Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I've just returned back to the uk from 3 fantastic weeks in NZ. As well as enjoying the fun stuff we looked at schools, houses and my husband had a couple of interviews. My husband has been offered a job and we like the schools we looked at and the areas. Silverstream primary in Upper Hutt and Maidstone intermediate. If anyone has any feed back about the schools that would be great. We are trying to decide if it is the right move. The flight made me realise how far away it actually is. We are also trying to figure out what the costs of living would be on a monthly basis. Any help and advice would be great. Thanks x
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
I would say be careful basing your idea of emmigrating on a holiday. It all depends on your likes and ideals and what you want out of life I guess. NZ is very far away from everything and everyone you know and this can take the shine off your new adventure after a while. If you like tramping, kayaking, going for walks on the beach etc,etc then maybe it could be for you, this is pretty much all there is to do in NZ after all. Also be aware of the cost of living in NZ and that to be able to fly back to the UK or anyway past Australia costs a fortune, especially if you have children.

My wife and I were earning around $120,000 per year between us and never managed to save a dime in 6 years and that was just the 2 of us and no kids. We did make some money on our property though as prices rocketed from 2005.


Good luck whatever you choose.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,926 Posts
Well I've just returned back to the uk from 3 fantastic weeks in NZ. As well as enjoying the fun stuff we looked at schools, houses and my husband had a couple of interviews. My husband has been offered a job and we like the schools we looked at and the areas. Silverstream primary in Upper Hutt and Maidstone intermediate. If anyone has any feed back about the schools that would be great. We are trying to decide if it is the right move. The flight made me realise how far away it actually is. We are also trying to figure out what the costs of living would be on a monthly basis. Any help and advice would be great. Thanks x
Hey Yvonne,
Can't really help with the schools but do know the area well. We've been in Wellington since arrival March 2012 and have a few friends living in Silverstream & Pinehaven. We've always liked it around that area. Especially like Silverstream for the village feel it has.
Never actually got there yet. It was on our list as a potential place to live but we've never got out of Churton Park yet. Maybe we'll get down there in the next 6-9 months ?

So, cost of living....
Hard question to answer as it all depends what you are used to and what you want out of life and of course how many in the family, how many cars etc etc.

The cost of rent or mortgage is more expensive than the UK. For a decent home you're talking minimum $450 a week in Silverstream and they are snapped up quickly. Our friends struggled finding places to rent and when the open home was on 20 couples turned up!!!
Electricity and gas is expensive just like in the UK.
We've paid approx. $1200 over the 3 winter months. Water is covered in the council rates but you'll pay $2500-$3000 a year for a decent 3 or 4 bed house approx. If you're renting the landlord will pay the water charge with the rates unless the property has a water meter. If it has you'll have to pay water also.
Phone line and sky tv about the same. Broadband is way more expensive. We pay around $180 per month for a fixed phone line, calls, broadband up to 40GB per month and Sky TV with Sports. Mobile phone contracts cheaper. We have 2 x contracts on iPhones $39 a month plus calls/texts. Have loads of free minutes and texts but they're only used up when phoning/texting in NZ.
House insurance is cheaper by approx half.
Car registration and vehicle license is cheaper. Its around $500 to register a car and $280 a year for the vehicle license (road tax). Petrol/diesel cheaper - currently $2.20 petrol / $1.59 diesel - however you must purchase an additional diesel levy if you have an oil burner - approx $500 for 10 000 km's.
Car insurance half the UK price.
What is expensive is car maintenance/repairs. I always look for deals on Treat Me and GrabOne.
WOF's (equivalent to UK MOT) are approx $50.
Shopping is around 10-15% more expensive and there's nowhere near as much choice. Some things are just insanely expensive - like paint, carpets, bedding, beds, mattresses.

We did lot's of research before we came and even though we knew salaries don't pay as well as the UK (I lost around 35%) we expected the cost of living overall to be around the same but in reality it isn't. This is OK at first but when holiday mode wears off its difficult to adjust for that first few months until you get your head around the costs.
At the moment we earn around $115k for 2 adults and a 2.5 year old. Renting a 290sqm house for $830 a WEEK + bills, two cars and a motorbike, golf membership, gym membership, can afford to eat out once or twice a week, can afford a night out every month as long as we don't go mad shopping, little boy goes to kindergarden twice a week at $110 a week - we're doing ok.
We spend virtually everything we earn every fortnight. We do manage to save into a Kiwisaver account each. I pay 4% out of salary and my wife and child have accounts also but we just invest the minimum $20 a week into each of those so we are saving a bit. Hoping to save a lot more when we rent somewhere cheaper soon or if we buy plus we're hoping the wife lands a job this month after a few interviews so that will make a massive difference.
All the extras we have are in line with what we had in the UK and we thought to have a better standard of life we need all those things and the extra that NZ has to offer with a more outdoorsy lifestyle. We didn't want to compromise on things that we felt necessary, although we always know we can cut some costs if we ever need to.

If you need to know specifics just start a thread to get some answers.

