Author Topic: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?  (Read 12744 times)

Mmm_Donuts

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #50 on: January 26, 2018, 11:46:15 AM »
Thinking further about this. Here is what I would do, I would sit down with her and say:

"[Friend's name], when I first offered you the room for rent, you were struggling and in a tough position, and I was really happy to help you out. You needed someone to give you a break at that point in time, and I was very grateful to be there for you as a friend.

You've been here now for almost five years. I've enjoyed your company, but it seems like you have picked yourself off your feet and improved your situation. Well done! I'm happy for you that you're now in a better position.

I have to put on my landlady hat now. I have offered you all that I can offer you as a friend. Here is a contract for you to sign. As of March 1, the rent is now $425 a month. Please read the contract over - the details are there [must be paid first of the month, eviction notice of 30 days given if not received on due date, etc]. Think it over. I'll leave you until [x date - mid February] to sign. If you can't agree to these terms, then let me know, and you will have until the end of February to find a new place.

I wish you all the best! I hope you appreciate the break I have given you. It would be best for both of us if we are clear on what our expectations are of each other. Here is what I would like from you, and if you would like to move on, then I completely understand."

I would say all of this in a cool and calm, firm but understanding tone. You have done her a huge favour. Lay it all out from that perspective - she should be very very appreciative of what you have offered thus far. I feel like the contract is necessary to show that things have changed, and you are no longer in pure "friendship" mode. She has taken advantage of this. A contract will be a signifier, and you need to be firm about it. So will raising the rent. This is the beginning of a new era. A time when frugalfoothills means business.

I would NOT mention the truck, the job promotion, her salary, her going out for happy hour with friends, or anything about her personal finances. Keep this all on a business-like level. Tell her what YOU want. As soon as you get into the personal details, she will take advantage. The tone needs to change, or her behaviour will continue. I would not allow myself to feel guilty in the least for raising the rent or for treating her as an equal. You will be doing her a FAVOUR if you treat her this way. On top of the generosity you have already offered her, this is the kindest thing you can do for her at the moment. The details - the taxes, the truck costs, whatever else she has going on, sick grandmother, dying cousin - it's all very sad but it is her problem, not yours. She will never learn to solve her money problems if she doesn't take responsibility for them. I would repeat like a mantra - "I have done all that I can do to help you for the past five years, now it is time for you to help yourself." When she cries, tell her she can do it and that you have faith in her. Say you believe in her, she is smart and capable and that she will figure it out. (She could... Sell the truck? Live in the truck? Move in with her parents? Find another apartment with different roommates? Stay on the couch of another kind and generous person? Pay you the rent as per your new agreement? If she chooses not to sign the contract, then it is not your problem, she has at least made a clear choice. Don't even go there with the solutions - she is an adult! But if she starts thinking this way, then she knows you are serious, and this is a good sign!)

everinprogress

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #51 on: January 27, 2018, 12:00:24 PM »
You've received lots of good advice from the people here, just wanted to wish you the best in dealing with your friend

TheExplorer

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #52 on: January 27, 2018, 01:27:59 PM »
Do you have 'feelings' for your room mate?

BTDretire

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #53 on: January 27, 2018, 05:32:40 PM »
Thinking further about this. Here is what I would do, I would sit down with her and say:

"[Friend's name], when I first offered you the room for rent, you were struggling and in a tough position, and I was really happy to help you out. You needed someone to give you a break at that point in time, and I was very grateful to be there for you as a friend.

You've been here now for almost five years. I've enjoyed your company, but it seems like you have picked yourself off your feet and improved your situation. Well done! I'm happy for you that you're now in a better position.

I have to put on my landlady hat now. I have offered you all that I can offer you as a friend. Here is a contract for you to sign. As of March 1, the rent is now $425 a month. Please read the contract over - the details are there [must be paid first of the month, eviction notice of 30 days given if not received on due date, etc]. Think it over. I'll leave you until [x date - mid February] to sign. If you can't agree to these terms, then let me know, and you will have until the end of February to find a new place.

I wish you all the best! I hope you appreciate the break I have given you. It would be best for both of us if we are clear on what our expectations are of each other. Here is what I would like from you, and if you would like to move on, then I completely understand."

I would say all of this in a cool and calm, firm but understanding tone. You have done her a huge favour. Lay it all out from that perspective - she should be very very appreciative of what you have offered thus far. I feel like the contract is necessary to show that things have changed, and you are no longer in pure "friendship" mode. She has taken advantage of this. A contract will be a signifier, and you need to be firm about it. So will raising the rent. This is the beginning of a new era. A time when frugalfoothills means business.

