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New Zealand – Cost of Living

If you’re considering moving to New Zealand, one of the most important factors to consider is the cost of living. In this article, we’ll take a look at the local currency, compare the cost of living in New Zealand to the UK and the USA, break down costs for singles, couples, and families of 4 in different categories, and explain the most common forms of payment in New Zealand.

Local Currency in New Zealand

The local currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar (NZD). One dollar is divided into 100 cents. The New Zealand dollar is a floating currency, which means its exchange rate is determined by the market and can fluctuate in value.

Cost of Living in New Zealand Compared to the UK and USA

According to the Numbeo cost of living index, the cost of living in New Zealand is generally higher than in the UK and the USA. The index takes into account factors such as housing, food, utilities, transportation, and entertainment.

As of February 2023, the index shows that the cost of living in Auckland is about 19.69% higher than in London and 21.08% higher than in New York. The cost of living in other cities in New Zealand varies, but generally, the cost of living in New Zealand is higher than in the UK and the USA.

Breakdown of Costs in New Zealand

To give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for different expenses in New Zealand, let’s break down costs for singles, couples, and families of 4 in different categories.

Housing


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Housing is one of the biggest expenses in New Zealand. The cost of housing varies depending on where you live and the type of housing you choose. According to Numbeo, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is NZD 2,039 per month. A three-bedroom apartment in the city center costs around NZD 4,027 per month.

If you’re on a tight budget, you may be able to find a room to rent for around NZD 750 per month. However, keep in mind that housing in New Zealand is in high demand, and finding a place to live can be challenging.

Food

The cost of food in New Zealand is generally higher than in the UK and the USA. You can expect to pay around NZD 20 for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant and around NZD 100 for a meal at a mid-range restaurant.

If you’re on a tight budget, you can save money by shopping at supermarkets and cooking your meals. A week’s worth of groceries for one person costs around NZD 70-80.

Utilities

The cost of utilities in New Zealand varies depending on the size of your home and your usage. On average, you can expect to pay around NZD 220 per month for utilities such as electricity, water, and gas.

Leisure

The cost of leisure activities in New Zealand varies widely depending on what you enjoy doing. A movie ticket costs around NZD 18, and a fitness club membership costs around NZD 100-120 per month.

If you enjoy going out, expect to pay around NZD 8-10 for a beer in a bar or around NZD 15-20 for a cocktail. Entrance fees for museums and other attractions vary widely but usually range from NZD 10-25.

Transport

The cost of transport in New Zealand is relatively high, but the country has an excellent public transportation system. A one-way ticket on public transport in Auckland costs NZD 4.50, and a monthly pass costs NZD 200.

If you prefer to drive, you can expect to pay around NZD 2.30 per liter of gasoline. Car insurance is also relatively expensive, with an average cost of NZD 120-150 per month.

Clothing

The cost of clothing in New Zealand is comparable to other Western countries. The prices of clothing items depend on the brand and quality of the product. If you’re looking to buy new clothes on a budget, there are several affordable chain stores that offer reasonably priced clothing.

For example, Cotton On and Glassons are popular stores where you can find fashionable clothes at an affordable price. A pair of jeans can cost around NZD 80-120, while a shirt can cost around NZD 30-50.

Household Goods

The cost of household goods in New Zealand varies depending on the item and brand. For example, a new television can cost anywhere from NZD 400 to NZD 2,000 depending on the size and features. A washing machine can cost around NZD 500-800, while a refrigerator can cost around NZD 800-1,500.

If you’re on a tight budget, you may be able to find used household goods on websites such as Trade Me, the New Zealand version of eBay. Many people sell their used items at a fraction of the cost of new items.

Forms of Payment in New Zealand

The most common forms of payment in New Zealand are cash, debit cards, and credit cards. Most stores and restaurants accept debit cards, and credit cards are accepted at larger chain stores and hotels.

Contactless payments are also becoming increasingly popular in New Zealand, and many stores now offer this option. Mobile payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet, are also gaining popularity in New Zealand.

In addition to these forms of payment, New Zealand has a unique payment system called PayWave. PayWave is a contactless payment system that allows you to make payments by tapping your debit or credit card on a card reader. Many stores in New Zealand accept PayWave payments.

The cost of living in New Zealand is generally higher than in the UK and the USA. Housing, transportation, and leisure activities tend to be more expensive in New Zealand, while food and clothing are comparable in price.

When it comes to payment methods, New Zealand offers a variety of options, including cash, debit cards, credit cards, contactless payments, and PayWave.

Before you move to New Zealand, it’s essential to research the cost of living in your desired location and create a budget that takes into account your income and expenses. By doing so, you can ensure that you can live comfortably in New Zealand without breaking the bank.


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