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NZ living - Budget estimation

NZ living - Budget estimation

Old Feb 4th 2018, 1:02 pm
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Default NZ living - Budget estimation

Hi Guys,

I'm trying to work out realistic day-to-day expenses for a family of 2+1. We are considering a move down to Auckland. For the initial period I would be the only income provider with a salary of $110k/year. We would be travelling on a Working Visa (not resident as it's much easier and faster). Our daughter is 6 y.o. My wife would not work at the beginning so the below budget figures are based on a single salary. I have used the online calculator (google: "how much will I earn NZ") to get an idea on how much I would be taking home each week/month/year and based on the $110k/year it's looking like $6770/month or $81251/year without the Kiwi Saver (I believe on a working visa you are not entitled to it). I'm not aware of any tax credits and I'm not sure if those actually exist in NZ, is there a difference in how much tax you pay depending on whether you're single or with children? I'm assuming the worse case scenario that there's nothing like this and that the online calculator is correct.

So without further ado, here are my assumptions. I would appreciate any comments based on your experience, let me know if I'm under or overestimating anything.


Rent - $600/week - this is my maximum budget for a modern 3-bed house in Manurewa or similar area with travel distance of ~30km one way to work roughly in the city centre
Power - $350/month - here I have no idea how much to put. I assume everything runs on electricity in the house including heating and cooking (no gas in the house)
Water - $100/month - no idea if this figure is anywhere near, I read that some houses are metered, other aren't, we use water normally, showering rather than having a 200l bath every evening.
Internet - $100/month - fiber speed of 100Mbs or more
Mobile phones - $50/month - for two phones that will be used to call ourselves mainly
Sky TV - $40/month - for the simplest package, we don't watch TV, it's just for our daughter to watch cartoons etc.
Household insurance - $500/year - no idea if this is correct as I was unable to get online quotes, I'm assuming the rented property is insured so this is just to cover my belonging in case of fire/flood/theft

Groceries - $250/week
Bought lunches - $50/week (just for me, sandwich with drink and some fruit)
Takeaways - $50/fortnightly (pizza or Chinese food)
Dining out - $130/month (we rarely go out, maybe once a month)
Entertainment - $50/month (cinema tickets once per month etc.)
Beverages - $50/month (we don't drink much)

Fuel - $100/week (2 cars, one commuting to work ~30km one way/5days per week, the other for local transportation to school, supermarket etc. Cars will be petrol 1.6-1.8l)
Vehicle maintenance - $1000/year - new tyres, wipers, service cost etc. - honestly I have no idea if this is correct or way off, I plan to buy 2 cars ~5-6 y.o, one medium sized (Ford Focus estate or similar), one small like Ford Fiesta
Car registration - $410/year - for two cars based on NZTA web site
WOF - $200/year - based on on offer I found in one of the garages websites
Car insurance - $1700/year - comprehensive covers for both cars based on a quote from AA

Bank fees - $25/month - I'm not sure if this will apply, usually simple banking is for free, we will have one joint account with 2 debit cards, I don't plan for any credit cards as we don't need them
Gym membership - $840/year - for me and my wife, I found this figure on one of the gym's websites
Professional membership - $470/year - assuming my company won't cover this cost

Medical Insurance for entire family - $1500/year - based on a quote from lifedirect website
Dental - $500/year (1 visit)
Optician - $300/year (1 visit)
Doctors - $200/year - GP or specialist visits however I'm not sure if this applies if I have a medical insurance
Health products - $50/month (some non prescribed drugs, diet supplements etc.)

Clothing/shoes - $150/month
Hair & beauty - $50/month
Gifts - $500/year

Below school costs are a mystery for me, I'm only hoping I got them right
School annual fee - $500/year
School trips - $500/year
School uniforms - $600/year
Kids Activities - $150/month - after class activities like gymnastics or violin lessons etc.
Kids parties/gifts - $500/year - presents for friend's birthdays etc.


Did I miss anything? Hopefully not as the above figures, when put to the budget planner are leaving me with almost nothing to spare. Please let me know any comments.
Thanks
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 4:47 pm
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Default Re: NZ living - Budget estimation

Originally Posted by redetzky79 View Post
almost nothing to spare.
We had less than nothing to spare each month with 3 of us living on a slightly smaller income with smaller outgoings. It's the main reason we left NZ.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 5:53 pm
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Default Re: NZ living - Budget estimation

Originally Posted by redetzky79 View Post
So without further ado, here are my assumptions. I would appreciate any comments based on your experience, let me know if I'm under or overestimating anything.


