Shelling Out for Dish Duty

Ever have one of those roommates that just can’t seem to ever do their share when it comes to chores around the house? Today we discuss that person who don’t get the importance of cleaning up after themselves while leaving appliances on 24/7.

Dear Splitwise,

I think maybe you guys should make a calculator for roommates who leave appliances on. Sorry, but I’m not paying for you to leave 2 fans and a scentsy on all day. Maybe even one for doing all your dishes all the time since you love to cook and use every dish in the house. There are flies and I’m not waiting for you to do them. Charge them.

Drowning in Dishes

Dear Drowning,

Those are some pretty common roommate issues, and not an easy problem to solve. Because of the varying prices of electricity and other factors, we probably won’t make a calculator for appliances or chores. I suggest just doing the math of how much those appliances cost and then showing them the numbers. To get these cost of the two fans and Scentsy you’ll need the following:

  • The power rating or wattage of the appliance.
  • The time the appliance is switched on in hours (or minutes ÷ 60)
  • The cost per KWh. Then divide that by the amount you’re paying per kilowatt. (Where I live it costs ¢6.67 kWh. Check your own bill though, prices vary depending where you are.)

A full size Scentsy uses 25 watts. If you’re running the Scentsy 24 hours a day, then it’s costing you $14.61 a year. A 36″ ceiling fan uses 55 watts. If you’re running it constantly then it costs $32.14 a year. Since two fans are going, that’s $64.28 yearly. Combine all those numbers and you’re shelling out $78.89 a year ($6.57 monthly) for the Scentsy and the fans.  You can go two ways here depending on the relationship you have with your roommate. I personally would just deal with the additional $3 bucks a month on my end to have a girly smelling, cool place. If not, then show them this calculation and tell them if they want the room to smell like a tropical vacation – then they can pay for it.

The dishes is a whole different ballgame though. Dishes take time, effort and if not done, make your place look and smell terrible (even with that Scentsy constantly going). If your roommate hates doing the dishes that much then you can suggest switching out dish duty for another house cleaning task. Possibly suggest letting them have bathroom duty if you agree to be the house dishwasher. If they aren’t doing the dishes because they are lazy, then another option is hitting them in the wallet. Have both parties agree to a $5.00 charge every time the dishes are done out of turn. This will either force them into doing their part around the house due to frugality, or it’ll get you some extra cash for the weekends. As long as you communicate with them and offer various options on how to remedy the issues you’re having, you both should come out in a better spot.


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