Cost of living in NZ

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Cost of living in NZ


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Old 7th January 2020, 10:22 AM
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Default Cost of living in NZ

Hi all,

My wife, 3 kids (9, 6 & 4 yo) and I are planning on coming over to NZ to live and work permanently

If we were on our own we would just up and go, but as we want to make this move permanent and have the 3 little ones we need to be more careful and get it right.

So we have carried out some initial costings (after reading a lot of threads on here!) but really could do with some help from this forum to check to see whether what we are thinking is based in any sort of reality!

Working on the following assumptions:
1. I will be on a skilled work visa (I work in IT)
2. I expect to end up working in Auckland
3. We expect to live further North on North Island and drive down Route 1 as well as work from
home. Orewa seems about 45 minutes drive North and would be the maximum drive?
4. I would prefer if we could cover the core costs on my wage alone and then my wife's wage would
go towards holidays and other things similar such as doctors vists.
5. My wife will not be on a skilled work visa
6. I am planning on a wage of $120,000 per year.
From another post response: $120k will give 3193 per fortnight net (take home) after deductions
of income tax (1174), ACC contribution (64)and 4% Kiwisaver (185).
7. We will be bringing assets of around $500k with us.
8. We have estimated the sized of the mortgage based on a $500K deposit with a $200K mortgage.
9. We have estimated that $700K is enough for a 4 bed house with a garden

So the costs we have so far are:
Area Sub Area $NZ Cost Monthly
House Mortgage @ $200,000 (over 10 years) $2,025
Council Tax (inc water & rubbish) $ 167
Electric $ 200
Phone (Landline) $ 50
Broadband $ 70
Food $1,800
Buildings & Contents $ 50

Personal Mobile 1 $ 60
Mobile 2 $ 60
Going out $ 200
Health insurance $ 100
Pension (taken from gross salary?) $ 0


Cars (x2) MOT (paid yearly bit cost broken down) $ 8
2 average Tax (costed as above) $ 16
family cars Services and Parts
Insurance $ 84
Breakdown Cover (both cars)
Diesel $ 60

Total monthly costs: $5,069
Total monthly income: $6,386
Theoretical total monthly left over: $1,317

I hope the formatting above holds in the post!

We know there will be adhoc charges for things like doctors visits etc but have we got this in the right ballpark? Are we missing anything obvious?

Any help or guidance would be appreciated. We really want this but have to get it right for the kids..

Thanks in advance

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Old 8th January 2020, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP123 View Post
1. I will be on a skilled work visa (I work in IT)
2. I expect to end up working in Auckland
3. We expect to live further North on North Island and drive down Route 1 as well as work from
home. Orewa seems about 45 minutes drive North and would be the maximum drive?
4. I would prefer if we could cover the core costs on my wage alone and then my wife's wage would
go towards holidays and other things similar such as doctors vists.
5. My wife will not be on a skilled work visa
6. I am planning on a wage of $120,000 per year.
From another post response: $120k will give 3193 per fortnight net (take home) after deductions
of income tax (1174), ACC contribution (64)and 4% Kiwisaver (185).
7. We will be bringing assets of around $500k with us.
8. We have estimated the sized of the mortgage based on a $500K deposit with a $200K mortgage.
9. We have estimated that $700K is enough for a 4 bed house with a garden

So the costs we have so far are:
Area Sub Area $NZ Cost Monthly
House Mortgage @ $200,000 (over 10 years) $2,025
Ignoring the mortgage issue. You'd probably be min $2052 per fortnight - all depends on interest rate you can get - New migrant, zero credit history (overseas history doesn't carry over), higher risk for the NZ bank, the rules are different here and affordability is an important factor. The NZ bank will probably refuse to give you a mortgage until they can see a listed history of your fortnightly income and spending habits.
Council Tax (inc water & rubbish) $ 167
There is no Council Tax in NZ. You will have to pay rates on any land and/or property that you own. The council will maintain a value on it and you will pay a % of the value in council rates. This can be paid monthly, but only once you are in the system. The first year you'll have to pay it in 2 x lump sums. In general, for a $850k property you'll be paying around $3k a year for the rates.
Rubbish collection is an extra charge. You can either pre-purchase the bin bags from a local supermarket for maybe $3 each or pay for a wheelie bin/recycle bin emptied weekly or fortnightly. That'll cost around $400 per year