I would NOT mention the truck, the job promotion, her salary, her going out for happy hour with friends, or anything about her personal finances. Keep this all on a business-like level. Tell her what YOU want. As soon as you get into the personal details, she will take advantage. The tone needs to change, or her behaviour will continue. I would not allow myself to feel guilty in the least for raising the rent or for treating her as an equal. You will be doing her a FAVOUR if you treat her this way. On top of the generosity you have already offered her, this is the kindest thing you can do for her at the moment. The details - the taxes, the truck costs, whatever else she has going on, sick grandmother, dying cousin - it's all very sad but it is her problem, not yours. She will never learn to solve her money problems if she doesn't take responsibility for them. I would repeat like a mantra - "I have done all that I can do to help you for the past five years, now it is time for you to help yourself." When she cries, tell her she can do it and that you have faith in her. Say you believe in her, she is smart and capable and that she will figure it out. (She could... Sell the truck? Live in the truck? Move in with her parents? Find another apartment with different roommates? Stay on the couch of another kind and generous person? Pay you the rent as per your new agreement? If she chooses not to sign the contract, then it is not your problem, she has at least made a clear choice. Don't even go there with the solutions - she is an adult! But if she starts thinking this way, then she knows you are serious, and this is a good sign!)

 I can't agree with the above, you have had to much disrespect rained down on you by this roommate. You say you have told her to forget the past due rent and started over, twice. I'm sure your roomate has forgot, but I'm sure you haven't amd won't. You will remember everyday, even if she starts paying rent on time. It's time for her to move on, things will never be the same between you two and once you kick her out, you will have more respect for yourself.

FireLane

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #54 on: January 27, 2018, 08:51:27 PM »
This is a good example of why you should never mix friendship with business. Your friend/roommate is exploiting the "friend" part of your relationship to pry unfair concessions from the "business" (landlord/tenant) part of your relationship. She may not even realize she's doing it, because she thinks of you as her friend and not her landlord, but she is.

IMO, she can either be your friend or your tenant, but not both. If I were in your shoes, I'd consider telling her that you've decided you need your own space, and so you'd like her to move out.

testtest

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #55 on: January 27, 2018, 10:53:30 PM »
I like how Calimom put it, no "truly wonderful person" does this. The easiest way to have an honest conversation with your close friend is to...have an honest conversation with your close friend. Speak your mind, make your expectations clear, write up a lease, and - this is the big one - follow through.

You think it's up to her to pay rent, and it's really not. It's up to you.

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Paul der Krake

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #56 on: January 27, 2018, 11:09:27 PM »
Unbelievable. OP is acting like a total doormat.

Put her on a payment plan for all the back rent. Today.

Villanelle

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #57 on: January 27, 2018, 11:22:57 PM »
Yes, you need to let go of wanting to change her choices.  She's a grown woman and has clearly and repeatedly demonstrated that she's not interested in changing.

And frankly, if anything, you continuing to allow her not to live up to her promises and obligations is actually just enabling her bad choices.  So actually, you are making things worse.  You can't change or control her actions.  The only things you can do is protect yourself, and not reenforce her irresponsibility.  It's not much different than offering an active alcoholic a free place to live.  You are just allowing them to continue drinking and to not address their problems.  It's a bad deal for both of you.  Save yourself and stop allowing her to more easily make bad decisions. 

To that end, you tell her that she can no longer live with you rent-free.  She'll make arguments and promises, but you stick to your guns and tell her she has 60 days to move out.  And stick with that.  Remind her periodicially, and be prepared to move her shit out on day 61.  Make sure she knows that, too.  I like the first part of Donut's speech.  You gave her a chance because you wanted to help her, but it has been 5 years, and it's time for both of you to move on.  Don't mention the truck or anything else.  Those things are none of your business, or at least they won't be when she is no longer continuing to accumulate more debt against you.  And it just gives her something to argue against.  You don't want to open that door.  Focus on the fact that you simply no longer want this arrangement.  That's it. 

I would also let go of the back rent, mostly because you are unlikely to ever see it, especially if you aren't willing to go to court over it.  Hard lesson to learn, but to me, it would be the healthiest choice mentally, especially given the odds of success with any other options. 

I absolutely would not negotiate another contract.  She's proven repeatedly that she won't honor it.  Why on earth would you offer another opportunity for her to screw you? 

englishteacheralex

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #58 on: January 27, 2018, 11:36:31 PM »
Read what @Laura33 said as many times as you can. Stop with the silly emotional stuff. Time to adult. I'm talking to OP, not crazy roommate. Crazy roommate needs to be kicked out. OP, I get the feeling you're pretty young. But growing up is called for, here. None of this "I feel" nonsense. Also stop gossiping about her inability to manage her money. That's actually not being a great friend on your part.

