Getting back to the Shed

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17 June, 2020

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Appropriately during Men's Health Week we are hearing the sounds of bolts sliding and the creak of the shed door opening again as COVID-19 restrictions are cautiously being relaxed in South Australia.

Not just four walls holding up a tin roof, the Men's Shed has been a success in unleashing mens need to create, learn and have a chat about it. This week many sheds are reopening after a tools down forced tea-break because of COVID-19.

Many men go fishing, help a mate fix a car or watch the footy with a mate (about all we can do at the moment). We men seem to need a prop or a cause in order to have a chat and open up to our fears and what's really going on in our lives. The Men's Shed has given many of us a place to share stuff happening in our lives and help each other. It's not just a place for the tool skilled, there is a wealth of knowledge and life experience to be shared at your local Men's Shed. To be honest it has got many through a rough period of their lives and most likely saved quite a few lives by simply having a mate lending an ear.

During Mens Health Week I have been catching up with the latest shed's podcast "theshedwireless" which believes that by getting a few blokes together we can fix anything from a wobbly flat pack bookshelf to relationships, our health as well as the ozone layer. A special shout out from the boys at the shed to the Men's Shed at Quorn in South Australia. There is most likely more saw dust than substance but a few good chips of common sense will always prevail.

While your here browse through Affordable SA website and download the App to find the many services that can help men specifically and many other services that can help manage the problems we all face with money and finance, food and everyday living expenses or ring the Affordable SA Helpline 1800 025 539.

By Graeme

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Foodbank on the road in SA

Foodbank, South Australia’s largest distributor of donated produce is hitting the road and heading to the North of the state. The new mobile food hub service will be available in Clare, Kadina, Riverland and Port Lincoln, as part of a new pilot program.

This service is due to roll out from the 1st July and service the community every two weeks within these regions.

[Foodbank](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/food/foodbank) SA is a not for profit Food Rescue organisation, assisting the community with affordable, low cost groceries as well as reduce food waste. They have warehouses where welfare agencies can purchase low cost groceries to feed their communities and clients in [Whyalla](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/contact-us/whyalla-foodbank), [Riverland](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/contact-us/riverland-berri-foodbank), [Mt Gambier](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/contact-us/mount-gambier-foodbank) and [Edwardstown](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/contact-us/edwardstown-foodbank).

There are also Food Hubs that are smaller stores across the state in Mt Gambier, [Elizabeth](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/contact-us/elizabeth-foodbank), [Bowden](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/contact-us/bowden-foodbank), Edwardstown, [Christies Beach](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/contact-us/christies-beach-foodbank) and Whyalla. People in need can access these stores via referral from agencies such as [The Salvation Army and those funded by the SA Government for Emergency Relief](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/news-articles/sa-funded-emergency-relief). Importantly these Hubs offer a dignified shopping experience and clients can have up to 15kg of free fruit and veg, 1-2 loaves of bread for free and then all other items have a small price. These items include dairy, frozen, meat, sanitary and hygiene items, non-perishable food, every day essentials and animal food. Ready made meals are also available for those unable to cook.

Port Lincoln and surrounding regions don’t have access to [Foodbank](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/food/foodbank) Food Hubs and those in need had to travel long distances to obtain food assistance, often spending more on petrol than they could afford. Local regional agencies such as [The Red Cross](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/news-articles/the-australian-red-cross-in-regional-sa) would help to bring packages to charities in smaller towns in these regions but this new program will provide a better, more direct solution.

This low cost food assists people to save money on their shopping bills. Money they can then put towards other expenses. These savings combined with other services such as [Financial Counselling](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/financial-counselling-services) and personal support programs can make a real and lasting difference for the future of someone struggling to make ends meet. Having these mobile hubs visiting regional SA areas will help charities provide the same level of food assistance that is available in Adelaide.

Foodbank is currently identifying other key areas of which the Mobile Food Hub can visit in the future.