Rent - $600/week - this is my maximum budget for a modern 3-bed house in Manurewa or similar area with travel distance of ~30km one way to work roughly in the city centre
Power - $350/month - here I have no idea how much to put. I assume everything runs on electricity in the house including heating and cooking (no gas in the house)
Water - $100/month - no idea if this figure is anywhere near, I read that some houses are metered, other aren't, we use water normally, showering rather than having a 200l bath every evening.
Internet - $100/month - fiber speed of 100Mbs or more
Mobile phones - $50/month - for two phones that will be used to call ourselves mainly
Sky TV - $40/month - for the simplest package, we don't watch TV, it's just for our daughter to watch cartoons etc.
Household insurance - $500/year - no idea if this is correct as I was unable to get online quotes, I'm assuming the rented property is insured so this is just to cover my belonging in case of fire/flood/theft

Groceries - $250/week
Bought lunches - $50/week (just for me, sandwich with drink and some fruit)
Takeaways - $50/fortnightly (pizza or Chinese food)
Dining out - $130/month (we rarely go out, maybe once a month)
Entertainment - $50/month (cinema tickets once per month etc.)
Beverages - $50/month (we don't drink much)

Fuel - $100/week (2 cars, one commuting to work ~30km one way/5days per week, the other for local transportation to school, supermarket etc. Cars will be petrol 1.6-1.8l)
Vehicle maintenance - $1000/year - new tyres, wipers, service cost etc. - honestly I have no idea if this is correct or way off, I plan to buy 2 cars ~5-6 y.o, one medium sized (Ford Focus estate or similar), one small like Ford Fiesta
Car registration - $410/year - for two cars based on NZTA web site
WOF - $200/year - based on on offer I found in one of the garages websites
Car insurance - $1700/year - comprehensive covers for both cars based on a quote from AA
We are just two people living in a three-bedroom house, the electricity bills are about $150 per month in the summer and $200 per month in the winter.
Water is about $50 per month - the bills inform us that is in the middle of the expected consumption range for a two-person household.

The last WOF i had done was $55.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: NZ living - Budget estimation

you have not factored in GP costs, we pay $48 per visit for all over 13yrs, dental costs at any cost they want to set. School fees, stationary (this year was $76 to start with) and the non voluntary payment. say $100 per term and there are 4 terms and possible school uniform if the school has one. Plus packed lunches for school and additional costs of school trips.

Some places do have gas so it depends on the area.

Takeaway coffee is anything from $4-$6.50 a cup. sandwich anything from $4-$9 so $50 dollars in takeaway lunches for you is not going to cut it.

You have not factored in clothing/shoes. or kids clubs - $10 per session on average, sun cream, mosquito spray for yourself and bug spray for the house, after sun, all day to day needs here.

You pay tax on very cent you earn here generally its 17.5% but can be 14% or higher than the 17.5%.
2017–2018
Income Tax rate Effective tax rate
$0 – $14,000 10.5% 10.5%
$14,001 – $48,000 17.5% 10.5 - 15.5%
$48,001 – $70,000 30% 15.5 - 20.0%
Over $70,000 33% 20.0 - 33.0%

on $110k you will not be entitled to any concessions.

Rubbish collection, cant remember what ours at the moment

Last edited by MrsFychan; Feb 4th 2018 at 6:16 pm.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: NZ living - Budget estimation

Thank you for your feedback.

For the doctor I have allowed $200/year, that's 4 GP visits.
For clothing I have allowed $150/month, which will be spent mostly by my wife and daughter.
Sun sprays etc. will fall under groceries, I hope.

Lunches - I usually tend to take something from home. I allow for $10/day which should cover a sandwich and chips, based on the lunch menus of restaurants I checked near the office. But maybe I should allow for bit more.

Regarding the school costs I've allowed for:
Uniform - $600/year - do you think it's reasonable?
School trips - $500/year
School fees - $500/year
Lunches - I allowed for $40/week, should cover it
I've added the voluntary payment of $400/year

Still looking reasonably ok, with power costs down to $250/month and water $80/month. I've also added rubbish collection of $50/month but not sure if that's correct.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 7:50 pm
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Default Re: NZ living - Budget estimation

Rent - closer to $700 might be better as the rental market might be quite tight and $600 may not get you what you are expecting...not sure why you list that as the only item with a "maximum budget" as as with all things there may be tradeoffs with petrol/commute costs to be had etc.
Power - $250 average in my experience
Water $50 - $100/mth is A LOT ;-)
Petrol I'd allow $130/wk

School costs look maybe a bit high (uniform probably $300/year)

Other than that everything you have not directly priced looks fairly close to me - GP visit costs still apply even with private medical.

Rubbish collection for me is in with the rates so effectively included in the rent.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 9:06 pm
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Default Re: NZ living - Budget estimation

Originally Posted by redetzky79 View Post

Did I miss anything? Hopefully not as the above figures, when put to the budget planner are leaving me with almost nothing to spare. Please let me know any comments.
Thanks
I don't know what sort of properties or area you're considering but perhaps you can show us what you've seen for $600. I expect once you start to see places in the flesh - you will have to stretch the rent to your upper limits. I would go up to next level and allow $650 to $700

You've done pretty well and at least have a fairly comprehensive list that covers a lot more than most other people even think about. You'll be fine as s long as you truly can embrace the idea of having 'almost nothing to spare' which is about par for the course here and that you'll have next to nothing left for fun stuff after you have spent everything on just maintaining day to day life at home and getting yourself to work and back. That means limited travel around NZ, no romantic ideas of holidays to Fiji and the Pacific islands or weekends away to Aussie and saving pretty hard for a three to five yearly trip to the UK for special occasions / or events

The sting usually comes when you have to fund all the other random things that you never thought of and you'll soon start to feel the pinch when you get unexpected bills and need replacements for household stuff, towels, bedding, gadgets, furniture, appliances that get broken and the likes.

