Household Costs New Zealand

Household Costs New Zealand
The cost of maintaining a household in New Zealand varies considerably between urban and rural locations and between North and South Island. Auckland and Wellington are the most expensive cities as regards accommodation costs and living expenses and, generally speaking, clothes and household equipment are in the same price range as in the UK.

A recent breakdown of average cost percentages in New Zealand indicated that housing and utilities accounted for 24 per cent of income, with food, transport and recreation taking 16, 14 and 10 per cent respectively. As regards setting up a home, it should be remembered that a high percentage of homewares are imported, making them more expensive than locally produced goods.

The average wage in New Zealand is around NZ$75,000 - £39,449 – as against the average UK wage of around £30,000, with costs across the board on a similar level. It's quite possible to experience an improved quality of life in your new country, enhanced by a laid-back lifestyle in spectacular surroundings.

For example, if you have a car, 91 octane fuel costs around NZ$2.18 a litre, but local supermarkets offer discount vouchers, saving between four and 20 per cent of the cost per litre. Eating out costs far less for a quality meal using locally grown fresh ingredients than in the West, and specialist food shops such as butchers, bakers, fishmongers and delis are often cheaper than supermarkets. A family of four spending around NZ$200 a week can eat well.

Savings can be made on food costs by choosing seasonal fruit, vegetables and meats. While many items are dearer than in the West, many are cheaper, balancing out food bills. When buying white goods such as fridges, washing machines, etc, discounts are available on request, if more than one appliance is purchased, with the same applying to electronics and technological purchases.

Reasonably-priced furniture stores are easily found, and a favourite with New Zealanders are garage sales, the NZ equivalent of American yard sales, listed in local media classified pages. Utility costs average NZ$100 per month, with internet and phone charges in a similar bracket, less expensive than in the West.

The 2011 Mercer's worldwide cost of living survey rates New Zealand's most expensive city, Auckland, as no. 118, with the rest of the country excepting Wellington less expensive on the whole.