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This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

Old Oct 10th 2009, 12:17 am
  #1  
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Default This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

We've been here for almost 18 months now.
We have a similar sized mortgage to the one we left in the uk (very small)
We are now both back in the jobs we were doing before we left the uk.
We have no expensive hobbies or extravigant toys.
We both run a car each (not gas guzzlers)
We now have NO spare money at all once the bills are paid and essentials (food) are payed for.
In ther uk we had a disposable income at the end of every month that allowed
us to enjoy the occasional tirip out with the family, or a short holiday break at bank hioliday times, we could eat out every now and again,
on top of the cars i also ran 2 motorbikes, We bought new clothes when we needed to or when we saw something nice.
None of the above were done to excessive levels just occasionally.
We now count every penny, i sold a motorbike recently and the money was supposed to be used to bauy another,
instead i am now dipping into it to cover things like going to the pub once a week for a couple of beers (and only a couple),
buying a pack of cigarretes the day before i get paid so as not to go overdrawn.
This isnt me moaning about the uk being great and nz being crap. even in my current situation i wouldnt go back.
Maybe its here cos i need to vent, or as a warning to all the newbies who are just starting out on the road to PR.
Check, check and check again that you really want to make the move.
NZ is NOT a bed of roses and nice scenery doesnt pay the bills. There are lots of lovely places in NZ but at the moment
i cant afford the petrol to go and see them.
You WILL earn a LOT LESS down here and the cost of living is equal if not higher than that of the uk.
To test it out try to live off two thirds of your salary for a while as for many thats the BEST you'll get when you get here.
Dont be fooled into thinking it wont happen to me, it will and your standard of living and the very small simple things you
take for granted could well be financially out of your reach.

Last edited by Justcol; Oct 10th 2009 at 12:38 am.
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Old Oct 10th 2009, 12:37 am
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Default Re: This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

I once sat down and did the calculation for how much we have "lost" coming here and the results were not pretty. But it was a great move for us and taking the hit for a few years will allow the kids to grow, other issues to straighten out and us to gain some great life experience. Hopefully, even if it turns into a financial disaster we will be able to say that we gave it a go and took lots out of our time as ExPats.
But I do feel your pain and wish you and yours the very best for getting by in NZ.......
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Old Oct 10th 2009, 12:49 am
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Default Re: This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

Cheers Lardyl, I've no doubt things will improve in tme.
One way or another we'll turn this round but shit its an eye opener when you look at the figures
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Old Oct 10th 2009, 12:50 am
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Default Re: This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

Coming to New Zealand has been economic suicide for us. I have asked before, but still don't understand how Kiwi's manage to run the toys you see on the beach and on the roads.I simply don't understand how they do it on the average NZ income.

I like being here and am coming to terms with the change in financial outlook that we have to face. But for the sake of newbies coming over- especially now the pound is in free fall, keep in mind NZ is not as cheap as your holiday trip made you think!
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Old Oct 10th 2009, 1:49 am
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Default Re: This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

What many of them did was cash in the property windfalls (that did happen over the past 10 years) and use that to live today.
Or they workded overseas to make cash.
Or they work for themselves to make money - which is what I do....but, mainly because I don't want to go back to the 50-70hr weeks I did in the UK (so I can give more to the kids mainly and some via sport to myself), I don't make much at all - enough to live on just and no real disposable income, not even as much as I used to put in one of my pension plans each month back in the UK.

For us - we lost about $6million in salary alone over the 20 years to age 60 (when I would have been forced to retire from the Partnership) - that's even without the inflation/interest multipliers.

But we may still go back to the UK or go to Oz if the work there comes together as it seems like it will for me.

With the state of the kids at the moment any bail is medium term; citizenship first then take stock for us.

