Friends-Etiquette

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If you’re in share accommodation then it’s most likely that you won’t know the network of the individual/s you’re sharing with and they won’t know yours.

It’s best if you plan ahead and give your house mate/s plenty of notice that someone will be coming over. If you’re going to have a big weekend and you might end up back at yours, let them know so they can either get out of the house for a little, or be prepared for some drunk stumbling and loud voices that night.

You wouldn’t appreciate coming home to ten people inside your living room that you don’t know and aren’t friends with, so try not to put your house mates through the same thing.

Give them at least two days notice of a big night/sleep over/girlfriend visit/friends gathering and see if there’s anything you can do to make it more bearable. You’ll appreciate it a whole heck of a lot more when they do the same thing to you!

Don’t let your friends leave without giving you a hand to tidy up a little either, especially if you’ve trashed the place. There’s nothing worse than waking up to the equivalent of a bomb shelter and no one in sight that even resembles like they might be doing something to remedy the mess.

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When someone goes

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It’ll either be incredibly saddening or a massive celebration, depending on your relationship. There are, unfortunately, a multitude of things you need to do before they go (aside from have a going away party).

  • Make sure no rent is outstanding with your real estate
  • Make sure no damage has occurred in their living space
  • If there is damage caused by the individual make sure to have a discussion with them about taking some of the bond to cover the damages
  • Make sure you have a replacement tenant (if you need/want one)
  • Make sure you’ve separated their stuff and your stuff and are agreed that is exactly what it is
  • Make sure to give the real estate agent two weeks notice
  • Make sure to get into the real estate and sign all appropriate paper work
  • Make sure to party hard prior to them leaving
  • Make sure to get their contact details in case anything should crop up in regards to before they vacated
  • Have any bills in their name signed over to yourself
  • Get prepped for the new house mate
  • Write out an advert to place online/in the paper for the vacancy
  • Make sure you time the new tenant/your increase in rent payments with the departure of the previous one
  • Make sure the previous tenant returns all their keys and any copies
  • If required, do another condition report
  • Get a forwarding number for any callers or visitors to the house
  • Clean!

You should find that this list (while extensive) will not leave you unprepared for a new housemate or life without your old housemate. Also be prepared for a house balance shift and personality adjustment. Different housemates have different tendencies and you might move in with one of the house mate types as discussed in previous posts.

Resourcefulness

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Get used to being resourceful. In fact, work your tiny little butt off at being resourceful all the way through your entire rental future.

This can range from budget shopping, to actually looking around for a better deal instead of taking the first item you see, to haggling when you actually are purchasing something.

Below are a few tips for the utterly resourceful:

  • Budget shop. Check out the Aldi link on the home page, you can find some amazingly cheap items at Aldi that will switch your weekly shopping allocation from 160 dollars down to 90. They’re opening more and more branches in Australia every week. For clothes shopping try DFO (Direct Factory Outlet). You can find some amazingly cheap bargains at these stores.
  • Bulk buy. Try Costco. You pay low, low prices because everything is bought in bulk. Everything. If you have the storage space and/or a large freezer as well as a large initial capital behind you in moving out, head to Costco first.
  • Search around. You think you’ve found an amazing deal at Dick Smith when you find a Dell laptop for 700 dollars, not realising that the computer store around the corner has the same laptop for 550. You don’t help yourself by not calling around searching for the best deal.
  • Wait for EYFS (End year financial sale) This comes around June/July every year with a lot of stores. Be on the look out for any stores.
  • Shop at your local market. We live closest to the Preston and the Camberwell markets and there are some amazing deals on everything from fruits to suits. Don’t be afraid to step out of your shopping comfort zone, often you’ll find a much better deal.
  • Haggle. Haggle like hell. Don’t walk in and pay the price on the sign. Ask how much you can get off, and when you’ve done that, ask for a further 50. Every dollar you save goes back in your pocket.
  • Keep your warranties. There’s nothing worse than taking something home, realising it doesn’t work, trying to take it back and failing because you didn’t keep the warranty.
  • Swap meets. These guys cover anything from computers to lingerie. Normally not in the same market for obvious reasons. You can find some great deals at Swap meets, just remember to take your own things too.
  • Trading Post. It’s online but I rarely see it in shops anymore. Just be aware that unlike a shop, you won’t get a warranty on the item unless it’s explicitly stated.

