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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

10.16.2000

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Roommates from hELL |  1 2 3
continued from page 2

How to spot them: Theyíre crafty and very good at tiptoeing. However, any manic laughter or squeals of pleasure going on behind closed doors can almost certainly be blamed on the Unpaying Tenant.
How to fix them: You canít, unless the entire house gets sick of it. The code works like a charm in share households all over the world. However, if a UT is really getting to you, suggest (nicely) to their associated Paying Tenant that they might want to chip in some rent. Even if your popularity takes a nosedive, I guarantee their visits to your house will lessen.

5. THE TIGHTWAD
Tightwads in the day-to-day sheme of living are bad enough, but when you actually have to share a home with one it can become unbearable. There are two kinds of Tightwads. Thereís the type who genuinely have limited funds, but donít consider ordering a round at the pub a move to file for bankruptcy. These Tightwads, while annoying at times, can usually be tolerated.

The other type is the hard-core Tightwad. Separate condiments and sauces are fine, but there are roommates out there who insist not only on individual bread and milk, but separate toilet paper to everyone else. This kind of Tightwad is a master at dividing the household, because everyone else soon catches the disease Ė "I loaned you ten cents last week, didnít I? Yes I did, so pay up now, youíve had long enough to get it."

How to spot them: Tightwads quibble. They quibble over rent and bills. They remember when they bought a bottle of toilet cleaner three months ago and thatís why itís your turn this time. They halve everything clean down the middle, and never fail to collect every cent they ever loan.
How to fix them: For basic items, some Tightwads will agree to the pooling-household-funds plan, and it does keep annoying money conversations to a minimum (simply work out how much bills/basic items cost per week, ask everyone to contribute to cover the cost). However, when mysterious lines appear on the milk cartons and who last bought Toilet Duck becomes a regular breakfast table discussion topic, Iíve only one thing to say. Ditch the Tightwad and welcome harmony back into your household.

Rachel Smith spent years dodging customs officials, living out of a backpack and eating Laughing Cow cheeses before the luck ran out.
She misses the trauma of getting through Heathrow, but still calls
Australia home. Drop her a line at rachel_smith@hotmail.com

check out these related articles: 
the great roommate search 
confessions of a first-time homeowner  

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