One Question Quiz

SocietyDecember 12, 2023

The cost of being: A retired renter in the Coromandel


As part of our series exploring how New Zealanders live and our relationship with money, Rodney from our documentary Last Home Renters discusses the costs of being on a pension without a secure living space.

Gender: Male

Age: 76

Ethnicity: Māori (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Maniapoto)

Job: Retired with some voluntary work and a pension.

My living location is: Rural Coromandel.

Rent/mortgage per week: $250. I am the sole occupant of a bedsit.

Typical weekly food costs

Groceries: $278. I shop at the local shop which is more expensive.

Eating out: $0

Takeaways: $0

Workday lunches

Cafe coffees/snacks: $20.

Savings: I can’t save on the pension.

I worry about money: Always.

Three words to describe my financial situation would be: Lucky, broke, anxious.

My biggest edible indulgence would be: Meat.

In a typical week my alcohol expenditure would be: $25

In a typical week my transport expenditure would be: $20 for petrol. I don’t drive much because of petrol costs.

Lifestyle costs

I estimate in the past year the ballpark amount I spent on clothing (including sleepwear and underwear) was: $300.

My most expensive piece of clothing in the past year was: A jacket from the op-shop, $35.

My last pair of shoes cost: $25.

My annual grooming/beauty expenditure (include hair cuts): $80.

My exercise expenditure in a year is: $1300.00, golf fees.

My last Friday night cost: $20.

My most regrettable purchase in the last 12 months was: Nothing.

My most indulgent purchase (that I don’t regret) in the last 12 months was: Golf course fees, this is daily exercise for me and also social.

One area where I’m a bit of a tightwad: I use my electric golf cart for local errands.

Five words to describe my financial personality: Resourceful, responsible, frugal.

I grew up in a house where money was: Lean.

The last time my Eftpos card was declined was: Never.

In five years, in financial terms, I see myself: My accommodation is temporary and I am not sure where I will live.

I’d love to have more money for: Security in my living situation and freedom to travel. 

My biggest financial low was: I was declared bankrupt in 2015 aftergetting into debt with tax bills and a bad decision going guarantor on a loan for an ex-partner that wasn’t paid off. 

I give money away to: Nobody, I don’t have extra money to give away, my family helps me out sometimes.

Want to contribute? Send us an email briefly describing your situation at

Read the previous Cost of Beings here.

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