Besta luck to all trying to make it work without wedges of cash from property, etc to back them. You will (unless you are lucky) need it!
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Old Oct 10th 2009, 2:16 am
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Default Re: This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

Originally Posted by colandros View Post
We've been here for almost 18 months now.
We have a similar sized mortgage to the one we left in the uk (very small)
We are now both back in the jobs we were doing before we left the uk.
We have no expensive hobbies or extravigant toys.
We both run a car each (not gas guzzlers)
We now have NO spare money at all once the bills are paid and essentials (food) are payed for.
In ther uk we had a disposable income at the end of every month that allowed
us to enjoy the occasional tirip out with the family, or a short holiday break at bank hioliday times, we could eat out every now and again,
on top of the cars i also ran 2 motorbikes, We bought new clothes when we needed to or when we saw something nice.
None of the above were done to excessive levels just occasionally.
We now count every penny, i sold a motorbike recently and the money was supposed to be used to bauy another,
instead i am now dipping into it to cover things like going to the pub once a week for a couple of beers (and only a couple),
buying a pack of cigarretes the day before i get paid so as not to go overdrawn.
This isnt me moaning about the uk being great and nz being crap. even in my current situation i wouldnt go back.
Maybe its here cos i need to vent, or as a warning to all the newbies who are just starting out on the road to PR.
Check, check and check again that you really want to make the move.
NZ is NOT a bed of roses and nice scenery doesnt pay the bills. There are lots of lovely places in NZ but at the moment
i cant afford the petrol to go and see them.
You WILL earn a LOT LESS down here and the cost of living is equal if not higher than that of the uk.
To test it out try to live off two thirds of your salary for a while as for many thats the BEST you'll get when you get here.
Dont be fooled into thinking it wont happen to me, it will and your standard of living and the very small simple things you
take for granted could well be financially out of your reach.
Loads of posters have said as much before...honestly.....I don't know how people can do it on average Kiwi salaries....I am not in that situation but I always sound the 'warning bell' about 'doing the sums' to newbies because I just don't know how they do it. I fail to see how voluntarily moving to 'scrimping and saving' constitutes a better life. Worse of all NZIS...it must be a paradise because it's so hard to get a visa...well no...why do Kiwis stay away..usually low salary levels in my experience. Tax is high too because there is no allowance...in UK you can earn 6k before having to pay tax on it.

There is hope though, as it sounds like you are at least trying to live within your means rather than dipping into capital...imagine the problems for those living beyond their means every month by dipping into UK house sale equity/other savings...what to do when savings run out?

I honestly honestly believe that those hating where they live in UK, would do better to move to a 'better' area within UK rather than moving 10,000 miles for a better quality of life.
I am posted here ...so can see more easily what a big deal it is to make that move on removal costs alone. The only reason Brits do it, is because it is an English-speaking country...you wouldn't even consider coming here if it involved learning a foreign language for your day to day existence....imho...probably.
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Old Oct 10th 2009, 2:26 am
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Default Re: This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

As well as the problems you state there is also the crap exchange rate. Noone in their right mind is going to change UK money into Kiwi money at the moment. And, we don't know how long it will be until the rate gets better. Yes, NZ doesn't look that attractive a place to come to at the moment.
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Old Oct 10th 2009, 2:50 am
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Default Re: This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

Yes, it's hard in NZ on anything other than a family income over $100K I think. I know ppl mortgage free with incomes in the $60Ks struggling, which seems inconceivable against the average Kiwi wage and mortgage/rent outlay but there it is. We were better off in Australia and are back to living from paycheck to paycheck, saving nothing and hoping we can limp through until I qualify. If I thought this was financially as good as it would get for me and my family I wouldn't choose NZ, despite loving so much- it would just be long term financial suicide but we have a ten year plan that will change our fortunes considerably.

That's the trouble- with the UK market slump, plus the exchange rate plus the NZ housing rise British Expat prospects in NZ are not nearly so rosy looking as in the past.
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Old Oct 10th 2009, 4:59 am
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Default Re: This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

I came over here with nothing apart from my backpack, ten years ago.
Maybe that makes it easier in some ways.
I have my kiwi other half that came back from the UK after his OE with nothing too.
But we got there in the end
I never wanted the kiwi dream, never wanted a bach or a boat and so consider myself pretty lucky
We were on the bones of our backside as we raised a child as I studied part time with one (small ) income and no help from winz
But we got there
Bought our first home this year and consider ourselves to be well paid
The mortagage takes 40% of our take home pay but that seems OK
Sure, i don't live anywhere flash, my car is old and I haven't been overseas for a loooong time but life is good. Some things can't be measure financially

I like what luv welly said about whether one would move here if it wasn't english speaking...well that's why some move...cos language and culture are intricately connected and therefore mean the move is easier

Saying that there are many many people that move here with other languages as afirst language and still consider it worth the effort

