Help these housemates split the bills

“My roommate and I are both in our mid-20s and have lived together for over three years. We have known each other since before high school. We have never come close to getting into a fight or anything of the sort and have a very good living arrangement/friendship.

“For almost a year, our downstairs neighbor has allowed us to use his WiFi for free, which is extremely kind of him. A couple of weeks ago his connection went down for a few days. For me it wasn’t a big deal, as I only use it sparingly. My roommate, however, needs a consistent connection to fulfill his obligations at work. As a result, my roommate bought Internet service for our apartment and is now asking me to help pay for it. Do you think that I am obligated to help share the costs even though I didn’t want or need a new connection?”

Good ideas welcome, lest these two end up with masking tape down the middle of the living room.

— Carolyn Hax

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