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Thread: Survive on one income?!

  1. #1
    thedans's Avatar
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    Default Survive on one income?!

    ok ok ok.... i know everyone has a different lifestyle and terms of what they call livable.

    with my disclaimer stated. based on pure opinion. Is it doable to live on one salary? let me remind you all i have a wife and three boys under the age of 5. I am a mechanical engineer in the US. I have no idea what they make in NZ. i have heard anywhere from 50-60K for similar experience.

    From what i read, it is doable, but pretty much that's about all you will be doing is living (apart from free stuff of course). anyone care to comment? anyone else live off of one income? It sounds like it is pretty rare over there. I just don't want my wife working while our kids are still young. maybe when they all hit school age, she can start working part time or something if we find we need to. but it would be nice to be able to squeak by with me working alone.

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    As you say, it's very much dependent on lifestyle choices, and also where you live in the country. Living somewhere like Auckland is more expensive than somewhere like New Plymouth. $50k in Auckland would be a struggle, if you wanted to live anywhere decent. $50k here in Hamilton would be a moderate lifestyle.

    To work out affordability for your family, do a little research on the different areas, and take a look at the online shopping supermarkets to get a match up for the kind of things you currently buy weekly. $50,000 salary is $787.69 take home per week (after tax etc). You may also be eligible for "Working For Families Tax Credits", which is a weekly rebate from the government for your tax. For $50,000 the rebate is approx $70 per week.

    Other expenses to consider:
    Telephone (Line rental alone is around $50/month)
    Broadband (Packages from $30+/month)
    Mobile (2 Degrees Pay as you Go 44c/min and 9c/text - charged on outgoing only, incoming is free)
    Electricity (roughly 23c/KWh + $1/day fixed service charge)
    Gas (also measured in KWh, at around 9c/KWh + 75c/day fixed service charge)
    Rates (Charged by local councils based on property value, although the landlord pays this in a rental house, varies greatly per region)
    Petrol (extortionate at the moment, at around $2.18/litre)
    Insurance (prices depends on house/contents/car value etc)

    Compare what you can to what you currently have, and that should hopefully give you an idea of affordability!
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

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    Thanks Taffy! The post, as usual, was really helpful! Now i have to go dig up some bills! :)

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    sheesh.. .just getting around to comparing, and looks like electricity rates are about 50% higher, Natural gas is about 250% higher!!, and gasoline is 50% higher... crazy! other than that things seem alright, still gotta check out the grocery stores and what not, but oh well.

    One last thing, what is a line rental for the phone? I am guessing that is just a base fee they charge to have a phone, without the service on top of it?

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    Cliff's Avatar
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    Cool

    Dan

    go with naked dsl and use skype. That is a dsl line with no phone number. You can use your cell for people to call you.
    Cheers

    Cliff

    Nelson, New Zealand
    NZ Citizenship in 2000, been in NZ 15 years now
    Arrived NZ in 1997 from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

    "New Zealand isn't just a physical place it is a state of mind."

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    Thanks cliff! Its going to take some getting used to doing things the NZ way! :) I guess not really time so much as figuring out the best way to get things done over there. Good thing you guys are here!

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    Dan

    I am not here in nz, not there in the usa. lol.
    Cheers

    Cliff

    Nelson, New Zealand
    NZ Citizenship in 2000, been in NZ 15 years now
    Arrived NZ in 1997 from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

    "New Zealand isn't just a physical place it is a state of mind."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    Dan

    I am not here in nz, not there in the usa. lol.
    I take it you meant, you ARE in NZ and not in usa... and yes i know that! why would anyone want to be in the usa?! im only here because i was born into it, but we are trying to make that change! ;)

    Also, I meant good thing you guys are here, on the forum! That way all us newbies can get some help on making the move to a better life! :D

  9. #9
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    Yeah, energy prices are really high in NZ - there's not much gas here and our local coal is exported and coal from china imported for the coal fired power stations. There's also little competition - usually the generation and transmission networks are owned by one entity that covers a whole region, and the companies you buy from buy wholesale from these providers. This means companies can only go so low on price. As for petrol, well, that's just not cheap anywhere right now!

    I think Americans find NZ harder than most other countries due to the sheer size of the US economy, making everything so much cheaper. The truth about NZ is that most items are comparable to other nations, and some more expensive, but there's a whole lot of things that are free (in regards activities etc), which is why NZ is referred to as a lifestyle destination. You seem to be on top of the research though. Being prepared is the best way to be successful.
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

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    we enjoy the lifestyle part of things! (that's the whole reason for wanting to move)

    And in comparing grocery items, most are pretty comparable, granted some are quite a bit more expensive, but not all. I was looking at woolworths, how would there prices compare to other stores, are they about average, or lower/higher?

    We haven't even been pulled from the eoi pool yet, and already feels like there is a lot of learning to do!!

    thanks again for all the awesome advice!

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