Rachel England | Contributing Writer | Sunday, 16 November 2014

Here's How Much Money Your Housemates' Bad Habits Are Actually Costing You

The Debrief: We worked out the actual financial cost of that 20 minute shower every morning. Turns out it's a lot

The Oh-So-Long Shower Guy

I used to live with a guy whose morning routine involved standing in the shower for 20 minutes shouting positive affirmations at no-one in particular. Great pep for him, not so much for everyone else who was trying to get ready for work. And not great for the bills, either, since hot water adds an around £288 to the average household fuel bill.

Cost: £20 per year for an extra two minutes every morning

READ MORE: A Few Things That Happen When You Live In A Shared House Over Winter

The Toilet Paper Scrooge

Running out of milk or coffee isn’t a matter of life or death (although it depends how much you need the caffeine), but it’s truly astonishing the lengths some people will go to to avoid paying up for a 4-pack of 2-ply. Guys, once the packets of handbag tissues run out, what do you think is going to happen? Subsidising your household’s toilet habits can cost around a fiver a month – money that literally goes straight down the pan.

Cost: £60 per year (for loo roll alone)

READ MORE: Seven Blood Boiling Things My Housemate Does In The Bathroom

The Can't Be Arsed To Switch The Light Off Person

Remember how your dad used to storm around the house theatrically turning lights off and declaring, 'I’m not made of money?' Well he had a point. Housemates that can’t be bothered to spend literally two seconds flicking the switch on their way out are not only criminally lazy but are also helping jack up your electricity bill – especially if you don’t have energy-saving light bulbs. 

Cost: £70 per year for a light left on 24/7

Mr Overdraft

A lot of utility companies offer a modest discount if you pay your bills on time, or by Direct Debit, but few shared households are organised enough to do this (especially those using face wipes as loo roll). And you’ll be stung for even more if bills are paid late, either through late payment charges or overdraft fees. If it’s your account, you could be left shouldering the cost. Because of this, joint accounts always seem like a good idea, as they create ‘accountability’ for everyone in the house, but if your housemate has a crap credit history it could haunt you long after you’ve parted ways.

Cost: Up to £35 for each bounced payment

READ MORE: Ask An Adult: Can I *Really* Teach Myself Not To Be So Crap With Money?

Dr Disgusting

Unclogging plugholes and scraping molten cheese off ovens are de rigueur activities for the housemate of a slob, who could end up costing you more than just a few passive aggressive notes, because if your house looks like a shit tip at the end of your tenancy you can kiss goodbye to a portion of your deposit. True (and horrific) story: in university I lived with a questionable personality who – we discovered after he’d moved out – was fond of wiping the contents of his nose on the wall by his bed. That cost the rest of us £70. Hurp.

Cost: varies, but expect to be charged around £350 for a total house ‘deep clean’

The ‘Part-Time’ Live In Lover

Congrats on all the romance, guys, but no-one wants to be subsidising your love-in. Your housemate’s constantly-present beau means all of the above x2, which only adds to the woes of relinquishing the sofa to the happy couple and sleeping with earplugs to avoid the aural horror emanating from their bedroom.

Cost: you can’t put a price on love (but potentially megabucks)

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

The Eight Housemates You've Definitely Had

The Endless Problems Of Living Between Your Home And Your Boyfriend's House

Why Are We OK With Girls Who Live With Their Parents, But Not Guys?

Tags: Housemates Head To Head