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Cost of living questionnaire

Cost of living questionnaire

Old Apr 26th 2013, 3:50 pm
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Default Cost of living questionnaire

Hey, comments on my last post got me thinking and wondered if you minded me asking ANOTHER question (sorry! hoping someday I can be the one giving out the advice lol!).

It would be great to have some individual examples of people's expenditure (in $) on certain things. If anyone has a spare couple of mins I'd be eternally grateful if you'd help me with as many of the following questions as you can (obviously some won't be applicable/easily accessible for everyone), so we can see if our estimates are looking realistic!

(We are a family of five (three small kiddos) and Christchurch area is our first choice but we'll go where the work is; however keen to hear examples from any size family anywhere).

Monthly unless stated otherwise...
Location:
Family size:
House size:
Rent:
Gas:
Electric:
Water:
Internet:
Mobile phone (per person):
Home insurance:
Car insurance:
Groceries:
School related costs (per child):
Vehicle licensing fee:
Other car costs:
Social:
Annual GP, prescription and misc. health costs:
Annual Dental:
Annual homeware and appliances:
Clothes:
Bins:

And would you say your expenditure is tight, comfortable or luxurious in comparison to general society there?

I won't bother to ask your petrol bills as price of petrol is easy enough to find out and obviously miles traveled will vary hugely family to family.
Have I missed anything anyone can think of? (We know what Sky will cost so haven't added it here)

Thanks so much to all who can help!
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Old Apr 26th 2013, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living questionnaire

Check out this thread and in particular Bo-Jangles initial response to my OP;

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=783222
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Old Apr 26th 2013, 8:27 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living questionnaire

Hi,
Some answers for you and these are monthly costs unless stated otherwise...

Location: Wellington
Family size: 2 adults, 1 toddler.
House size: 290 sq metres - 4
Bed detached.
Rent:Hope you're sitting down....$830 per week!
Gas: Duel fuel with electricity - see below
Electric:$200 at the moment. Set to rise with the onset of winter.
Water:Free to us - landlord pays this with the rates which are $3500 per year.
Internet/home phone/sky tv: $180
Mobile phone (per person):$45 each x 2
Home insurance:$250 per annum
Car insurance:$1500 per annum, 1 car, 1 SUV, 1 motorbike. All fully comp with $0 excess.
Groceries:$200 per week
School related costs (per child):$110 per week kindergarden - 2 x 6hr days per week.
Vehicle licensing fee: Cars $278 per annum, bike $525 per annum.
Other car costs: Fuel approx $170 per fortnight both cars. $100 per annum Warrant Of Fitness fees.
Social: Going out during the day for breakfast, lunch, coffee, kids playgroup & the odd meal out $200.
Annual GP, prescription and misc. health costs: Virtually $0 as we have health insurance.
Annual Dental:Not been yet. Need to sort that out but your talking $100 for a check up.
Annual homeware and appliances:$0. Brought everything over from UK except double door FF which we bought for cash here. No costs until something breaks down.
Clothes:Not much as we brought everything we needed with us and if we do buy anything we shop in sales. Never pay full price for anything - that is the motto!
Bins: $200 per annum

I'd say we are comfortable for the moment. Our living costs are very high but we earn a decent salary to cover it and we have a rental income from the UK. We did save an awful lot of money in the UK with the sole purpose to supplement our NZ rental costs. We spend $500 per week of our salary on rent and the remaining $330 per week comes from savings. We also don't seem to save much. We are hoping to move into cheaper accommodation this year and our income is due to rise 10% shortly. It all helps!!!

Have I missed anything anyone can think of? (We know what Sky will cost so haven't added it here).
Golf club membership $725 per year
Gym membership $850 per year

Last edited by escapedtonz; Apr 26th 2013 at 8:31 pm.
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Old Apr 26th 2013, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living questionnaire

It's pretty easy to work out the averages expected for the regular stuff, it's the big ticket, unplanned and unexpected stuff that knocks you sideways when you're trying to live within your means. Whatever figures you come up with, add some massive contingencies, cos sh1t always happens and stuff for the house costs a fortune.

