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Aucklanders - cost of living estimates

(71 Posts)
Highlander Thu 08-Sep-11 13:35:41

DH's job unexpectedly will only be P/T so we're trying to work out costings. I'm PT too.
Would anyone have the time to verify if this is right?

I've worked out our take home pay using the govt tax site and including a deduction of 8% for Kiwisaver. That leaves us with a monthly income of $7877 per month.

rent. 3000
Sending money back to UK. 800
Food. 1200
Petrol. 200 (DH has a daily round trip of 20km)
elec/gas. 400

I have no idea of the following.....
Health Insurance
Life Insurance
Car Insurance
Broadband/home phone
Mobiles (I am a v cheap PAYG, DH has an iPhone)
TV to get the BBC?

I don't clothes shop unless I have to, we don't really go out.

Sibble Thu 08-Sep-11 19:58:19


I always find these hard as everybody seems to have such varied budgets. The petrol may be a bit low depending on size of car and if you travel to visit places. I spend $280/month (ish) and only have a Barina (tiny car). We use DHs work car for longer journeys or family trips.

Our medical insurance is just over $200/month but you could look at Southern Cross or Tower Insurance for a quote

Don't have life insurance

Try the AA for car insurance quote - think mine's about $500/year. I also have general AA protection but can't remember how much that is!

Our phone around the $200 mark each month but includes broadband and unlimited calls to UK and a mobile package.

Can't help with phone I have pay as you go and top up as needed. DH has work phone.

TV is free at the moment but we have a basic sky package $65/month - $15 extra for my sky which we don't have but I'm under heavy pressure from boys to get grin

Although everybody is talking about how expensive it has become here (partly true and partly pre-election spin by all parties) it is still easy to live relatively cheaply here. Beaches, swimming pools and alot of activities for children cheap or free (including after school sport). My boys play league, touch, go to sailing club and all for approx $20 a season. We use libraries for books, toy libraries good for younger children. Unless you live in Remurera or similar nobody bats an eyelid at what you have or what you wear - more emphasis on lifestyle so not the pressure for kids to have the latest which I love.

I think your combined income should be fine but you might struggle with the niceties (trips to Oz etc.) depending on number of children you have.

lollystix Thu 08-Sep-11 21:57:29

Hi sibble-this is useful. Sorry to be crass and discuss money but If dh gets this job - if we ever bloody hear (we had hoped this week) he would be $75k basis plus commission. I plan to work after about 6 months and from looking at seek if I got my current job over there (if i could?) it would be around $80-100k if full time. I know that seems alot but could we actually manage ok in Auckland as rent doesn't look cheap at all?

Again like u highlander I'm not interested in flash stuff, going out (unless with kids) or clothes etc. It's just were living in Edinburgh just now - quite central and earn similar here with free company car and what with childcare costs I'm shopping in charity shops for clothes and lidl for food. On paper I know we are high income earners but what with capital city living and childcare it really doesn't feel like it. I'm assuming Auckland would be no cheaper except for childcare?

shelscrape Thu 08-Sep-11 23:01:25

I agree your petrol estimate may be a bit low, but will be hard to put a firm figure on it until your really know how much it will cost to run your cars.

I agree with Sibble check the NZ AA website to get an idea on car insurance - it is a lot cheaper here as it is not compulsory to have insurance. They also do household home and contents insurance which you will need to factor into your calculations. Our home phone and internet package with Telecom is £100 per month plus the cost of calls.

We don't bother with Sky as we are in a rented house at the moment and anyway I'm not a big telly watcher. UKTV is on Sky which shows most of the big UK stuff.

I can't remember if your have children. If so, you will need to think of after school care. most primary schools have this now.

You should be fine with that income, we manage on just over $4,000 per month and although it's tight sometimes, we are doing OK.

Also, don't expect any 0% interest deals when buying a car. The best you will probably get from a car dealing is about 13% interest. Most people drive cars well over 5 years old.

clothes shopping will be OK for you in Auckland, but I have taken to ordering stuff from the UK when the sales are on. Only costs £15 for M&S to deliver to NZ and currently Amazon are delivering books, CD's and DVD's for free - books and CD's are very expensive here.

WhatSheSaid Fri 09-Sep-11 06:38:39

Hi Highlander

Rent 3000 this should be fine unless you're planning a palatial waterfront mansion. Should get you a decent house in a decent suburb. Are you planning to live somewhere in the inner suburbs?

Food 1200 - how many of you are there? HOw many dcs? 300 a week should be fine, I spend about 200 a week for 4 of us but I buy specials etc quite a lot - I could very easily spend more.

Petrol 200 - my dh has daily round trip of 26km so similar to what your dh will have. He prob puts about 200 a month in his car. I put about 50 a month in just tootling round our local area and the occasional trip further afield.

ELec/gas 400 our biggest bill this winter has been $250 but I'm fairly tight frugal about putting the heaters on all the time so 400 should be ok. Depends on size of house/type of heatign etc - heat pumps are apparently cheaper to run than the other types of electric heaters.

