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Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

Old Jan 27th 2014, 10:35 pm
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Default Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

Hi, following having our Christmas in NZ and a couple of job offers I'm trying to get my head around if we can afford to live if we do move..
The only thread I could find for this was from 2010 so apologies if its been done to death already, looking at renting (3 or 4 bed) to begin with to get a feel for NZ life and what the areas are like. Thinking of areas to the South or East of the city with good schools (7 year old twins), I'm basically trying to get grips with the costs of utilities etc
If anybody is in a similar position and could comment it would really help me out
Costs of utilities, medical ins, doctors, dentists, prescriptions, mobile phones landline and broadband, house contents & building insurance, car ins, average weekly shopping bill? Anything else I ought to be worrying about? Looking around there seem to be houses around the $600 p/w mark is this a realistic figure.
Thank you for your help
Giles
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Old Jan 27th 2014, 11:11 pm
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Default Re: Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

Here's a few figures to get you started.
Elec usually about $90 - $100 a month, have wood in winter to heat $360 covers the winter period. Currently trying out health insurance with NIB its $9.90 a week ( a cashback scheme), doctors around $40 a visit, prescriptions $5 I think per item, dentist is $40 for a check up and xrays, paid $110 for a composite filling recently, currently pay vodaphone $45 a month - although skinny and telecom have some much better $19 pay monthly deals (bring your own phone), broadband with Vodafone (including landline) currently $78 a month - although due for renewal and I think I'll be shopping around. Flip do a $59 deal at the moment. For the two of us $150 a week keeps us well fed. Rates are usually included in rents (as is water). Wife is 33 and pays $450 fully comp (with windscreen cover) to AA for a newish Suzuki Swift.
Remember houses all look much better now its warm, might not be the case in winter. Cheers, Mark.
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Old Jan 28th 2014, 1:40 am
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Default Re: Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

Originally Posted by Chippy Giles View Post
Hi, following having our Christmas in NZ and a couple of job offers I'm trying to get my head around if we can afford to live if we do move..
The only thread I could find for this was from 2010 so apologies if its been done to death already, looking at renting (3 or 4 bed) to begin with to get a feel for NZ life and what the areas are like. Thinking of areas to the South or East of the city with good schools (7 year old twins), I'm basically trying to get grips with the costs of utilities etc
If anybody is in a similar position and could comment it would really help me out
Costs of utilities, medical ins, doctors, dentists, prescriptions, mobile phones landline and broadband, house contents & building insurance, car ins, average weekly shopping bill? Anything else I ought to be worrying about? Looking around there seem to be houses around the $600 p/w mark is this a realistic figure.
Thank you for your help
Giles
$600p/w - for a 3 or 4 bedroom house is cheap! It'll soon raise and raise and raise. I presume the salary/ies can cover that?

Terms of costs, here we go

Utilities - Electricity we pay on average $195 a month. Usually below the $100.00 marker during the summer months but once winter comes it rockets up to $350.00+. If you have a wife that thinks 20 degrees is freezing - good luck! We also have a fire/log burner but given our place, it only heats one room up. It would take a day to heat the whole house.

Medical Insurance - optional. I pay $60.00 a month for both me and my wife on Southern Cross. You can get better deals and have better benefits. However, given the difference in premiums, I felt it wasn't worth the hassle to get eye care, dental care and doctor visits included. Especially when you can get a free eye test every year if a member of the AA.

Doctors - ours is $40 peak times, $72 off peak times. We usually go during peak times.

Dentists - I pay $110 with Lumino for a once a year check up. Sometimes I may have to be a further $105 since i've had 2 wisdom teeth taken out. That cost $165.00 for the two to be taken out.

Prescriptions are $5 a piece. In some circumstances, they can be as low as $2.50 or even free.

Mobile phones - $99 for a 2 degrees samsung galaxy phone. On pay and go, Imight get through $20,00 worth of credit in 3 months. Contracts are not worth the paper they're written on.

Car Insurance - My recent payment was $388.00 for a years fully comprehensive with Tower on a 3 litre Volkswagen Passat. That includes windscreen cover and also courtesy car. I also am a member of the AA, $72.00 to start off with and then goes down every year for about 5-10 years I think. You get 5-10 free call outs, 1/2 years warranty on repairs done by them, plus a minimum of 6c off a litre of fuel.

Landline and Broadband = $129.99 a month at the moment but once we get into our new house, i'm scrapping the vodafone deal and jumping to Telecoms bed. Their $89.99 is more ideal

TV = Get freeview. save your money. I'm a sky customer and almost have everything bar Soho, Rugby Channel and Arts Channel. At $94.07 it's reasonable but not really worth it. Everything mostly repeats itself.

Contents Insurance = I pay $109 a year at the moment with Tower, don't have buildings since that's covered by the landlord. That'll come into play when we have our new home

Shopping bill - for the 2 of us and a wee boy, we spend around $800 a month on food. Ouch, where on earth does the money go on? Mostly buy fresh stuff every week, get milk every 3/4 days (the joys of having a wee one), some decent meats etc. We only do the supermarkets because of our work lives. The one local produce shop I did go to by Victoria Street charged an absolute bomb for their fresh fruit and veg. I also hear the same is for the one on Mairehau Road. Supermarket fruit and veg are ok, oh the Royal Gala apples in Countdown or New World - yum yum! Avoid pak n saves fresh fruit and veg, it goes off quicker than mouldy bread!

I imagine as you have 2 kids, your shopping bill will be a bit more. That is the one big difference about here, the cost of food. You'll actually find other furnishings etc can be expensive - you'll soon become a Warehouse, K-Mart or a Farmers red sale customer. Oh i'll add Briscoes to that as well as they can have some fabulous deals on sometimes.

The only other things I can say to watch out for are car repairs. You'll see it's the key trade here being a mechanic in Christchurch. I won't mention why, given my love for the standards of driving in this country. Costs to get back to Blighty in case of an emergency etc.
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Old Jan 28th 2014, 3:42 am
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Default Re: Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

Hi,

My partner and I are in Chch (no kids though). Here's our breakdown:

Rent - $340/week for a 2 bedder in a not-so-desirable area. I would budget at least $600/week for a 3/4 bedder, more in nicer areas.

Power bill - most it's ever been is $150/month in winter and as low as $60/month in summer. That is based on one heat pump and an electric column heater in a house that is not insulated. I would budget more as you will be heating a bigger space.

Council tax - known as "rates", the landlord pays this and it includes your water/sewerage costs as well. It will already be factored into the cost of your rent.

Phone bill - I pay $19/month for a value pack with 2 degrees. Unlimited text, 50 mins and 500mb. That is me supplying the phone. Contracts are expensive here so I have found it better to buy a phone and purchase value packs.

Internet - $85/month (no phone line, we use Skype and cell phones). That is for unlimited downloads between 1-7am. Outside of those times our limit is 150gb.

Doctors - $42 per visit and $5 prescription. Some medications you have to pay for so if you or your family need something specific it's worth checking whether it's available here and how much it will cost.

Groceries - about $100/week for two adults eating well. Lots of fruit and veggies, meat and dairy. That includes buying food for lunches. Perhaps add on say $10/week for alcohol. We home brew so don't buy beer but we do buy wine.

Insurance - don't have health insurance. Don't really feel it's worth it at our age and without kids. If I had kids then I would definitely go for it. Our friends 1 year old recently had grommets covered by insurance. If they didn't have insurance it would have been $2500 Car insurance is $40/month for a Mazda Axela.

Fuel - petrol is currently sitting at about $2.14/litre. The lowest I have seen petrol is $2.06 and highest $2.27.

Sky TV- about $100 from what people say. Never will I willingly give close to $100 per month to watch TV. Ever. I don't have a TV and download stuff from the Internet and watch it on my laptop or projector.

As for decent areas to live - I work in South Chch (Beckingham), which is a lovely area with bars, cafes etc. Comes at a $$ though! Ferrymead, Cashmere and Halswell are also nice areas in South Chch. East is where the less desirable areas are. A little messed up because of the earthquake, but then it was a bit pants before that!

I would also factor in money for school uniforms. Apparently they are expensive! Hopefully someone with school aged kids can give you an idea on price.

Good luck with the move We moved out one year ago now and love the place!

Last edited by Pom_Chch; Jan 28th 2014 at 3:50 am.
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Old Jan 28th 2014, 8:25 am
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Default Re: Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

Originally Posted by Chippy Giles View Post
Anything else I ought to be worrying about?
School stuff can be a costly business with books, stationery, uniforms and 'donations' having to be paid for. The back to school thing at this time of year always brings out a flurry of stories around the theme.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/ar...ectid=11191129

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/aucklander...ectid=11191631

You'll need to factor costs for car(s) WOF and annual registration depending on size http://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicle/regi...s.html#regfees

and

Road User Charges for Diesels

http://www.transport.govt.nz/ourwork...ruccalculator/
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Old Jan 29th 2014, 6:54 am
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Default Re: Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

Out of personal interest, I just downloaded all transactions from my bank account for the past three months, as a comparison since I set out at the beginning of this year to reign some costs in - as you do!!

OMFG I am totally in shock as I thought I was being quite good and generally reckon on about $150 pw for food, basic toiletries and general household cleaning stuff purchased from the supermarket. I know it's been Christmas and some extra treats and bits and bobs crept in however here's what I have actually spent for two adults:

November: $954.10
December: $943.88
January so far: $536.09 (with one more shop to go on)

We rarely drink at home but did buy maybe 2 or 3 bottles of wine and I got a few beers to have over the holidays or take out to friends BBQs and no doubt at least one or two 4kg sacks of cat food in there will account for about $20 to $40 bucks. Oddly Xmas I thought was quite frugal, as we were given fizzy bubbles and a large box of cherries as gifts, I made Xmas pudding and other than $42.99 for a turkey nothing much else was out of the ordinary.