Just kick her out. You don't need to get all pissy about it or tell her how bad she is or how much it hurts you that she bought a truck. Just the facts. You gotta pay rent; I don't care how "nice" you are. No rent? Gotta go.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #59 on: January 28, 2018, 12:54:17 AM »
"When a person with money meets a person with experience, the person with money gets the experience and the person with experience gets the money."  - somebody or other

OP, your roomie/moocher got the money.  You got the experience.  Move on.


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"Growing up means defending yourself."  - me (not that it's very original)

This last one's important because this type of thing will happen the rest of your life unless you learn to replace the "I'm a patsy" sign from your forehead and replace it with "Nope, you need to shape up."  Weights will lift from your shoulders and life will become inexplicably joyous.  The technical term is that assertiveness is empowering.

And yes, nice girls DO stand up for themselves.  Any internal message to the contrary is internalized sexism.  You count.  Act like it.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 12:59:20 AM by Bicycle_B »

frugalecon

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #60 on: January 28, 2018, 04:02:00 AM »
Dear FrugalFoothills,

As someone who has dealt with a “friend” who took advantage of generosity, but who also received much good advice from people on this board, including several who have posted on this thread, let me add my support for the idea that this is the time for firm boundaries. Personally, I wouldn’t offer her the opportunity to sign a lease and recommit to paying rent. Doubtful that will turn out well, since she seems likely to attempt to continue what amounts to a pretty lucrative side hustle.

If she turns on the tears, just remember: “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”

Best of luck,
FE
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 04:06:08 AM by frugalecon »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #61 on: January 28, 2018, 04:15:36 AM »
Forget the back rent. Kick her out and block her number. She'll move on to the next mark. I'm sorry, you've been had.

former player

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #62 on: January 28, 2018, 04:28:07 AM »
Any chance your local laws allow you to just put all her belongings on the porch and change the locks?  I doubt it, but I'd be tempted.

I predict that after you kick her out you will never see your "friend" again.  Don't worry about this: your life will be immeasurably better without this shitty human being in it.

BabyShark

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #63 on: January 29, 2018, 11:34:26 AM »
Please keep us updated!

Wayward

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #64 on: January 29, 2018, 02:28:55 PM »
As a fellow introvert who has had trouble establishing boundaries/dealing with confrontation, I feel for you.  Be strong and start taking back control of your life.  It is not your job to help her figure out her priorities or finances.

You have shown her by your actions that she can walk all over you.  You are also letting emotions cloud your judgement and as a result are dealing with stress and anger (which in my experience can lead to anxiety and resentment).  All of which you certainly do NOT need in your life.  I understand you want to be a good friend, but she been disrespecting your trust and friendship so you need to put yourself first.

I would honestly not continue to have her as a roommate, for your own sanity and perhaps even to save the friendship with some distance.  But if you want her to stay; do you have a roommate contract, something in writing that states all expectations for the living situation that both of you sign?  If not, then I suggest you put one in place immediately that clearly states when the rent is due and your right to give 30 days’ notice (I’m not a lawyer so check your state laws, but 30 days is typical of all the month-to-month leases I’ve had).  For the future, never have a roommate without a contract, even a friend, especially if you have bad boundaries.  Not that it’s a fail-safe, but at least you have something in writing if you need to go to court.  Things can get very nasty - I have a friend who actually paid someone to leave within 30 days with the room in good condition to avoid any drama.  Don't let things get personal, if she cries tell her to take some time and you can revisit the conversation later.  Set your boundaries and stick to them!       

The forgiven rent is in the past, sunk costs, as they say.  I hope this experience does not make you jaded, just make sure to give your kindness to people who actually deserve and appreciate it.  Good luck! 

“You can’t change others.  You can only change yourself.  But that will change how others respond to you.” – Springwolf

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou

Beach_Stache

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #65 on: January 29, 2018, 03:02:36 PM »
I've known plenty of people who are terrible with money and use that excuse, I just choose to never get into financial situations with them.  One time we lent my wife's brother some money, well not lent, but gave it, at like $150/month b/c he just started a job and had a baby w/an ex and was living at low rent in his father's rental.  His Mom was helping him the same way as we were, and then we came to his house one day and he had a new big screen tv.  Needless to say that was the last time he got a handout from us.  He's sort of got his head screwed on straight, has a house, wife w/2 other kids, and they are maintaining, but they both will always live paycheck to paycheck, keep up w/the jonses, have that new truck that your roomate has, etc.  My oldest sister and her husband are 2 high earners but again spend all they make and my younger sister is also a good earner and her family does very well saving but also spend a bit as well.

Some people don't want to hear or learn about money and will spend every cent they have, or even more than they make and rack up credit card debt.  If your roomate doesn't want to learn then that's just an excuse.  By buying that car that costs more than her yearly take home salary (after tax) that basically ensures that she WILL NEVER pay you rent...  She bought that car full well knowing that, or she just didn't care.  I doubt she's thinking about that in the back of her mind, like "Hey, F my roomate, she'll never demand that I pay her rent", some people are just like that, that's their mindset.  She is taking terrible advantage of you, but you are also enabling her by letting her get away with it.

