Finished basements can be a tricky situation, and they aren’t for everyone. In today’s Dear Splitwise we take a look at how a bi-level duplex with an inhabited basement should be split up.
Dear Ask Splitwise,
I’m so thankful for the rent calculator you have. It’s been a great starting point for me, but I’m wondering if you can give me some additional advice on my quirky living situation. I just moved into a duplex apartment with one bedroom on the top-level and two bedrooms on the basement level. Here are the deets:
Today in Dear Splitwise, we talk about a unique housing situation in which one occupant makes considerably more than the other, and how rent should be handled when in that situation.
I have been utterly in love with a specific home design for nearly half of my life. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize that this particular home is far bigger (and more expensive) than I could manage all by myself. Then an idea struck me- why not make it a two family home?! My best friend and I see eye to eye on just about everything from chore duties to child rearing, every core value that makes or breaks cohabitation.
Are humans born with a sense of fairness built in from birth?
Originally it was thought that children go through three big developmental stages. Young kids (2 to 4 years old) are purely selfish, while older children (5 or 6) will follow a strict equality rule. When children become older (7 or 8) they start to consider the individual contributions of others. The thought being older children are more aware of their surroundings and less impulse driven.
A recent study finds that children will start to evaluate these contributions earlier than expected. Patricia Kanngiesser from the University of Bristol led and published a study about fairness starting in children at the age of three. She said:
“It seems to be intuitive, People have found that even by 18 months of age, children have expectations about how things should be shared fairly.”
Today we’ll be talking about how to split up room cost between roommates when it comes to fancy Texan livin’ and their huge closet spaces.
I am currently in the process of moving into an apartment for the first time with 3 very dear friends of mine. It’s all really exciting but we are having some problems figuring out exactly how much everyone needs to pay a month. Two people will be sharing the master bedroom, while the other 2 will get their own rooms. Continue reading Everything is Bigger in Texas (Including the Closets)
People are pretty worked up about Chick-fil-a’s president Dan Cathy’s stance on marriage. He was recently asked about his support of traditional marriage being between a man and a woman in an interview for the Baptist Press. He was quoted:
“Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.
This of course turned into a political crapstorm. Both sides of the fence jumped on these comments and reacted strongly. Many people screamed boycott, the Henson Company pulled their Muppet toys from Chick-fil-a children’s meals. The mayor of Boston went so far as to write a letter to the company informing them they aren’t welcome in his city. Other cities like Chicago and San Francisco followed in line, telling them to take their business elsewhere.
Today we’re talking about some sweet unconventional housing, hardwood floors, and figuring out how much rent each housemate should pay.
I am trying to arbitrate a living situation for my daughter and want to share some thoughts. Your “Splitwise” rent calculator is ingenious! However it may not work as well with unconventional housing. One thing missing from the calculation is the number of bathrooms. This is a drawback as a typical 4 bedroom house might have only two bathrooms so the MBR rent would be much higher due to the exclusive use of the MBR bath. All other tenants and house guests would use the single remaining bath… much less desirable.
There is a bill going through the Senate right now called the Marketplace Fairness Act. It’s a bill that will force online companies like eBay and Amazon to collect taxes on all purchases, regardless which state they are shipping to. Currently Amazon only collects taxes from 5 states in the country.
I can hear you asking – “A new tax?! Don’t we already have enough taxes to pay? Why are both sides of the political fence backing this bill.. has the sky really fallen?!” Turns out, legally you’re supposed to be paying those taxes for your online purchases at the end of the year when you file your tax return. Surprisingly enough, Americans aren’t always so voluntary and forthcoming with that sort of information when tax time comes around. State and Federal Tax bureaus also haven’t been the best when it comes to enforcing it either.
In today’s Dear Splitwise, we consider the troubles of a super-intense treehugger who lives off-campus with his roommates (and their girlfriends).
I live in an student-style apartment with 3 roommates, and we all have separate leases. The only thing not separate is the electricity, and there are a couple issues splitting it based on usage and our guests. Also, I’m an environmentalist, and every month, they hand me a $180 electric bill and asking me to pay for a third of it. To me, this is like saying, “Hey I need you to give me some of your money for something I need that you will not be using that will cause your friends to die, can I get that on the 20th?”
In most money matters, it pays to be fair. (Certainly when paying back your friends.) But when big businesses try to be fair to their customers, sometimes it can backfire in a big way.
Take J.C. Penney. Back in February, they hired a new CEO, Ron Johnson (who built Apple Inc.’s retail operation) to revamp their declining sales. The department store chain then made some radical changes to their pricing. They eliminated coupons, got rid of confusing fine print, and cut back from over 500 sales a year to just 12. The goal was to make shopping simpler, more transparent, and fairer for consumers.
Dear Splitwise returns this week to settle the issue of shelf space in a fridge that is owned by a roommate. This is common in places like Europe, where household appliances being included with a rental isn’t necessarily the norm.
I live with three other people in a four-bedroom share house. One of my housemates owns a 400L fridge. She uses between 40-60% of the fridge space, depending on how much food she has at the time. She also claims sole use of the largest and most convenient shelf (there are only three shelves, so no-one else can have their own shelf) and says that this is fair because it is her fridge. If we wanted to have unfettered fridge access, then we should supply our own fridge.
The problem with this – aside from the logistical issues with placing multiple fridges in an average-sized, inner-suburban house – is that the kitchen of a shared house is shared space. We all rent that space. If a housemate wants to carve out a fridge empire or own other large ungainly objects that others can’t freely use, they should do so in their bedroom and leave the common areas to be used equally by all housemates.