Regards,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
713 Posts
I would say be careful basing your idea of emmigrating on a holiday. It all depends on your likes and ideals and what you want out of life I guess. NZ is very far away from everything and everyone you know and this can take the shine off your new adventure after a while. If you like tramping, kayaking, going for walks on the beach etc,etc then maybe it could be for you, this is pretty much all there is to do in NZ after all. Also be aware of the cost of living in NZ and that to be able to fly back to the UK or anyway past Australia costs a fortune, especially if you have children.

My wife and I were earning around $120,000 per year between us and never managed to save a dime in 6 years and that was just the 2 of us and no kids. We did make some money on our property though as prices rocketed from 2005.


Good luck whatever you choose.
If your household was earning $120k and you couldn't save a penny that's poor financial management on your part. I know families with a household income of $60k and live in Auckland and can save money. Sorry, thats your fault, not NZ!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
So, cost of living....
Thank you for sharing your information and experience, escapedtonz. I'm not in the UK, but I've been in the process of comparing things with here in Canada (I live in Toronto).

I'm just single with no kids (son grown up now) and live a very simple lifestyle, not too big a space, nor many fancy luxuries, so I do understand many of your expenses would be different from mine. However, I still do appreciate seeing your NZ cost comparisons to the UK (as I've at times compared the UK to Canada). :)

My biggest issue of course would be the usual rent/utilities, food; and internet access too, for my work. I don't even own or watch TV so I'm not as concerned about something like that. I gave up my car several years ago. I guess depending on circumstances, I may have to take that up again, but I was hoping not to.

Does one HAVE to have a car to get around everywhere? How is public transit in the cities there, or in general? I was considering a motorbike/e-Bike to use here, but not sure about over there in NZ.

Thanks again for sharing. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Does one HAVE to have a car to get around everywhere? How is public transit in the cities there, or in general? I was considering a motorbike/e-Bike to use here, but not sure about over there in NZ.

Thanks again for sharing. :)
I know several people living in Auckland without a car. There are both buses and trains. The frequency of trains may not be what you are used to though. Buses are generally more frequent and seem to be the mode of public transport that Aucklanders prefer. People pretty much drive to work though.
In Wellington, trains is the mode that most people in the Hutt regions use to get into the city, and they have an excellent bus service as well. There, people tend to use public transport more.
Most other cities have pretty good bus services. There are also intercity buses like Auckland-Hamilton, Auckland-Tauranga etc. But if you're wanting to go travelling to some of the out of the way places, the trip can be kind of long winded if using buses, needing to change buses mid trip. Eg getting to the Bay Of Islands from Auckland would probably need a bus to Whangarei, then another one to Paihia.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
If your household was earning $120k and you couldn't save a penny that's poor financial management on your part. I know families with a household income of $60k and live in Auckland and can save money. Sorry, thats your fault, not NZ!
That's very true, however it depends on what your standard of living was like before you left for NZ.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,133 Posts
That's very true, however it depends on what your standard of living was like before you left for NZ.
You have to come to NZ for a change in living. Our life is totally different. We have less commodities, a simpler country life, and less stress. I earn less than I did when we moved from the UK 7 years ago - and don't regret a single day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Hi, I moved to NZ from SA 10 years ago so sorry can't help compare to UK but I think there have been excellent comments as food for thought. I would say you could research a lot online using retailers' Web pages for a lot of food and white wear and Trade Me has a property rental and sales section for home rent or buy options to use as a guide.

There is some truth to the savings and travel comments regardless of how defensive some replies have been but I think it is true to say that very few migrants have come to NZ for more money or to be able to save more. Even Oz pays 20 - 30 pc more which is why there is a net migration outflow. But factor in ACC accident insurance, relatively good emergency care, low interest & easy access to student loans etc for older kids as I'm not sure UK has comparable options and they do save $. Dental is relatively expensive for adults but cheap for kids at school.

Home insurance has just gone silly due to the Christchurch earthquakes and may one day settle back to normal. Overseas reinsurers have just taken huge losses so want to ensure they value risk differently. There is also a new banking rule about to come into force requiring a 20pc deposit for home purchases which will make buying a house harder and mean rentals may climb as fewer people can get into their own homes. But if you have money from UK and plan to buy then it might work in your favour as you could have fewer people competing for properties you like.

Those I've met from the UK have come for a lifestyle change and not more money but I don't think many return which I think says something more than budgets. All the best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for you reply.
Although we came out for a holiday it was not really a holiday. More if a recky to see if we liked it, could get work, housing, etc.
my husbands brother moved to Wellington 5 years ago and would never come back to uk. Which I can understand. I think I'm just worried about making the wrong decision and not having the money to come back to the uk to see my family.
 
G

·
I think public transport in NZ is very relevant to the area you live and work in. Certainly Wellington and Auckland has a bus and rail (not all Auckland) public transport that is reliable and easy for work commuting but I would doubt very much you would not own one or two vehicles for leisure. Vehicles are cheap by comparison to most countries although getting a bit more expensive as the imported cars come under more restrictions but my understanding is well below overseas prices.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top