Monday, 30 June 2014

10 Ways to pay significantly less for your housing (Includes some options where housing is completely free!)

Housing is one of the biggest family expenses. 

It just doesn’t go away so we came up with a top 10 list of ways to reduce your housing expenses.   

This list is not exhaustive and not every option is applicable to everyone. What else can you come up with?

      10)   House sitting: There are a number of websites (E.g. Aussie House Sitters, Trusted House Sitters and House Sit World)
It would be a challenge to make this work but it’s not impossible.   It also may be particularly difficult to find a place near your work 
9) Moving away:
You may save significantly moving to a new suburb, state or country as many other places are cheaper than Sydney.   There are amazingly cheap houses around Australia if you are willing to be away from the city centres: 

8) Moving in with generous family and friends:
This would be an option for some with generous contacts.  Have a think who has an extra room…

7) Shared accommodation:
This has become popular – there are a few options e.g domain has a shared accommodation search see but there is also 

6) Becoming an au pair/live in carer:
Such an arrangement may be possible where services as an au pair or live in carer is provided in exchange for accommodation and a salary 

5) Renting out extra rooms: (e.g. AirBNB) or your parking spots (e.g.  or ) are options too.
This can help reduce costs if you’re a home owner and your place is located in a popular area

4) Coach-surfing:
If you’re travelling, or your need for housing is more short term, “coachsurfing” is very common- see

3) Trade your skills for accommodation:
In addition to being an au pair/live in carer, there are other ways to use your skills for cheaper housing. There are websites allowing you to score short term housing around the word by trading your skills (

2) Buy a house!
Perhaps you have a few thousand dollars and you’d like to buy a place outright.  There are some very innovative ideas which may become available in the not too distant future including: shipping containers see   3D printed houses  or small houses/containers   Who knows what they’ll come up with next?

      1) Nanny flats:
These are available too which are well located and available for longer periods of time.  See
Happy house-hunting!

Suicide Prevention

Since its onset in 2011 JewishCare’s Mental Health and Well-Being Program has been committed to the development of East Sydney Suicide Prevention Network (ESSPN) by having a staff member attend regular meetings currently chaired by Michael Palmer, Reverend at St Michael’s Anglican Church.

ESSPN is a group of concerned people and organisations in the Eastern suburbs community working together to increase awareness about the devastating losses associated with death by suicide.

 The network consists of members from Woollahra Council, Rose Bay LAC, Carers NSW, Anglicare, Wesley Life Force, Bondi Community Health centre, local congregants and residents are just a brief list of supporters.

National Council of Jewish Women granted ESSPN $2,000 that will be presented to Isabelle Shapiro, Vice Chair Person of ESSPN and Paula Story, Treasurer for ESSPN.

JewishCare hosted this month's meeting at their Saber Street premises

ESSPN Suicide Prevention Walk takes place on Sunday 14th September 2014, details can be found on their FaceBook page.

Mental Health Youth Survey

In 2013, 14,461 young Australians aged 15-19 years participated in Mission Australia’s Youth Survey – In association with the Black Dog institute.

The survey collected information on a broad range of issues, including levels of psychological distress in young people. For the full results download the Mission Australia Youth Survey 2013.

 Some findings:

 · Females were almost twice as likely as males to meet criteria for having a probable mental illness (26.2% compared to 13.8%)

 · Young people with a probable serious mental illness were around 5 times more likely to express serious concerns about depression (57% compared to 11.5%) and suicide (35.3% compared to 6.8%) than young people without a probable serious mental illness.

 · Over 60% of young people with a probable serious mental illness were not comfortable seeking information, advice or support from professional services such as telephone hotlines, online counselling and/or community agencies.

             Mission Australia and The Black Dog Institute

These statistics reinforce a need to ensure that young people have adequate and early access to age appropriate mental health education and services:

 · Targeting mental health in schools through awareness and early intervention programs

 · Promoting peer education and support

 · Reducing stigma that may prevent help seeing behavior in young people

 · Ensuring a whole of community focus on prevention and early intervention

 · Use of online initiatives to improve access, appeal and affordability of mental health services.

 · Building a better understanding of mental health issues among families and those working with young people.

