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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Friends/Suitemates and Finances - June 13th 2009, 02:42 AM

I've completely revised my post because, well... no one was reading the longer version.

Basically, I'm moving into a new apartment with two friends of mine. I've only known them for about a year, but they're nice enough. The problem is... they're almost TOO nice. As in, they want everything to be co-operative and happy and no disagreements. No conflicts. But what if I don't agree with them? It's not that I WANT to cause trouble... I simply don't want to create more hassle for myself by agreeing to all of their ideas.

The latest predicament regards how we are going to purchase food. I was planning to do my own grocery shopping every week. Since my dad pays for everything, it just makes sense to charge all of MY STUFF on MY CREDIT CARD. It's clear what I bought for myself, and my dad can easily pay it off at the end of the month. I've always been a very independent person (socially), so this all seems perfectly normal to me. I'm living in a single room.

My suitemates, on the other hand, want the three of us to buy everything in bulk, then split the cost evenly. That way, no one will have to worry about eating the other peoples' food. Like I said, they are all about co-operation, avoiding conflict, etc. They are ALWAYS around other people (which I honestly don't mind, and I kind of envy them for having so many friends - but I definitely need my alone time throughout the day!). They are living in a double room.

SO. How can I break this to them, that I want to pay for my own groceries... without coming off as a selfish, distrustful jerk of a suitemate? Because believe me, that is what's going to happen. I have no problem with splitting the costs for things we are all going to use around the apartment, such as kitchen appliances, living room accessories, etc. We are splitting all cat costs equally as well. But when it comes to food... I just don't see the point. =/ No, I'm not going to label the things I buy as "MINE!!!", nor am I going to be upset if they want to eat something I bought (so long as they ask first). But the hassle... and the stress it would cause my dad... and the sheer... unnecessary-ness... of it all - it's driving me crazy! D=







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Re: Friends/Suitemates and Finances - June 14th 2009, 03:03 AM

Hi Robin,

I know you are worried about the hassle and the disagreements, but I really think it's best to be honest with your suitemates and let them know that your dad would rather deal with your own expenses separately. It will end up being more confusing and more of a hassle for him if you all pay together, so let them know that it wont make it easier on your end.

Just because you're staying with other people does not mean you need to do everything together. If anything, I think that all paying for the same food would make it more confusing. What if someone ended up taking more than their share? That seems like something that would be disagreed upon. Try not to worry about what they will think of your decision. It's your dad's money and you are allowed to spend it how he wants you to, and that includes making decisions for yourself. It shouldn't hurt anyone's feelings if you buy separate.

Part of living with people is learning how to live with them. It seems simple, but it really takes time to get to know one another. Don't feel forced into agreeing with people just because it will keep up their happy-go-lucky attitude. If they want to share costs, then you aren't stopping them. It sounds like you know what you want to do, and I think you should just do it. Say it simply and tell them just what you said in the post- you don't mind sharing your food as long as they ask, and it would be much easier on your dad to just have one bill.

I hope everything works out for you.

Nat.


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Re: Friends/Suitemates and Finances - June 16th 2009, 08:16 PM

Thank you, Nat. =) I haven't had a chance to talk with both suitemates since creating this thread, but I really do think that is the best way to approach the situation.

Something that did come up yesterday, with one suitemate, was the fact that only two of us drink milk, and that we'll both be eating cereal for breakfast practically every day. In this case, I think it'd be fair to take turns buying milk for both of us to use (unless someone uses a bunch for cooking purposes... then they should have to replace the milk). Still, I feel like I need to clarify what I'm okay with sharing/taking turns in purchasing, and what I'm not okay with sharing (ex. some cereals are more expensive than others, and I don't particularly like their kinds of cereals, so just having everything lumped together for everyone to use is... kind of not fair).

I still feel like I'm being petty, but after posting this (and re-affirming my stance by talking to my dad afterward), I think I can do this. It'll probably be awkward, but at least I'll be able to say what I really want to say.






   
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Re: Friends/Suitemates and Finances - June 18th 2009, 01:50 AM

Hey Robin,

The best thing to do is to talk to them and TELL them how you feel and let them know what you are thinking. If you disagree about something then deal with that when it happens. Try not to think to far ahead, you know what I mean. I am sure, in the end, everything will work out for the best. Your roommates obviously like you or they wouldn't have wanted to share an apartment with you and I am sure they want you to TALK to them as well so that they will know what to expect and what not.


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