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Start of the process

Start of the process

Old Oct 27th 2017, 11:41 am
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Default Start of the process

Hi there,

I’ve been lurking a few weeks whilst my other half went through the interview process for a 3 year contract in Wellington. We’ve received an offer which is wonderful but we are concerned about being able to equal our current living situation once there - the nznow website suggests as a family, spending the average amounts on the sections provided, we would have a weekly $500 deficit. It seems incredulous to me, but I’m completely prepared to sack off the idea if it’s just not plausible.

In the UK we own one v old car and have lived in a small 3 bed terrace in the Midlands for 10 years on one income. We have no interest in status symbols or big spending on items, but do enjoy food and media entertainment and have no worries about disposable income. We also have two children, one under 5. Our home is an important factor in moving out there, as if we were to stay here we would be looking to trade up to a bigger place and would be looking for something much in the same vein as that out in NZ.

It’s difficult to understand whether our outgoings would be thought of as above, equal or below average, so it’s hard to pinpoint where we would fall on the outgoings sliders on the website. We have a generous relocation package from the employer and have *very* modest savings and a mortgage.

I don’t really know what other information is pertinent but if anyone has anything to add to my confusion (Haha!) please do! I love the idea of moving to the NZ climate and scenery, the opportunity to live in a vibrant city and the chance to explore the world with my family, but only if it meets our requirements.

Thank you for reading!

*Braces*
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: Start of the process

Originally Posted by zebidee View Post
Hi there,

I’ve been lurking a few weeks whilst my other half went through the interview process for a 3 year contract in Wellington. We’ve received an offer which is wonderful but we are concerned about being able to equal our current living situation once there - the nznow website suggests as a family, spending the average amounts on the sections provided, we would have a weekly $500 deficit. It seems incredulous to me, but I’m completely prepared to sack off the idea if it’s just not plausible.

In the UK we own one v old car and have lived in a small 3 bed terrace in the Midlands for 10 years on one income. We have no interest in status symbols or big spending on items, but do enjoy food and media entertainment and have no worries about disposable income. We also have two children, one under 5. Our home is an important factor in moving out there, as if we were to stay here we would be looking to trade up to a bigger place and would be looking for something much in the same vein as that out in NZ.

It’s difficult to understand whether our outgoings would be thought of as above, equal or below average, so it’s hard to pinpoint where we would fall on the outgoings sliders on the website. We have a generous relocation package from the employer and have *very* modest savings and a mortgage.

I don’t really know what other information is pertinent but if anyone has anything to add to my confusion (Haha!) please do! I love the idea of moving to the NZ climate and scenery, the opportunity to live in a vibrant city and the chance to explore the world with my family, but only if it meets our requirements.

Thank you for reading!

*Braces*
The biggest question is what sort of salary will you be earning? Thats key. NZ is very expensive, rent is very expensive. Your salary will determine your lifestyle.
Good luck
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: Start of the process

Yes, of course, looking at starting salary of $90,000

We’re coming to the decision that the one salary might not be enough to cover us comfortably, would you say that’s reasonable assumption?
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 10:16 pm
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Default Re: Start of the process

Originally Posted by zebidee View Post
Yes, of course, looking at starting salary of $90,000

We’re coming to the decision that the one salary might not be enough to cover us comfortably, would you say that’s reasonable assumption?
I'd say that is a true assumption. You are right to be cautious and that salary is pretty much borderline for affordability in Wellington in my opinion for a family of 4. It can be done, but you'll seriously have to manage your spending until you adapt to the Kiwi way of life, understand shopping is seasonal and avoid being ripped off just because you're a newbie. Made easier if you have some savings to be used to set yourselves up.

In 2012, we (2 adults and a 13 month old) started off in Wellington with my salary of $95000 and a $15000 + relocation package which covered all our shipping, shipping insurance, car rental, 8 weeks furnished accommodation etc.
It wasn't a major struggle initially as we also brought around $80 000 with us to be used to set us up in Wellington, so maybe $50 000 of that money was used to purchase a couple of cars, pay for the bond on a more permanent unfurnished rental, buy some new appliances and furniture as required plus pay outright for at least 12 months car insurance, contents insurance etc etc. If it wasn't for us having that initial set up fund we'd have really struggled or more specifically we'd have had to seriously cut our monthly spending like for example ditch the sky tv, maybe stay on pay as you go mobile instead of being on pay monthly, maybe not have internet at home and just rely on free wifi plus whatever you got for data on the mobile.
We still had to watch our money as with $600 per week rent plus other bills (power/mobile/broadband/sky/bins/car fuel and maintenance/registration etc) it falls through your hands as quickly as it lands.
If you are renting, water / wastewater should be free unless the property has a water meter. The fees for water are paid by the owner/landlord and form part of the annual council rates. Water meters not widely used in Wellington so you'd be pretty unlucky if the owner/landlord had a means to charge you for useage but even so it wouldn't be much - maybe $50 per quarter.
Initially you'll have to pay out around 6 x the weekly rent to cover the bond, advance payments and letting fees. 4 x weekly payments will be retained in a bond scheme lodged with the government and will be repaid when you leave assuming you leave the place in a good condition.