Mental Health and Wellbeing could apply to you! 

For more information please contact Jewish Care or visit our Jewish Care Website or Facebook Page

Or participate in the 13th Annual Youth Survey (2014)  - by clicking here -  Have your voice heard. 

To find out about past surveys:

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

National Open Day to Celebrate Aged Care in Australia

JewishCare's Aged Case Work Team hosted an inaugural event to celebrate the National Open Day that celebrates Aged Care in Australia, this event will be held yearly on the 21st of June and we plan to be involved in this celebration each year.

JewishCare's Community Aged Services would like to say thank you to all who attended and made our 'Lunch and Learn' event last Friday so very special.

The event was focused on eating for health and enjoyment.

We all enjoyed some light exercises provided by Shosh Kirshner (Diversional Therapist) and Milena Katz (Dietician) who provided a talk on healthy eating.

There was also singing, delicious food, a birthday and we all had a wonderful time schmoozing.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Taking control of your money

Image source:

It can be really tough to save any money. They say that with 2 Jews you get 3 opinions, yet when it comes to budgeting, you’ll find there’s a consensus that it’s not easy.

We’re big fans of the Money Smart website - Click here to use their budgeting page if you haven’t already to see how you’re doing.

So what can you do to get in control of your weekly budget?  For starters do you actually have a problem?  How problematic is your shortfall?  Identifying this serves multiple purposes.  Firstly if you find that you are spending significantly more per week than you earn monitoring this may help motivate you to make a change. It’s very hard to take action to change if you have no reason to find the motivation.  

Secondly, if there’s a problem budgeting helps you to gauge what degree of change is required.  For instance, if you are behind only $10 per week, you may only need to make a small change.  If you are behind hundreds each week then significant change may be required in order to balance your budget.

If you’ve identified that there’s a problem, the next step is the conscious choice to change. This may require consultation with family or friends but making this choice is a step to be applauded. Seriously – it’s a big decision so if you choose to begin the process of budgeting, give yourself credit because it’s a huge step in the right direction.

The ‘how’ to work on your budget will take time, energy and discipline. Be aware that doing nothing is a choice too.  When you decide what action is required, be sure to consider the implications of doing nothing.
When deciding how you need to adapt to your budget, as above, consider what degree of change is required.  However, it varies person to person what a large weekly shortfall actually is.  For instance, a shortfall of $100 per week may necessitate a large change for someone on Centrelink entitlements, however it not be as much of a significant change for a full time employee with an $80K+ salary.

Large change required:
  • If you need to make a significant change, you can make lots and lots of small changes or alternatively to review your most significant expenses. Here are some ways to make significant change.
  • Consider if you can afford to live where you live. If not, consider downsizing, relocating, taking in tenants (e.g. AirBnB) or renting out your parking (e.g. Divvy or Parkhound). 
  • Additional employment/significant change in work. Perhaps another member of the household could contribute to the family’s rent or expenses. 
  • Consider if you are accessing your Centrelink entitlements that you be eligible for.

Moderate change required:

  • Consider reducing expensive behaviours –e.g smoking, pay television, personal training, massages etc.
  • Consider your utilities (e.g. electricity, gas, water, home phone, mobile phone, and internet) and see for which of these you are beyond your (generally 1 or 2 year) contracts. If you switch while on contract you may incur switching fees. If you have passed your contract period you have options to switch companies or switch plans within your company. In that case of mobile phones, consider whether you may be able to save by switching from plan to pre-paid or vice versa.
Some change required: 

Perhaps you can find some ways to make minor changes e.g:
  • Consider reducing your coffees by 1 or 2 per week
  • Perhaps bring lunch to work a little more often 
  • You may be able to save a little on petrol by using public transport

In any case, change takes time but persevere because it’s worth it.
Plan your expenses around what you have available and keep in mind, that every little change adds up.
However, do your homework because making some changes may lead to other expenses.
For instance, relocating comes with removalist costs, the bond etc, so you may need to save up first, in order to save more in the long term.

Best of luck!

Please consider the above as general education that may not apply to your situation. For more personal information talk to a financial counsellor, financial planner, or an accountant.

