My girlfriend of several years was experiencing something along the same lines. The conclusion was obvious: living together would not only cut our expenses tremendously, but we would be able to afford much nicer accommodations together than either of us could on our own. We found a nicer apartment complex and signed a year lease on a two bedroom unit. As college kids, we didn’t have much furniture, which made the moving process less of a hassle. We used the living room set I had bought for my smaller place, and her few pieces filled in the larger apartment nicely.We started talking more openly about our money, since we essentially had to. We worked out a system where we would split each shared bill right down the middle. I was responsible for keeping track of the rent, power, and cable bills, and she was responsible for the water, gas, and insurances. We continued to keep some of our personal expenses separate, like our cell phone bills and car payments, but everything that we both used we split evenly.
I was surprised at how living together not only opened up our communication, but it also made us more fulfilled adults. We had to have mature, honest conversations with each other about perhaps the most serious subject a couple can discuss: money. It wasn’t always easy, but it helped us learn how to cope with the normal issues that any other couple might go through. I certainly feel that living together at such a young age was not only beneficial in a financial sense, but in a sense of personal growth as well.