13. How Will We Handle Administrative Matters Like Scheduling, Communication, and Record Keeping?

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The intricacies of each sharing arrangement will vary. Two neighbors who share a weekly meal will likely have little to discuss by way of procedures and scheduling. The two households take turns cooking and paying for the food, split the leftovers, and just call or email each other if there is anything to discuss. However, if ten households share meals, they may want to establish some procedures for scheduling, tracking or sharing expenses, dividing leftovers, and so on.

Discussing Administrative Matters

What issues your group needs to discuss will depend, of course, on what you're sharing and how many are in the group. Here are some topics you may want to cover:

  • how to come up with a schedule
  • how to request changes to the schedule
  • where things will be kept
  • where certain events will take place
  • how shared items will be delivered
  • how to keep records
  • how to track and share expenses (see Question 14, below, for more information)
  • how to make requests for repairs or other things
  • how members of the group will communicate, and
  • how to give notice of important information to the group.

Methods of Scheduling

Let's use the car shared by Alva and Bobbie, from the beginning of this chapter, as an example. Here are some of the ways they could decide who gets to use the car when:

  • Specifying times. Each person gets the car on a specific day. Alva gets it Monday, Wednesday, Friday and every other Sunday; Bobbie gets it Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and the other Sundays.
  • Signing up. Alva and Bobbie sign up to use the car when they need it, on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • By agreement from time to time. Alva and Bobbie agree to talk once a month and decide how they're going to share the car for the next month.
  • Lottery system. This doesn't work very well for a car on a day-to-day basis, but some vacation timeshare groups use a lottery system to set their schedule. Rather than deciding who gets to use the vacation home on certain holidays, members draw straws or assign use times randomly.
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