Like most countries, the cost of living in New Zealand does fluctuate depending on whether you live in a rural or urban area, as well as on your own expenses. For example, the South Island of New Zealand is cheaper than the North Island. Living costs can be quite high, but they may well be lower than in your home country. Wherever you are, it’s important to cover your costs and spend wisely.
The cost of living
To get an idea of how much it will cost you to live in New Zealand, you need to fully understand your own financial situation. Using the cost of living calculator can help. It will show you approximately the annual salary you will need to afford the lifestyle you want. The calculator is based on the living costs of a family of two adults and two children, but you can make adjustments to suit your personal requirements. It also takes into account the tax you will have to pay on your salary. Also, Power Switch and Glimp are great tools to use when estimating household bills for electricity and broadband, for example.
Travel and commuting costs
The main cities in New Zealand all have great transport systems. In Auckland, you can save money on fares using the AT HOP card for buses, trains and ferries. It is a reusable prepay smart card that gives you a 25% off single fares. In Wellington, trains and bus fares vary depending on how many zones you travel in, but there are monthly and weekly passes. Before moving to New Zealand, you should take your time to think about how regularly you plan to travel, as well as whether you will be commuting to work using public transport – you can then save money accordingly. Buying a second-hand car can be a cost-effective option for those looking for their own vehicle.
It’s your decision whether you want to join the KiwiSaver scheme, but everyone between the ages of 18 and 64 is automatically enrolled when they start a new job in New Zealand. You can choose to opt out any time after joining. KiwiSaver is made up of tax contributions that were deducted from your pay and it helps you save money for the future. If you have been a KiwiSaver member for three years, you can withdraw money to purchase a home. In some other circumstances, money can be withdrawn, such as if you owned property before.
Also, after three years of contributing to the scheme, you may be eligible for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant for purchasing or building a home. This grant is funded by the government and is only offered to those buying their first property. For more information about the KiwiSaver scheme, check out their website.