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Splitting Utilities - What would you do?

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Splitting Utilities - What would you do?

Old 03-24-15, 12:16 PM
  #1  
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Splitting Utilities - What would you do?

My brother is still living with us, and has been since October.

We've agreed that he'll contribute to the utilities (gas & electric), since the other bills (water, internet, mortgage) aren't affected by his presence.

So far, we haven't asked him for his contribution, but I figured I should soon, so that we're not asking for a huge chunk of change all at once.

I figure we have two ways to calculate his part.
  1. He pays 1/3 of the electric & gas bill.
  2. We compare our usage to the previous year, and he pays the difference.

I'm willing to adjust Option 1 to be 1/4 instead of 1/3.

I looked at our history for the past 5 months, and came up with the following:

If we do 1/3 of the bills, he pays us $570.
If we do 1/4 of the bills, he pays us $430.
If we do the difference year-to-year, he pays us $150.

If we had advertised for a roommate, we'd have decided on a set rent amount, and 1/3 of the bills.
If it was a friend we were helping out, we'd have probably decided on 1/3 or 1/4 of the bills, depending on their financial situation.
Since he's family, and he's been essentially unemployed since August, I don't want to screw him financially.

When my older brother stayed with us for 2 months, we were going to have him contribute to the electric bill, but never did. He did, however, do quite a bit of electrical work on the house for us, fixing wiring issues & making other improvements. So his 'rent' was paid via trade. My younger brother's skills are in art & writing and general *******ry, none of which are really much of a help around the house.

So, what would you do in my situation?
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Old 03-24-15, 12:20 PM
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He's family... do what you can to help him recover and move on... that is your best bet.
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Old 03-24-15, 12:24 PM
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if you think his usage is just costing you 150 and if you don't want to make money off the situation then 150.
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Old 03-24-15, 12:47 PM
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Is he making any money? Is he trying to make any?

These would inform my decision.
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Old 03-24-15, 01:42 PM
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Split the bills three ways... and if needed, negotiate down to the lower, 1/4 amount.
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Old 03-24-15, 01:43 PM
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Old 03-24-15, 02:16 PM
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Run an extension cord over casa jsharr for his electrical use.

Or ask him what he thinks would be fair after showing him the difference in costs.
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Old 03-24-15, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
Is he making any money? Is he trying to make any?

These would inform my decision.
This. And does he need help with his resume?

I thought TX was in comparatively in decent shape, jobs-wise than most of the US. Now if only they'd put beans in their chili.
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Old 03-24-15, 02:31 PM
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ahsposo - He's picked up a few freelance assignments here & there, but not anything steady.

When he first arrived, he said he was looking for illustration/writing work, that he didn't want to do any marketing work, because it "sucks his soul." When we talked a couple of weeks ago, he mentioned that he's now open to marketing jobs, since he hasn't had any luck with the artistic side.

My wife and I think he's sort of treading water until his girlfriend decides on which masters program she'll attend. She's applied to 3 different schools, University of Idaho, Texas Tech, and Texas Christian University. I know that she's been accepted to both TT & TCU, I haven't heard about the one in Idaho. Assuming she's been accepted there, she's waiting on learning what their financial aid package will be. We think that he'll concentrate his job search in/near the geographical area of the school she ends up at.

ETA: When he moved to Malta in 2012, he pretty much sold everything but his house in Atlanta (which he's currently renting out). When he first got here in October, he mentioned that he had enough savings to rent a place and live in it for a year with no income. We don't mind only having a token contribution to utilities to help him save his savings, especially since he's 45, and his savings is his retirement. We also know that it's gotta suck to be an adult living in your brother's spare room while looking for work. At least he's pretty much debt-free (the rent being paid to him for his house is covering the mortgage and property management company fees).

I'm sure if he'd been open to marketing jobs from the start, he'd have been working since October. He's good at it, he just hates doing it.

Last edited by monogodo; 03-24-15 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 03-24-15, 02:33 PM
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What******************************?/ They make chili without pintos**********??
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Old 03-24-15, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
Run an extension cord over casa jsharr for his electrical use.