For more information about how to contact the services that can help you with cost of living issues ring the [Affordable SA Helpline](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/affordable-sa-helpline) on 1800 025 539 or browse the [Affordable SA website](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/). You can also download the free Affordable SA App to help you access this information from the palm of your hand. Affordable SA has been developed by South Australians and proudly staffed by South Australians, for our communities.

by [Graeme](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/team/graeme-hinckley)

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A little bit more...

The Coronavirus Supplement will be paid automatically up until the 24 September 2020.

Is the extra $550 per fortnight from the Coronavirus Supplement giving you a little bit of extra wiggle room in your budget?

If it is, it might be a great time to get ahead on your essential living expenses.

Essential living expenses don’t go away. As long as you keep lighting your gas stove, switching on your kettle and turning on your shower, these costs will continue to incur.

Electricity, gas and water have usage costs. Each time you receive a water, electricity or gas bill, the bill will tell you how much you have used in the last 3 months. Keep in mind that we are heading into winter, so your usage costs may increase.

If you contact your utility provider, they may be able to provide you with your fortnightly usage cost ($) (e.g. the amount of electricity, gas or water you use within a fortnight).

From a budgeting point of view, many people set up[fortnightly payment arrangements](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/utilities/paying-energy-bills-weekly-fortnightly-or-monthly) to cover the ongoing cost of their utility bills. By setting up fortnightly payment arrangements, this can help to reduce the effect of what we call “bill shock” – the large unpleasant bill you receive every 3 months that leaves you scrambling for money.

If you know the average fortnightly cost of your electricity, gas and water and you have a bit of extra wiggle room in your budget, it might be worthwhile putting a few extra dollars per fortnight on top of your usage costs, towards these expenses. The extra contribution per fortnight may help to offset the effect that September may have on your financial situation.

For more information about the energy market, energy efficiency, contracts, bills and prices see the attached link to Energy Made Easy.

By [Sam](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/team/sam)

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Deferred debt - Interview with Karyn Hicks

This stage into the COVID-19 pandemic we are hearing a lot on the Affordable SA Helpline about people struggling with deferred debt.

ABC Radio's Afternoon presenter Sonia Feldhoff spoke recently to Karyn Hicks, a Financial Counsellor for The Salvation Army's Moneycare program about deferred debt and what is of greatest concern for renters in managing their situation. Listen to the interview below.

Like all deferred debt, such as credit cards, loans and even current rental payment deferrals with your landlord during the pandemic, there comes a time to make good, to pay off your debt or rent owed. If people have been utilising extra payments from the Government to pay off some of their debt and rent then you may have this in hand but if not you may have been accumulating debt at a fast rate that could see you with an even bigger problem in the coming months as things return to some form of normality.

If you think you are headed for financial woe or are starting to see the signs of trouble ahead with debt seeking early help from a [financial counsellor](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/financial-counselling-services) might be the best thing to do. Financial Counselling is free, confidential and independent. They are here to help you and can help you get back on your feet with a money plan.

People are managing this major crisis reasonably well but some are experiencing financial difficulty and feeling pressure from creditors or landlords as they struggle to manage or are entering into unreasonable payments that they simply cannot achieve. Karyn says that "if you are feeling pressured there are avenues to take such as seeking help from a financial counsellor or assistance from TIAS", the Tenants Information and Advisory Service. [TIAS](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/home-purchase-and-rent/tenants-information-and-advisory-service-tias) is also a free and independent service, and assists people to maintain their tenancies in private rental, community housing, public housing, housing cooperatives and boarding houses.

[TIAS](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/home-purchase-and-rent/tenants-information-and-advisory-service-tias) provides advice, guidance and advocacy regarding:

- Leases

- Bond disputes

- Property maintenance

- SACAT processes

- Rent arrears

- SA Housing authority processes and appeals

- Community housing processes and appeals

They are here to help South Australians so they get the [Affordable SA](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/) thumbs up.

See the Affordable SA App (free to download) or website for more information about the help that is available to South Australians such as financial counsellors from Moneycare 1800 722 363, the [National Debt Helpline](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/national-debt-helpline) 1800 007 007 or if you need help negotiating problems with your rent TIAS, the Tenant Information & Advisory Service 1800 060 462.

By [Graeme](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/team/graeme-hinckley)

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