- Get 5 or 6 more friends interesting in Co-housing.
- Couples+Singles would be the excellent.
- Couples and Singles that also include children would be awesome.
- Create a community contract stipulating plans and ALL that follows.
- It should be clear about obligations
- including obligations for departing members such as paying off bills, etc.
- Everyone signs it.
- Get it notarized.
- Bring this with you when you do anything as a group: apartments, banking, joining Sam’s Club etc.
- Set up a joint bank account.
- You’ll need, probably, a credit union to do this.
- Cuz they will be easier on your group
- Their fees won’t kill you
- Even though everyone is still living on their own, begin collecting money monthly from all parties: this is to set up a fund for first month’s rent, security deposit etc. Ideally this fund will also have the second month’s rent in it (or more) before you find a place to live – each month that you have saved up is one less month of stress when you actually move in.
- Yes, this may take a year or more.
- During this time, hang out a LOT: picnics, bar nights, movie nights.
- Do you all go to the same school?
- Take classes together.
- Do you all go to the same worshipping tradition?
- Can you transfer memberships, whatever, to end up together?
- Find a large apartment or townhouse, house or other structure to rent.
- Tents are probably a bad idea
- Move in!
- Now for the hard part
- PAY ALL BILLS ON TIME NO MATTER WHAT THEY ARE – EVEN IF YOU’RE HAVING A FIGHT WITH THE SERVICE PROVIDER
- Track everything – any spending on food, utilities, rent, fixing things, renting movies for the house, phone bills (individual cellphone bills, yes) and anything else associated with the house. Document it all on a spreadsheet. Have weekly meetings to submit receipts. DO NOT FIGHT OVER THESE, YOU’RE STILL IN THE FIRST PHASE.
- After six months evaluate:
- Add cost rent (6 months)
Cost of Utilities (6 months worth)
Cost of food bought for the house (6 months worth)
Cost of any individual purchase – phone bills, light bulbs, etc.
- Take total cost and divide by 6
Take that 1/6 cost and divide by number of folks in the house.
- This is the cost of living in your house monthly per person.
- NB It is ok to make adjustments: the room under the stairs doesn’t need to cost as much as the penthouse, but everything else should be divided evenly.
- To the monthly cost per person, add $100 – this is for savings.
- Figure out what a basic health care plan would cost for an individual in your area, be that through Blue Cross, Healthy SF, Covered CA, etc.
- Allow for folks to include this estimated cost in the monthly contribution to the community.
- Begin collecting the new rent+costs+$100 from each person each month
- PAY ALL BILLS ON TIME out of the new fund.
- Including individual cellphone plans.
- Shop for the house from the new fund.
- Get a CSA and or join a food club.
- Its OK to fight over these now.
- The goal is “From each according to their ability to each according to their need.” The month my cellphone bill taps my savings account is the month I need to eat on the house, so it’s ok.
- You should, ideally, have $500-600 a month left over.
- Put this in the bank account until you have two months’ rent surplus.
- Then begin putting monthly surplus in a savings account.
- Set aside the estimated health costs into a second savings account.
- This is only a just-in-case fund: just in case someone is unemployed and needs to be covered.
- Live well and shop good.
- Host public events – a weekly potluck is awesome
- Use these events to get the community’s name out there, to let people know that a common life of prayer is neither scary nor impossible to construct.
- Give one weekend a month to the community’s needs.
- The Garden, the doors that need painting, etc.
- Give 5% of time a month to an outside org and volunteer together at
- The Senior Center
- The Animal Shelter
- The Parish’s After-School Program, etc.
- After 5 years: evaluate.
- How much money do you have in savings?
- Is there enough money to buy a house?
- No? Then come back next year.
- Yes? Well then, let’s see about doing that!
– The Problem (2018.11.13)
– The Praxis (2016.12.31)
– The Vision (2019.10.04)
– The Plan (2016.09.20)
– The Church (2020.09.21)