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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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!

Lead Tenancy

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Lead Tenancy is a program operated by CHL and some government youth housing organisations. If you do a google search on Lead Tenancy+”state”, you should bring back 2-3 top results on the program.

Lead Tenancy is designed for people with excellent morales, organisational skills, cleaning, ethics and responsibility. You need to be prepared to deal with issues that young people face every day, be highly aware of developing problems, and be of an encouraging and respectful nature.

Lead Tenancy runs in a variety of established accommodation (be it units, apartments or houses), who you are allocated to is not your choice, however you can state a preference for male or female co-habitants and you can state a preferred area.

You will be required to look after the individual/s and make sure that they are leading a responsible, good choice life. You will be responsible for their in-house welfare, but are not their parent. This should be remembered when dealing with the youth. You cannot tell them what to do, or how to do it, you can only offer advice.

You will be required to advise on shopping, social choices, cleaning, hygiene, youth issues and troubles. You need to be available to those in your household at all hours, and be able to get back in case something is wrong. You will need to help them in developing meaningful relationships and also in gaining employment.

You have constant contact with the Case Worker who situated the youths. There is a communication book used to log any and all issues and meetings, it is imperative you keep a log. Regular meetings will be arranged to discuss issues within the house.

Lead tenants are not paid. Instead they are offered subsidised or non-existant rent. Do not go into this for the money. Sometimes issues will push you to the edge, the stress of living with a misplaced or irresponsible youth can push you to the edge. However, if you are dedicated to assisting in youth welfare, the money will be of little to no importance and you will be pleased just making sure another youth isn’t left homeless on the streets.

Do it if you feel you are dedicated enough to youth issues. If I didn’t have a partner and wasn’t beginning a family, I’d jump at the opportunity. Anglicare aided me in my youth and I’d do anything I could to repay them for not leaving me homeless.

The experience will leave you with a profound sense of well-being. You are assisting in removing the homeless from our streets and helping and encouraging young people to grow and spread their wings.

I have previously done Lead Tenancy in a small country town. I feel the experience not only helped my co-tenant grow, but also aided me in my responsibility and outlook on life. Be responsible, be encouraging and you will reap the rewards.

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.

The Cookbook Blog

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This link will take you to a Blog by a friend of mine called “Cookbook”. Jess has a great vocabulary and personality in describing and explaining the delectable and delicious delights she eats at these restaurants, as well as some of the not so good points of some “fine dining” experiences.

You can trust in her honest critique of these locations, await a laugh in some of her posts and generally just learn where some great places are to head off to. She’s got a knack for good blogging. You can also find some insanely delicious sounding recipes “Cheese and Chive Scones” anyone?

Take a look!

“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.

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