A recent rental affordability survey by Rent.com.au of more than 2,000 renters in Australia found 53% are spending one-third to a half of their weekly income on rent – putting them under what’s known as ‘rental stress’. Even more concerning is that 30% of renters are spending more than half of their weekly income on rent, putting them under extreme rental stress.

And when your a single income family, this is magnified as the earnings are usually less than a full time wage because of the parental responsibilities and high costs of other living expenses.  However, it doesn’t have to be all that bad.  There is a way to reduce the financial stress and it is called home-sharing.  The $250 per week you spend on your 2 bedroom apartment can be doubled into $500 per week to live in a bigger place, probably in a better neighbourhood and with a fellow single parent.  Not only do you gain more for the same amount, you also save on utilities and even less house cleaning and possibly even laundry with some “glass of wine and adult conversation” at the end of the day to cure the isolation and loneliness.

Just look on realestate.com.au and see how much bang for your buck you can get if you shared with a fellow single parent with the same goals of a harmonious house, financial savings, more support and building memories and fun with your children.  And if your paying over your capabilities now and sacrificing certain things, sharing a home can stop that.  It can out you back into your means in terms of rent and living costs and even help you to create a savings or pay down debt because your expenses are lower.  This is called creating a financial buffer and an easier financial future by being smart with where and how you spend your hard earned money.

On the other side, if you are a home-owner and your cutting it fine each week after you pay your mortgage, renting out a room in your home to a single parent could not only help them get a cheaper rental but also contributor to reducing the home-owner financial stress too.  You could actually make money, pay back the mortgage sooner or save for that “rainy day”.  If your paying $450 per week in mortgage and you have a spare room, rent it out for $200 a week and save yourself $200 in mortgage repayments per week.  Whilst you save, they save as it is reduced rent.

A better home, in a nicer neighbourhood, living in a lifestyle you might only have dreamt about is a reality of sharing a home with someone else.  Combining resources and living with more on less.  Opening your home gives you company, gives you support and saves you money to put towards something else.  It’s a smart way to save money, its a smart way to cut down on financial strain and its a smart way to be social and have support for you and your kids in your own home.

The first year I shared my home I saved $320 per week in rent and over the 12 months I ended up with $15,360 saved in rental payments I didn’t make because the other person was paying $320 per week also.  They saved around the same also as it was a reduced rent compared to what they are paying.  It was a beautiful 5 bedroom home and 1.2 an acre in a rather nice suburb.  We made memories, supported one another, ended up financially happier and the kids loved it and to this day we still are friends.  You can do this too.  Save money, live better, live easier, make money, live in a nicer home … whatever you aspire to have in your single parenting journey for it to be easier – Home-sharing could be a worthwhile consideration.

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