In the last post I wrote about starting out in the adventures of renting out a room. Today, I’m going to jump ahead and talk about rent pricing and structuring because I just received my electric bill in the mail and it made me cringe to see the total amount.
I’m suspecting one of my roommates left the heat on(I have electric heat) while they went out. I suspect this because there was about 4 weeks in the billing cycle and one of those weeks was the week of Christmas, which meant no one was here and we shouldn’t be using the heat at all. So, if anything, we should be below out monthly electricity usage for the month of December.
I’ve Seen it Coming
I knew the disadvantages of going with an all inclusive rent price. For those that are unaware of the downside to this all inclusive rent price structuring, roommates will tend to be careless with utilities such as electricity and water. Conversely, if my roommates were held financially liable for usage, they would be more conservative of their habits and not be so wasteful. So it makes all the sense in the world to split the utilities, but I choose not to. Why?
I choose to go with an all inclusive rent price because it allows me to setup an automated direct deposit with my roommates. If I decided to split utilities, it would just delay collecting rent because I would have to wait for each utilities statement to close to spit the bill evenly. With my love to travel, I’m trying to streamline and automate as much of the rent collecting and bill payments as possible, hence the reasoning for my decision to go with an all inclusive rent price.
However, if and when my roommates carelessly leave the heat on while they go to work, it blows the budget out of the water. This month, my electric bill was $357 while the prior month the bill totaled to $220 – an increase of $137 or 62% increase!
Next week, I’m going to ask my roommates to be mindful of the usage and even cut back. I’m going to not use the electric heat at all when I sleep. Instead of I’m going to sleep in my synthetic down sleeping bag, which is rated to 30 degrees. My average basement temperature without heat is probably hovering around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m living in my own townhouse and I can’t even use my own heat.
Asking to Help Out
I’m not going to ask my roommates for money just yet for the recent electric bill. I’m going to see if they can cut back their electric consumption enough in the coming months to see if they can use less than what I expect them to use to make up last months over usage. I’ll see how this goes.
I’ll keep everyone posted when I confront my roommates next week. One of my roommates is in the Navy, so he is out to see for the month. I have no idea when he is scheduled to return home. I could send him an e-mail, but I rather tell him in person.
I’ll keep everyone posted on how the confrontation goes with the electric bill. I normally don’t have many confrontations like this.