Childcare is also really expensive in Wellington. We paid around $190 a week for 4 x full days and only able to manage that when the Mrs found a job part time so basically went back to work.

It does get easier when you settle into Kiwi life but there's no doubt it'll be 'challenging' in the first 6 months plus
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: Start of the process

Originally Posted by zebidee View Post
We’ve received an offer which is wonderful but we are concerned about being able to equal our current living situation once there - the nznow website suggests as a family, spending the average amounts on the sections provided, we would have a weekly $500 deficit.
How many of you are there and what ages of kids?


$90k should really be doable in Wellington, albeit maybe a fairly frugal lifestyle; but it's hard to imagine how you arrive at $500 per week deficit, so perhaps you can post up the numbers you have so that we can do a reality check or check out some of the many cost of living threads on here.

In really simple terms $90k gives you about $1250 per week (if you pay into Kiwisaver 3% / more if not) and from that assuming you cover the essential items:

Rent approx $500pw.
Food, toiletries and bits and bobs upto $200 pw (depending how many of you and ages of kids might be a lot more if you have hungry teens but plenty for a couple with small kids)
Utilities Average $50-60pw (lower in summer and worse in winter months
Petrol - maybe $35-40 pw depending on type of car and mileage

That still leave $450 to play with for everything else; phones, insurance, medical etc, occasional entertainment, coffees and such like which I think is quite 'comfortable'.
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 11:12 pm
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Default Re: Start of the process

I found the calculator you used:

https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/li...e-living-costs

There's quite a few areas you can easily trim that $500 deficit from.

$232pw for transport - is ridiculous - I think that must includes some element of cost for financing / or depreciation for replacing the car
$372pw for food and alcohol - I don't think so!!
$180pw for Recreation and Culture - you'll be having none of that then
Kiwisaver - maybe don't bother joining if you're only on 3 year contract as you can get it back when you leave the country
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: Start of the process

so you have a 3 year contract offer. to move over you have the cost of visa's and relocation and set up costs. that would be anything from 8k to 15k dependant on what you intend to move over with.
Also on a 3 year contract I personally would not think about selling the property in the UK but keep as an investment or a place to move back to after the 3 years as getting back into the UK property market could be very hard.

$90,000 is an above average wage but the standard of living here is less and as already pointed out cost of living is much higher.

You would need to look at what benefit you would get for moving to the other side of the world away from family and friends for 3 years. I don't think you would have enough to be able to save much money on that salary and part time jobs that fit in with schooling are like hens teeth.

Also you may want to look into the new criteria that may come in to force about non residents/citizens being able to buy existing housing stock.
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 12:40 am
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Default Re: Start of the process

Originally Posted by zebidee View Post
Yes, of course, looking at starting salary of $90,000

We’re coming to the decision that the one salary might not be enough to cover us comfortably, would you say that’s reasonable assumption?
There will always be someone that will pop up to say that is reasonable but it depends what your expectations of 'reasonable' are.

I do know one stay-at-home Mum so it is possible, I have also seen other stay-at-home Mums dropping their children at school using a Porsche to transport them so there are more but I don't know them and don't know their full stories. Most mothers that I know work at least part-time.

I think that the post from escapedtonz provides a good run down of the things that need to be taken into consideration.

As an aside, I don't think that I have ever heard of anybody moving here for the purpose of 'being comfortable'. There are stories on show in the regional museums of how people moved here from the industrial parts of Britain 150 years ago because there were no prospects in Britain for them to be anything other than a wage slave until death while the prospect of owning some land here to set themselves up sounded plausible.

Those people had their unexpected struggles and the tales of some people that move here having unexpected struggles continues into the present day.

It is probably safest to come for 'the experience'.
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 1:39 am
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Default Re: Start of the process

You say that the reasons for wanting to give up what you have at the moment are:
- climate ? Is climate in Wellington worth moving to the other side of the world for?
- scenery? - once you’ve got bored with looking at the mountains and empty beaches, that’s about it. Nothing compared to the wide variety of scenery in the UK.
- live in a vibrant city ? - Surely there’s enough of those in the UK ?
-chance to explore the world? - do you realise just how far away from the rest of the world NZ is ?

I wish you all the best, and would reiterate what others have recommended- dont sell your UK house , at least until after the 3 year contract is up.
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 2:38 am
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Default Re: Start of the process

I agree factors like climate, scenery, vibrant city and a chance to 'explore the world' are not really the greatest of reasons to move to Wellington. Once you get to Wellington there's not really a great deal to explore and very few other places within easy reach.
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Old Oct 29th 2017, 6:58 am
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Default Re: Start of the process

Wellington does have a high quality of life, if you have money. Agree with the others who say $90,000 is doable but will be difficult - and I think escapedtonz is correct about the set-up fund. I also agree with Bo-Jangles that the web site seems to be on the high side for prices.

Also agree that "climate" and "scenery" are not great reasons to come to Wellington. The "climate" will definitely disappoint you. You're better off taking the money you would spend on the move and instead apply it to trips around the continent if that's what you are after.
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Old Oct 29th 2017, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: Start of the process

Many thanks for the insightful comments. We’ve made the decision that this time it’s not the right move for us at the wage offered. Good to know the calculator is as off as we assumed it must be, and that a good chunk of cash is needed to set up. Not sure how we could afford that without selling the house as suggested by a few here, so that’s food for though.

Maybe it’ll be something for us in the future.

Great listening to you guys, thanks again 👍
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Old Oct 29th 2017, 3:45 pm
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Default Re: Start of the process

Originally Posted by escapedtonz View Post
I'd say that is a true assumption. You are right to be cautious and that salary is pretty much borderline for affordability in Wellington in my opinion for a family of 4. It can be done, but you'll seriously have to manage your spending until you adapt to the Kiwi way of life, understand shopping is seasonal and avoid being ripped off just because you're a newbie. Made easier if you have some savings to be used to set yourselves up.

In 2012, we (2 adults and a 13 month old) started off in Wellington with my salary of $95000 and a $15000 + relocation package which covered all our shipping, shipping insurance, car rental, 8 weeks furnished accommodation etc.
It wasn't a major struggle initially as we also brought around $80 000 with us to be used to set us up in Wellington, so maybe $50 000 of that money was used to purchase a couple of cars, pay for the bond on a more permanent unfurnished rental, buy some new appliances and furniture as required plus pay outright for at least 12 months car insurance, contents insurance etc etc. If it wasn't for us having that initial set up fund we'd have really struggled or more specifically we'd have had to seriously cut our monthly spending like for example ditch the sky tv, maybe stay on pay as you go mobile instead of being on pay monthly, maybe not have internet at home and just rely on free wifi plus whatever you got for data on the mobile.
We still had to watch our money as with $600 per week rent plus other bills (power/mobile/broadband/sky/bins/car fuel and maintenance/registration etc) it falls through your hands as quickly as it lands.
If you are renting, water / wastewater should be free unless the property has a water meter. The fees for water are paid by the owner/landlord and form part of the annual council rates. Water meters not widely used in Wellington so you'd be pretty unlucky if the owner/landlord had a means to charge you for useage but even so it wouldn't be much - maybe $50 per quarter.
Initially you'll have to pay out around 6 x the weekly rent to cover the bond, advance payments and letting fees. 4 x weekly payments will be retained in a bond scheme lodged with the government and will be repaid when you leave assuming you leave the place in a good condition.

Childcare is also really expensive in Wellington. We paid around $190 a week for 4 x full days and only able to manage that when the Mrs found a job part time so basically went back to work.

It does get easier when you settle into Kiwi life but there's no doubt it'll be 'challenging' in the first 6 months plus

Special thanks to this really through reply, escapedtonz
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Old Oct 29th 2017, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Start of the process

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles View Post
I found the calculator you used:

https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/li...e-living-costs

There's quite a few areas you can easily trim that $500 deficit from.

$232pw for transport - is ridiculous - I think that must includes some element of cost for financing / or depreciation for replacing the car
$372pw for food and alcohol - I don't think so!!
$180pw for Recreation and Culture - you'll be having none of that then
Kiwisaver - maybe don't bother joining if you're only on 3 year contract as you can get it back when you leave the country

Thank you for taking the time to find this and unpick it, Bo-jangles
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Old Oct 29th 2017, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: Start of the process

Perhaps a good decision if youre having doubts. Just be aware that what you have read here might not be totally representative of opinions. One international survey I read recently even concluded that Wellington was the best city in the world in which to live, and that included taking into account cost of living etc. I think theres a saying that goes something like what is one mans poison is another mans paradise or something like that.
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