Health insurance - I'd say about 120-200 a month for a family - depending on your level of insurance, some include GPs visits, dentists etc, some don't. Accuro is another NZ health ins co that has come out v well in consumer surveys, I think you can get an online quote from them.

DOnt' have life ins.

OUr car ins is about $40 a month for 2 cars, they are both old though, one's a 1994, the other a 1998. That's third party, fire and theft cover.

Broadband, home phone we pay $80 a month for home line and broadband (10gb), free local calls, national/international calls are extra on top of that (calls to the UK are capped at about $4 a call or something though). We tend to Skype for international calls.

Mobiles I recommend 2degrees for PAYG, half the price of the other 2 companies. I used to top up about $20/month on Vodafone, I prob top up that amount every 2-3 months now. I only use the phone to text and the v occasional call though.

Dh has a fancy phone but I can't ask him what he pays as he has flown to Dunedin to go see England play Argentina in the Rugby World Cup. I think it's a package from 2degrees - something like $120 a month and that includes loads of free minutes/texts/GB, he never seems to run out.

TV to watch the BBC TV here is PACKED with BBC programmes grin though some of them are quite old. I think Iplayer is launching a worldwide subscription service sometime soon-ish.

lollystix your combined income should be plenty, obv it depends on lots of factors like how many dcs you have/are you considering private schools/lots of overseas trips/expense of houses in area you live in etc etc

God that was a bit of an essay grin

DaisyheadMayzie Fri 09-Sep-11 07:13:50

I'm not in Auckland so can't help with rent, but we aren't too far away.

We are a family of 4 (kids 8 and 5) and I reckon $300 covers our groceries, wine (DH buys this separately by the case, ahem..) and veg (it's cheaper to shop in vege shops and in our town a lot of the produce is local).

Petrol - $200 a month might be a bit low, depends what you plan on doing at the weekends! We live in the country so everywhere is a minimum 10 kms - I reckon I spend $300-$400 a month on fuel, and drive 20kms a day but sometimes a lot more. Might be different if you are central city and walk everywhere on weekends.

Power - we have a wood fire, underfloor heating in the kitchen (expensive to run), storage heater in the hall. We like the house to be warm and spend between $120 in summer and $300 in July and August.

Health and life insurance - we pay $165 (in total) but health insurance is just for surgery, have to pay for doctors visits, etc.

Car insurance - gone up heaps since we have been here, $650 for DH's newish Q7, can't remember what mine is.

Broadband - a fortune but you'll get a much better deal in Auckland than we get in the stix

Mobiles - PAYG for me with 2 degrees, much cheaper than the other providers and no difference here for coverage (they are all crap in our area!). DH has work phone

TV - we have MySky (Sky Plus), think we pay about $80 including sports. Don't know how you would get BBC - we get BBC World but that is mainly news. Lots of BBC stuff is on Free to Air, which is mainly what we watch through Sky actually.

Highlander Fri 09-Sep-11 07:51:06

Jeez ladies, that is soooooo helpful! Thank you!

DH is hopeful of picking up another 0.5FTE job in Hamilton, so that should ease things as well.

No idea where to live. Need to get kids into school. Originally thought of Mount Eden, but I think realistically we can't afford it. maybe hwill have to revise to Mount Albert?

WhatSheSaid Fri 09-Sep-11 08:19:18

You would get a rental in Mt Eden for $750 a week wouldn't you? We rented a 4 bed house there for $600/wk, admittedly this was 5 years ago but I don't think prices have gone up that much.

If you do rent in Mt Eden, check the location of house and school zones, some areas advertised as Mt Eden are really Sandringham/Balmoral and not in the relevant school zone you may be thinking of (they are perfectly nice areas though). Are you needing primary or high schools (or both)?

Highlander Fri 09-Sep-11 09:52:49

Jeez ladies, that is soooooo helpful! Thank you!

DH is hopeful of picking up another 0.5FTE job in Hamilton, so that should ease things as well.

No idea where to live. Need to get kids into school. Originally thought of Mount Eden, but I think realistically we can't afford it. maybe hwill have to revise to Mount Albert?

Highlander Fri 09-Sep-11 09:53:45

We just need primary at the moment, although I'm obviously aiming for AGS down the line.

lollystix Fri 09-Sep-11 09:55:16

Were going to have 4 kids and 3 will need daycare - in uk with wraparound care for ds1 I'm looking at £2100 a month!!!! I am literally working for a couple of hundred a month at the moment. We'd be state school all the way- I have no idea how folk afford private tbh (against my socialist principles toogrin).

I'd be looking at similar areas to you highlander in Auckland or depending on if this north shore job works out for dh, potentially Torbay, browns bay kind of area I suppose. Presume I'd need to work CBD for my type of work. Would commute be ok from the Shore?