As per my earlier post to Tommyluck I thought I had it all figured out this year, until my glasses fell apart and the dishwasher died. Effectively the cost of replacement for those two items, equates to the money I was hoping to save for a ride home to the UK this year and we're still only four months in.

Something else I didn't add to my own list and rarely have I seen it on anyone elses budget is the cost of keeping animals; annual visits to vets, flea treatment and the like all add up.

For the ladies, the hairdressers is another one I hadn't factored. Depending on how high- maintenance you are. If you want high end salon hair cuts it's potentially $79 a go every six weeks or $37 for cut and blow at the Shearing Shed. Highlights and colours, salon hair treatments - well perhaps best we don't go there.
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Old Apr 27th 2013, 12:08 am
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Default Re: Cost of living questionnaire

I get my hair cut at a local hairdressers. $37 sounds about right. I'm always pleased with the result. I don't have my hair coloured or any other hair treatment, 'cause I just don't.

However, don't forget I live in provincial New Zealand.

I don't belong to a golf club as I don't play golf. If I need to use the gym I pay $10 (about five quid) casual user fee. I get my exercise jogging around the neighbourhood 'cause it's free ! I pay $6 (about three quid) for an aerobics session at the local hall which is run by a professional instructor.

Last edited by Snap Shot; Apr 27th 2013 at 12:12 am.
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Old Apr 27th 2013, 9:15 am
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Default Re: Cost of living questionnaire

Ooh thank you, sorry I realised after posting that I'd actually asked for some pretty sensitive info so thank you it means a huge amount that you've shared and it is very helpful to get a real life insight!

Water, this is something I can't work out, is water always included in rent or does it vary depending on area/landlord? If water was included in rent then would it be mentioned on realestate.co.nz or are we left to assume? (By the way on that topic - besides that and trademe, are there any other good sites worth checking out for rentals?).

Hairdressers - that is one I hadn't thought of thank you! Low end for me at least for the foreseeable future I think! )

We are building in contingency money too, that is largely what we're factoring into the homeware/appliances bit, not that we regularly replace stuff just because, but working on the assumption that at least one major appliance and a number of small things may break in any given year so working out a monthly average. Then a separate emergency budget for anything unforeseen.

Sorry you've been unlucky with the glasses and dishwasher bojangles - that sucks! :-( Hope you are able to fly back for a visit somehow....
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Old Apr 27th 2013, 9:20 am
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Default Re: Cost of living questionnaire

Oh and that was the other question I had, and it's a dumb one - but what do people mean when they say landlord pays rates?
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Old Apr 27th 2013, 9:33 am
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They mean that the rent you pay is inclusive of the local council rates (not always the water rates though).
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Old Apr 27th 2013, 9:39 am
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Default Re: Cost of living questionnaire

Originally Posted by tiger mama View Post
Water, this is something I can't work out, is water always included in rent or does it vary depending on area/landlord? If water was included in rent then would it be mentioned on realestate.co.nz or are we left to assume? (By the way on that topic - besides that and trademe, are there any other good sites worth checking out for rentals?).

Hairdressers - that is one I hadn't thought of thank you! Low end for me at least for the foreseeable future I think! )

We are building in contingency money too, that is largely what we're factoring into the homeware/appliances bit, not that we regularly replace stuff just because, but working on the assumption that at least one major appliance and a number of small things may break in any given year so working out a monthly average. Then a separate emergency budget for anything unforseen
Hi,
Not sure about the water charges. I think it depends whether the property is water metered or not. If it isn't then there's no way for a tenant to be charged for their consumption?
Have a look at this link and I'd advise you to familiarise yourselves about the landlord/tenant laws - your rights etc:

http://www.dbh.govt.nz/water-charges

Must admit things like this aren't usually mentioned in adverts for rental properties. It is up to the potential tenant to ask the agent or landlord for clarification prior to entering into any tenancy agreement.

www.trademe.co.nz and www.realestate.co.nz are the main ones for property however each agent will have their own website showcasing houses in their portfolio.

