Roommate Interviews – 15 Finance Questions Every Household Should Be Asking

Have you and your roommates ever felt unsure after finishing an interview whether a potential roommate would pay the rent on time? If the answer is yes, then you’ll find the old saying “you will never know unless you ask” will come in handy. After all, finding the right roommate that you know will pay the rent is about more than taking an educated guess, it’s about asking the right questions.

The key is choosing questions that lets your household find out each candidate’s ability and history of paying rent and expenses on time, any disputes that they may have had over finances and their attitude towards money. Asking these questions will give you a good indication how expenses will be paid in the future while helping you select a roommate that has a similar approach towards finances than existing household members which helps avoid disagreements. Ideally, when creating your interview questionnaire you should include as many open questions as possible. These questions are great conversation starters as interviewees can not answer with a simple yes or no answer and require candidates to disclose information about themselves. Each question you include should help you create a comprehensive picture of how it would be to live with the candidate as a roommate.

So, which questions should you ask to find out if a prospective roommate would be financially compatible? Here are a few questions you can ask the next time you interview roommates for your household.

1. How much money can you afford to spend on rent and expenses each week/month?

2. Which payment method would you prefer to use when paying rent and expenses?

3. Do your prefer to pay for your own food or pay money into a food kitty?

4. Have you ever organized or been responsible for your household’s rent or expenses?

5. Are you willing to be jointly responsible for household expenses or rent? For example, putting your name on household bills or the lease?

6. If we would ring your referees, what would they say about your ability to pay the rent and any additional expenses?

7. Would your friends say you are a spender or a saver?

8. How do you feel about roommates that do not pay their rent and expenses on time?

9. How would you feel if the financial setup of the household would change while being a roommate?

10. How would you feel if the rent or any expenses would increase while living in the household?

11. Have you ever asked a roommate to move out due to an issue about finances?

12. When was the last time you paid a bill, any expenses or the rent late?

13. Have you ever had a dispute with current or former roommates over money? What were the disputes about?

14. Have you ever voluntarily moved out of a household due to a dispute over money? What were the circumstances?

15. Have you been evicted or asked to leave due to an issue over finances? What’s your side of the story?

As you can see, by taking advantage of the old saying “you will never know unless you ask” you’ll find the answers that you will need to choose the roommate that lets your household leave financial disputes behind. Just as importantly, you’ll never be left wondering after an interview if a potential roommate will pay the rent as you’ll have the answer in the palm of your hand.

Good luck and happy roommate hunting! 

30 Day Financing – Interest-Free Intelligent Use Of Credit and OPM

Credit cards allow anyone to have access to 30 days interest free financing. Pay off your balance every month and you have access to OPM, Other People’s Money. Actually, even if you don’t pay it off, you have the access, but along with added challenges, which we aren’t discussing here!

They say that using OPM is the way of the big investors, the wealthy. And you have the same opportunity on a small scale. If you can find opportunities that produce a return in a short period of time or require short-term ‘bridge financing’; you have that option of interest-free, with credit cards.

Do not allow yourself to rely on the monies for any extended period of time. This is short-term financing only. If you require funds for longer periods, other forms of financing must be secured.

The value of having cash in hand allows you to leverage this money to invest, purchase real estate or grow a business. Even start a business.

They say you need money to make money. Well, here’s a source of money. Be careful with it. Use it wisely and even cautiously. In some ways it may be too easy to access.

Have a clear picture of how you will spend the money. What level of risk you are taking and most importantly, your exit strategy. What will you do if something goes wrong, what is your contingency plan?

All that to say, you do have access to 30 days of interest-free money. Know the dates and work wisely around them.

5 Steps To Managing Your Finances When You Have ADHD

Many people with AD/HD have trouble managing their finances. They usually don’t have an effective system for paying bills and acquire an overwhelming amount of debt, due to impulsive spending. Managing finances requires attention to detail, record keeping, timeliness, and organizational skills; all things that are challenging to people with AD/HD.
Here is a simple, yet effective way to manage your money and pay your bills on time:

1. Collect: You need to know what’s coming in and what’s going out in order to effectively manage your money. Collect one month’s worth of pay stubs and bills in one container.

2. Enter: Creating a visual representation of when your money comes in and goes out will give you a clearer picture of your financial situation and make it easier to develop a payment schedule. Print out a blank calendar or use an online calendar such as Yahoo Calendar or Google Calendar. Enter all payment amounts for each bill on its due date. Then enter the amount of your paycheck on the dates you get paid. This is your bill payment calendar for the month.

3. Analyze: Use your bill payment calendar to analyze when you have the money to pay your bills. If you get paid twice a month, then those days should be your bill payment days. Divide your bills into those that will be paid with the first check of the month and those that will be paid with the second check of the month. Schedule a reminder on your paydays to pay your bills and use your calendar to check off payments.

4. Setup: The easiest way to pay bills nowadays is online. Most banks offer free bill payment and even if your bank charges a fee; it may be worth it to avoid late fees. Sign up for online access to your bank if you don’t already have it and setup your bill payment service. Even if your bill can’t be paid electronically, your bank will mail out a paper check. Once you do the initial setup all you have to do is enter who, how much, and when you want your payment scheduled (just make sure to schedule your payments far enough in advance for the bill to be paid on time).

5. Budget: Now that you know how much money is coming in and what your fixed expenses are, you should start tracking your unfixed expenses. For the next month, try to collect all of the receipts where you paid cash. At the end of the month take your cash receipts and your bank statements and categorize your expenses. Where are you spending too much money? Where can you cut back? Now that you know how much you have, where it’s going and what needs to be paid when; you have control over your finances and can determine how much money you can actually afford to spend without breaking the bank.

*For those who find money management too overwhelming, there is help available. Daily Money Managers do everything from paying your bills for you to balancing your checkbook and organizing your records. For more information, check out The American Association of Daily Money Managers.