Maintaining good relations with family can be expensive; especially with parents, nephews and nieces and extended family in the UK you have to think about birthdays, Xmas, Mothers day gifts, postage and cards all adds up.

A weekend away in NZ with one night in a basic motel $150 to $200 per night; having visitors come to see you can be expensive, add in some days out, entrances to the zoo, a trip to the Sky tower, events, entertaining and such like all add up and will ensure that you remain on the brink of breaking even from one week to the next.

$50 is very light for work lunches / drinks out. 'Sub of the day' would be about the cheapest place to get a sandwich $4.90 Big Mac Combo about $10, a Muffin or scone from a cafe $4.50, Coffee $4.50 to $5.00

I am not sure about kids meals but two adult main courses or breakfast at an eat in cafe / pub style place would be $40-$50 plus drinks (add extra $10 each or so if you want steak) A bottle beer or glass of wine with a lunch is going to be $10 to $14 a pop.

A recent 'meal' out for us two over the holidays was pulled pork sliders and fries, plus two bottles of cider each ($84 thank you).

Our water meter is about $45 pm you might not have to pay in a rental

Rubbish collection also depends on area - everywhere on Auckland is different.

Ladies hair cut and blow dry would be $80 - possibly every six weeks depending on how high maintenance. Throw in regular highlights or colour and treatments and that'll be an expensive habit at $250 a time.

Shoes and clothes will depend on what you favour; everything here is either very cheap - a la Warehouse and Kmart where you can get a pair of plastic shoes for $40 for something like Primark style and quality or it's more like $100 to $200 a pair for more decent shoes at other regular high street stores. Or otherwise expect to shop online at Marks and Spencers, Amazon, ASOS and the likes to get the same kind of stuff you do now (factor in postage again which can quickly mount up)
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 9:18 pm
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Default Re: NZ living - Budget estimation

Oh and equally important is to understand the used car market here is way different to the UK, you can expect to have to invest significantly more into your 2x 5-6yo cars than you might expect in the UK market. Resale is consequently higher too of course but many get caught out on the level of the market here for 2nd hand cars.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 10:40 pm
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Default Re: NZ living - Budget estimation

Thank you guys, it's really helpful.

Regarding the cars, I've checked how much I could get for my cars back home, compared it with prices of used carts at trademe and I realize I will need to downgrade. That's ok.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: NZ living - Budget estimation

And regarding the properties (I could only post links after my 5'th post) these all look good to my standard, at least worth having a viewing:

https://www.trademe.co.nz/1521068565
https://www.trademe.co.nz/1526319548
https://www.trademe.co.nz/1528150328
https://www.trademe.co.nz/1527633729
https://www.trademe.co.nz/1513597467
https://www.trademe.co.nz/1527031684
https://www.trademe.co.nz/1535238692
https://www.trademe.co.nz/1536820575
https://www.trademe.co.nz/1522004196

Last edited by redetzky79; Feb 4th 2018 at 10:45 pm.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 10:58 pm
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Default Re: NZ living - Budget estimation

Originally Posted by redetzky79 View Post
I've also added rubbish collection of $50/month but not sure if that's correct.
In the part of Auckland that I live the charge is $3.80 to empty the bin. The service is weekly but we only generate enough to be worth collecting once every two weeks.

$150 per month for clothing won't go very far but could be manageable if you are frugal. I don't buy much new clothing these days but the last time I bought a new pair of Levis they were $110.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 11:09 pm
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Default Re: NZ living - Budget estimation

Another thing to take into account is that Rental properties are usually unfurnished - that won't affect your monthly budget unless you have to borrow to fund the furniture - but it is another thing to take into account.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 11:34 pm
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Default Re: NZ living - Budget estimation

Originally Posted by redetzky79 View Post
...these all look good to my standard, at least worth having a viewing:
I don't doubt that but for example my last rental when I left used pics from approx 5yrs before in their listing to replace my tenancy, as I said you may not get what you expect hence allow a little wriggle room in your budget if you can.

I also don't know how tight the market is in Manurewa but there are stories of prospective tenants having to compete with many others in Auckland for each listed property...
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: NZ living - Budget estimation

Originally Posted by redetzky79 View Post
Thank you guys, it's really helpful.

Regarding the cars, I've checked how much I could get for my cars back home, compared it with prices of used carts at trademe and I realize I will need to downgrade. That's ok.
Brilliant - will make it so much easier than dealing with that shock when you arrive.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 11:58 pm
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Default Re: NZ living - Budget estimation

Will you need parking in town? The cost can be a killer - example:

https://at.govt.nz/driving-parking/p...town-car-park/

Otherwise look at train fares from Manurewa
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