I think you can really just put it straight and tell her that you love her to death and value their friendship, but think it's best if she finds a new set of roomates b/c her inability to pay you rent is having negative consequences to your friendship and you don't want to lose that friendship and/or resent her.  I think that's fairly light but straightforward.  What will happen though is she will either have to leech off of someone else or will lose her car (probably both).  Don't get sucked back in those, she needs to lose that car for her financial situation to really sink in.  Kind of like an addict, they need to hit rock bottom to realize they have a problem.  If you let her live there or give her a 4th or 5th chance, she'll pay you for a month or so and then say how broke she is and how she can't afford her car payment, then you'll bail her out again.  She needs to lose that car (whether it gets repo'd or she does the responsible thing and sells it) to be able to afford a place on that salary, but it's not your problem.  She chose the job she has, the car she bought and the company she keeps. 

She may not be consciencely "trying" to take advantage of you, but she is and you need to put an end to that, unless you are totally okay w/her never paying rent again.  I have plenty of friends that are bad with money, I just make sure I don't ever lend them any or have them live w/me (and expect to be paid rent).  They can sometimes be really good friends and a blast to hang out with, the kind who buys everyone drinks when they go out, I just never get into financial situations w/them.  Good luck!

ABC123

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #66 on: January 30, 2018, 11:11:58 AM »
Do you want to keep living with her?  If she actually paid the rent every month and you didn't have to constantly excuse her financial irresponsibility?  If you do want to live with her, then you need to find a way to not have to nag her about it every month.  I would sit down with her as an adult, and tell her flat out how it is going to be.  Find a secure online way for her to automatically put the money in your account each month, and tell her if at any point the money is not in your account on the first of the month then it will be time for her to go.  Also, if you do want her to stay, you need to draw up a formal lease agreement so that you can enforce it when she stops paying.  In some localities, renters have a whole lot of ridiculous rights that let them get away with pretty much anything.  Without a formal lease, I think you would have a tough time making her leave.

If you don't want to live with her, then you have every right to tell her that the time has come for this to end.  Hopefully she won't put up a fuss about it and force you to legally let her stay.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #67 on: February 02, 2018, 09:50:44 AM »
So, it's February.  OP, what is the situation?  What are your local laws re tenants?  Is this frenemy booted out yet?


frugalfoothills

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #68 on: February 02, 2018, 01:38:17 PM »
So, it's February.  OP, what is the situation?  What are your local laws re tenants?  Is this frenemy booted out yet?

Time for a check-in!

She paid me right on time, Feb 1 as agreed. I didn't even have to ask her about it. Maybe our awkward conversation took root?

I've been thinking a lot about what I've read here and about establishing healthy boundaries, and I think the first thing I have to do is untangle my emotions from her financial decisions. I realize that the only thing I personally have to care about is whether I get paid. As long as I'm getting paid, it's not my job to stress about how she's making her car payments, or whether she defaults on her credit cards, or whether she pays her truck taxes. That's all shit for HER to figure out. Me... I'll just be over here chillin with my $400 a month.

I think the main thing I've realized is that even though my intentions for trying to get overly invested in her finances were good (help her budget, keep her on track, try and get her to start saving), that has to stop for a few reasons:
  • first, it's not my place
  • second, she is a thirty year old woman. treating her like she's a five year old is condescending and insulting
  • lastly, it's bad for my own personal mental health

She's just gotta figure it out. And I have to separate our friendship and the emotions of me wanting her to do better because I care about her as a friend (and don't want to see any of my friends struggling) from the landlord/tenant relationship. I don't feel guilty that I'm asking for rent. It's just a fact of life--she's going to have to figure out how to pay to live, like every other human in the world. The longer I enable her behavior the worse off she will be. After all, she can't live with me forever.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #69 on: February 02, 2018, 03:19:19 PM »
She paid me right on time, Feb 1 as agreed. I didn't even have to ask her about it. Maybe our awkward conversation took root?
Great, have you and your roommate set up auto-pay?

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #70 on: February 02, 2018, 04:03:10 PM »
That's great. Have you workeked out a plan for her to catch up on what she owes since the last "forgiveness," last March?

Bicycle_B

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #71 on: February 02, 2018, 09:32:47 PM »
Wow, good job, FF!

frugalfoothills

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #72 on: April 23, 2018, 02:34:51 PM »
Update to this old thread: things have been going well on the rent front. She has paid every month, on time, since January. I haven't gotten 4 months' rent in a row (on time!) in... well, maybe ever. The heart-to-heart we had back in December seems to have done the trick... it's no longer a negotiable expense, it's something she's expected to pay each month regardless of whether it's convenient or not. Thanks to everyone who weighed in with advice on that.

