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.

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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.

Public Transport- The horror, oh the horror

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Today was my first day on public transport in a year.

One would not be mistaken for thinking the world had come to an end-albeit with some really nicely dressed people ready for the apocalypse.

To my left, a man, who- despite wearing a suit- appeared to be carrying his entire home on his back, all his possessions in a massive back packer casing on his rear- most likely heading further inland to avoid the coming end. To my rear, a rosy smelling lady who gathered all her energy, exhaled heavily, then snorted in and hawked up the biggest, most vile, most disgusting substance I’ve heard in the past 23 years on this planet, then proceeded to swallow it with an audible gulp. This caused the 19-year-old to my left rear make a sound like dry retching.

To my front, a man who looked incredibly well dressed and stylish, but had the audacity to…..pass wind, not three times, not four times, but five times. Please sir, drive to work, don’t force us fellow commuters to inhale that.

Further in front of this was a man who loudly exclaimed “Frog!” every two minutes. I fear he knows something about the coming end that I will never understand. He will be a survivor.

Finally, upon departing the bus at my destination, I encountered a man giggling hysterically at the bus stop. Obviously hysterical from his impending doom, crazy with near death, spittle forming at the corner of his mouth, and evidently accepting the end of the world.

Before choosing public transport over riding in or walking, be sure you are ready for the level of crazy that is the Public Transport system. The worst of society has gathered together and formed a congregation called the “Bus route”. I fear the what those Endbringers on the “train” have formed…..

Also, be ready for broken knee caps. The end of the world is bringing with it what feels like massive holes in the ground to cause the bus to jump heavily and jolt the bus into slamming your knees against the seat in front. Tall people beware, if you’re trying to escape the end, the bus will leave you unable to run!
End note….I miss my car.

Then again, maybe I just caught it on the wrong day.

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.

Budget-Learn the skill

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It’s the most important thing you will learn in your time out of home (Other than “Don’t drink the bottle labelled “Poison””).

Budgeting will make sure you have an eye on your finances, your wallet, and your shopping so that you don’t careen out of control. Budgeting is probably one of the most vital skills you can learn whether you are just moving out of home or are a veteran renter. My Budget is getting off to a booming start for a reason you know.

Budget for weekly shopping, budget for monthly pay, budget for a new car loan. This way you can always ensure that you can afford the purchase you are going to make.

To quote the ever so cliché quote “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” With budgeting this cliché quote couldn’t be more full of truth. If you don’t budget specifically (ensuring you get down everything you income and owe) on a piece of paper or excel document in one place, then you are likely to miss at least something.

I can’t count the number of times where I’ve failed to budget and managed to forget the power bill or an item that I needed to put some money towards in the house but didn’t set aside any funds.

Learn to budget an actual and expected budget as well. You take your actual balance not on what you think you’ll get or spend, but on what you’ve spent in actual circumstances in the past. Make it more realistic, under budget this section where possible. If you have extra at the end due to over budgeting that’s a bonus that can go towards your surplus or savings.

It’s important to establish a savings and surplus fund. Savings can be used for anything such as a new TV, an xbox, a new couch etc. Surplus sits and waits in your account for a dreaded unwanted bill such as Car Registration or an accident when you’re not covered by insurance. Creating a surplus really only benefits yourself and those in your household.

If you’re left short one month due to an unexpected bill, the ramifications of this shortfall hit your entire household. If you can’t afford to pay rent, guess who covers it?

That’s right- You’re housemates. They will not be happy.

Always ensure you budget and under budget where possible.

Food Etiquette

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It’s best to discuss etiquette before you begin living with someone so you know what is and what is not acceptable in regards to food. Some houses utilise a complete share system (one person shops one week and the food is free reign- one person shops the next and so on and so forth). Other houses utilise the common items and personal items rule (salt, pepper, milk, butter, bread, flour etc. are shared food- dinner items, fruit, vegetables, pizzas, alcohol are personal). Other houses use the all items are personal rule.

To varying degrees- They all work. Some more effectively than others.

All items are shared– With this method it’s a free for all. Any food you want, you had better eat quick because you can’t claim dibs in a free for all environment. You also run into the problem of selfish housemates. If on your week you go out and really stock the entire place, the next the housemate (instead of throwing you some cash for your massive effort) might just buy a small shopping load and claim that the house didn’t really need that much food. This has the foundations of a massive argument.

Some share, some personal- This is probably the best method in my experience. Milk, pepper, bread, salt, flour, butter etc are all shared as it makes no sense to have three pepper shakers, three open cartons of milk, three containers of butter etc. Not only will you be able to fit minimal items into your fridge/pantry, you’ll find you waste double the amount of food. With this method you still get your personal self bought items such as pizzas or doughnuts, but you’re still contributing to the house.

All personal- Probably best to try to avoid this method. You’ll triple up on anything and everything in the house and wars will break out when a personal item is used. It’s just a scary situation- Avoid at all costs. It’s for selfish uncooperative houses.

It’s definitely best to find out what kind of house you’re moving in too.

In any case, always share so that when you need something you won’t feel bad for asking. Always ask before taking, and always ensure that everyone around you is as happy as you can make them without over stepping your limits. A full bellied house hold is a happy house hold!

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