WhatSheSaid Fri 09-Sep-11 10:10:30

lollystix Commute from the Shore can be fairly horrendous anytime after about 7am, I believe, but they have fairly recently opened a dedicated bus lane that runs parallel to the motorway and has express buses running to the city centre. I have a friend who has commuted on the bus from Glenfield and Birkenhead (both on the Shore) and he found it considerably easier than driving in.

highlander I guess you either look for something now in Mt Eden - I assume you've checked out rentals on Trade Me? - or find another area with decent primary and look to move to AGS zone later on.

lilham Fri 09-Sep-11 10:56:19

I've moved away from Auckland for a while, but have done the north shore commute in reverse, from Epsom to glenfield. I wouldn't recommend travelling from northshore back to central as I think it'll take over an hour to two each way. You'll be better off looking at a central suburb.

And everyone wants to move into the grammar zone when I grew up. That'll be the area around mt eden, epsom, and remuera. I think houses are more expensive there but it's worth it unless you go private. Takapuna High on the shore is good too if you want to stay that side.

buzzybee Fri 09-Sep-11 13:06:12

Highlander, the minimum Kiwisaver contribution is 2% so you could cut that back if you wanted. Elec/gas at $400/month seems high for Auckland. I never pay more than $300/month and I'm in colder Wellington. I do have a well insulated house however.
I pay $66/month for health insurance for me and 2 DDs. I don't have Life Ins.
I think you'd be fine on that income TBH unless you really wanted premium SkyTV, premium broadband, luxury food items etc.
I have a diesel car (Toyota Corolla) so only pay about $120/month in fuel plus road user charges and I do quite a bit of driving - probably 1000km/month.
All house/contents/car insurance has shot up this year post earthquake.

Sibble Fri 09-Sep-11 20:41:57

lollystix - you could commute from the North Shore via ferry. I work with a few people who ferry from Devonport or Whangaparoa and apart from the odd glitch they tell me it's great. You should easily be able to have a nice lifestyle on your combined salaries. Not sure about childcare I'm lucky in that I work school hours and then from home for a few hours once I've picked them up. School holiday programmes not expensive imo.

highlander - another option if dh is going to be working in Hamilton too (am I right in thinking at Middlemore as well or is that somebody else - so many people moving over...) you might consider MacLeans School zone - great college that also does Cambridge exams, primary and intermediate feeder schools also great. DS1 is going private at the moment, our house is on the market and we are looking at AGS or MacLeans zone if the right house comes along. DS2 is in state primary which is great. Having said that we have friends who have just moved from Mount Eden to Mount Albert and love it.

thegoose Sat 10-Sep-11 07:50:48

Just a note re: kiwisaver. You are only entitled to join if you are a NZ resident or entitled to remain here indefinitely. Not sure what sort of visa you will be on. Also as suggested above you can also make deductions at 2% or 4%. Whatever rate you choose the employer contribution will be 2% - just got my payroll hat on!

Highlander Sat 10-Sep-11 08:11:41

We'll have a PR visa so can do KS. I'd rather do 8% and have a good retirement!

Cromer, just calculated our moving costs as £8.5k shock

Don't know if I'll get a contribution to moving on a p/t contract.......

Highlander Sat 10-Sep-11 08:15:15

DH is North Shore and will either be Middlemore or Hamilton for 2 days/week.

I thought about living in Devonport and getting the ferry, but my hours are worked out on me dropping the kids at school then being in work for 9-15am, then finishing at 3pm.

Think the mainland is better.

What school are your friends kids going to in Mt Albert?

I've read that there are rumours of another secondary school close to the CBD?

lollystix Sat 10-Sep-11 08:15:55

£8.5k! - what have you included in that? It would be good to know as Dh company would be contributing to some for us but we'll have to negotiate on the rest? Do you have dogs or something?

Highlander Sat 10-Sep-11 09:01:55

In GBP......

Flights - 3500 (one way, Inc Skycouch)
Shipping - 3500
PR Visa- 1090
Migrant Levy - 620

And that's not including rent deposit, tax on our house sale, air cargo for our immediate stuff......

thelittlestkiwi Sat 10-Sep-11 09:22:49

I would consider uping your rental budget. We've paid between 600 and 850 a week over the last 3 years. Rents have gone up- about $50-100 per week in the last year. More may buy you a more central area too. But everything else looked fine to me- gas/electric may even be a bit high.

How many kids do you have? You could look at greenlane as a rental area.

Highlander Sat 10-Sep-11 10:43:36

2 boys, would be Year 3 and 1 in NZ.

I did think about Grennlane, Cornwall Pk looks a good school

lollystix Sat 10-Sep-11 21:58:19

Oh I looked at Cornwall park website too highlander. Looks lovely. Is that p1 and p3 for your boys? My eldest just started p1

DecapitatedLegoman Sat 10-Sep-11 22:09:29

I have a fantasy of moving to NZ one day and this thread is letting me dream ... haven't told DH yet grin. Best of luck to you movers!

thelittlestkiwi Sat 10-Sep-11 23:04:23

Highlander- has your OH inquired about relocation? I think FT drs used to get $16,000 if they bonded for three years. I wish we'd done that- you can just pay it back if you leave earlier.

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