I guess I lucky to have had a positive experience but then I never expected too much
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Old Oct 10th 2009, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
I honestly honestly believe that those hating where they live in UK, would do better to move to a 'better' area within UK rather than moving 10,000 miles for a better quality of life.
I've been officially poor for the past four years and I agree, NZs 'not all that' and certainly not worth living on the bones of your 'arris for. There are equally nice places where one can buy some of the overly hyped NZ 'lifestyle' features in the UK or Europe. The more I watch of Grand designs type TV programs from the UK, the more I wish we had looked into the options and possibilities of changing our lifestyle there rather than over here. It would, I'm sure, considering all the dead money costs of shipping, visas etc., have proven more financially sound than gambling everything we had on black or red in the hope that NZ might work out.

We survive here, that's all, we don't 'live', we watch every cent, scrimp and scrape and some. We don't have any of the big boys toys, fancy cars or Sky TV. Still there's nothing left for holidays or fun, no extras or frivolous things and that's fine for a short while; we can all make do and mend for short periods if we have to. However, the long term view of having to pretend we enjoy trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear and buying the cheapest budget products doesn't rock my boat. It's not what I am used to and it does get you down when there is no relief or light at the end of the tunnel and no prospects of improvement. This is it, the pinnacle of living in NZ? Hunting for specials in Pak n Save, how depressing.

The only saving grace is everyone we know here is in the same boat, so there's no stigma attached to buying value supermarket brands or being a cheapskate.
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Old Oct 10th 2009, 1:04 pm
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Default Re: This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

One thing I found curious when I visited NZ is that people appear reasonably well off. The cars on the road are decent and houses look quite nice. I can't quite work this out as statistically the average full time wage is about two thirds that in Australia (taking into account the current exchange rate). On the other hand, the cost of living looked very similar. I did notice many car adds stated "New Zealand New" meaning they're imported second hand from Japan in as new condition. There also seemed to be more reconditioned goods for sale. I think Kiwis must be quite resourceful at shopping around. I also imagine a lot of people have brought savings from money earned overseas or they are entrepreneurial small business owners. It's definately the country of the SME.

There were a more than a few people driving around in very flash cars so it's definately not all porridge and sack cloth over there.
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Old Oct 10th 2009, 2:08 pm
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Default Re: This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

Originally Posted by Budawang View Post
One thing I found curious when I visited NZ is that people appear reasonably well off. The cars on the road are decent and houses look quite nice. I can't quite work this out as statistically the average full time wage is about two thirds that in Australia (taking into account the current exchange rate). On the other hand, the cost of living looked very similar. I did notice many car adds stated "New Zealand New" meaning they're imported second hand from Japan in as new condition. There also seemed to be more reconditioned goods for sale. I think Kiwis must be quite resourceful at shopping around. I also imagine a lot of people have brought savings from money earned overseas or they are entrepreneurial small business owners. It's definately the country of the SME.

There were a more than a few people driving around in very flash cars so it's definately not all porridge and sack cloth over there.
Well yes there are people who earn well over the average and can live well (even if not in their own business) but many posters on here come over knowing their equivalent salary is say 2/3 less than UK but are led to believe that the cost of living is less when in fact it isn't. Often both parties may need to work here to make sums add up which is great until one of you loses the job.
I think Colandros is right to warn people about this....I personally wouldn't relocate this far for a lower salary so people who have done so, must likely have had greater 'push - i.e. dissatisfaction with uk factors' than most. Even if you come as a medical doctor (not my situation but know people), you are probably looking at a lower salary than in UK but it would be a high salary in NZ terms rather than an average one and therefore would be much easier to manage.
In my experience people in flash cars in any country have often borrowed to pay for them and are still in debt for them.
The houses look better than they are because they are mainly detached...I would guess there is a lot of hidden poverty or else why do they have a charity which raises money for raincoats and shoes for kids to go to school? Can you imagine that being necessary in UK...I think not.
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Old Oct 10th 2009, 2:38 pm
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Default Re: This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

I have to say that this thread has been a bit of an eye opener. My wife and I have been considering a move to NZ for several months but we 'parked' it due to the economic slow down. I'd rather be redundant in the UK than elsewhere. However I must admit to being shocked by the disparity in earnings and the hardships that people are discussing. It is one thing to read about it in various books but another to hear real life stories.