I do feel bad, because her financial situation isn't looking any better than it was back then... I'm fairly certain it's worse, and I'm sure her paying rent each month is a direct contributor to that. We (me, her, a couple other girlfriends) are looking at taking a trip to Miami at the end of next month and she is HELLA stressed about how she's going to pay for it. I am stressed that the old patterns are going to come back and she's going to tell me she can't afford rent because she has to pay for a flight to Miami, but I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt for now. She did cancel another trip she had planned to Seattle because she "just can't afford it." I was proud of her... I've never known her to change her plans because she couldn't afford something. In the past she would just do it anyway, put it on a credit card, and pay the (literal) price later (or not.)

Of course, knowing what I know about how she had maxed out all of her cards back in December (and had actually gone over the limit/missed payments), it's possible the difference now is that she doesn't actually have any available credit to charge it to.

Truck is still stupid. Still parked in my driveway. She did finally pay the taxes on it... in March (2 months late.) And, despite her financial woes over this trip to Miami, she has started back on her Rent the Runway subscription (she was paying $180/month to rent clothes and send them back)... though she opted for the second-tier plan this time, only $90 per month (you can only rent 3 items per month.) She owes a friend of ours $90 for a concert ticket that she has owed for almost four months, so that right there shows how her brain works as far as money/debt is concerned (and debt to friends, at that.)

Thanks to this thread though, I have been able to take a step back from her situation and see it objectively... something sad to be pitied, rather than something for me to get involved in and attempt to fix. My only involvement is that rent payment each month.

As far as the rest of it goes... good luck, girl.


PoutineLover

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #73 on: April 23, 2018, 02:53:17 PM »
I do feel bad, because her financial situation isn't looking any better than it was back then... I'm fairly certain it's worse, and I'm sure her paying rent each month is a direct contributor to that.
No. Paying rent is not why her financial situation is worse. It's everything else she's spending on that she can't afford. Rent is a basic adult expense and she's getting a great deal. Otherwise, congrats on being firm with her and I hope it continues! Don't let that trip derail the progress.

marty998

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #74 on: April 23, 2018, 03:35:04 PM »
woo hoo! glad to see a good result!

SunnyDays

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #75 on: April 23, 2018, 06:10:06 PM »
I read this thread with total fascination!  (Retired psychologist here.)  I'm happy that you've gotten 4 months rent out of your "friend," but you do realize that this will not last, right?  She is a financial train wreck and does not WANT to improve, or she would have by now.  My advice is to get her out of your home NOW before she does more damage to you, both financially and emotionally. I would suggest giving her the option of paying market rate for rent AND starting a payback plan for what she owes you or moving out in the shortest amount of time you can get away with.
Even if, by some miracle, she continues to pay, please get some therapy for your extreme non-assertiveness before it gets you into really serious trouble!

WalkaboutStache

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #76 on: April 23, 2018, 07:56:38 PM »
This thread and discussion has really helped me do some self reflection and I realize this isn't the first time I've been in a situation like this. I mentioned that I bought my house in 2013 but I didn't mention that I was 23 at the time. I was able to buy my house because after college I fell into an unbelievable living situation... I moved into a family owned house rent free for 2 years and saved up a little cash for a down payment. Questionable decision at the time as I wasn't truly financially stable enough for home ownership if I'm being honest, but one that worked out in my favor as my home has appreciated over the past four years and I have about $50k in equity based on current market values.

Anyway, I was dating a guy at the time who was in a rough financial situation. Lots of student loan debt, low paying job, family that wouldn't help him.....  sound familiar?

When I bought my house I offered him to move into the family owned house RENT FREE so he could save money. Only expenses he'd owe were about $800/year in prop taxes and any monthly utilities. He was also supposed to do some basic upkeep on the property to keep it looking lived-in. Not a bad situation.

Anyway, fast forward two years and he hadn't saved a dime, his truck was dead with $0 to replace it, and he owed $800 for the last years prop taxes. Guess who ended up having to pay them? I'll go ahead and punch my own face here.

I ended up breaking up with that dude. Maybe I need to take a page out of my own book and break up with my tenant.

Second time, so maybe you should hear this:

You don't need to contribute financially to the people in your life to make them like you.  Been that, done that, got the t-shirt (and got other t-shirts for some of my friends because they are such great people too).

Linea_Norway

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #77 on: April 24, 2018, 01:02:24 AM »
I do feel bad, because her financial situation isn't looking any better than it was back then... I'm fairly certain it's worse, and I'm sure her paying rent each month is a direct contributor to that.
No. Paying rent is not why her financial situation is worse. It's everything else she's spending on that she can't afford. Rent is a basic adult expense and she's getting a great deal. Otherwise, congrats on being firm with her and I hope it continues! Don't let that trip derail the progress.

