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Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

Old Oct 30th 2005, 6:45 am
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Question Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

I mentioned to my Kiwi Mother in Law that many people on this website were struggling financially, including a family of 4 I had read about who were living in Auckland on $65000.

Her response was "well they must be living very extravagantly then".

Im ny experience Kiwis cannot believe anything could be more expensive in NZ than in the UK.

Would anyone like to comment on this?
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 6:55 am
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Default Re: Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee
I mentioned to my Kiwi Mother in Law that many people on this website were struggling financially, including a family of 4 I had read about who were living in Auckland on $65000.

Her response was "well they must be living very extravagantly then".

Im ny experience Kiwis cannot believe anything could be more expensive in NZ than in the UK.

Would anyone like to comment on this?
I have lived in both and found UK to be more expensive on the whole.....but maybe not in proportion to wages.

Also, remember that kiwi dollar is very strong at moment so things appear to cost more when you convert.
A number of years back the kiwi vs pound was about 3.3 rather than the current 2.5 or 2.6....which is a rather big diff.

The main difference is not so much in the converted cost of items but the proportion of your wage (which is likely to be less in NZ) the cost of those items consume.
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 7:20 am
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Default Re: Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee
I mentioned to my Kiwi Mother in Law that many people on this website were struggling financially, including a family of 4 I had read about who were living in Auckland on $65000.

Her response was "well they must be living very extravagantly then".

Im ny experience Kiwis cannot believe anything could be more expensive in NZ than in the UK.

Would anyone like to comment on this?
I believe the overall cost of living in NZ is cheaper than in the UK. BUT not in relation to wages and not if you take housing out of the equation which is still comparatively much cheaper in NZ (even in terms of average salary multiples) than in the UK - this could just be for the more expensive affluent commuter zones since this is what I know about.

People living in the UK have the MAJOR advantage of economies of scale that our vastly bigger population brings. I was in Asda yesterday (part of the US giant Walmart) and you would not believe the prices. They make it possible for average people to afford more luxury items. Tesco's supermarket had women's jeans at £3 when I was in last week. All the Brits I know living in NZ still use amazon.co.uk to buy their books and pay for the shipping since they are still so much cheaper. Now that I would have thought to be ridiculous if I didn't know it to be true!

In the last 5-10 years, things have got much cheaper in the UK generally, but not in NZ. We used to think NZ was cheap (yes the >$3/£1 helped a lot) so it will be interesting to see what we think at Xmas.
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 7:24 am
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Default Re: Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

Originally Posted by uk+kiwi
I believe the overall cost of living in NZ is cheaper than in the UK. BUT not in relation to wages and not if you take housing out of the equation which is still comparatively much cheaper in NZ (even in terms of average salary multiples) than in the UK - this could just be for the more expensive affluent commuter zones since this is what I know about.

People living in the UK have the MAJOR advantage of economies of scale that our vastly bigger population brings. I was in Asda yesterday (part of the US giant Walmart) and you would not believe the prices. They make it possible for average people to afford more luxury items. Tesco's supermarket had women's jeans at £3 when I was in last week. All the Brits I know living in NZ still use amazon.co.uk to buy their books and pay for the shipping since they are still so much cheaper. Now that I would have thought to be ridiculous if I didn't know it to be true!

In the last 5-10 years, things have got much cheaper in the UK generally, but not in NZ. We used to think NZ was cheap (yes the >$3/£1 helped a lot) so it will be interesting to see what we think at Xmas.
Take pity on me who is stuck in Dubai earning Dirhams which is pegged to the US dollar.

4 years ago....1 dirham got you 70 new zealand cents....now (due weak USD and strong NZD) I only get 40cents if that.
This means any house I buy with savings is effectively almost twice as much as it should be......and house prices have skyrocketed in NZ in last 4 years anyway!

DOH!!!!!!
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 8:01 am
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Default Re: Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

Originally Posted by kelvynd
Take pity on me who is stuck in Dubai earning Dirhams which is pegged to the US dollar.

4 years ago....1 dirham got you 70 new zealand cents....now (due weak USD and strong NZD) I only get 40cents if that.
This means any house I buy with savings is effectively almost twice as much as it should be......and house prices have skyrocketed in NZ in last 4 years anyway!

