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Author Topic: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief  (Read 9628 times)

Offline frodo/maya

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Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« on: January 11, 2010, 02:29:09 pm »
Hi everybody,

Obviously we all (although all from SA) have different value systems and therefore what might be an important thing for one could be a complete luxury for another. In SA terms you are rude if you ask somebody what they earn and we don’t do that, not even amongst friends.  I promise that I will not ask what anybody on this forum earns but considering the fact that most of you are in NZ and knows more about the expenses and what is regarded as the “good” life if terms of money, I would REALLY appreciate your help and guidance on some burning issues for us.  :crazy2:

 If you apply for a position (like us) in NZ obviously we do not know what a good salary is,  :confused:  for all we know a employer can take us for a total ride and we might think it is a good salary and meantime it is a case of “cheap labour” and we have to rely on welfare to survive!!  99.9% of employers do not indicate the salary of the position on the advertisement so most of the times you apply “blind”, you do not have an idea as to what an “expectable” salary is.

 This is an extremely difficult situation for us because if you under value yourself that could also have a negative influence on how a potential employer may perceive you.

I would really like to know what you would regard as a “good” salary in NZ terms. Is it $100 000, $70 000, $150 000etc? In SA we relatively earn good salaries, we stay in suburbia and not a security estate (Centurion), we drive relatively cheap cars, we go on holiday once a year and we have DSTV and 4 dogs.  Our children are in good schools and if something breaks in our house we have some money to get it fixed. We would love to stay in the North Shore close to our friends and we are aware that it is more expensive than other towns in NZ in terms of housing etc. - hope this gives some kind of indication of our life style  :whistle:

Any guidance on this will REALLY be appreciated. If you have some names websites indicating salaries of positions generally used in NZ that will also be very helpful.

Pretty please help! :sweat: :sweat: :help: :confused: :D :) ::) :P :crazy2: :whistle: :heeha:

Offline alwyn

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 06:59:16 pm »
I think knowing what a good salary is in SA is even a mystery.  Employers do their best to tell you that salary surveys are incorrect and biased.

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 06:59:16 pm »

Offline SaKiwiBoer

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2010, 07:18:27 pm »
This is a very difficult question.... It is nearly as difficult as how long is a piece of string...
If you know what I mean. They used to say if you can earn $1000 per week you'll be ok. I think if you can get the salary raised higher than +- $50 000 per year the "easier" you'll life will become. The closer to 70K you can get, I think the better. I know some people will tell you you can get away with less but I think you want to know what is a nice realistic wage to aim for. Just my 2c worth as per usual. Cheers, SAKB.
21/03/2007-EOI submitted
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15/05/2008-ITA Submitted-(hou duim vas)
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Offline WalJo

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2010, 08:59:52 pm »
Jip we agree with SAKB, that if one of you can earn about 70k you'll be more than ok. Don't know if he meant both salaries? Together we earn 70k a year and we "survive". I'm don't mind saying what we ear because there's not much to say :2funny:
 
Frodo/Maya you both have good qualifications and are in the "right type of job" and will definitely earn more than what we do. 
 
But this is a good question, hope you'll find answers that will help. Oh, and congrats on you blue stickers in you passports!!!!! :clap:

Offline Smallfly

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2010, 09:07:04 pm »
That depends a lot on the job you are applying for, and the area you are in.

IMHO, NZ employers will start you at rock bottom regardless of your experience

to have a kiwi with much less experience in a higher bracket.

We are all rated WAY below our capacity, and that is quite frustrating !!
Never look down upon someone, unless you are helping him up.

Offline SusanJ

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2010, 09:16:58 pm »
It is an extremely difficult question to answer because there are so many factors to take into account i.e. where you want to be, how many kids do you have, do you need daycare etc

As I understand it, the "average" salary in NZ is about $50K per year. So if you're a double income family with both of you earning about that and live in an OK area and aren't totally extravagant with your expenses, its good enough. Things like rent are a big determining factor. I think your average price on the North Shore (depending on where you live) is about $400 per week, going right up to $1000 per week if you live in a fancy house in a fancy neighbourhood (Milford, Takapuna - pretty much any of the bays). You can get slightly cheaper - we saw many when looking with our friend. However, alot of them are complete sh%& holes and they're leaky and mouldy and you're going to spend a fortune in winter trying to heat the place. Personally, I would much rather pay that little extra per week and cut down on heating in winter.

