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Old 09-24-15, 09:24 AM
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Younger Brother Roommate - Final Update

I have a final update in the ongoing saga of my younger brother living with us.

His girlfriend came for a 3-week visit back in February. She was in the process of applying for Graduate School at Texas Tech, Texas Christian University, and the University of Idaho. Tech and TCU wanted her to audition in person (she's a concert violist). UofI was ok with a video audition. She ended up getting accepted at all three schools, but TCU made the best offer in the way of tuition/teaching assistant work/compensation. She moved here from Malta in August, staying with us for a couple of days, before moving into an apartment with 2 other Bulgarian women in Fort Worth (I know, 3 Bulgarian women in an apartment sounds like a XXX webcam setup). We (my wife and I) figured that, with his girlfriend in the area, maybe he'd be motivated to get a job, any job, not just something specific, and find a place for them to stay together.

A week or two ago he told me that he kinda has a job now. It's a long-term freelance project. A company in England is producing a comic book. They send him an outline (literally, it's the comic, but with blue outlines where the characters & objects go), and his job is to place the full-color characters & objects into each panel. He then sends it back, and someone else inserts the backgrounds prior to publication. It's an hourly job, so he just keeps track of the time he spends on it, and invoices them whenever he wants/needs to get paid. The pay isn't great, but it's enough that he and his girlfriend are getting a place together in Ft Worth. He'll be moving out October 3.

So what initially started out as a "can I stay with you for a couple of months until I find employment" turned into almost a full year.

As for all of the financial questions I'd previously asked, We've kinda resolved them. He and I had a talk, and I explained that we had an agreement that he'd contribute to the bills, and that he never asked for a total of what he owed, but that I also never volunteered the information to him. I explained that my wife and I discussed it, and decided that the money wasn't an issue. With his lack of income, we knew that when he did find a job and moved out, he'd need funds for deposits, etc. We would rather he saved his funds for that, than contribute to the bills. I even had figured out what the average monthly cost was to us of having him living with us, and it was right around $100/month. I told him that, and said we weren't concerned about it, that we'd rather he save for his future housing. We did ask if he could help out around the house more, which he agreed to. So things have been much better, and less stressful, than before. He told me yesterday that he wants to give us a large sum when he moves out, and will budget more as his income levels out. I told him that wasn't necessary, and offered an alternative: He paid our most recent electric bill, and will give us half of what he initially offered, and there's no need to pay any more than that. It ends up being much less than what he offered, and he doesn't feel like such a slacker. And I'm good with that.

We'll miss having his dog around, and we'll miss him feeding the cats in the evenings. But we'll be happy to get our spare room & second bathroom, and our privacy, back. And we'll be able to foster kittens from the no-kill shelter again.
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