Don't feel bad. You have taught her to behave responsibly, by prioritizing her rent before partying. Well done. Let's hope it lasts. But if it doesn't, kick her out immediately and get another renter. You are not supposed to spend your presciously earned money on sponsoring her lifestyle.

frugalfoothills

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #78 on: April 24, 2018, 09:34:49 AM »
I read this thread with total fascination!  (Retired psychologist here.)  I'm happy that you've gotten 4 months rent out of your "friend," but you do realize that this will not last, right?  She is a financial train wreck and does not WANT to improve, or she would have by now.  My advice is to get her out of your home NOW before she does more damage to you, both financially and emotionally. I would suggest giving her the option of paying market rate for rent AND starting a payback plan for what she owes you or moving out in the shortest amount of time you can get away with.
Even if, by some miracle, she continues to pay, please get some therapy for your extreme non-assertiveness before it gets you into really serious trouble!

Yikes, you really think I need therapy?!? I guess I realized that the situation was "You're an Idiot" bad, but hadn't really thought it was "You Need Therapy" bad.

It's funny, because I'm generally not a non-assertive person in most areas. I realize my actions have been non-assertive in this case, so take it with a grain of salt, but in my career and personal life, I am actually a reasonably dominant personality. Strange?

I think the biggest contributor for me in this situation (meaning, what has contributed to essentially four years of this missed rent, no backpay, etc.) is that I feel very much that my current life situation would not have been possible without the help of my parents. They teed me up for success by paying for my college and letting me graduate student-loan free, and providing a safe environment for me to grow as an adult where I knew I had a safety net if I were to ever need it (though I have literally never asked them for money as an adult.) I could pursue a career and take risks and do all of that because if it all fell apart, they would be there to pick up the pieces. I genuinely feel that if I hadn't had such a supportive (emotionally and financially) environment, both in childhood and right out of school, I wouldn't be where I am today. Having security provided from your family or loved ones bolsters you, even if you never need to use it.

When I see my friends who have not been as fortunate as I have in that way, I want to pay it forward and help. That's a genuine, deep-seeded feeling I experience... I want those that I care about (well, everyone really, strangers included) to have the same opportunities as me. I find myself thinking that if they could just experience a similar kind of advantageous situation that would let them get ahead, then they'd also find themselves in a place of power, independence, and control [financially and beyond.]

That line of thinking and desire has been a HUGE contributor to the fiasco with my friend/roommate, because nearly every part of her living with me was meant to be more of a benefit to her. Sure, the idea of having some extra money in my pocket each month was a definite bonus, and over the years as I've grown up I have realized that it's something she should absolutely be paying for, but when we sat down way back when to actually discuss how much she'd be paying or when she would pay me, the conversation was very much me asking her what she could afford to pay. When it would be convenient for her to pay it. She was an equal partner in agreeing to the rent amount, and she called the shots on the due date, and I was happy to have it be that way.

Of course, over time, that changed. It became a source of frustration and resentment. I realize that's on me and not on her, because I went into this arrangement with expectations as to how she would behave... i.e., she would behave how I would *and have* behaved, and when she didn't, that threw me for a loop. I was out to give her advantages. She was out to take advantage of those advantages, but not in the way I thought she would.

What I realize now is that not everyone is willing to jump on the opportunities presented to them and use them to help themselves. This has become obvious through the mountain of empirical evidence I've amassed... in this case with my roommate, with my sister (who is also kind of an idiot with money despite having all of the same privileges as I had), my ex boyfriend... the list goes on.

I find myself wanting better for them, more than they even want better for themselves. That leads to this. Not making excuses, just tossing out some explanations. Maybe I do need therapy!

Psychstache

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #79 on: April 24, 2018, 09:44:34 AM »
I read this thread with total fascination!  (Retired psychologist here.)  I'm happy that you've gotten 4 months rent out of your "friend," but you do realize that this will not last, right?  She is a financial train wreck and does not WANT to improve, or she would have by now.  My advice is to get her out of your home NOW before she does more damage to you, both financially and emotionally. I would suggest giving her the option of paying market rate for rent AND starting a payback plan for what she owes you or moving out in the shortest amount of time you can get away with.
Even if, by some miracle, she continues to pay, please get some therapy for your extreme non-assertiveness before it gets you into really serious trouble!

Yikes, you really think I need therapy?!? I guess I realized that the situation was "You're an Idiot" bad, but hadn't really thought it was "You Need Therapy" bad.

It's funny, because I'm generally not a non-assertive person in most areas. I realize my actions have been non-assertive in this case, so take it with a grain of salt, but in my career and personal life, I am actually a reasonably dominant personality. Strange?