JewishCare has a financial counselling service. 
Please feel free to contact JewishCare for further information  on 1300 133 660 or email:

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

JewishCare Financial Literacy

Welcome to JewishCare financial literacy.

What can you do to be smarter with your money?  It’s very expensive to live in Sydney so for many people every dollar counts. 

This is the first of many posts we’re going to put up on financial awareness.  We’re still going to continue to put up the same posts about our activities, the quotes and information of value to the community.  However, we’re hoping to extend the discussion to money issues of interest to you.  We’re going to keep them simple, relevant and significant and we look forward to your feedback.

It’s important to be aware that there are ways to get more in control of your money.   Stay tuned for posts about: banking, budgeting, credit cards, housing and savings and a whole lot more.  Do you have money saving tips?  We want to hear them.

Why not start getting in control of your money today, now?  There’s a great budgeting tool here.

How did you go?

Monday, 16 June 2014

Another Successful Friday Night Dinner!!!

Last Friday night, was yet another successful Shabbat Dinner evening - an ongoing initiative of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Program, with 15 of our clients enjoying the relaxing and cultural atmosphere.

Every fortnight we have different numbers of people attending, with clients volunteering to assist in cooking the meal for evening.

We enjoyed some challah, lentil pie, pumpkin salad, roasted vegetables, fruit salad, and vanilla ice cream.

Once again a very successful and social evening!!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Be Winter Wise

Winter has just commenced and it is at this time of the year when many of us are exposed to an increased risk of illness.

NSW Health has provided us with some useful tips to improve our health and wellbeing so that we have a better chance of keeping those nasty germs at bay.

Winter Wise tips:

-Keep well by using good hygiene practices (thorough hand washing, using hand sanitizers, keeping your home clean, discarding of tissues or other contaminated materials)

-Wait at least 24 hours after your fever resolves before you return to public activities so you do not infect others

-Get a local GP

-Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from the five major food groups and aim to include 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetable in your diet each day

-Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol

-Keep hydrated - drink plenty of water

-Be active every day in as many ways you can

The Aged Case Work Team recommends that we follow some simple steps to improve our health and wellbeing not only during the winter months but all year round!  

Friday, 6 June 2014

Generation Next

Last week a member from the Mental Health and Well being program attended the GenerationNext Convention!

It was an amazing day with a lot of great talks, some of which included:

· The Impact of Technology on the Developing Brain
· Containing the ripple effects of Suicide
· Internet addiction
· Anxiety in young people – Prevent anxiety and Sadness
· Cultivating Self Esteem rather than Ego

One interesting performance was the use of Mental Stillness – focussing one’s attention and enhancing awareness of the present moment. It allows the mediator to perceive a distinction between themselves and any negative thoughts or feelings that they may have. The aim it to ultimately arrive at a state of complete inner silence.

The instructor at the convention made the audience take part in a 15 minute demonstration of Mental Stillness. It was a pretty unreal experience being in a hall with 1300 people, all with their shoes off, eyes closed and arms across their chest listening to music and following the instructions! It was an amazing eperience to observe a crowded hall in complete silence!

There were many many different resources available to collect at the breaks including Headspace, Beyond Blue, MindMatters, inrhythm drumming, and many more.

here for more details!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Person Centred Practice

You may have heard about the practice of person centred thinking (PCT). What is it and how does it impact on JewishCare and its clients?

PCT refers to a variety of approaches that include:

  • Acknowledging that the person receiving the help and their family are the primary authorities on what they need.
  • Working collaboratively with the families involved to define what outcomes they want to achieve
  • Learning through shared action i.e. to see what works and what does not 
  • Valuing and emphasising the strengths of the person 
  • Using all available personal and community resources
While JewishCare has always taken a very person centred and holistic approach, changes to government funding especially in respect to disability (including mental heath) and aged care has motivated us to focus more formally and comprehensively involved with this concept.

As a result everyone in the organisation is completing training on Person Centred Thinking.

This includes not just the staff who deal with clients but all staff including Administration, PR, and Accounting staff.

‘Everyone is on board’ to ensure that JewishCare remains the leading provider in our community.

Everyone at JewishCare is completing training on Person Centred Thinking