DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My roommate travels extensively for her work. The upside is that I generally have the apartment, which I own, to myself. The downside is that she is often late with her rent payments, and although she has never yet stiffed me, sometimes the payments are late enough to make for a tight squeeze on my budget to pay my mortgage.
The other thing is that she breezes in and breezes out, uses a lot of my food and other stuff, and never seems to get around to replacing it, because she’s off on the road again.
While I like the time without her around, do you think it’s worth the stress of her late payments and disappearing food and supplies? --- LIVING WITH AN INVISIBLE ROOMMATE
DEAR LIVING WITH AN INVISIBLE ROOMMATE: You’ve already clearly figured out it comes down to balancing your preference for time alone in your place against a better peace of mind financially.
Since your roommate does pay, even if it’s just under the wire, my vote would be to put up with her for a while longer, but make it clear that you need the money sooner in the month, and that you’d like her to include a little extra to cover the food and supplies she’s used that didn’t belong to her.
If she doesn’t comply after a couple tries on your part to work with her, you might want to think about replacing her sooner rather than later.
If you do terminate your agreement with your current roommate, please give her a reasonable period of time to find alternate arrangements. That could mean waiting a little longer, but it’s the decent thing to do.