We've actually struck it very lucky with the place we got. My husband works in Pukekohe (about 55kms south of the CBD) and I work in the CBD so we had to find a place that would suit us both. We've ended up in Papakura, which is pretty much in the middle. Papakura itself isn't such a wonderful area and is generally a lower income bracket area however we were fortunate enough to find a place about 5 minutes outside the town in the country. We're paying $520 per week for a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, 2 garage, 1.2 acre property on a hill overlooking the Manakau harbour. AND, we have our own forest on one side of the property!! We're in the country and its quiet and its beautiful and considering the house is cheaper and 3 times the size of anything we'd have found in the areas we were looking at closer in to Auckland - an absolute bargain!! So even though the house is hopelessly too big for us, we wouldn't trade it for anything! My husband takes 25 minutes to work in the morning with no traffic and I catch a train in to Auckland that allows me to catch up on my reading and podcasts. We're 7 minutes to the train station and a HUGE Countdown (big supermaket akin to a P 'n P Hyper), 20 minutes from a regional park for walking and 25 minutes from a beautiful, quiet beach. If there's a word of advice that I can offer here is to not limit yourself to areas and definately consider looking further out of Auckland and making use of the public transport system where you can.

Another thing to take into account when looking for a place (and budgeting) is transport. If you're on the North Shore and you find a job in the CBD, your traffic is going to be pretty crazy. Nothing compared to Jhb (people are mostly patient on the roads) BUT the much less stressful option is taking a bus in. The busses have their own lanes and from Albany, for example, it'll take you about 30 minutes on an express bus (i.e. it doesn't do any stops in the suburbs). So find a place near a bus route or a train route (if available). The monthly bus passes aren't too bad - check www.maxx.co.nz for bus and train passes. I'm on a 6 stage trip so I pay $160 for a monthly ticket that gives me access to the train as many times as I want as well as for City Centre buses.

If you have little kids that require daycare, it because harder because (from what I've seen with friends) the daycare per month is really expensive. In cases it might be cheaper to have one parent home looking after the kids than having you both working!! That depends on what you do though. I'm sure other people on the forum with kids will be able to help out here?

Groceries are another expense to factor in. For two of us, we budgeted $150 - $200 per week and we generally stick to that. I'll add though that we don't always go for the cheaper options but rather the options we like and we spoil ourselves a bit in this area.

All this is probably not very useful to you though because we don't have kids. We're both earning above average salaries (the average I mentioned earlier), don't have any debt or any children - which makes a HUGE difference! When I convert back to Rands, I'm earning only earning slightly more than I was (which is actually less because its in Dollars, if that makes sense?) and my husband is earning alot more than he did in SA (he was self-employed there). So in general, we're living alot more comfortably than we did in SA.

Anyway, I think I've said enough and its probably not been too helpful for people with families. But hopefully it gives you a slightly better idea on rentals etc.

Cheers!
Susan
07/10/2009: EOI Submitted (TICK)
08/10/2009: EOI selected from pool (TICK!)
19/11/2009: ITA received (TICK!)
25/11/2009: ITA submitted (TICK!)
20/05/2010: PR granted (after waiting 2 months for a police clearance!)
27/05/2010: Passports submitted
02/06/2010: Passports returned - YAY!!!!!

Offline LoveNZ

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010, 10:12:30 pm »
I have been an active, non-posting member for nearly two years now. I check the site daily, and without this great site, we would not have been able to get our PR without making use of an agent, or adapt to NZ. Thats how great this site is. I thought of replying to this very important topic, but allow me just this one sentence before I do so. For all the people who rants about integration, adoption, bad weather, bad schools, expensive living, etc, you made the decision to come here, NZ does not owe you anything, but offers you way more than you could ever imagine. I have a friend in Wellington we share this belief of mine. BTW, I will see you on 17 July 2010 for Tri-Nations Test at Westpac.

