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Want to live alone? You’ll be paying for it in more ways than one.

In one of the more entertaining New York Times trend pieces we’ve read, the author sheds light on all the ways going solo can turn you crazy.

One in four Americans now live alone (one in two if you are talking about New York City), so that means one in four Americans have the freedom to do one or all of these things:

  • Eat peanut butter naked in the kitchen at 2 a.m.
  • Run in place during TV commercials
  • Speak conversational French to yourself while making breakfast
  • Sing Journey songs in the shower (well, we do that anyway)
  • Remove only the clothes you need from the dryer, thus turning it into a makeshift dresser
  • Wear white flax pantaloons around the apartment
  • Never, ever close the bathroom door
  • Put a Post-It note up reminding yourself to close the door when people come over
  • Ask your cat’s opinion on your writing
  • Eat six or seven times an hour, mainly cereal
  • Drink champagne in the shower at 8 a.m.
  • Play Madden for 10 hours straight
  • Forget to put a skirt on and leave the house that way

Two of us on the LearnVest editorial team live alone ourselves, but we haven’t developed any quirks that are nearly this amusing. It’s worth noting, however, that we’ve only lived alone for less than a year. Who knows what would happen to our sense of propriety in the long term?

The Real Cost of Living Alone

Now that we’ve demonstrated all the kinds of crazy living alone can breed, let’s bring this back down to LearnVest terms. When you decide to live alone, not only will you have to consider a higher rent, you’ll also be paying more for utilities, living room furniture and decorations, and kitchen accessories like plates and a blender. If you’re living with a significant other, you could also share food expenses.

This blog post has an interesting rule of thumb called the square root rule, in which the cost of living is the square root of the number of people living together. So the square root of 1 is 1, meaning all the costs are yours to take care of. But living with two people means together the cost of living is the square root of 2, or 1.414. So you’ll pay 70 percent of what you would pay if you were living alone. Living with two other people brings your expenses down to 50 percent of what it would cost to live alone.

So if your rent check is taking up more of the recommended 30 percent of your budget and you find yourself wandering out the door without pants on, maybe it’s time to consider getting a roommate.

Tell us: Do you live alone? Have you developed any strange (yet endearing) quirks?

More From LearnVest:
When choosing a roommate, make sure to ask these five questions.
Don’t rush into moving in with your significant other before reading how it affects your finances.
Couples who live together before marriage accumulate wealth faster. Why?

This post originally appeared on LearnVest.com on Feb. 24, 2012 and was written by Alden Wicker . It is republished here with permission from LearnVest.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

About the Author

LearnVest is here to empower you to take control of your personal finances so that you can live your richest life. We have the information, tools and financial experts you need to have a healthy financial life now and an even brighter future.

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