Regards,
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Old Apr 28th 2013, 12:24 am
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Default Re: Cost of living questionnaire

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles View Post
It's pretty easy to work out the averages expected for the regular stuff, it's the big ticket, unplanned and unexpected stuff that knocks you sideways when you're trying to live within your means. Whatever figures you come up with, add some massive contingencies, cos sh1t always happens and stuff for the house costs a fortune.

As per my earlier post to Tommyluck I thought I had it all figured out this year, until my glasses fell apart and the dishwasher died. Effectively the cost of replacement for those two items, equates to the money I was hoping to save for a ride home to the UK this year and we're still only four months in.

Something else I didn't add to my own list and rarely have I seen it on anyone elses budget is the cost of keeping animals; annual visits to vets, flea treatment and the like all add up.

For the ladies, the hairdressers is another one I hadn't factored. Depending on how high- maintenance you are. If you want high end salon hair cuts it's potentially $79 a go every six weeks or $37 for cut and blow at the Shearing Shed. Highlights and colours, salon hair treatments - well perhaps best we don't go there.
Agree with what you say. Lost my sunglasses a few months ago and cost five hundred for a new pair. Asked the hairdresser yesterday the cost of a trim - eighty dollars!
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Old Apr 28th 2013, 5:26 am
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Default Re: Cost of living questionnaire

[QUOTE=tiger mama;10679807]Hey, comments on my last post got me thinking and wondered if you minded me asking ANOTHER question (sorry! hoping someday I can be the one giving out the advice lol!).

Monthly unless stated otherwise...
Location: 70k south of Christchurch
Family size: 5 - includes 3 teenagers
House size: 4 bed detached villa - which will be for sale if i get my way!
Rent: mortgage appx $1200 pm
Gas: 0 there is no natural gas on the SI....$40 for a bbq 9kg refill
Electric: $200 to $400 pm depending on time of the year - last yr one bill for electricity was $600
Water: included in rates
Internet: & telephone $100pm
Mobile phone (per person): $50pm for 4
Home insurance: $85pm - more expensive now because of earthquakes
Car insurance: 45pm for two old bangers
Life insurance; $ 102pm
Groceries: $1400pm ($350pw) plus milk/bread top ups $20-30pw ($120pm)
School related costs (per child): for all 3 kids :$300-$400 per year fees in comprehensive schools + books appx $120 + Uniforms $200 per child, School Shoes $100-$140 per child
Vehicle licensing fee: $78 for 3 months rego, $45 warrent 6 monthly
Motorbikes; $700pa rego
Other car costs: if the car needs work but be prepared to pay $70-80 per hour labour costs....TIP: buy a toyota as they are one of the cheapest cars to buy parts for...
Social: $120-$140 now and again for meal out - KFC/MacDonalds/Burger King for 5 appx $50-$60....
Sports/Clubs for kids: $200pm dancing for 2 kids....$80 per term for gymnastics...$200 per season for football (Soccer that is!)
Annual GP, prescription and misc. health costs: $35 each time you visit the doc, plus cost of perscription from $5
Annual Dental: $150 for OH to have 1 tooth out - cheaper than getting fixed up which would have cost over $1200 for root canal filling - Kids are free until they are 18yrs old. But braces cost us $4,000 for one child, have two more to go through the orthodontist - so they tell me...
Annual homeware and appliances: front loader washing machine $700 (top loaders i didn't find washed out grass stains from kids sox) Fridge Freezer $600 - cheapest we could find - crap brand but does its job....
Clothes: I tend to shop on Trade Me buy 2nd hand if i can or buy in sales..this includes buying shoes/trainers etc.....$100-$120 for trainers..same for footie boots
Bins: $10 for 5 council bags, we go through 1 per week if i can cram rubbish for 5 people into the bag, but sometimes have to use 2.
Rates: $280 every 2 months
Dog Licence: $50 per year
Sanitary towels/tampons - having 2 teenage daughters is reeking havoc on our budget.....$5 nearly for 10 tampons.....same for towels...Sorry guys but had to add this - just can't get over it...and i have been here 8 years.....
Deoderant: $6-$7
Petrol: $150pm depending on where we travel too...