Now, on cost of Living. We are a single income household, living in Torbay, in a very comfortable 3 bedroom house(and a great neighbour). We have a very good live, and no, I did not come to NZ with heaps of cash. It's the way you adopt with the money you have in the bank. I work on the Shore, and pay $110 per month for my bus that picks me up 50 mtrs from my home, and drops me of at the Bus station 300 mtrs from my work. My kids walk to school, which obviously is a perk. We found that you have to work with a strict budget. We do takeaways once a week, eat too much Red meat, lots of fish, way more than we could afford back in SA, where we earned two salaries. Groceries around $320 pw.

I drive a decent car ( Honda Oddesey), not a 2009 model, but in pretty good nick ($10000). We go on trips, like the one coming up tomorrow, going to Ohakune, Taupo, Rotorua and Hamilton. We go to sport events, North Harbour Rugby stadium just around the corner. In all, we have a better standard of living than we had in SA.

Agree with Susan that some houses, although the minority in the area I live, is s%^&holes but once again, you have options. No-one forces you to rent or buy a home that you don't like. Prices in Torbay is between $450 and $1000 pw, but again, options.

Medical aid is brilliant. We took out Insurance for my wife when she only had a 22 month Work Permit, but we are looking at cancelling that now. Can't see too much use for that. Life Insurance very cheap, car and household cheap. I know that cheap is relative, but I am happy to give figures if you PM me.

Haven't typed this much in ages...if anyone wants more info, PM me or post here. If not too personal, I would gladly reply.

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010, 10:12:30 pm »

Offline LoveNZ

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2010, 10:41:41 pm »
And Ronald tells me Wellies is sooooo expensive >:D

Offline frodo/maya

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2010, 06:40:19 am »
Thanks everybody we REALLY appreciate it (as always  ;)

If I understand you correctly............ if one of us earn around $70 000 we will be okay? will this be (as SAKB has put it) ............a nice realistic wage to aim for? Should we earn $100 000 we will be well away? and $120 000- very well away?
I agree with you Hannes............ this is the best forum in the world!!! :not_worthy: :not_worthy:

Wow Susan, sounds like you are in heaven with that house of yours!!

Offline paula

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2010, 07:41:16 am »
hi, good luck. all depends. my dh earns about 80k and i get $250 a day for relief teaching, we have 2 kids, one in full time (private) daycare and one who goes to an in home carer when i teach. we were doing fine with just the salary but my wages help, as my dd puts it... daddy earms money for food and mummy for presents! we own (or are paying it off) our own 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home, in a great area in hamilton (but have apadted to the nz life with neighbours close by), have 2 decent cars (a people mover and a station wagon!) altho dh takes the bus most days! and we get by. we are about the same off as in sa, but i don't have to work full time here which is great. we eat decent food, and don't really deprive ourselves of anything we want (luckily neither of us have expensive taste!!). no dinners out, or lots of drinks, but with 2 small kids that didn't happen in sa either!
good luck tho, if you are both working and are happy to live in not so flash a house/area, you would be fine on prob even less than 50 each. u just have to adjust your expectations. i don't agree that sa's are underpaid, as a teacher i make heaps more and my dh is very happy. all depends on where u are, and what u are used to! (we are in hammy). but we are LOVING it all!!! good luck. really, if you can find a job, you are doing well ;)

Offline alwyn

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2010, 08:16:28 am »
A few questions in one :)

Susan, I find that rural places for rent are difficult to find on internet.  Is it a problem?

It appears that kids change your financial outcome in NZ or am I mistaken?  Is this just food, space and transport or are there other costs?

If you buy a house in NZ, do you also have these costs you forget about when buying like high property rates, etc?

Offline frodo/maya

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2010, 12:00:46 pm »
Thanks everybody, atleast we will know where to start.

