Clever Wealth: Pruning your LIVING BUDGET expenses -Tip 1 Housing | Foresters Community Finance

Clever Wealth: Pruning your LIVING BUDGET expenses -Tip 1 Housing

One of the first steps to wealth, is showing your skill and originality. Pruning your LIVING BUDGET expenses helps in many ways. By looking at all your expenses in your living budget, you can re-shape your spend and cleverly save money.

Every so often, sit down with yourself and your budget and have a good chat. Your living budget does not say much and you will do most of the talking!

But the end result usually ends up with both of you remarkably pleased with result!

Foresters Living Budget flowForesters Community Finance uses its Foresters LIVING BUDGET inside the COMMUNITY LOAN application form.

The Foresters living budget tags your living expenses into useful groups. Making it easy and simple to identify where reducing or managing some expenses can save you money!

This is the first of a series of blogs to provide some handy thought starters. Let’s get pruning!

Living Budget – Pruning Housing Expenses

No matter how long you stay in your house, it pays to look after it.


Did you know that a bond is a separate payment to the rent. It is money that acts for the landlord or owner in case you fail to meet the terms of your renting agreement. At the end of the lease, the property may require extra cleaning or repairs or some items may need to be replaced. In this case the landlord or owner may claim some, or all, of the bond. Also, because the bond is a separate payment to the rent. You cannot ask the landlord or owner to keep your bond as a final rent payment!

Some great things you can do to save your bond are:

  • Take photos of the property when you move in, put the date on them and give them to the agent or landlord. Keep a copy yourself to. This is your record of the properties original condition when you moved in.
  • Keep the property in a clean and tidy condition. This way it is a lot less work to clean it up when inspections are due and you will notice small repairs to fix before they turn into a big issue.
    • Think about hair going down the shower or sink, or something going down the toilet that should not. It all clogs the plumbing and someone needs to fix it. Easily managed by using the sink filter plugs or picking up and disposing of the hair rather than flushing down the pipes.
  • Keep the grounds of the property in a clean and tidy condition. When you rent a house you also are renting the yard around it.  By ensuring the property remains undamaged in any way (e.g. your dog digs a big hole and you fail to fill it) you show to all, that you are a nice responsible person and a good tenant.


  • Watch out for joint listing of accounts. If you’re “financially linked” to someone on any financial product (lease, utility bill etc.) it can have an impact on your credit score if something goes wrong.
  • Keep an eye on the number of people (especially the overnight casual visitors) living on the property. The tenancy agreement will specify how many can reside at the property and the water bill (which comes along later) will be higher, resulting in a higher cost to you.

Terms of Agreement

  • If the agreement says no pets, honour it. Meter readers, the postie, parcel delivery workers and persons authorised to enter the property in emergency times (sewer mains repairers, electricians etc.) are not expecting a pet and you could incur a extra cost for them to come back!
  • Double check the terms of the tenancy agreement before signing it so you know what your obligations are.
    • Does it say the carpets need to be “deep-cleaned”, or that all picture hooks need to be removed, filled in and the wall re-painted? If so, make sure these items are sorted.
  • Patch-up any damage. Fix it properly when it happens. Covering up a hole in the wall with a picture may seem like a good idea at the time, but leaving it like this when you move out is practically asking for your deposit/bond to be docked.
    • Consider using alternative methods to hang pictures and posters. Some wall adhesives leave marks that are difficult and can be costly for you to fix. Some other ideas you could use instead that save you money are:
        • Try displaying your pictures by hanging them from a ladder (picked up from the recyclers) and leaning against a wall with felt pads, or
        • Making and positioning a special poster board for the bedroom, or
        • Hanging pictures at different heights, using picture hang rails/strips if installed on the wall already before you move in!

It takes hands to build a house, and a heart to build a home