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Cost of school uniform - yikes!

Cost of school uniform - yikes!

Old May 26th 2011, 8:06 am
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Default Cost of school uniform - yikes!

We leave for NZ in three weeks' time and have just registered the kids at their new school (we have signed a lease on a house already).

I can't believe how expensive school uniform is over there - about £14 for a polo shirt with the school badge on. They are £8 here - but I don't even buy the school ones, they are allowed to wear plain white ones and they cost about £4 for a pack of three! The sweatshirts are about £17 each - the school ones here are £8.75 for small ones and £11.75 for bigger - but again, I buy the plain ones which start at £3 each since they don't have to have the badge.

The plain navy school trousers are £25 a pair there! They are £6 a pair here so I'll be buying enough to cover the boys (we have two) for the rest of primary school and posting over whatever won't fit into our suitcases. Unfortunately I can't do that with the polos and sweatshirts as I'll have to buy them from the school with the logo on. The shorts are £13 a pair over there - Tesco has them here for £5 for two pairs.

We'll get used to the things that are priced higher, and I'm sure there are things that are priced lower, but we also have to consider that DH is taking a cut in salary, our rent is going to be higher than we've paid since we lived in London and we have to start from scratch saving for a deposit to buy a house one day. Oh well, there are way more important things in life than money and this move is still worth it. I'm just glad I'm able to stock up on school trousers and shorts before we leave.
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Old May 26th 2011, 9:04 am
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Default Re: Cost of school uniform - yikes!

Hi Jen, your husband's drop in salary will be cushioned by a lower rate of income tax and no national insurance contributions to be paid. The state pension is known as Kiwi Saver and you can opt out if you wish as it's 2% of salary and the NZ govt contributes 2% too. NZ employers don't pay sick pay but there is something called ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) which is provided by the govt & paid for by levies put on businesses. Paid sick pay seems to be allocated like annual leave i.e. 5 days sick pay after a qualifying period. Can't comment on school uniforms as I don't have kids. However, I do know that a loaf of bread which cost £1.35 in Britain costs £2.00 in NZ. Groceries are the same price or more expensive here. It is considered scandalous that locally produced food especially NZ lamb is actually cheaper in Britain, yes really, than NZ !

Good luck with your move, hope it all works out for you. BTW I've been here since February of this year with my kiwi husband. I'm British.
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Old May 26th 2011, 10:12 am
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Default Re: Cost of school uniform - yikes!

Originally Posted by Debbi**** View Post
NZ employers don't pay sick pay but there is something called ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) which is provided by the govt & paid for by levies put on businesses. Paid sick pay seems to be allocated like annual leave i.e. 5 days sick pay after a qualifying period.
That's not right, sick pay and ACC are two completely different things and it's totally incorrect to state that employers do not pay sick pay, they do!! ACC pays 80% of your pay for a certain amount of time if you are unable to work as a consequence of an accident only and under no circumstance would they pay you for being 'sick' in the sense of being unwell or having a medical condition that prevents you from working.
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Old May 26th 2011, 10:31 am
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Default Re: Cost of school uniform - yikes!

Good luck Jen but school uniform is only part of the high cost of living here. You are in for a huge shock! My only advice is to make sure you have enough cash set aside to get you back home should you need to for any reason.
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Old May 26th 2011, 11:03 am
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Default Re: Cost of school uniform - yikes!

That's s pretty scary prices! Does anyone know if you do a an equivelant of a dummy "tesco.com" shop to compare the prices. In the meantime I'm off to dust down my bread machine!
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Old May 26th 2011, 11:14 am
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Default Re: Cost of school uniform - yikes!

Countdown / Foodtown is the only online supermarket. The other mob (Pak n Save / New World ) don't do online shopping.
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Old May 26th 2011, 12:05 pm
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Default Re: Cost of school uniform - yikes!

Thanks Bo-Jangles, I'm off to do a mock shop!
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Old May 26th 2011, 12:24 pm
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Default Re: Cost of school uniform - yikes!

Originally Posted by florabundi View Post
Thanks Bo-Jangles, I'm off to do a mock shop!
Funny I did one the other way around at Sainsburys the other day. I reckon it's NZ$3 to the pound overall. I spent roughly NZ$150 which was around 50 quid in Sainsburys on as near as possible basic brands, so would be interested to see if you find similar.
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Old May 26th 2011, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: Cost of school uniform - yikes!

Ok, not as scary as I first thought, some of the basics seem a bit more expensive, milk, loaf and some types of fruit. Other than that most of the ingredients I use are similar prices ~ did not see anything that was a whole lot cheaper though. I think if you are cooking from scratch it's not too expensive. Looks like shop bought biscuits, cakes and loaf will be replaced with home-made and a bit of care choosing fruit & veg required. Most importantly of all, the wine is not too expensive
Thanks Bo-Jangles for the link, this is a great exercise for anyone considering the move to do
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Old May 26th 2011, 7:47 pm
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Default Re: Cost of school uniform - yikes!

The school uniform is expensive - but in my experience it does last, and is fairly crease resistant so just wash, shake and hang! We've only had to replace stuff that they grow out of not that has worn out.
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Old May 26th 2011, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Cost of school uniform - yikes!

if you buy fruit and veg in season and from a fruit shop it will be a hell of alot cheaper than the supermarket! prime exaple tub of cherry toms in supermarket range from $3.99-$4.99 in fruit shop $2.99 also some fruit shops are a lot cheaper I tend to buy the same basics every week and the difference can be $10 $20 copmpared to a supermarket. I also grow my own as well
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Old May 26th 2011, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: Cost of school uniform - yikes!

do not forget stationery and school donation they add to the costs as well. Also like the UK you kids will come back every week wanting $'s for this that and the other they are doing!
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Old May 26th 2011, 8:29 pm
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Default Re: Cost of school uniform - yikes!

Postie Plus do some school clothing, but not sure what (none of our primary schools round here have uniform) but sure won't be as cheap as UK for 2 reasons: supply/demand and VAT is added to children's clothes and food.

I would ask the school for a stationery list for each child's class. You won't be able to get the correct exercise books in the UK (they are all coded) but you may be able to stock up on pens/pencils/glue sticks/scissors etc. Ask for the list though as most schools are specific on the brands they want you to get.

The donations should be able to be split over the terms too.

I would definitely buy enough school shoes for the next X years. The quality here is not good to put it midly!

Don't worry though the freedom and lifestyle your kids will enjoy here will soon make up for the huge hole in your wallet!
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Old May 26th 2011, 9:03 pm
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Default Re: Cost of school uniform - yikes!

as our date for packing/leaving looms we're starting to think about more stuff like this... plus the fact that the pound is getting weaker at the moment meaning money we send across is worth less!

are grey dresses/skirts and black shoes pretty standard for a 4-5yr old at school? Do schools have uniforms for kids this young?
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Old May 26th 2011, 9:14 pm
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Default Re: Cost of school uniform - yikes!

Depends on the area you're going to. Most primary schools around the Wellington/Kapiti area don't wear uniform and those who do sell it through the schools. Kids start school around their 5th birthday here.

You will have to supply all the stationery - exercise books, pens, rulers, calculators, dictionaries (anything you can think of really). Warehouse Stationery seems to be the best value for buying all that kind of stuff. Each class or year group has a specific list to buy at the start of the year.

You will also pay a 'voluntary' donation. Ours is $80 for child per year (decile 9 school). Again this varies per school. Then there's the usual hand in the pocket for school trips etc.

'Free' education in NZ certainly costs far more than the UK and makes you realise what we took for granted in the UK, however I much prefer the school system here.
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