Cost of living we find high, and certainly not luxurious....very basic living and no money in the bank account at the end of each fortnight, find it hard to save at all..

Don't buy anything that you will later want to take to the dump...as it costs a ridiculous amount to get rid of your rubbish....including garden waste...

I hope this honest response dosn't put you off too much....hopefully you will have a well paid job - buying a home in Christchurch is expensive compared to homes just 1 hour down the road...which is why we live where we do.

Good luck....
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Old Apr 28th 2013, 10:49 am
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Default Re: Cost of living questionnaire

We are family of 6 (4 small kiddies) and we both work FT. Living in central Auckland. Loving it but living in nice area and hanging on by the skin of our teeth due to childcare costs.

Monthly unless stated otherwise...
Location: Auckland
Family size:6
House size:4 beds (although we only use 3 - house is cold and retro weatherboard - basically a carpetted shed with windows that have almost fallen into the garden)
Rent:$775 per week (eeek!)
Gas: £0
Electric:$150 a month
Water:$60-90 a month
Internet:$75 a month (includes landline too)
Mobile phone (per person):about $45 for me and $65 for hubby
Home insurance: contents at $600 per year (!!!!)
Car insurance: About $750 a year
Groceries: about $250-350 a week (Pak n Save - makes me weep - cost and experience)
School related costs (per child): $400 annual donation plus $25 paper for the child at school but monthly childcare costs about $4,000 for FT nanny and 4 days at kindy for one of our kids (makes me weep even more than my pak n save bill)
Vehicle licensing fee:I think about $300 a year but can't really remember
Other car costs: $500 for a service recently
Social: 2 x coffees a day at $8 (coffee worth moving to NZ for). Weekend icecream costs/coffee/sushi about $50. Glass of wine in pub about £12 but we don't do that much. Bottle of wine on special in supermarket about $12.
Annual GP, prescription and misc. health costs: too poor for that. $20 to take baby to Dr last week
Annual Dental: Free for kids. Too poor to go myself
Annual homeware and appliances: Paid $600 for a washing machine - I bloody love my top loader with 4 tinnies.
Clothes: about $100 a month but we buy from UK and just try not to buy really. Clothes are silly prices over here and we need them for work
Bins: Free
Travel: Bus to work $140 a month for me and hubby cycles
Sky: $75 a month
Birthday parties: About $50 a month for toys from warehouse for various parties. Don't underestimate the cost of wrapping paper and cards.

We generally do a lot more free stuff but as the weather is so much better it works. You don't come to NZ to get rich but it's worth it for the lifestyle. Saying that hubby and I are both getting on much better in our careers here and earn more than we did in UK. I have been here a year and I am only just now stopping to convert in my head.
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Old Apr 28th 2013, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living questionnaire

Thanks for your post. Hope the wellington weather can make it for me!
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Old Apr 28th 2013, 8:47 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living questionnaire

Originally Posted by pixiewink View Post
Don't buy anything that you will later want to take to the dump...as it costs a ridiculous amount to get rid of your rubbish....including garden waste...
Auckland has inorganic rubbish collections about once a year that are free. Details here: http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/E...llections.aspx
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Old Apr 29th 2013, 8:04 am
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Default Re: Cost of living questionnaire

Originally Posted by jmh View Post
Auckland has inorganic rubbish collections about once a year that are free. Details here: http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/E...llections.aspx

Should say that not all things in Auckland are equal and only SOME of Auckland has free inorganic rubbish collections. In Waitakere you have to book and pay for collection.
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