If nothing else this forum should be congratulated for providing a reality check to people who have spent too long looking at glossy brochures and watching the Lord of the Rings films. I think my wife and I might need to have a cold hard look at the realitys of moving to NZ. I want a better life for my 2 children but will not move if it means being poor.

Last year I visited the High Commission in London and saw the queues of people waiting to talk to Immigration Staff. You had to take a ticket and wait. In June this year there was no queue and only one other couple there. I think the stark reality of moving to the other side of the world is beginning to sink in.
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Old Oct 10th 2009, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

Originally Posted by PaulC34 View Post
I have to say that this thread has been a bit of an eye opener. My wife and I have been considering a move to NZ for several months but we 'parked' it due to the economic slow down. I'd rather be redundant in the UK than elsewhere. However I must admit to being shocked by the disparity in earnings and the hardships that people are discussing. It is one thing to read about it in various books but another to hear real life stories.

If nothing else this forum should be congratulated for providing a reality check to people who have spent too long looking at glossy brochures and watching the Lord of the Rings films. I think my wife and I might need to have a cold hard look at the realitys of moving to NZ. I want a better life for my 2 children but will not move if it means being poor.

Last year I visited the High Commission in London and saw the queues of people waiting to talk to Immigration Staff. You had to take a ticket and wait. In June this year there was no queue and only one other couple there. I think the stark reality of moving to the other side of the world is beginning to sink in.
not everyone in newzealand gos there with loads of money, its not much diffrent from the uk, we lived there for seven months and was takeing home about $900 a week had a rental as well could still go out and enjoy things
why do people need to spend all the time there are loads of free things to do in nz, its better if you can take wads of money and to be mortage free
i think life is much better in nz , less people less cars on the road
and you dont need to work so many hours, if my kids were young thats where i would be now, nearley any where in nz you can reach a beach in an hour, you dont need money to walk up and down the beach, and if two people are earning, there is a bit more money in the kitty
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Old Oct 10th 2009, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: This wasnt supposed to happen, we are now POOR

Originally Posted by colandros View Post
We've been here for almost 18 months now.
We have a similar sized mortgage to the one we left in the uk (very small)
We are now both back in the jobs we were doing before we left the uk.
We have no expensive hobbies or extravigant toys.
We both run a car each (not gas guzzlers)
We now have NO spare money at all once the bills are paid and essentials (food) are payed for.
In ther uk we had a disposable income at the end of every month that allowed
us to enjoy the occasional tirip out with the family, or a short holiday break at bank hioliday times, we could eat out every now and again,
on top of the cars i also ran 2 motorbikes, We bought new clothes when we needed to or when we saw something nice.
None of the above were done to excessive levels just occasionally.
We now count every penny, i sold a motorbike recently and the money was supposed to be used to bauy another,
instead i am now dipping into it to cover things like going to the pub once a week for a couple of beers (and only a couple),
buying a pack of cigarretes the day before i get paid so as not to go overdrawn.
This isnt me moaning about the uk being great and nz being crap. even in my current situation i wouldnt go back.
Maybe its here cos i need to vent, or as a warning to all the newbies who are just starting out on the road to PR.
Check, check and check again that you really want to make the move.
NZ is NOT a bed of roses and nice scenery doesnt pay the bills. There are lots of lovely places in NZ but at the moment
i cant afford the petrol to go and see them.
You WILL earn a LOT LESS down here and the cost of living is equal if not higher than that of the uk.
To test it out try to live off two thirds of your salary for a while as for many thats the BEST you'll get when you get here.
Dont be fooled into thinking it wont happen to me, it will and your standard of living and the very small simple things you
take for granted could well be financially out of your reach.
Sorry to hear things arent going well for you. I have to say that everything you wrote indicates that you are living my hubbys nightmares. It is everything he is trying so hard to avoid when we get there.
We have worked very hard for a long time - we are now comfortable but not wealthy by any means. He has done everything he can, looked into stuff as much as is possible and we are both fully aware of the risks and pitfalls, good and bad bits, pros and cons of the move.
That said - im sure you did too - you seem like a sound bloke - and i think this is his fear - that no matter how well you plan, what back ups you have, it can all still go tits up and then you are well and truly stuffed.
I hope with all my heart that things pick up for you soon.
Thank you for posting this thread - it is a good reality check for the rest of us - and has given my OH a very stressful day!!!! (time for a beer i think)

take care
Psycho x
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