CLOSE
iStock
iStock

7 Things to Consider When Screening Potential Roommates

iStock
iStock

Don't end up with this guy (above, reclining in a pile of trash). By asking the right questions—of yourself and your would-be roommates—you can ensure the best match possible and live happily ever after (or to the end of your lease). Consider this your new roommate questionnaire. 

1. INTERACTION

Take a good look at the way you spend your time and occupy your space. Some people like a more communal atmosphere at home, while others prefer keeping to themselves. Some people expect their roommates to be their friends, while others are looking for a business relationship. You want someone whose lifestyle and expectations are compatible with yours.

2. HABITS

Some people throw raging parties every weekend. Some people smoke in the house. Some people use recreational drugs. Some people collect guns. If you’ve got a household ban on these things or any others, make that very clear to any aspiring roomies. 

3. TIDINESS

There’s a roommate out there for everyone. But if you’re a Felix, you should probably rule out all the Oscars, and vice versa (sorry friends, life isn't a sitcom). Being honest about how tidy (or untidy) you are will spare you a lot of resentment and passive-aggressive notes later on. 

4. PETS

Do you like pets? Do you (or your building) allow them? Do you have a cat allergy? If there are pets in the equation, how much room do they need? How much noise do they make? Is it realistic to bring an animal into your home? 

5. WORK

At bare minimum, a roommate should be able to pay their share of the rent. In the absence of a monocle and a bag of gold, a steady job is generally a good sign. But the work itself is worth discussing, too. Some people work a lot and are never home. Others work from home and rarely leave the house. Do either of those things sound like a nightmare? Figure it out before you start interviewing. 

6. VOLUME

Whether you prefer your home to be a quiet refuge or a jamboree, it’s important to find someone else who likes it that way. A roommate with a drum set or no inside voice can chuck your serenity right out the window. By the same token, if you like a lively, bustling environment, a silent housemate might just be too creepy to bear. 

7. VIBE

Trust your gut. If you click with someone immediately but they don’t meet your criteria, take another look at your criteria. Is there any wiggle room? If something about a potential roomie bothers you but you can’t put your finger on it, abort. There are plenty of house-hunting fish in the sea.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
Amazon Is Offering Free Same-Day Shipping to Prime Customers for the Holidays
iStock
iStock

The holidays are arriving early for Amazon Prime customers—along with every gift they’ve yet to order through the online shopping behemoth. Amazon has put all of its Prime members on the “Nice” list this year, and is rewarding them with free same-day shipping from now through Christmas Eve. While that may be cutting it a little too close for some shoppers, the limited-time perk has perpetual procrastinators singing “Joy to the World.”

“We are continually investing in Prime, adding more selection and making delivery faster and more convenient,” Greg Greeley, Amazon Prime’s VP, said in a statement. “In fact, in 2016, the last Prime Free Same-Day order from Amazon.com delivered in time for Christmas was ordered at 10:23 a.m. on Christmas Eve. The order included Venum Contender Boxing Gloves, and was delivered to a Prime member in Richmond, Virginia at 2:42 p.m.—the very same day, for free.

(Whoever received those boxing gloves last year: now you know.)

This year’s holiday shipping schedule will allow gift-givers to push that deadline even further. While two-day shipping is always free for Prime customers, if that were the only option, they’d have to be done buying all their gifts by Friday, December 22. This year’s shipping perk means that you can push your shopping all the way to Christmas Eve, as long as you live in one of Amazon’s Same-Day Delivery zones (you just have to order by 9:30 a.m.). Even better: If Prime Now is available in your area, you have until 9:14 p.m. on December 24 to place your order and still have something fabulous to stick under the Christmas tree.

Of course, zero-dollar shipping costs are far from the $99 service’s only perk: unlimited streaming of Prime Video movies and TV shows—including Amazon-produced series like The Man in High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle, One Mississippi, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel—is there for the bingeing. Free Kindle books, photo storage, and grocery delivery are among Prime’s many other benefits.

Not a Prime member? No problem! “Even if you are not currently a member, holiday shoppers can try Prime for free for 30 days and get two-day, one-day, and same-day shipping for free,” says Greeley.

It’s hard to argue with free.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
The Most (and Least) Expensive States for Staying Warm This Winter
iStock
iStock

It’s that time of year again: Temperatures outside have plummeted, while your monthly heating bill is on the rise. If you want an idea of how much heat will cost you this winter (perhaps you blocked out last year’s damage to your bank account), one reliable indicator is location.

Average energy expenses vary from state to state due to factors like weather, house size, and local gas prices. Using data from sources including the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, WalletHub calculated the average monthly utility bill totals for all 50 states plus Washington D.C. in 2017.

Source: WalletHub

The personal finance website looked at four energy costs: electricity, natural gas, car fuel, and home heating oil. After putting these components together, Connecticut was found to be the state with the highest energy costs in 2017, with an average of $380 in monthly bills, followed by Alaska with $332 and Rhode Island with $329.

That includes data from the summer and winter months. For a better picture of which state’s residents spend the most on heat, we have to look at the individual energy costs. Michigan, which ranks 33rd overall, outdoes every other state in the natural gas department with an average bill of $60 a month. Alaska is close behind with $59, followed by Rhode Island With $58.

People living in Maine prefer oil to heat their homes, spending $84 a month on the fuel source. All six New England states—Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts—occupy the top six spots in this category.

So which state should you move to if you want to see your heating bill disappear? In Florida, the average household spends just $3 a month on natural gas and $0 on heating oil. In Hawaii, on average, the oil bill is $0 as well, and slightly higher for gas at $4. Of course, they make up for it when it comes time to crank up the AC: Both states break the top 10 in highest electricity costs.


WalletHub

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios