Making the Right Decisions

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Making the right decisions is intrinsic in your ability to enjoy the life style you’re trying to set up for yourself. One wrong choice can leave you in a lot of pain for days, weeks or even years in a worst case scenario.

Think about every decision you make that can have short and long-term consequences. Think that for every action you take, there’s a reaction, be it positive or negative.

Take for example the decision not to pay a bill. Whether you’re on your high horse and have determined you shouldn’t have to pay or you are struggling with keeping afloat. The decision not to pay a bill can have repercussions that spans years. The cost of a default is 5 years of bad credit history- That hurts. I know, I’ve done it. For the past 4 something years I’ve not been able to set up a phone account that requires a credit check, have not been able to apply for a loan- House or personal, can’t get a credit card to be utilised to improve my credit rating (Yes this can be done) and I can’t do anything -anything- at all that requires a credit check or credit history check.

Quite literally, if you have a bad credit rating- You’re buggered in terms of setting yourself up. A personal loan would of solved the majority of my current dilemmas, as well as compile all my financial issues into one manageable sum.

The choice not to pay a bill has had some massive repercussions.

This extends to area (choosing where to live), employment (choosing what job and how much salary to expect and accept), friends (drama and unneccessary stress versus level of support) and social decisions (choosing when to go out and spend, versus when to stay in and harbor the funds).

Making the right choices is everything when you don’t have a viable support network there ready to catch you when you fall.

Be careful, plan your decisions on paper, and make sure you keep all your debtors in the loop on what you intend to do.

Also, sorry on the brief hiatus. Life get’s a little hectic in the rental setting yourself up world!

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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.

Pet Mayhem

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If you’ve just moved out of home and are finding it a little bit of a struggle, a bit stressful and a bit hard. Don’t get a pet. Just….Don’t. Get a goldfish, or a rat, or something easily confined to a small space. Don’t get a dog, don’t get a cat. Your stress levels, especially if they were bad before, will be through the roof. Especially with puppies and kittens.

You have to get used to whiny, mewing, messy animals. You have to follow them around what seems like 24/7 simply to make sure they don’t start the dreaded “sniff circle”. That ever dreaded maneuver that means something bad is on its way. Then you try a frenzied run to get the lead, your shoes, poop bags and treats. Chances are, you’ll of missed your opportunity and then you’re not sure if you should scold the dog because of what it did, or leave it alone because it’s probably been too long and they won’t remember what they’ve done.

Then you factor in the finances. You will most likely need to spend well over 150 on the dogs first night. Toys, bedding, blankets, food, cleaners, training pads and leads. Then you’ve got the cost over months. Vet visits, vaccinations, medicine.

Then you add in the time. A puppy and kitten will need your time. Lots and lots of your time. You can’t just seat the animal in your house and expect everything to be hunky dory and that the animal will entertain itself. You need to regularly excercise the animal. Constantly. Every night when you come home from work you need to take the animal out for a walk. Every-single-day.

Reconsider your choices. Get something that has plenty of fun in a glass bowl or a cage.

Not enough incentive? Consider the worst smell known to man, now combine that smell with a hot, sticky and mushy mess. This is what your cat and dog will do, quarterly, during the day. Enjoy.

Then again….How can you refuse a face like this?

Financial Hustle

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Sometimes things travel up shit creek. Sometimes, you have no paddles heading up this creek. Sometimes, a massive freak tidal wave will knock you out of your paddle-less boat travelling up shit creek. Sometimes, after being knocked out of a paddle-less boat travelling up shit creek, you remember you know how to swim and that the shore is reachable.

Yesterday, my car broke down. Brake pads wore out and before I could afford to get the pads fixed the brake discs wore down to metal on metal. Fun fun fun in the sun right?

Not only this but I live an hour and a half on public transport away from my job. No member of our four person household drives but me, nor has a car. We don’t have the finances to get a new car. We are expecting a pay out from my partners old work but we’re not sure when this will come. We have no savings because up until a month ago we were financially irresponsible.

So. We hustled. Tried every avenue to borrow a car, then every avenue to car pool, I’m also seeking a new job closer to home (and higher paying), we’re seeking to purchase a new car and furniture with the pay out coming, we researched public transport routes, remembered my phone is also a music player (for the long trip) and called friends and family to see if they could help.

Remember- You always have more than one option. You are never at a dead-end, and there are always avenues for help and/or assistance. Don’t just give up hope when you’re floating in the creek. Start paddling and aim for shore.

Transport- Mass or Private?

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Make the choice long before you move out.

Car, Train, Motorbike, Bus or Tram, Bike or Walk?

Of course the answer will change depending on distance from your house to your workplace. It will also change depending on your financial history and your income versus expenditure.

Make the decision in advance as to which method will best suit you. For example, if you hate crowds then Trains, buses and trams are pretty much ruled out for you already. If you’re worried about busy roads then say goodbye to the bike/motorbike idea. Too far to travel to work? There goes walking. No licence- No car.

Once you have narrowed down your available options, factor in the necessary budget items. Petrol and maintenance for the car, a metcard for the train/bus/tram- factor in if you can afford another card if you lose your first, the purchase of a bike etc.

