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Living on $40k a year

Living on $40k a year

Old Sep 27th 2016, 6:10 am
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Default Living on $40k a year

I know it's different for everyone but does anyone think it would be possible for 2 adults with no rent/mortgage to live comfortably on $40k net a year? We don't have any car loan etc so would just be living in a small town, eating in (mainly), maintaining a car and exploring locally. Bringing heaps of clothes and belongings with us, and house will be updated so should just be the cost of eating, fuel, woff, internet, Foxtel equiv and plenty of heating


I know some people will think this would be a miserable lifestyle but others may be doing it and quite happy. We used to live in NZ years ago and struggled with COL so just looking for an updated view as we're looking to come back for a trial period next year.


Thanks everyone

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Old Sep 27th 2016, 7:12 am
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Default Re: Living on $40k a year

Based on your limited needs as stated, I'd have thought you would be fine as an average $800/wk. Non-average stuff might hurt but you are obviously old enough to make that call on your circumstances ;-)
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Old Sep 27th 2016, 7:27 am
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Default Re: Living on $40k a year

Originally Posted by simonsi View Post
Based on your limited needs as stated, I'd have thought you would be fine as an average $800/wk. Non-average stuff might hurt but you are obviously old enough to make that call on your circumstances ;-)

Thanks for that! It seems to work on paper but just wanted reassurance. Worst case scenario I'd fly back to Aus for a short contract to pay for non average costs. Going to try it from Feb next year so will report back
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Old Sep 27th 2016, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Living on $40k a year

Spookily, the required income for any couple emigrating under the Parent Category is just a shade over $40k.

So Immigration NZ think that it is enough.
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Old Sep 27th 2016, 7:52 pm
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Default Re: Living on $40k a year

My parents are living on two part time salaries and bringing in about that figure, they have a small mortgage and the usual rates / insurances etc they are doing okay, certainly not flashy and they have struggled with unexpected car expenses but for their health and lifestyle desires (they like to go caravanning and fishing, all the equipment they already have) the 2 x part time incomes seems to be keeping them afloat. But its certainly not a flash life!! Heating they struggle with a bit, it is expensive, but it doesn't get that cold for that long in Tauranga so they have muddled thru this winter and are only just reaching 60yrs so the cold isn't too detrimental to their health, still perfectly able to rug up!
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Old Sep 28th 2016, 12:56 am
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Default Re: Living on $40k a year

Originally Posted by outback sunset View Post
I know it's different for everyone but does anyone think it would be possible for 2 adults with no rent/mortgage to live comfortably on $40k net a year? We don't have any car loan etc so would just be living in a small town, eating in (mainly), maintaining a car and exploring locally. Bringing heaps of clothes and belongings with us, and house will be updated so should just be the cost of eating, fuel, woff, internet, Foxtel equiv and plenty of heating


I know some people will think this would be a miserable lifestyle but others may be doing it and quite happy. We used to live in NZ years ago and struggled with COL so just looking for an updated view as we're looking to come back for a trial period next year.


Thanks everyone
HHmmm. Eerrmmm.

If you are not wanting to travel or save & to lead a simple basic lifestyle, I'd say it is doable & you would get by with a good budget in place.

We are a couple with no mortgage and one f/t income and a small p/t income. Our net is more than $40K and I would not say we live comfortable. We need to watch the budget & plan for unexpected costs like new car tyres etc.

You don't mention utilities and rates or other costs like dental and GP.

To be honest. I'd like more life than the basics so I am starting to think about our long term future here as I don't wish the rest of my life to be ....drab.
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Old Sep 28th 2016, 5:05 am
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Default Re: Living on $40k a year

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post
HHmmm. Eerrmmm.

If you are not wanting to travel or save & to lead a simple basic lifestyle, I'd say it is doable & you would get by with a good budget in place.

We are a couple with no mortgage and one f/t income and a small p/t income. Our net is more than $40K and I would not say we live comfortable. We need to watch the budget & plan for unexpected costs like new car tyres etc.

You don't mention utilities and rates or other costs like dental and GP.

To be honest. I'd like more life than the basics so I am starting to think about our long term future here as I don't wish the rest of my life to be ....drab.


I know exactly what you mean Bevs. We lived in NZ over 10 years ago, hubby couldn't get a job and I worked an 80hr fortnight for peanuts in a job requiring a degree. I can remember putting tins of baked beans back on the supermarket shelf because I couldn't justify the cost. It was the amount of minutes/hours required to buy items in NZ vs UK that really highlighted the difference for us. In those days there was no kiwi saver, we weren't saving, we'd have had nothing for our pension and hubby (who was in his 40s then) was offered some scheme called Grey Skills would you believe, to help the elderly back into slave labour.


Anyway we left in under 2 years, returned to the UK where we immediately picked up well paid jobs. After 5 years I missed the sunny weather and we moved to Aus. Australia changed our lives. We opted to work in remote areas and earned and saved up really good money for 5 years. Bought some investments and paid for them, which is where the income comes from. I'm seeing NZ as an adventure this time we won't have the pressure of trying to make it work. If it doesn't work we'll leave. We definitely wouldn't be in this position if we'd held on in NZ all those years ago.


Totally agree with you, who wants a drab life? Would you consider Aus? I think it's an amazing country which seems full of possibilities. We'll probably flit between the two and get try to get the best of both.
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Old Sep 28th 2016, 5:23 am
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Default Re: Living on $40k a year

Originally Posted by outback sunset View Post
Would you consider Aus? I think it's an amazing country which seems full of possibilities. We'll probably flit between the two and get try to get the best of both.
Ye. We would have given that a go but we were too old.
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Old Sep 28th 2016, 5:30 am
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Default Re: Living on $40k a year

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post
Ye. We would have given that a go but we were too old.

