I am in a good place right now: I have a job that can pay my bills, my student loans; I have health insurance; I can afford fancy cheeses when I want to play Russian roulette with my cholesterol. I have a kickass apartment with a washer and dryer, an L-shaped couch, and a working thermostat. It also has a roommate, and she is the best roommate I’ve ever had. She’s funny, she cleans, and she has a puppy. There is only one flaw: her boyfriend.
His presence in our apartment just passed its year anniversary. It’s been 12 months since the fateful night this stranger invaded our happy little abode—12 months of this freeloading cretin who I can neither kick out nor confront; fifty-two weeks of him spending the majority of his time in our apartment; 365 days of his laundry, showers, urination, yelling. The cost of household items are usually split between roommates, but my roommate’s boyfriend doesn’t help pay for anything he uses. Here are some costs associated with my roommate’s boyfriend.
Shampoo / Conditioner / Soap
This one I noticed right away. My shower products are pretty unisex, at least compared to the mango-lavender-citrus-scrubs my roommate has in the shower. It’s not hard to guess which a man would use. I have gone through 12 months of my roommates’ boyfriend not buying his own shower products and endured 52 weeks of my bottles feeling suspiciously light and hundreds of seconds in the shower sadly staring at my soap bar, praying it really is self-cleaning.
I put our shampoo/conditioner using frequency at equal levels for the year. I probably use 65% more though, given my hair volume.
Cost of shampoo + conditioner for the year: $5.50 a bottle x 2 types x 4 refills a year = $44 x 35% = $15.40
Cost of soap: I estimate I (I mean “we”) go through a bar a month, he uses at least 50%. At $1.50 a bar he’s cost me $9.
Doesn’t require calculation. He rarely washes his hands after going to the bathroom. Effect on my sense of hygiene and overall sanity—incalculable.
Roomie and I take turns buying toilet paper. I say we go through about 12 rolls a month now. (Is this a lot? Now that I’ve done the math, this seems absurd. I would love for people to tell me their TP usage, honestly). At $13 a pack, I’ve spent $78 the last year on Charmin. I am confident Mr. Freeloader is using at least 25% of this making me spent an extra $19.50 a year so he can wipe his ass.
This one, is the one that really eats me up. Roomie uses the flowery Febreeze detergent, I use classic ambisexual Tide. “Obvious” doesn’t do his leeching justice. I’d buy a bottle (bottle? whatever you’d call the container) and it’d be a third empty the following Tuesday. Eventually I’d try to find an excuse to be in the room while he was doing laundry and he’d slowly consider each bottle before stealing a glance at me and begrudgingly pouring lavender scented soap on his flannel shirts. Then he got clever and started doing laundry in the middle of the night while I slept. I switched to my own flower crap recently and labeled the bottle. (Also begrudgingly.)
Detergent for the last year: $50, his half: $25.
This one is tricky. I mean, we’d probably have those lights on anyway. I’m pretty sure the only extra electricity he’s using is charging his laptop/phone and doing endless loads of laundry. I believe we’re averaging $40/mo. now and it was $35/mo. pre-BF. So that’s $60/yr. increase. He’s cost me $30.
You know what? They’re cheap. I’ll let him have this one.
Roomie is not great at doing dishes. Sometimes this annoys me. But mostly I think about how she always takes out the trash and recycling and gave me her old TV. So I do most of Roomie’s dishes—no big. Washing Senior Parasite’s dishes? No. I swear I have never, ever seen him wash a single dish. I honestly think he might not know how. Time spent washing one-third of the dishes over the course of the year? I’d say about a minute a day, six hours total. Minimum wage = $7.25, I’ve done $44 of free labor for that mooch.
There’s other stuff too: trash bags, dish soap, additional beer and chocolate purchases to keep me sane. There’s also the stuff that’s hard to put a dollar amount on, like the value of lost sleep from him waking me up by yelling for her from the other room every other night / slamming bathroom door / announcing he’s going for a run every weekend morning at 8 a.m.
Ultimately, in the last year Roomie’s Boyfriend has cost me over $156. But I know that boyfriend bullshit comes with every roommate. And one-half of a two-bedroom apartment versus a one-bedroom in my town yields $300/mo. in savings.
That is why I stay. (For now.)
Hannah B. really does love her roommate.