On the face of it I do spend $150 per week on the main weekly shop - albeit that in the two weeks leading up to Christmas it was $230+ but it's all the additional trips to Fruit & Veg shop, bakers and midweek extras to get 'bread and milk' that are doing the damage and pushed the average up to nearer $200pw.

That's so bad, I really do need to do another major financial overhaul and belt tightening exercise; back to rice and lentils next week methinks.
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Old Jan 29th 2014, 10:18 pm
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Default Re: Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

Slightly off topic but I just did my annual budget overhaul having looked at last year 2013 net income and costs.
The good news, as I told my husband, was that we broke even.
The bad news was that this included a cash gift from his uncle
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Old Jan 31st 2014, 9:58 am
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Default Re: Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

One other thing - although your kids are young now, they will grow and if they need braces, you're looking at $7000 each minimum. Ouch!
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Old Jan 31st 2014, 11:44 pm
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Default Re: Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

Thank you for the advice so far - we are still trying to work this out, has anybody who has recently arrived in ChCh got contents insurance? If so can you give me a rough idea of cost and the value of cover you have. Am a little concern about what i've seen on the net about only existing policies being renewed with no new cover offered.
Ditto for buildings ins.

Is there anybody out their in the ChCh area with a family managing to live on one income?

Thanks Giles
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Old Feb 2nd 2014, 5:53 am
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Default Re: Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

We were in the same position about 18 months ago. Renting a Chch unit we were able to get contents through ANZ (unwritten by Vero). It was very pricey though, seem to recall being hit for around $600 (for $20000 cover). Hopefully things have changed since - Tom1983 might have a more up to date figure.
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Old Feb 3rd 2014, 7:13 am
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Default Re: Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

Giles - You may be able to get your landlord to extend their cover to you including Contents (thats what ours did!)

We have been in ChCh a month, so can give you our spreadsheet if you PM me your email addy.

Lee
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Old Feb 3rd 2014, 8:11 am
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Default Re: Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

Hi Lee PM sent, thank you Giles
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Old Feb 3rd 2014, 9:47 pm
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Default Re: Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

$109 was my contents insurance but that's because i've included it with my Car Insurance

You'll see that a lot of the companies tend to offer very good deals if you do multiple policies

Unless they are called State Insurance - as their offer was definitely not going to keep me moving!
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Old Feb 4th 2014, 7:29 am
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Default Re: Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles View Post
Out of personal interest, I just downloaded all transactions from my bank account for the past three months, as a comparison since I set out at the beginning of this year to reign some costs in - as you do!!

OMFG I am totally in shock as I thought I was being quite good and generally reckon on about $150 pw for food, basic toiletries and general household cleaning stuff purchased from the supermarket. I know it's been Christmas and some extra treats and bits and bobs crept in however here's what I have actually spent for two adults:

November: $954.10
December: $943.88
January so far: $536.09 (with one more shop to go on)

We rarely drink at home but did buy maybe 2 or 3 bottles of wine and I got a few beers to have over the holidays or take out to friends BBQs and no doubt at least one or two 4kg sacks of cat food in there will account for about $20 to $40 bucks. Oddly Xmas I thought was quite frugal, as we were given fizzy bubbles and a large box of cherries as gifts, I made Xmas pudding and other than $42.99 for a turkey nothing much else was out of the ordinary.

On the face of it I do spend $150 per week on the main weekly shop - albeit that in the two weeks leading up to Christmas it was $230+ but it's all the additional trips to Fruit & Veg shop, bakers and midweek extras to get 'bread and milk' that are doing the damage and pushed the average up to nearer $200pw.

That's so bad, I really do need to do another major financial overhaul and belt tightening exercise; back to rice and lentils next week methinks.
Hello Bo-Jangles,

I'm glad it's not just me spending that sort of money on groceries then. We are a family of 3 and I cannot believe how expensive shopping is here. When people keep quoting $150 a week I can't help but think what are we doing wrong - not remotely living extravagantly.

Martin
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Old Feb 4th 2014, 7:42 am
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Default Re: Costs of Living - Christchurch suburbs area

Originally Posted by shellmat View Post
Hello Bo-Jangles,

I'm glad it's not just me spending that sort of money on groceries then. We are a family of 3 and I cannot believe how expensive shopping is here. When people keep quoting $150 a week I can't help but think what are we doing wrong - not remotely living extravagantly.

Martin
Out of curiosity where do you do the majority of your grocery shopping? (If you don't mind me asking...)
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