space, though, of course, the bad news is that $1,649 is still a good chunk of change. Not surprisingly, when Smart Asset ranked US cities based on roommate savings, the top spots on the list went to the nation’s priciest rental markets, with San Francisco, New York, and San Jose comprising the top three. LA came in just behind San Diego in the eighth spot.

Those looking to save a tad bit more could always round up a third roommate. According to Smart Asset data, the average monthly price of a three-bedroom in LA is $4,672. Divide that by three and you get $1,557, or a savings of $650 per month and $7,800 per year.

Of course, as many actual roommates are probably thinking to themselves right now, who needs their own bedroom? The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing recommends that landlords allow two occupants per each bedroom in a rental unit, plus one additional occupant. Thus, a two-bedroom apartment could serve up to five people.

So, by our calculations, roommates paying average LA rents could save a yearly total of $17,652 by living in a one-bedroom with two others, $18,564 by sharing a two-bedroom five ways, and $18,480 by cramming seven people into a three-bedroom place. Now those are some savings.