About BettaLiving.org

Welcome to BettaLiving.org, a collection of ideas for making the most of your income and living the lifestyle you want to live.

On this page: See also:

What is bettaliving.org?

Frequently asked questions

Can I include your DIY plans on my site/blog?

We ask that you do not copy content from our site. Although our plans are provided free, we ask that you do not copy or distribute them, other than downloading or printing for your own use.

The proper way to include other people's content on your site or blog is with an attribution link.

Of course you may freely discuss, criticize, or praise our plans in the spirit of the internet. What we will actively try and stop is people copying large amounts of material from our site and posting it elsewhere for their own gain.

How do I link to your site?

You may link to our site in the usual way, by simply posting the link of interest on your site/blog. Just copy the full url from your browsers address bar.

Why are your plans and content free?

This web site started as a hobby, and has remained as such. Our content is provided free because we want as may people as possible to benefit from it.

We have placed un-obtrusive ads throughout this site to help cover the costs of building and maintaining the site. We avoid pop-up and flashing banner style ads to make our visitor's experience as enjoyable as possible.

Can I become a fan on facebook?

Yes: BettaLiving on facebook

About our DIY plans

The DIY section has grown from a fun way to share some one of our hobbies into the most popular section on our site. We have been humbled by the feedback we have received and really appreciated those of you who have sent in pictures of your completed projects. We hope to get a gallery of these up on the site soon.

Please bear in mind that the plans are provided as-is. We take every care in preparing these plans and endeavour to build each project ourselves at least once. But we can take no responsibility for errors or omissions in the plan, or its suitability for a particular purpose. We will of course correct any errors pointed out to us and take on board any feedback on our plans.

We recommend you use these plans as a starting point to spark an idea, you may choose to follow the plan exactly or adapt it to your own needs.

For larger structures your are responsible for checking local regulations, including what work you are allowed to do yourself, building height or size restrictions, and whether a consent is required.

Finally, note that many of our plans are available in both metric and imperial (feet/inches) measurements. As all plans are designed for metric then converted, the imperial measurements can be fiddly (you may see a lot of measurements like 12 3/32'' instead of just 12''). Feel free to adjust the measurements but make sure you adjust all related measurements (i.e. the floor of a structure will obviously need to be the same length as the walls).

Happy woodworking!

About our savings section

There is an old saying that a dollar saved is a dollar earned.  Actually its better than that because you don't have to pay tax on money you save!!

But many people struggle to save money for different reasons.

  • They may be on a low-income, so most of it goes on essentials.
  • They may feel that spending money makes them happy (for example by having the latest clothes etc).
  • They have never sat down and thought about how much they are spending.

If you feel that you fit into the first group, fear not.  Many low income people are surprised to learn how much extra living they can squeeze out of their existing pay check.  If you fall into this group you may find the section on saving money particularly useful.

When we first got married we survived on only NZ$200 a week for two years (approximately $US150).  Although our income is now significantly higher, these two years taught us valuable lessons about making our money go further.  We didn't get further into debt during this time and in fact managed to save enough to help us buy our first house on graduating.

Money can buy happiness

The saying "money doesn't buy happiness" is a myth.  We lead a much more interesting and fulfilling lifestyle now that we are on a good income, than when we were "poor" students .  But your level of happiness doesn't always relate directly to your level of income.  How you manage your income makes a big difference to the kind of lifestyle you are able to live.

Our guarantee

We guarantee that we have personally benefited form all the advice and tips you will find on BetterLiving.org.  We have:

Disclaimer What we cannot guarantee is what works for us will always work for you.  The advice contained in this website is of a general nature and should not be considered a replacement for professional advice where appropriate.

About the authors


Nigel holds an honours degree in management and economics and several industry qualifications in IT. He currently works as an IT manager and developer. He has previously held jobs in the construction industry. His hobbies include gardening, cooking, beekeeping, staying fit, and he loves to swing a hammer.

Nigel contributes primarily to the DIY, gardening, recipes, and articles sections of BettaLiving.org.


Jade holds a degree in social science and has experience in community and volunteer work. She currently works in information management and systems. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, crafts, animals, beekeeping, and finding natural alternatives to commercial products.

Jade contributes primarily to the recipes, saving money, and articles sections of BettaLiving.org.