I think the biggest contributor for me in this situation (meaning, what has contributed to essentially four years of this missed rent, no backpay, etc.) is that I feel very much that my current life situation would not have been possible without the help of my parents. They teed me up for success by paying for my college and letting me graduate student-loan free, and providing a safe environment for me to grow as an adult where I knew I had a safety net if I were to ever need it (though I have literally never asked them for money as an adult.) I could pursue a career and take risks and do all of that because if it all fell apart, they would be there to pick up the pieces. I genuinely feel that if I hadn't had such a supportive (emotionally and financially) environment, both in childhood and right out of school, I wouldn't be where I am today. Having security provided from your family or loved ones bolsters you, even if you never need to use it.

When I see my friends who have not been as fortunate as I have in that way, I want to pay it forward and help. That's a genuine, deep-seeded feeling I experience... I want those that I care about (well, everyone really, strangers included) to have the same opportunities as me. I find myself thinking that if they could just experience a similar kind of advantageous situation that would let them get ahead, then they'd also find themselves in a place of power, independence, and control [financially and beyond.]

That line of thinking and desire has been a HUGE contributor to the fiasco with my friend/roommate, because nearly every part of her living with me was meant to be more of a benefit to her. Sure, the idea of having some extra money in my pocket each month was a definite bonus, and over the years as I've grown up I have realized that it's something she should absolutely be paying for, but when we sat down way back when to actually discuss how much she'd be paying or when she would pay me, the conversation was very much me asking her what she could afford to pay. When it would be convenient for her to pay it. She was an equal partner in agreeing to the rent amount, and she called the shots on the due date, and I was happy to have it be that way.

Of course, over time, that changed. It became a source of frustration and resentment. I realize that's on me and not on her, because I went into this arrangement with expectations as to how she would behave... i.e., she would behave how I would *and have* behaved, and when she didn't, that threw me for a loop. I was out to give her advantages. She was out to take advantage of those advantages, but not in the way I thought she would.

What I realize now is that not everyone is willing to jump on the opportunities presented to them and use them to help themselves. This has become obvious through the mountain of empirical evidence I've amassed... in this case with my roommate, with my sister (who is also kind of an idiot with money despite having all of the same privileges as I had), my ex boyfriend... the list goes on.

I find myself wanting better for them, more than they even want better for themselves. That leads to this. Not making excuses, just tossing out some explanations. Maybe I do need therapy!

Maybe the issue is that you need to direct your efforts to those that want help, not those that need it. Perhaps you could see about volunteering at a library or community center. They usually have people looking to work on resumes, computer skills, financial classes, etc. Work on finding where people looking for these opportunities go and use that as a chance to pay it forward.

What you are doing would be the equivalent of a personal trainer going up to a fat friend when they are elbow deep in some McDonald's french fries and saying "Hey, come to my gym for free and let me build you a workout plan" and then getting pissed when they show up once and keep blowing you off.

simonsez

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #80 on: April 24, 2018, 10:57:12 AM »
I do feel bad, because her financial situation isn't looking any better than it was back then... I'm fairly certain it's worse, and I'm sure her paying rent each month is a direct contributor to that.
No. Paying rent is not why her financial situation is worse. It's everything else she's spending on that she can't afford. Rent is a basic adult expense and she's getting a great deal. Otherwise, congrats on being firm with her and I hope it continues! Don't let that trip derail the progress.
Agree with PL.  Shelter is a necessity.  I would imagine the $400 amount is probably more than fair and if it wasn't for you, she would be in much worse financial straits (by having to pay much more than $400).  $400 is a huge favor for her and her paying you $400 is not really even a favor in your direction, that's just the deal you agreed to.  You shouldn't feel personally guilty that non-essential purchases made by another person are stalling their basic adult financial path.  You can empathize and depending on your relationship, even emotionally help or advise or whatever but you should not be taking any blame for their financial situation!  at. all.

sjc0816

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #81 on: April 24, 2018, 03:24:42 PM »
This reminds me of a constant conversation that I have with my tween son.

You teach people how to treat you. You either allow it, or you don't.

And....

People who treat you poorly are not friends.

And.....

Choose wisely who you surround yourself with.

AMandM

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #82 on: April 24, 2018, 06:53:16 PM »
Congrats on your progress!
But beware...
I think the biggest contributor for me in this situation (meaning, what has contributed to essentially four years of this missed rent, no backpay, etc.) is that I feel very much that my current life situation would not have been possible without the help of my parents. They teed me up for success by paying for my college and letting me graduate student-loan free, and providing a safe environment for me to grow as an adult where I knew I had a safety net if I were to ever need it (though I have literally never asked them for money as an adult.)
Bolded for emphasis.  They are your parents, whose job is to support and help their daughter to become independent.  They provided you a safety net, not a cushy down-topped mattress.

