Author Topic: Case Study: Roast Me (gently)  (Read 9684 times)

SunnyDays

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Re: Case Study: Roast Me (gently)
« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2020, 02:19:02 PM »
Glad to hear your attitude to your roommate is changing.  Just wanted to caution you, though, that you might not be able to just increase her rent by whatever amount you want.  Where I live, you would be considered a landlord/lady, and would be bound by the Residential Tenancy Board laws, which only allow a set increase per year (last year, it was 2.2 %) unless you have substantially improved the living quarters.  3 months written notice is also required, and, get this, you can't ask someone to leave unless there is "cause" (i.e., they must be doing something that goes against RTB laws, and they must first be warned in writing.)  There are lots of rules and regulations, although if your roommate is unaware of her rights, you can probably get away with doing whatever you want.  After my last borderline roommate, that's why I decided to never do it again.  Best of luck.

zee dot

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Re: Case Study: Roast Me (gently)
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2020, 07:51:34 AM »
I wonder if you'll ever see her again once she moves out.  There's not one word in any of your posts about how much fun you have hanging out together. 

You can dry your tears over the improved air flow from your new ducts, and maybe have a new partner to console you on the loss since there will finally be room in your life and home for a real partner.

freya

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Re: Case Study: Roast Me (gently)
« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2020, 09:44:08 AM »
Jumping in here with a bit more free advice!

First off, I actually think you are managing your finances extremely well.  I wholeheartedly support your decision to keep $22K in your emergency/future spending fund.  In fact, as the owner of a fixer-upper home and with (effectively) a dependent, you probably should have something on the order of 1 year in savings.  The definition of an emergency fund is "how much do you need in order to sleep well at night".  You might also look into opening a home equity line of credit, as that can provide funds for big emergency repairs should something come up.

As far as the friend/dependent goes...that is a very delicate situation.  Unfortunately, it's entirely possible that after you part ways, this person will no longer be a friend no matter what you do - that's something you may have to come to terms with.  What I would probably do is estimate the market rent of the room and then decide what the rent should be in fairness, and then sit down with your friend and have a talk about how you can't continue to support her indefinitely.   The two of you can then make up a schedule with gradual rent increases until she's paying the goal rent amount - perhaps give her a year to get there. Write down the schedule and post it somewhere so she'll have a concrete goal with no surprises.

Speaking of charity...you can regard the support you're providing your friend as a form of charitable contribution.  I wouldn't go jacking up your official contributions just yet.  In fact, I'm going to suggest that you stop the United way contributions - that's a terrible organization to donate to anyway, as only about 1% of your hard-earned money is actually used for charity spending.   Once the situation with your friend/dependent is worked out and you've saved up your emergency fund, THEN you can start looking around for other charity options.  Pick organizations that will spend your money responsibly, and contribute directly.

And oh yes, refinance the mortgage like yesterday.  A half percentage point is easily worth doing even if you have to pay some fees.

Those are the big things - the other expenses you can cut are small potatoes but you can work on those if you like.  Absolutely cancel cable, get a cheaper phone plan, and stop dumping toxins onto your lawn.   And what's up with the grocery spending, are you also feeding your roommate?  Finally, the $400 "misc" category is a little big.  Try breaking it down to see if there are any large expenses buried in there that need attention.

frugalfoothills

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Re: Case Study: Roast Me (gently)
« Reply #53 on: January 22, 2020, 11:43:00 AM »
Thanks again for all the advice. Ironically, over the weekend, my furnace went out (coldest night of the year here, by the way. Totally fine.) HVAC guy came out and got it running again and had some great news for me! The furnace itself isn't the issue, the problem is the ductwork in the attic, which has broken and collapsed in on itself. It's lying flat and no air can flow through so the system is not getting enough air and is locking up. He's going to come out and replace all the ductwork and widen my air return downstairs for $1,100... and he sees no reason I can't get many more years out of my actual furnace!

Turns out everyone was right and I was way overestimating the cost of that work.

Plan is still on to continue saving my cash until April and then max my 401k for the rest of the year.

Thanks again for all of the help and advice!

Laura33

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Re: Case Study: Roast Me (gently)
« Reply #54 on: January 22, 2020, 12:18:32 PM »
Thanks again for all the advice. Ironically, over the weekend, my furnace went out (coldest night of the year here, by the way. Totally fine.) HVAC guy came out and got it running again and had some great news for me! The furnace itself isn't the issue, the problem is the ductwork in the attic, which has broken and collapsed in on itself. It's lying flat and no air can flow through so the system is not getting enough air and is locking up. He's going to come out and replace all the ductwork and widen my air return downstairs for $1,100... and he sees no reason I can't get many more years out of my actual furnace!

Turns out everyone was right and I was way overestimating the cost of that work.

Plan is still on to continue saving my cash until April and then max my 401k for the rest of the year.

Thanks again for all of the help and advice!

Woo-hoo!!! 

And I bet that will be the happiest $1100 check you ever write.  ;-)

frugalfoothills

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Re: Case Study: Roast Me (gently)
« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2020, 01:43:30 PM »
Thanks again for all the advice. Ironically, over the weekend, my furnace went out (coldest night of the year here, by the way. Totally fine.) HVAC guy came out and got it running again and had some great news for me! The furnace itself isn't the issue, the problem is the ductwork in the attic, which has broken and collapsed in on itself. It's lying flat and no air can flow through so the system is not getting enough air and is locking up. He's going to come out and replace all the ductwork and widen my air return downstairs for $1,100... and he sees no reason I can't get many more years out of my actual furnace!

Turns out everyone was right and I was way overestimating the cost of that work.

Plan is still on to continue saving my cash until April and then max my 401k for the rest of the year.

Thanks again for all of the help and advice!

Woo-hoo!!! 

And I bet that will be the happiest $1100 check you ever write.  ;-)

I wanted to pay him to do it right then before he could run out the door and change his mind ;)

frugalfoothills

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Re: Case Study: Roast Me (gently)
« Reply #56 on: March 16, 2020, 12:23:49 PM »
3/16 update:

  • 401k is now being maxed to hit the full $19,500
  • I actually went ahead and opened a RothIRA w/Vanguard and dumped $1,000 into the STAR fund to try to take advantage of the current market drop
  • Holding onto about $16K in cash between emergency fund/misc savings, but seeing as I'm now on lockdown and there's nothing to spend my money on, I'm going to try to sock away another $1,500 or so by April

Still no movement on cancelling cable or TruGreen or upping the roommate's rent, but seeing as I'm going to have some free time over the next few weeks, those are the next items on the agenda.