How can you afford rent or a home as a single parent when it keeps going up?
Parenting can be a tough gig, single parenting is even harder. Having done both (been married and a single mum), there are hard aspects to each one, as well as many amazingly wonderful elements too. Finances and affording basic needs can be much harder as a single parent which is why I am so excited to be chatting with Wilhelmina Ford today about ShareAbode. As soon as I heard about it I needed to share it with you all!
ShareAbode is a FREE Australian wide platform that connects single parents wanting to share the load of rental and living expenses. It allows single parents to access a higher standard of living, help with parental duties and support emotionally. You can find the website here, follow on Facebook or Instagram or connect with Wilhelmina on LinkedIn.
Personally, when I was newly single and looking for a rental, it felt impossibly expensive and I was extremely fortunate to land a rental. Knowing the real estate agent already as I had purchased my home through them and they knew the home would now need to be sold is the reason I think I landed the rental I did which enabled me to rebuild a bit before moving to Canberra.
In Canberra, it was my online presence, public speaking, awards and other elements of my life which helped me get over the line. Without them, I couldn’t get a rental unless someone else was on the lease. It is extremely difficult as a single parent and I wish something like ShareAbode existed for me back then.
This interview is along similar lines to our Side Hustle Series, where we share what someone is doing to make money on the side every Sunday. I wanted to show you how much time, effort and energy goes into creating something like this and the passion behind it.
What inspired Share Abode?
When I became a single parent a year ago I had no rental history and because of this I was not able to rent easily and it was only because of my mother helping out, putting her name down on the lease that I got a place to live in and rent. Had I not had her I don’t know where I would be. While I was going through this I heard so many stories similar, even worse ones, and wanted to make a difference which is how ShareAbode came about.
What did you need to start?
It was very expensive to start and took almost 6 months in design as it is a custom built website/application because there is nothing like it that exists here in Australia. I had savings so was able to get it built, on a cheaper side but still effective to start. It was close to $10,000 for the build and around $2,000 for the back end email campaign and automatic responses of the website (which is happening right now). I haven’t embarked upon any marketing as yet but am hoping I can get by with social media platforms to really get the word out and so far I have just got some followers through social media which is zero cost. The cost of time is endless, it is a labour of love with late nights of researching and brainstorming long-term vision for the company.
What are the best ways you have marketed and promoted it?
So far through Instagram and Facebook through just general organic growth and word of mouth. Facebook business groups and source bottle shout outs are free and they are all about collaborations which work beautifully in line with the business model.
What are the pros of what you do?
I get to help people, I get to share my journey with others who are in the same position and I get to meet amazing people that are working to help others in their industry. I get to do this from home with my children and know I am going to make such a difference and leave a wonderful legacy in the community of single parents, once it gets up and going.
What are the cons of what you do?
It doesn’t make any money, it is a start-up so it is very time consuming, it’s a really ‘hot’ topic so I tend to get some mixed responses from it.
What do you wish you had done differently when you started?
Nothing really. I know that’s not very helpful but I feel like it’s been growing and morphing as I do. Initially, I wanted to charge for members to sign up and then I dropped the price and now I feel like it should be a free site and have a verification system instead and I would never have arrived at this without going through the responses it got when it was launched and really digesting it all. I am growing just as my business is growing and it will, as I will, always change and adapt and change again.
What tips would you give others?
Believe in your dreams and don’t ever give up. Nothing that is successful happened without a founder who first dreamt it in their mind.
I am a 37 year old single mum of a 3 year old boy, 1 year old girl and an old and grey 12 year old kelpie who is just as much of a handful as my kids! This month will be my one year anniversary as a single mum. I have this business ShareAbode and am working on another one, Parenting Reimagined which will be an e-course and e-accountability coaching service for single parents which is all about reimagining, realigning and reinventing their single parenting journey to be one of success and happiness.
If you want a great guide with hints, tips and everything you need to know about sharing a house, head to the site, pop in your email and you can get a free eBook covering it a