These are just a few of many. Get used to trying to find the cheapest thing you can. Don’t rely on the “honesty” of shop keepers to get you a good deal. You have to look for it yourself.

Good luck!

Relationships

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Inevitably, unless you intend on being single or becoming a crazy cat lady, you’re going to move in with your partner, you might even develop a relationship with your current house mate.

Relationships should be encouraged in a living environment. There’s no need to be afraid of moving in with a partner (Well…unless you feel your partner may have psychotic tendencies and the next morning you’ll wake up with no skin!). A boyfriend/girfriend/fiancee can provide an extremely supportive and encouraging environment to live in, they provide a sounding board for ideas, gentle pushes when we don’t want to do things that we know we should.

However, certain cautions must be taken around particular issues.

  • Finances
  • Rent
  • Shopping
  • Gender differences
  • Household duties
  • Miscommunication
  • Social Differences

Keep your head. These are things that are always going to come up in a relationship, but due to different genders, different upbringings, different viewpoints, different opinions, conflict is bound to arise. Discuss them calmly and rationally. If things get out of hand, don’t be stupid and think you can keep a calm rational head while you’re seething. Take a minute or two out and have a breather.

I personally am against the leaving the house option. I’m also against going to bed on the tail of an unresolved argument. I prefer to resolve the problem then and there. If we can’t find a resolution for the issue, then we will agree to disagree. I think a lot of people forget this fact, or ignore the ideal altogether. You don’t have to agree on everything. Every conversation does not have to lead to both parties agreeing, arguments are exactly the same. If after three to four minutes of revisiting the topic in the same conversation the other party still doesn’t see your point of view, try agreeing to disagree. Then cuddle.

It is important that a cuddle comes at the end of every argument. It’s closure, it’s comfort, it’s showing that “Yes, we fought- but I still love you.” If you’re too mad for a cuddle, walk away for a minute, breathe deep, remind yourself why you love that person- then head back.

I’ve found money to be the largest cause for concern, unless you’re pulling over 70k a year, and leading an average non-high spending life. Money is a stickler. If you don’t need to buy shopping, you need petrol, if you don’t need petrol, you need to get your car fixed, while your car is broken you’ll need to take public transport. There is so much potential here for arguments it’s not funny.

Discuss. Just try talking about it all as it comes. Explain how you want to deal with it, ask how your partner wants to deal with it. Realise that you’re each there for a support network. Don’t bottle it up until it becomes too much to handle. Get it out, regularly.

Talk. Always always talk. Communication is key.

“Housemate Types” The Extrovert

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The Extrovert

Habitat Habits: The Extrovert can vary incredibly. This type has a large potential to actually hit “The Keeper” status. Extroverts can be noisy, social and sometimes a pain in the butt due to their loud nature- But they can just as easily be clean, tidy and help around the house. It all depends on the level of personality (or lack thereof) that the Extrovert displays.

When to run: This one is easy. You’ll know-without a doubt. You will be kept up until 2-3 a.m. most nights by loud music, loud people in your living room, loud phone conversations in the house mates bedroom, and your house will be party central. This may actually be the perfect place for you, however, if you are a heavy party goer yourself. If so, live it up, if not, get out!

How to deal with them: You will need to determine if you loathe or love the new social world that has opened up around you. If you loathe it you will need to sit your housemate down and discuss options or possibilities for a slightly quieter house, maybe have a equal nights on/nights off of socialising. If you love it, then you deal with it by partying it up every night with them.

How to learn to love them: Love the fact that your social circle has just expanded exponentially! You now have access to a larger circle of friends, varied locations to head out, and a wide variety of personalities to get to know.

How to get rid of them: It is normally contained within your lease that you must aim to keep your neighbours happy by abiding by satisfactory noise levels. If you really want to get rid of the social noisy butterfly, let your real estate agent know that they are disturbing the peace of your neighbours (and regularly) this shouldn’t be hard due to the multiple noise complaints I’m sure you’ve had.