That's a bugger, although you may be able to get around it. There are many lovely and parts of Aus where they can't get anyone to work. Your hubby would be in demand I would have thought.
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Old Sep 28th 2016, 6:04 am
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Default Re: Living on $40k a year

Originally Posted by outback sunset View Post
I know exactly what you mean Bevs. We lived in NZ over 10 years ago, hubby couldn't get a job and I worked an 80hr fortnight for peanuts in a job requiring a degree. I can remember putting tins of baked beans back on the supermarket shelf because I couldn't justify the cost. It was the amount of minutes/hours required to buy items in NZ vs UK that really highlighted the difference for us. In those days there was no kiwi saver, we weren't saving, we'd have had nothing for our pension and hubby (who was in his 40s then) was offered some scheme called Grey Skills would you believe, to help the elderly back into slave labour.


Anyway we left in under 2 years, returned to the UK where we immediately picked up well paid jobs. After 5 years I missed the sunny weather and we moved to Aus. Australia changed our lives. We opted to work in remote areas and earned and saved up really good money for 5 years. Bought some investments and paid for them, which is where the income comes from. I'm seeing NZ as an adventure this time we won't have the pressure of trying to make it work. If it doesn't work we'll leave. We definitely wouldn't be in this position if we'd held on in NZ all those years ago.


Totally agree with you, who wants a drab life? Would you consider Aus? I think it's an amazing country which seems full of possibilities. We'll probably flit between the two and get try to get the best of both.
In the 1990's NZ was described as a blueprint for deregulation, and economists would come from around the world to learn about the great NZ experiment!

Unfortunately it was all lies and the standard of living in NZ has significantly deteriorated. However, John Key and his friends are much wealthier

Last edited by LoCarb; Sep 28th 2016 at 6:23 am.
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Old Sep 28th 2016, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: Living on $40k a year

At first glance I would say no, but after doing the sums I think it can be done.

$800/week (ish) with generous estimations:

- Groceries $200-250 (inc cleaning products, toiletries etc)
- Fuel $50/week
- WOF/servicng/repairs $30-50/week (inc saving for repairs you may need)
- Phone and Internet $30/week
- Rates $50/ week (highly dependent on where you live - ours are hideously expensive so I've based it on that!)
- Insurance house/car/health/life (maybe plug this one into an online quote as the cost will vary so much)
- Power $60/week based on expensive winter months and cheaper summer months
- Misc costs/general crap needed $20/week

After all of that you're still left with $200-300/week to enjoy yourself with and save a little
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Old Sep 29th 2016, 12:09 am
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Default Re: Living on $40k a year

I am a Kiwi and my British partner immigrated to New Zealand this year. He is yet to find a job so we are surviving on my income, which is about $41000 a year before tax.

We pay around $1300 a month for housing.

Is our budget extremely tight? Yup. But we have been amazed that 'living in poverty' really hasn't been terrible at all. We even joined the gym and bought a cat. We spend less $200 a month on electricity/gas a month (almost half as much in summer) and less than $300 on groceries so I suppose that explains how we do it.

It has been a lifestyle dip for us, don't get me wrong - we are a young couple and grew up verryyy comfortably. I wouldn't want to live like this forever, but I would certainly be happy with $40000 to play with after housing!
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Old Sep 29th 2016, 2:10 am
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Default Re: Living on $40k a year

Originally Posted by Pom_Chch View Post
At first glance I would say no, but after doing the sums I think it can be done.

$800/week (ish) with generous estimations:

- Groceries $200-250 (inc cleaning products, toiletries etc)
- Fuel $50/week
- WOF/servicng/repairs $30-50/week (inc saving for repairs you may need)
- Phone and Internet $30/week
- Rates $50/ week (highly dependent on where you live - ours are hideously expensive so I've based it on that!)
- Insurance house/car/health/life (maybe plug this one into an online quote as the cost will vary so much)
- Power $60/week based on expensive winter months and cheaper summer months
- Misc costs/general crap needed $20/week

After all of that you're still left with $200-300/week to enjoy yourself with and save a little

Thanks PC, I'm going to print that out and keep as a budget guide!
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Old Sep 29th 2016, 2:13 am
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Default Re: Living on $40k a year

Originally Posted by thebrits View Post
I am a Kiwi and my British partner immigrated to New Zealand this year. He is yet to find a job so we are surviving on my income, which is about $41000 a year before tax.

We pay around $1300 a month for housing.

Is our budget extremely tight? Yup. But we have been amazed that 'living in poverty' really hasn't been terrible at all. We even joined the gym and bought a cat. We spend less $200 a month on electricity/gas a month (almost half as much in summer) and less than $300 on groceries so I suppose that explains how we do it.

It has been a lifestyle dip for us, don't get me wrong - we are a young couple and grew up verryyy comfortably. I wouldn't want to live like this forever, but I would certainly be happy with $40000 to play with after housing!
That's fantastic, you're adapting extremely well by the sounds of it. Start investing if you can, while you're young and you should soon have money to spare after all bills
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Old Sep 29th 2016, 2:14 am
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Default Re: Living on $40k a year

Thanks for all the replies, feeling very positive and ready to book flights for Jan/Feb next year
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