Rental situation in Christchurch and minimum wage

Hi in just after advice or tip anyone can give me. I am a single mother of two 6&2. I work two days a week arm untill my 2 year old is 3 and gets 20 free hours. I am selling my house I own with my ex atm and I'm going back to renting. I am looking at having to pay an extra 100 bucks per week towards rent and I guess i just want to know how other people in my situation do it because it is tight already and I don't know how I am going to stretch my wage to cover the extra 100 needed. I am also thinking about going back to work full time but even then with childcare fees as I don't have anyone to look after my 2 year old it will be just as hard (untill he turns 3). Any tips or advice. I have no a.p's but I do have the internet. Please I'm looking for advice and not hate! TIA.

gordo20, Jul 15, 7:55 pm

How about a boarder and or sitter to live in?. Take that idea to the next level - put the kids in one room, you in another and rent a four bedroom (or more) and have two or more boarders. Could be some good coin in it for you. Of course trust is a big issue to consider with kids of course.

Take that idea to the next level again. Foreign students pay well. There are services that help to set it up for you.

Rent assistance from WINZ?

mss2006, Jul 15, 8:21 pm

Yes that is the only thing I can think of to help! Thanks

gordo20, Jul 15, 8:23 pm

Yes thanks for your ideas. A boarder is my last option for that exact reason but I need to keep my options open of course! And yes I already receive the maximum amount. Thank you. I will look into foreign students.

gordo20, Jul 15, 9:04 pm

Yes very hard decision. I have never even considered it untill now as my situation has changed. I don't have many options, so I'm trying to get as many ideas as possible before I go down that road! But just as I thought there isn't many other roads to take!

gordo20, Jul 16, 12:48 am

When people say get a boarder, its not always as easy as that, especially with kids. What I would suggest is that you get an extra bedroom if you can when you rent, and get a homestay. Maybe a female student who wants to go to Uni or polytech or college where you live. That way you can make it part of the contract (do one for a year at a time) where they go home for holidays, to give you a break, but you have regular money coming in term times. We did this for years and it worked really well. We only ever had a male once and it didn't work. We enjoyed having students from all over and then we did older people wanting a holiday, but wanting a family to live with while on holiday. We have a purpose built sleepout with 2 bedrooms, one of which we made into a sitting room and it has its own bathroom. The last time, we had a lovely girl going to Teachers college here, and she stayed in the house as my eldest has taken over the sleepout. Its good because sometimes although you don't make a lot, you have cash flow, which helps you pay the bills. You can have up to 2 homestays (or boarders) and charge around $250 a week and not get taxed. You can advertise specifically for what you want or go through the polytechs and universities as they have a person who deals with accomodation offsite.

brightlights60, Jul 16, 2:05 am

Make sure your landlord is happy with you taking in a boarder

jett.industries, Jul 16, 7:57 am

Thanks for the info.

gordo20, Jul 16, 8:26 am

As well as the suggestions above, take the time to put in a good vege garden, it won't bring in money, but it will help you spend less.
Its cheapest if you buy seeds to begin with, make sure they are not hybridised though, so you can keep the seeds and then be self sufficient. Most of carnival seeds are ok. You can use all your food scraps except meat for the garden, and dig it in for fertilizer, and often by the roadside you see cheap manure for sale. Then all you need is a hose, a spade and slug killer. Lots of info on the internet.
Good luck and God bless

stillwaters, Jul 16, 10:36 am

Thanks! :)

gordo20, Jul 16, 2:51 pm

Another option would be to find another mum in the same situation as yourself. Get a 4 bedroom house. Take turns with housework, cooking, getting the shopping etc. Paying half of a rent is far better than struggling to pay a whole one by yourself, plus, the two of you might be able to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement with childcare.

oddjob1, Jul 16, 3:10 pm



Thats a really good idea.

brightlights60, Jul 17, 12:00 am

If you are renting putting in a vege garden may not be an option though. You would need to check it out with your landlord first.

cinderellagowns, Jul 17, 12:34 pm



I have never heard of a landlord refusing to let someone plant veges? You can put them anywhere in any strip of "garden" surely.

brightlights60, Jul 17, 9:01 pm

If you decide to dig up a part of the lawn to create a vege patch I can guarantee your landlord will not be best pleased. Likewise if you pull out existing plantings to make room for your vege patch. Of course you can ask, and you may well get a favourable response, but I wouldn't just go ahead and plant a garden any more than I would repaint a bedroom for example.

cinderellagowns, Jul 17, 10:42 pm



I would welcome a tenant wanting to plant a vegetable garden even if it means digging up the lawn - it saves the tenant a lot of money, provides nutritious food, and shows they are wanting a real home. Yes, a tenant should ask first, but I would be surprised if many landlords would refuse.

urbanlife, Jul 18, 10:39 am

I have planted veges in an around exisiting plants, lettuces etc are fine anywhere, tomatoes can grow up a fence between other things, etc. You can add to it with large pots and buckets. It doesn't need to be intrusive or destructive. We have always had favourable responses from landlords about gardens, and have always offered to return anything to the original state. Have always been told to leave them though whenever we left.

stillwaters, Jul 18, 1:37 pm

Driving around today, I could not get over the number of for rent signs that are now in windows and on fences.
Just a few months ago unheard of.

fineo, Jul 18, 6:19 pm

There is definatly more rentals around but they are all at least $100 darer than they were pre earthquakes. E.g I rented a 2 bedroom rental in parklands before e.q for $240 and now Iv recently seen it on trade me again for $360. Hopefully it will start coming down again. I have to sell this house first before moving so let's hope it comes down in that time lol wishful thinking?

gordo20, Jul 18, 11:46 pm



I dont think rents will come down to pre quake levels due to the much increased cost of insurance and rates.

cassina1, Jul 18, 11:59 pm

Yeah of course but hopefully a little bit anyway!

gordo20, Jul 19, 1:35 am

as someone else said - one option to consider is newer dearer 4 / 5 bedroom house if you can find another person in a simular situation and share. rather than pay around $400 plus for a 3 bedroom, you could get a place around $600 - $700 but share with another family - for this you could get a 4 / 5 bedroom and 2 living room in double glazed modern house which may be cheaper to heat as wouldn't be damp and as cold as older houses. 2 lounges will give you and the other family a little more private family time at you can use a lounge each. We had to rent when our repairs were done and looking at prices - I was surprised that a few single parent families didn't look at that option. My cousin (single mum) rented with a couple with another child and they were able to work in with each other nicely to look after each others kids when they worked so they didn't need much childcare (my cousins girl was 2). Obviously you would need to find the right person to move in, but you wouldn't be the only one trying to find a way to make it work and there are others out there trying to do the same. Look for someone with simular interests and talk about the housework, cooking, entertaining, life style etc before hand to find someone simular in their living ways. good luck.

gutlux, Jul 23, 10:30 pm

the other thing you could do if sharing a house isn't really an option is increase your incomings to meet your outgoings. I know you said two days is all you could do until childcare becomes more affordable but what about evening work doing transcription after the kids are asleep, or doing some in home care via Porse on your days at home?

Unfortunately minimum wage is now not even covering the basics, and should probably be renamed pitiful wage.

jamesnmatt, Nov 24, 3:09 am

Share this thread