Final note: The extrovert can do wonders for your social circle, your networks, and your nightlife. If you want to get out there and get more into the party scene, latch yourself to the Extrovert. For the most part they’re mainly only annoying if you’re a student who needs to study due to how loud they are. The only time when you really need to worry is when the Extrovert turns into the Druggie, the Sex Fiend or the Sleaze.

When it all goes bad… (Romance and Room mates)

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Our house is currently a war zone. Two of the armies involved are in tears, shots have been fired and casualties are high on both sides. The cease-fire has still not been called, both sides have made a temporary retreat and are being consoled by the United Nations (that would be me and my partner).

Living with a boyfriend, girlfriend, fiance or husband/wife has exceptionally beneficial circumstances. You always come home to someone who has “Counselor” as a prerequisite in the “Relationship Skills” section of your dating history. You have a constant source of cuddles, kisses, movie companion, dining companion and a (hopefully) life long fulfilling partnership worth everything to you.

So what do you do when these living circumstances sour? When one side or the other either cheats, or sometimes worse, falls out of love? Do you have a fail safe? Do you have any plans beyond the immediate? What do you do when you have no where else to go? What if you’re stuck?

One side of said war party wants to work things out. The other war party wants out, period. The current situational conflict? They moved down to Victoria, together, without a friend base or network. However the first war party is less confident than the second, and is finding making alliances and crossing borders to be difficult. The second, well let’s just say the second War Party is back at home base creating networks.

To further the problem? They are in a lease that lasts another 10 months.

So what do you do when you lose the one you love and live together? Two options. Suck it up or ship out. Either you work your sweet little butt off to work things out- Or you leave. No, you can’t be friends. No, you can’t bring your new partner home. The first is cruel to yourself, the second is cruel to your ex-partner.

You can try ignoring the ex-partner, as long as you both agree to a cease-fire and gag order. Otherwise one party is always trying to initiate and the other just wants to run.

For now, the fields of battle have quieted.

What do you think? Can you live with an ex? Have you ever made it work?

Rental Nightmares “Housemate Types”

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  • The Introvert
  • The Extrovert
  • The Clean Freak
  • The Socialite
  • The Pig
  • The Sleaze
  • The Control Freak
  • The Druggie
  • The Mummy’s Boy or Daddy’s girl
  • The Sex Fiend
  • The Keeper

You’ve probably lived with one or more of the above if you have “done time” in share accommodation housing. If you’ve lived with one of the first ten out of the eleven, it most likely felt like you were doing a life sentence (even though your lease was only a year). If you lived with number 11 on the list then you are either married to that individual, or still life long friends.

Over the next few weeks we’ll cover a detailed analysis of the types; when to run, habitat habits, how to deal with them, how to get rid of them, how to learn to love them. (Please note- You could live with any variation of the type, the level of intensity differs from individual to individual!)

The Introvert

Habitat Habits: The Introvert’s habitat can vary from messy (computer equipment, study books, computer games, notes, print outs, books, chip packets etc.) to exceptionally neat and tidy- almost to the degree that the Introvert wanders into “Clean Freak” territory.

When to run: The Introvert, while sometimes odd, is a harmless creature. You most likely don’t need to plan your escape route just yet. The biggest warning sign to look for, however, is when you are cleaning up and you notice the introvert has left his/her web browser open. The web header reads “World Domination: The Beginners Guide”. Run, don’t look back, don’t pack, don’t call for help, just go.

How to deal with them: You most likely won’t have to. The Introvert loves his/her own space and will most likely remain in their room a majority of the time. They’re just shy, learn to love that you effectively have the house to yourself.

How to learn to love them: Introverts go hand in hand with Study and Computers. Accept their oddities and live happily in the knowledge that you have a Computer Error ready technician in your home. Hell yeah.

How to get rid of them: Unless your Introvert companion is the World Domination Introvert- Leave them be, they’re harmless. Otherwise a brief call to the Government might be in order! (Hushed tones, speak calmly, don’t mention explosives!)

Final note: The Introvert is one of the least annoying, least harmful types. Don’t be too judgemental, underneath the shyness they could be a great person, try to get to know them!