5 Cities Where Being in Love Can Save You Money

Libby Kane

moving in togetherIt doesn’t carry the same weight as the almighty marriage proposal, but there may be another question you’ll want to pop this Valentine’s Day: “Will you move in with me?”

That’s because in some of the country’s biggest cities, taking your relationship to the next level could actually save you a lot of money.

An analysis of nationwide rental data by real estate website Trulia found that cohabiting couples can save an average of 35% of their monthly rent if they swap their one-bedroom apartments for one two-bedroom. If they want a third bedroom, however, their savings shrink to about 12%. (The research compared apartments in the same building to get the most accurate comparison possible, so it probably goes without saying that the rent is cut in half for couples who choose to move into a one-bedroom together.)

That 35% savings for a bigger place isn’t set in stone, either. According to the analysis, the savings from trading up may range from 28% to 40%. (Here’s looking at you, Sacramento). The markets that offer the best savings for couples who cohabitate in a two-bedroom include:

  • Sacramento, Calif. (40%)
  • Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. (39%)
  • Las Vegas, Nev. (39%)
  • Baltimore, Md. (38%)
  • San Diego, Calif. (38%)

Any New Yorker or San Franciscan won’t be surprised to learn that their cities, along with Houston, Dallas and Chicago, are at the very bottom of the savings list.

Of course, rent shouldn’t be the sole reason you move in together, but if you’re already considering sharing an apartment—even one that’s bigger than your current pads—you can add “savings” to your list of pros.

  • Julianne

    Libby, I am discouraged to sign up for LearnVest if this is
    the kind of advice I will be receiving.

    I find your post immensely short sighted and lacking in
    depth. Trivializing and reducing the impact of cohabitation to some meager savings on your 3-5 year budget is, well, irresponsible. Cohabitation has been shown to correlate with higher rates of divorce, higher levels of single parenting, weakened families, and a lower rates of marriage altogether. Aside from these long term risks to our future financial (and personal) well-being, there are real shorter-term risks to cohabitating – what if you end up staying in an unhealthy relationship because you already co-signed a two-year lease? Permanent, long term, committed unions do present lasting financial benefits and economies of scale. However, cohabitation often serves to put that ultimate goal at risk.

    I had definitely hoped more from LearnVest : (

  • MS Kati


    First, I am just finding this site and reading it, I am not affiliated in any way. Second, this post isn’t about what is good for your relationship, how to avoid being a single parent, or how to strengthen a family. It’s about how two single bedroom apartments compares to a single two bedroom apartment. In these 5 cities, that is a cheaper prospect. Elsewhere, not so much. If you want stuff about relationships and families, I would suggest a more general site.

    • Julianne


      You are incorrect – your article is not merely a price comparison of one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments in various cities. It is about the cost savings of having a roommate in various cities. Moreover,it is about the cost savings of having a specific kind of roommate – one who is a potential marriage partner (i.e. cohabitation). It does not consider any other kind of roommate – a sibling, parent, or friend for example.The point of my post is that having a roommate who is a potential marriage partner has different long-term financial risks than having one that is a non-potential marriage partner. This is where your article on presenting the economic benefits of cohabitation falls short.


      • Josie

        Julianne, the person who initially responded to you is not the author of the post.