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Dealing With Roommate Drama

I love the Moneyologist articles on Market Watch, it blends money advice in a gossip columnist kind of way! One recent question was about dealing with a bad roommate.

Imagine a roommate who constantly complains about money, eats your food, doesn't buy their own essentials all while taking frequent vacations. Juicy!

Dear Moneyologist,

My best friend from college and I are both recent graduates. She moved in with me a couple months ago, and ever since then, I’ve realized she’s a financial idiot.

She constantly complains about how she doesn’t have enough money to buy food, go out for drinks or participate in group outings, but she travels at least once a month to places like New York and Hawaii. Not to mention, she spent three months in Europe after graduation.

Even worse, she complains about not being included in group events and says she feels like she has no friends because of it. The thing is, I frequently invite her to group outings, but she is always out of town or won’t go because it’s too expensive.

She was never like this before. She was the person who brought me cookie dough when my boyfriend and I broke up, who dropped everything to pick me up during a rainstorm, and who came to yoga at the crack of dawn with me before calculus class just so we could spend time together. She used to be such a giver. She doesn’t straight up take food, but she guilts me into taking my leftovers. Also, our other roommate works at Square and she takes advantage of her free startup meals.

Now my friend is so stingy with money that she can no longer be generous with her friendship. Instead, she guilt trips me for having a life outside of our friendship. She’s turned into a total freeloader — and her constant fixation on how much things cost is a downer.

Since I helped her negotiate her salary, I know what she makes, and it’s a fair amount — but certainly not enough to fund monthly flights to tropical locales. I’m also cognizant of planning happy hours at places with $3 drink specials, or organizing hikes where the only cost is chipping in for gas money to get there.

I’ve broached the topic of FOMO (fear of missing out) with her multiple times and suggested that the simple solution to building better friendships with people here is to be more present in our own city. But her actions still haven’t changed. I am more hesitant to bring up money issues because I’m worried I’ll just come off as holier-than-thou. Her entitled attitude and uncompromising need for attention makes me feel like I want her out of my life. But she is my roommate and my former BFF!

What do I do? Do I just ghost her? Do I tell her she’s a financial idiot? Help!

P.S. She is on a flight to Cancun as I write this — paid for in large part by another friend’s frequent flier miles.

Anonymous in San Francisco

So, what would you do?

Check out the Moneyologist's advice here.

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