DOH!!!!!!
Oh dear! But hopefully your salary is high enough that you will still do okay in the end? Perhaps a comparison to how you would fare if you had never left NZ would be good now? Apparantly coastal properties in NZ have doubled in value in the last 2 years!

On the plus side, I am hoping both the dollar exchange rates won't hold for too much longer!? (for various reasons although I'm not sure if that will help you!) We'll just have to wait and see.
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 8:06 am
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Default Re: Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

Originally Posted by uk+kiwi
Oh dear! But hopefully your salary is high enough that you will still do okay in the end? Perhaps a comparison to how you would fare if you had never left NZ would be good now? Apparantly coastal properties in NZ have doubled in value in the last 2 years!

On the plus side, I am hoping both the dollar exchange rates won't hold for too much longer!? (for various reasons although I'm not sure if that will help you!) We'll just have to wait and see.
Kiwi is widely expected to 'drop like a stone' in next year or two which is good for anyone looking to move there then.
I'll just be waiting here until then.....hopefully housing market will be on decline then as well.
Certainly better off being overseas - that doesn't worry me. But I could still be better than better off if the USD and NZD would oblige.
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 8:08 am
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Question Re: Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

Originally Posted by kelvynd
Kiwi is widely expected to 'drop like a stone' in next year or two which is good for anyone looking to move there then.
I'll just be waiting here until then.....hopefully housing market will be on decline then as well.
Certainly better off being overseas - that doesn't worry me. But I could still be better than better off if the USD and NZD would oblige.
Hi kelvynd, do you know if the ozzie dollar is expected to fall too?
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 8:19 am
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Default Re: Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee
Hi kelvynd, do you know if the ozzie dollar is expected to fall too?
I don't take much notice of whats going on over the ditch there in oz so can't helps sorry.

Some of the aussie banks will have exchange rate forecasts on their websites.

NZD economy is not in good shape...inflation is increasing and the current dollar is unsustainable (according to our reserve bank dude down there in the beehive or wherever he is) and the USD is apparently undervalued now.

But i've no idea about the oz economic situation.
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 8:29 am
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Default Re: Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

just did a quick bit of net research and seems AUD is in similar situation to NZD esp. against greenback with decent falls expected in a year or 2.

AUD and NZD tend to follow each other up and down and don't very too much in relation to each other so i'd expect as one falls - the other would also.
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 10:09 am
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Default Re: Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

Originally Posted by kelvynd
just did a quick bit of net research and seems AUD is in similar situation to NZD esp. against greenback with decent falls expected in a year or 2.

AUD and NZD tend to follow each other up and down and don't very too much in relation to each other so i'd expect as one falls - the other would also.
Hmm maybe I should put my pounds into US$ now and then into downunder$ next year............!
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 3:05 pm
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Default Re: Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee
I mentioned to my Kiwi Mother in Law that many people on this website were struggling financially, including a family of 4 I had read about who were living in Auckland on $65000.

Her response was "well they must be living very extravagantly then".

Im ny experience Kiwis cannot believe anything could be more expensive in NZ than in the UK.

Would anyone like to comment on this?
I think the difference is that if you live in NZ you are Totally used to living according to NZ prices / earnings ... in fact you have no choice but to deal with it....but if you are used to eating meat ...its difficult to grade down to grog.......
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee
I mentioned to my Kiwi Mother in Law that many people on this website were struggling financially, including a family of 4 I had read about who were living in Auckland on $65000.

Her response was "well they must be living very extravagantly then".

Im ny experience Kiwis cannot believe anything could be more expensive in NZ than in the UK.

Would anyone like to comment on this?
Well I probably am theat 4 piece family that you are refering to...my Mother in law ( also Kiwi) omited to tell us alot before we came here...only to discover they have there own financial problems....

MIL, has motivatations to encourage us to be here....are you planning to do the same...if so...what motivations has she got to deter you from coming

as for extravagant...my hubbie has been able to loose 2 stone...as grocery budget allows no room for extras...so sure he doesnt think his life extravagant
Anyway,do the resarch for your self and make your decisions, after all why believe a stranger over family. best of luck to you...

Last edited by melting pot; Oct 30th 2005 at 5:28 pm. Reason: typo
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

Originally Posted by melting pot
Well I probably am theat 4 piece family that you are refering to...my Mother in law ( also Kiwi) omited to tell us alot before we came here...only to discover they have there own financial problems....