Once you have narrowed it down to what is feasible and what can you afford, work off preference. Do you not mind the daily slog of traffic if it means that you have the freedom to go for a long drive on the weekend? Do you prefer the freedom to avoid traffic while also getting fit? Don’t mind the crowds if it means a saving on money? Then car, bike, Train/Bus/Tram respectively.

Personally I enjoy the freedom of knowing I can hop in my car anytime I’d like and head down the shops, or head off for the weekend. However I have lately contemplated public transport due to the low-cost of a train ticket, as well as the lack of need to pay for maintenance on a vehicle, no registration costs and no inflating petrol prices. So far however the desire not to be on an over congested train where I have to force my way on and beat down old ladies to get a spot. (Totally kidding but you get my drift). I also live too far out to walk, too far out to bike ride and also don’t currently have the funds to purchase a decent road bike.

Take all these factors into consideration before you move out. Account for fluctuating petrol prices, a burst tire, what happens if you move from Zone 1 to Zone 2, if you have the fitness level to ride to work, if you live close enough to sell your car and walk it.

Write down the Pros and Cons and run with the best option added to what your gut tells you. There’s no point buying a car if you later discover that you’re close enough to ride to work with a 15 minute slog. Hello 20,000 dollar debt, goodbye financial freedom.

Share ads to avoid

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You’ve most likely seen them but not even realised what they were.

Here are two examples:

Two full time employed males, 24, looking for a single white female. Fun loving house, very social, clean freaks need not apply.”

Full time employed IT technician, looking for quiet, peaceful house mate. Must have own broadband connection, must be used to giving up periods of internet time, must be clean and tidy as well.

The first sounded like a pretty fun place to live until you notice two particular points. The two men are looking for a single white female. What bearing does ones relationship status have on two guys looking for a house mate? Absolutely none when it is the right kind of house. The fact that this is two young men looking for single women sets all kind of blaring warning signs off. Secondly, clean freaks need not apply. They are helpfully telling you that you are moving into a house that is rarely, if ever, cleaned. Run away from ads like this.

The second screams World of Warcraft nerd. Must have own broadband connection? Must be used to sharing said connection? So basically he’s going to piggy back your internet connection for higher game speed. Neat and tidy? Either he’s expecting you to pick up after his mess (coke bottles and chip packets) or he’s genuinely a tidy guy. Whilst not as bad as the first, this is still one to watch out for. It has all the warning signs of a bad housemate drama story written on it.

Let’s take another two into consideration.

Two girls, aged 23 and 19 looking for a fun, exciting room mate. Must be okay with a little noise and a few late nights, no busy bodies or librarians should apply! Looking for a friendly, bubbly personality

Older male (48) looking for young, vibrant, female co-tenant to share smaller apartment in Eastern *********, apartment is furnished, bedroom included, just bring yourself and a happy personality

The first is fine if you are a constant partier. The girls, by saying a “few” late nights, mean most weeknights and every weekend. The “No busy bodies or librarians” statement indicates that they will be doing things they know will be questionable, and will be loud about their other activities. Again, great if you are a partier, run away if you are a quiet student.

The second….Well: Run. Now. Pervert Alert. Fully furnished bedroom? A mid life older male looking for a young female? Sure gramps, once you remove the hidden cameras and install a lock on the door. Just. Run.

Chorely not

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If you’ve brought it up then you most likely know what being universally hated feels like. Your entire house probably let out a collective “Ughhhh, really?”.

Regardless whether you are a mum in a bought house with children, a renter who likes to keep their place neat and tidy, or a one-of-a-kind share accommodation tenant who wants a clean house, you know what I mean already.

You can’t lightly step around the issue of living in a deli of dirt, a grotto of grot, a house of …. well you get the picture. Someone in the house is going to disagree about there being a method of organising the cleaning duties. Chances are that someone is the same someone who had that mexican stand-off with you about taking the garbage out for so long that flies started making your house a regular stop in point before the tip.

This isn’t going to be an easy step and you’re most likely going to be initially (or permanently) disliked. So is there anyway to make things a little more bearable?

Yes. But only a few.

Chore Wheel. Randomise it. With a Chore Wheel it doesn’t seem like you’re setting out a bunch of rules for people to follow and it’s entirely random who does what on what day. There may even be weeks where one individual escapes the chore wheel entirely. That being said, however, some weeks they might find themselves on it every single day.

Chore Dart Board. Every house member throws a dart for the day, that day that person is doing that chore. This psychologically shifts the blame off of you. If you throw a dart and it hits a chore, you feel like it was your poor decision to throw the dart in that way. Change it up a little with bonuses E.g: I.O.U chores, Chore Free Day or a prize of some sort. Make it a game.

Chore Sheet. It’s probably the most controlling option, but things get done. Plus when someone isn’t home- they pick up the slack the next day as they got to skip. There’s a variety of downloadable chore sheets from the Microsoft Office program. Alternatively you can find one here and here.

If you’re a mother, the chore dart board and chore wheel are probably the best options. As children can see it like a sort of game. If you are in a share house or rental accommodation with a friend then it’s likely that you’re mature enough to have a conversation and agree to fair terms on the Chore Sheet.

The cleaning has to be done and one person shouldn’t be stuck with it all regardless of accommodation type.

In our house, we have a chore sheet (which hasn’t been followed once since it’s introduction)- however we have dealt with a Housemate War that somewhat hindered the shared duties.

Good luck with whichever deadly avenue you choose to wander down!

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