Electric $ 200
About right on average. Family of 5 over winter I'd say $300-$350 per month and over summer it doesn't really go down if you have a heat pump and using it for air con.
Phone (Landline) $ 50
Ditch the landline. Nobody has a phone. Use the mobile.
Broadband $ 70
I'd say at least $90 for unlimited data....you'll need it.
Food $1,800
Totally personal to you. Do an online shop using www.countdown.co.nz and/or www.newworld.co.nz. For a family of 5 I think you'll spend more, at least for the first 12 months till you settle in to Kiwi groceries.
Buildings & Contents $ 50
We pay $75 a fortnight for Buildings & contents through Tower Insurance
Personal Mobile 1 $ 60
Mobile 2 $ 60
That's way too much for a mobile per month. We pay $16 each per 4 weeks with Skinny mobile.
Going out $ 200
Ha ha! That made me laugh
So you're just going out for a main, pudding, a drink each, Uber home and the babysitter once a month!!!
If we just go to the local pub with friends 10 mins away for dinner and a few beers say 4 hrs we spend $200

Health insurance $ 100
I'd say you'll need to be spending more than that for a family plan that'll cover you all - even just basics. you may be lucky and get a health plan through your employer.
Pension (taken from gross salary?) $ 0
You will pay your chosen % out of salary in to Kiwisaver. Your employer will do this on your behalf. Your employer will also match your contribution up to 4%. This is not a pension. It is a savings fund managed through a government scheme by one of the many providers and is intended for your retirement years. At NRA which is currently 65 you can gain access to that money and do with it whatever you please. Read up on kiwisaver. You do get some incentives each year if you invest the minimum amount.

Cars (x2) MOT (paid yearly bit cost broken down) $ 8
2 average Tax (costed as above) $ 16
family cars Services and Parts
Insurance $ 84
Breakdown Cover (both cars)
Diesel $ 60
Where are these vehicles coming from - Are you importing them or buying here ? If you are importing them then you will have to pay all the fees to do that which'll be at least 2 grand per car (pounds).
If you are buying here then they eat away at the $500k.
Annual WOF (like UK MOT) is around $50 each. Rego (like UK road tax) is pretty cheap at approx $140 petrol or $180 diesel per year. You'd be wise to insure both cars for mechanical breakdown which will cover parts/labour for mechanical failures. They'll be around $500 each per year. Insurance will cost around $20 per fortnight for each car. Breakdown cover - i.e. roadside breakdown is usually part of the insurance and costs an extra $3 or $4 per fortnight. If you run a diesel you must also pre-purchase RUC's in blocks of 1000 KM's which are $74 per 1000 KM's. This is because diesel isn't taxed at the pump like other fuels.



Total monthly costs: $5,069
Total monthly income: $6,386
Theoretical total monthly left over: $1,317

I hope the formatting above holds in the post!

We know there will be adhoc charges for things like doctors visits etc but have we got this in the right ballpark? Are we missing anything obvious?
A doctors visit will cost you anything from $40 to $100 each consultation. All depends on visa status and if you have health insurance. First time you go you'll have to have a new patient medical at around $150.
The dentist is really expensive. $100 for a check up. $400 per filling. $8000 for braces for a child.
Also got to mention childcare for kids not at school. For the ones at school, schools here aren't completely free, even the state schools. What about before and after school clubs. They all cost money.


Any help or guidance would be appreciated. We really want this but have to get it right for the kids..

Thanks in advance
Hi and welcome to the forum,

Wow, huge post for a newbie

Ok, lets go through it.........

