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Maintaining a home

Renovation budget: How to plan and manage your finances

3 October 2018

As the contestants on Channel 9’s The Block know all too well, budgeting for renovations is just as important as choosing a colour scheme, which is why keeping track of your finances is so important especially before you start knocking down walls.

Reliable builders, tradespeople and architects are all important influencers of a successful home renovation, but what you will need more than anything, is money to get the job done.

Having enough money budgeted from the beginning and managed properly during your reno can help your project finish on time and for less.

Planning your renovation budget

Knowing how much money you have available to you will often dictate what kind of renovations are possible and what materials you can afford to use. It’s for this reason that one of your first steps should be to find out your financial position: what money will you have coming in and what will likely be going out.

One good way to get an overview of your finances is by using a simple online budgeting tool, where you can input your salary and weigh it up against your expenses and see what’s left to save or spend.

Try the Budget Planner Tool

Once you know the ins and outs, you may find you need a little bit extra to get those extra special features in your home. Depending on how you get that little bit extra is up to you and what works best for you.

Here are a few options to consider to get your home renovation how you imagined.

Topping up your current home loan

Existing Suncorp variable rate home loan customers can consider an “Add Loan” . This will increase the amount of your current home loan by the amount of your renovation financing, subject to credit approval.

Borrowing against equity in your house

If you own your home and still have a mortgage for that property, you may want to consider borrowing against it. This can make sense to a lot of people if the renovations you’re planning are likely to add value to your property, which could mean that any increase in your equity in the property will outweigh the increase in your debt. To understand what could be right for you, learn more about renovation financing options and talk to a home lending specialist.

Explore Renovation Loan Options

Earning off your savings

You may have heard your parents say 'take care of your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.'

If you can teach yourself to save effectively and stop spending money in unnecessary places, you may not need as large a personal loan to build or renovate your home.

Depending on your goals, saving money may require planning and organisation. Consider opening a separate Savings or Term Deposit account to put your money in. You may find over time that by earning interest on savings while you continue to stash away funds, it will have a snowball-like effect.

Budgeting during your renovation

Renovations or home builds rarely happen as planned. Constructions often get delayed, appliances sometimes don’t fit properly and every now and then, you may not like the colour scheme you had chosen and need to start over. It happens.

This is why you should try to budget each aspect of your reno with a financial buffer and manage your money so you aren’t left with empty pockets half-way through.

Allocating funds into separate sub-accounts or ‘buckets’ can be a great way to make sure you don’t over-spend in some areas. Having the visual clarity allows you to juggle money around to where it’s needed, while knowing you aren’t over-committing.

For example, if you are renovating your whole home, having a kitchen sub-account, living room sub-account and master bedroom sub-account is a great way to take the stress out of budgeting.

Suncorp’s Everyday Options Account allows customers to open up to nine sub-accounts without attracting additional fees.


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Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions regarding a product. Contact us for a copy. Home Loans and banking products are issued by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722 Australian Credit Licence 229882 (“Suncorp Bank”) to approved applicants only. Terms and conditions apply and are available on request. Fees and charges apply. Please read the applicable Product Disclosure Statement/Product Information Document before making any decisions about a product or opening an account. Contact us for a copy.