Or ask him what he thinks would be fair after showing him the difference in costs.
This is fine by me.

Ask him to mow the yard and weed the beds and such like if funds are an issue.

Or have him write and illustrate a line of books about *******ry and sell them online.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 03-24-15, 02:35 PM
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And, he is family - you only get one! You do what you can.
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Old 03-24-15, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by skijor View Post
This. And does he need help with his resume?

I thought TX was in comparatively in decent shape, jobs-wise than most of the US. Now if only they'd put beans in their chili.
My wife is from San Antonio, and she puts beans in her chili.
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Old 03-24-15, 02:46 PM
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Use the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. Just have him pay you a flat rate rent per month. Make it close to what you will think the cost of him living there will cost you or what you think will work for you and him.
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Old 03-24-15, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
This is fine by me.
You say that now because you know casa jsharr is protected by fierce guard dogs with lasers in their eyes.
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Old 03-24-15, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
You say that now because you know casa jsharr is protected by fierce guard dogs with lasers in their eyes.
The sharks with frickin' lasers on their heads in the moat does not hurt either.
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Originally Posted by colorider View Post
Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 03-24-15, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
The sharks with frickin' lasers on their heads in the moat does not hurt either.
I guess we won't tell him that one of them was the 'left shark'

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Old 03-24-15, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
The sharks with frickin' lasers on their heads in the moat does not hurt either.
That's southern hospitality at it's finest yo'all.
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Old 03-24-15, 04:12 PM
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If he said he had enough money to rent a place for a year, I don't think he'll have any problem paying 1/3 of the bills. Just approach it friendly.
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Old 03-24-15, 04:47 PM
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Old 03-24-15, 05:12 PM
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Old 03-24-15, 08:27 PM
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So let me get this straight: Your brother is turning up his nose at a well-paying job because he doesn't like it, while he lives in your house for free. Oh, and you sort of implied that he's also an *******.

I can't believe we're even having a discussion about what to do.
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Old 03-25-15, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by El Cid View Post
So let me get this straight: Your brother is turning up his nose at a well-paying job because he doesn't like it, while he lives in your house for free. Oh, and you sort of implied that he's also an *******.

I can't believe we're even having a discussion about what to do.
And he's 45.
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Old 03-27-15, 08:50 AM
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So we talked about some things last night.

His girlfriend was accepted at TCU, with a TA position and stipend included, along with at least a portion of her tuition paid. Texas Tech offered a similar deal, but w/o the tuition payment. She has chosen to go to TCU. If he gets a job locally by the time she arrives for school (August), they'll get a place together in Ft Worth. If he doesn't get a job by then, they might get a place together anyway, using his savings & any freelance income. She also might have the opportunity to be roommates with two other Bulgarian women, in which case Charlie would figure something else out, and he'd have to take care of her dog, as well as his (I'm so hoping this doesn't happen).

He's attending the East Coast Game Conference in April for networking purposes. A friend of his who is in the industry will be there to facilitate connections. He also has been applying to jobs, but hasn't had a whole lot of luck. He did say that he got down to the final stage on one job, where it was between him and another applicant, and they went with the other guy.

A word about the assholish aspect:

Both of my brothers and I can be/are asses at times. I've gotten a lot better about it in recent years. My younger brother is also fairly good about not being a dick in most situations. Our older brother, on the other hand, seems to go out of his way to behave poorly.
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Old 03-27-15, 09:03 AM
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My take on job searches is to go full-out for a month or two MAX, sending resumes, phone calls, interviews, etc. If no luck in that time, get a paying job outside your field to pay the bills. Continue your search in the evenings and weekends.

Most of the leg-work is done in the first couple of months, with opportunities drying up afterwards. He will find something eventually, however in the meantime he needs to put on his big-boy pants and start paying his way. Tell him to start paying 1/2 the utilities starting this month. It will provide some incentive

Yes I can be a bit harsh at times, but then again some people need to have a kick in the pants to get going. Yes, support him, but don't coddle him.
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