1. A skilled work visa is a temporary class of visa but once you get a skilled job offer it is probably the least stressful way to get a visa quickly that'll allow you to get over here and working. With a salary of what you are expecting this should also allow your partner to be approved a partnership based work visa and the kids dependent/student visas.
2. Ok but it isn't the only place that needs IT workers. I'd advise you not to affix yourself on a place. What you need is a job offer, irrespective of where that will be as that'll get you here and get you working and earning the very important NZ work experience. You can move elsewhere later if it isn't the dream location or job. all I'd say is be open to anywhere.
3. If you did get a skilled job in Auckland then yes Orewa is a really nice place to live. I really like it there and visit often when we are up in Aucks as we have friends living out at Gulf Harbour. The traffic and commute in to Auckland from the North is still absolute crap - depends what time you need to be in work. I'd say 45 mins commute from Orewa will be the odd occasion good day.
4. Ok. You need to be earning as much as possible for Auckland living with 3 kids. I'd say $120k as a real rock bottom limit. You'll not be living a flash existence on that without the Mrs working part-time.
5. Nope. She'll be on a temporary work visa (same duration as yours) via the Family Stream and more specifically Partnership, so you will have to prove your partnership. Research how you do that as INZ want minimum 12 months evidence of living under the same roof.
6. Yes you are correct with those figures.
7. Ok. That's good. You'll need money to set yourselves up. You will not be using all that cash for buying a home so don't count on a $500k deposit on a mortgage. You really need to keep your eye on the exchange rate. A small change could have a huge impact on the money you have to transfer over. You'll spend some of it on stuff to get yourselves in a position of comfort - I'd say $40k maybe ? You may now be saying........nah that's not gonna happen, but it will. You'll need to pay for the rental bond up front for the accommodation you are renting and maybe (like we did) you'll pay for insurances, power bill and other (what would normally be monthly expenses) upfront in full for the first year.
8. Ok. You do know that you cannot get a mortgage unless you are a Resident so you'll have to be renting for at least a couple years!!! See comments in red in your original post.
9. Would be nice. I'd say minimum $850k and that'd be a brand new shoebox inside a slightly larger shoebox section of land in deepest suburbia. See comments in red in your original post.
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Old 8th January 2020, 01:25 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by escapedtonz View Post
Hi and welcome to the forum,

Wow, huge post for a newbie

Ok, lets go through it.........

1. A skilled work visa is a temporary class of visa but once you get a skilled job offer it is probably the least stressful way to get a visa quickly that'll allow you to get over here and working. With a salary of what you are expecting this should also allow your partner to be approved a partnership based work visa and the kids dependent/student visas.
2. Ok but it isn't the only place that needs IT workers. I'd advise you not to affix yourself on a place. What you need is a job offer, irrespective of where that will be as that'll get you here and get you working and earning the very important NZ work experience. You can move elsewhere later if it isn't the dream location or job. all I'd say is be open to anywhere.
3. If you did get a skilled job in Auckland then yes Orewa is a really nice place to live. I really like it there and visit often when we are up in Aucks as we have friends living out at Gulf Harbour. The traffic and commute in to Auckland from the North is still absolute crap - depends what time you need to be in work. I'd say 45 mins commute from Orewa will be the odd occasion good day.
4. Ok. You need to be earning as much as possible for Auckland living with 3 kids. I'd say $120k as a real rock bottom limit. You'll not be living a flash existence on that without the Mrs working part-time.
5. Nope. She'll be on a temporary work visa (same duration as yours) via the Family Stream and more specifically Partnership, so you will have to prove your partnership. Research how you do that as INZ want minimum 12 months evidence of living under the same roof.
6. Yes you are correct with those figures.
7. Ok. That's good. You'll need money to set yourselves up. You will not be using all that cash for buying a home so don't count on a $500k deposit on a mortgage. You really need to keep your eye on the exchange rate. A small change could have a huge impact on the money you have to transfer over. You'll spend some of it on stuff to get yourselves in a position of comfort - I'd say $40k maybe ? You may now be saying........nah that's not gonna happen, but it will. You'll need to pay for the rental bond up front for the accommodation you are renting and maybe (like we did) you'll pay for insurances, power bill and other (what would normally be monthly expenses) upfront in full for the first year.
8. Ok. You do know that you cannot get a mortgage unless you are a Resident so you'll have to be renting for at least a couple years!!! See comments in red in your original post.
9. Would be nice. I'd say minimum $850k and that'd be a brand new shoebox inside a slightly larger shoebox section of land in deepest suburbia. See comments in red in your original post.
Great detailed response, thanks really appreciate it.

We thought NZ would be expensive through researching but there is a lot to think about there.

Thinking will need a salary around $200,000 in order to be 'comfortable' to cover all of the costs.

Will go back and do some more number crunching...

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Old 8th January 2020, 01:26 PM
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Talking Thanks

Great detailed response, thanks really appreciate it.

We thought NZ would be expensive through researching but there is a lot to think about there.

Thinking will need a salary around $200,000 in order to be 'comfortable' to cover all of the costs

Will go and do some more number crunching..

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