Quote
When I see my friends who have not been as fortunate as I have in that way, I want to pay it forward and help. That's a genuine, deep-seeded feeling I experience... I want those that I care about (well, everyone really, strangers included) to have the same opportunities as me.
You are not your friends' parent. Reread what Laura33 wrote about infantilizing.


frugalfoothills

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #83 on: April 25, 2018, 11:11:24 AM »
Posting on here for the first time in months must have summoned the Stupidity God from his slumber, and the roommate seems to have been touched by an angel over the past few days.

I posted here and was bragging about how she cancelled her trip to Seattle, and when I got home from work that night she had news for me.

"Guess what I'm doing instead of Seattle? Going to Harry Potter World in Orlando!"

I wish this forum had the facepalm emoji.

GizmoTX

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #84 on: April 25, 2018, 11:32:25 AM »
Face punch, not face palm.

OP, wise up & get tough.

AZDude

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #85 on: April 25, 2018, 11:53:07 AM »
It's funny, because I'm generally not a non-assertive person in most areas. I realize my actions have been non-assertive in this case, so take it with a grain of salt, but in my career and personal life, I am actually a reasonably dominant personality. Strange?

This is funny, because my wife once told me that she is always straight to the point when talking to people, and does not dance around issues. 20 minutes later, when I finally stopped laughing and wiped the tears from my eyes, we had a conversation about self-awareness.

You might think you are an assertive person, but you have twice in this thread explained how you have allowed yourself to be treated as a doormat. You also described yourself as non-confrontational. Might be time for an introspective look at yourself.

Anyway, as for the roommate, I disagree with much of the advice offered. At this point, your roommate is 30 years old, she is not going to change. She is not going to suddenly become financially responsible. She is not going to suddenly become the friend who always pays you back. It is not happening.

What you need to do is disentangle yourself, financially, from your roommate. Let her know, gently, that the rent situation is hurting your friendship and the only way you two can continue to be such good friends is if she moves into her own place. Be firm. The roommate is emotional, so she might get upset at you, but chances are very good that she will get over it and you two can continue your friendship.

Do not demand back rent for 4 years, as you have given implicit consent to not pay rent. Do not fall for any "I'm going to start paying on time" remarks. If you two have any chance of being lifelong friends, she has to leave.

Good luck.

simonsez

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #86 on: April 25, 2018, 12:21:07 PM »
Posting on here for the first time in months must have summoned the Stupidity God from his slumber, and the roommate seems to have been touched by an angel over the past few days.

I posted here and was bragging about how she cancelled her trip to Seattle, and when I got home from work that night she had news for me.

"Guess what I'm doing instead of Seattle? Going to Harry Potter World in Orlando!"

I wish this forum had the facepalm emoji.
That is sad on multiple levels.  Sure, the leisure spending could definitely be optimized for someone with the financial immaturity that has been presented thus far.  Facepunch-worthy no doubt!  But it is also sad you can't be happy for your friend to enjoy travel because your relationship is more of an enabling creditor at this point.  How many consecutive on-time payments would it take for you not to scrutinize what your roommate does with their money that doesn't go to you?  That might be impossible at this point.  Thus, if it's friendship you care about - kick them out.  If it's money you care about - get the autopay setup and in writing* or go to small claims court.  If you don't want to rock the boat, then just expect the woeful status quo to remain.

*Make sure you write the terms that are subject changes by YOU at your discretion only.  The rental rate has been the same for years, even if you didn't raise the rate to recoup lost payments things just cost more over time.


Bicycle_B

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Re: Advice on having awkward convos re: finances?
« Reply #87 on: April 25, 2018, 12:41:49 PM »
Half my income is from renting out rooms in my house.  Without this, I would not be FI right now.  Collecting rent is the difference maker.

From experience, I strongly suggest that you issue notice immediately that your tenant needs to move out. (In most jurisdictions, I believe they are a tenant by living there regardless of whether you are friends or they have paid anything.) Start by doing it in common sense fashion, by communicating it in some fashion that you can keep a record of, such as email or a printed notice that you post on the bedroom door and photocopy.  Use a 30 day notice period unless you find that the standard notice period in your state is different, or you have a different written agreement with this person.  Do this quick so you've pulled the trigger.  Then do what a pro would do - Google "eviction procedure (name of your state)" and follow the procedures.  Do the same for your city.  Most likely you won't need to complete all of the actual procedures if you stand firm personally, but if the tenant refuses and you must use the law, you will   get nowhere unless you correctly follow the the opening steps of the procedure. 

Example - in my state, notice must be posted in writing on the door.  So I printed notice, took proof photo with my phone as a precaution, taped notice to renter's bedroom door, took a proof photo of the posted notice, then emailed the tenant (all while he was at work).  He was mad but he complied.  Total cost: 10 cents for paper and computer ink.  30 days later the room was open.  It then rented quickly and the new tenant is good.