MIL, has motivatations to encourage us to be here....are you planning to do the same...if so...what motivations has she got to deter you from coming

as for extravagant...my hubbie has been able to loose 2 stone...as grocery budget allows no room for extras...so sure he doesnt think his life extravagant
Anyway,do the resarch for your self and make your decisions, after all why believe a stranger over family. best of luck to you...
Thanks for that Melting Pot, we actually used to live in NZ (South Island) and if it wasn't for our in-laws hospitality, we would have been bankrupt. We had to return to the UK after 18 months due to no job, no money and no future. Now we have 2 children of our own, and are lucky enough to have enough equity in our house that we won't need to pay a mortgage in NZ, we feel we may be in a different situation, and hope we can make a go of it again. But we have also obtained Ozzie visas as a backup.

My MIL stated to my wife today that she didn't want to actually help look after the kids (we have twin baby girls) she just wanted to see their smiles. So that lets us know exactly where we stand with family support!

But we would love to live in Christchurch as we know so many people there, the children would have cousins and other friends to mix with. It's just the high cost of living versus the low wages that worry us, and it doesn't help when Kiwis tell you that Brits struggling on $65000 must be being extravagant. It's just the whole Kiwi attitude that "NZ's better than everywhere else for everything what do you mean it's cheaper in England, you're wrong about that" that really pi**es me off.

rant rant rant..............................
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee
Thanks for that Melting Pot, we actually used to live in NZ (South Island) and if it wasn't for our in-laws hospitality, we would have been bankrupt. We had to return to the UK after 18 months due to no job, no money and no future. Now we have 2 children of our own, and are lucky enough to have enough equity in our house that we won't need to pay a mortgage in NZ, we feel we may be in a different situation, and hope we can make a go of it again. But we have also obtained Ozzie visas as a backup.

My MIL stated to my wife today that she didn't want to actually help look after the kids (we have twin baby girls) she just wanted to see their smiles. So that lets us know exactly where we stand with family support!

But we would love to live in Christchurch as we know so many people there, the children would have cousins and other friends to mix with. It's just the high cost of living versus the low wages that worry us, and it doesn't help when Kiwis tell you that Brits struggling on $65000 must be being extravagant. It's just the whole Kiwi attitude that "NZ's better than everywhere else for everything what do you mean it's cheaper in England, you're wrong about that" that really pi**es me off.

rant rant rant..............................
Unfortunately the cost of living is country wide,that was one of our thoughts about here,but reading other threads of people living in the south,it doesn't seem to get any better.

Obviously your wife would love to be able to come home,and be with family,as a mum I can fully understand that,and certainly if you can get a good enough wage, why shouldn't you be able to make a viable go of it.

My husband works with Kiwis,and they all discuss costs, and with Christmas coming up the discussions are about having BBQ together,and each bringing something to cover costs...and they are embarrassed by this....we fully understand as we are in the same predicament as them...so It is not just Expats that think this way....

Anyway, if I can be of any help,just ask...just because we are finding it rough doesn't mean we want to help others get it right....take care...
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 7:22 pm
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Default Re: Kiwis can't believe we have a problem with cost of living

[QUOTE=kelvynd]I
NZD economy is not in good shape...inflation is increasing and the current dollar is unsustainable (according to our reserve bank dude down there in the beehive or wherever he is) and the USD is apparently undervalued now./QUOTE]

"NZD economy is not in good shape..." Actually, thats a bit pessimistic. In many ways NZ economy is in good shape. GDP growth rate is near the top of OECD countries, and unemployment is second lowest.

The reason that inflation is increasing is because of a shortage in labour, and everyone feels able and willing to spend up on imported goods.

Sure there's a good chance the exchange rate will be more favourable in 6-12 months time. But then, everyone has been saying the same for the last 2 years.

Back to the original subject - I think this thread shows the usual confusion when talking about cost of living. People mean two different things, the straight COL or the COL as a proportion of wages.

NZers have this very strong belief that NZ is one of the cheapest places in the world, especially when compared to the UK. That I think is still in general true, but not as true as it used to be, because:
a) exchange rate movement has made NZ more expensive
b) property prices are no longer the basement bargain they were 2-3 years ago

What is also true, and what perhaps is more useful to talk about with kiwis is that the salary and wage levels in NZ are very low by international standards. That is why some peeps struggle, not the cost of living.
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