 ;)

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2010, 12:00:46 pm »

Offline expat

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2010, 01:54:27 pm »
The question of money and will you get by is very important at the risk of sounding superficial it is one thing to be miserable and miserable and poor.
It is as had been said difficult to know what is enough for yourself more so to give others advise.
Needs differ, standards differ and circumstances are unique.
It is also one thing to survive - even comfortably- which is what everyone seems to focus on but what sort of life stlye will you have long term and what about retirement etc.
It is fairly easy to ascertain broad idea of what is the going rate for a certain type of job say teacher and with some research you can determine what the price of most things are from rental to a cup of coffee in dollars.You can ever do a detailed in and out budget.
However how does that feel to my SA life -will it be similar.
One or two members have even indicated they are better off financially.
It could be that they do not have expenses - say private schooling etc - or have hit it very lucky.
I just think given how expensive things are that will be the norm.It would be interesting to know what their SA incomes were.So if someone said to me I earned X in Sa and lived in Jhb and I earn Y in Auckland and life is >>>>>
In NZ people speak fairly openly about money and salaries - I do not think that is common in SA.
But to get back to my point I knew what my money life was like in SA - one has lived it for years - how will it compare.
I think the only way is to convert everything to one denomination at a fixed - ruling exchange rate - and than compare in one currency.
I did it and in our case I was earning half and everything - barring cars insurance and a few - was generally twice as expensive.
Before I realized how simple the same currency methodology is I took the price of standards expenses say a cups of coffe for the month at SA prices worked out what percentage it made up of my SA salary know then taking the given same cups of coffee in NZ -  once again a given price - and extraplate with the ratio what the equivalent NZ salary would have to be.I know a silly eg. and cumbersome.
We could survive but were seriously boering agteruit and what about the future - safe as it was going to be.
Just some thoughts.

Offline alwyn

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2010, 03:07:56 pm »
You definitively have a point. 

I suspect that unless someone was paid considerably less in SA, they will be worse off financially.  It appears that people with jobs that are less glamorous in SA (teachers, artisans) are considerably better off in NZ.  I know that I thought that NZ was quite expensive when I was touring there and I travel cheap.

In my case I was talking about a job to someone about a 12 - 18 months ago and the agent was throwing around figures like 150-160k a year.  Now you will maybe see 120k in an advert if you're lucky.  So in effect people with advanced degrees (B.Sc/B.Eng) will probably earn quite a bit less than in SA.

I'm an inch away from doing EOI, maybe I should think happy thoughts instead.

Offline SusanJ

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Re: Once again.........the salary question? please help- seblief
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2010, 08:40:19 pm »
Susan, I find that rural places for rent are difficult to find on internet.  Is it a problem?
It appears that kids change your financial outcome in NZ or am I mistaken?  Is this just food, space and transport or are there other costs?

Hi Alwyn,

There's definately not as many "rural" places to rent as there are suburban! However, we found our place through the usual route i.e. TradeMe just by looking under specific areas/towns - ours was not classified as 'rural'. I think you'd have a better idea of the areas by looking them up on Google maps as you find them on TradeMe. Also, ask members of the forum :)

I don't have kids but I know that daycare (for little kids) is pretty expensive and is a big expense for some friends of ours. As for all the other costs, I'm really not sure about that.

Someone mentioned that teachers have a better lifestyle here ito earnings - I can definately vouch for that! My husband is earning WAY more here that he was in SA and that has made a huge impact on our disposable income here.
We live better because we have no debt - bought the car cash for $8k. Other than that, we have the usual household expenses (rent, power, groceries, petrol, car insurance etc) and we have Sky (NZ DSTV). No kids (other than the puppies we got last week! :)) , no clothing accounts, no house bond (not interested in buying until we get to where we want to settle), no credit cards - NOTHING!!

Alwyn: A salary of the figures you're talking is PHENOMENAL and uncommon here. If you can earn that, GREAT! But if you earn half of that, you'll be fine too! The important thing is to ensure you get that work-life balance where you don't have to work like a dog to earn the big bucks but then not have the time to enjoy this beautiful country. There's much more important things in life!!  ;)
07/10/2009: EOI Submitted (TICK)
08/10/2009: EOI selected from pool (TICK!)
19/11/2009: ITA received (TICK!)
25/11/2009: ITA submitted (TICK!)
20/05/2010: PR granted (after waiting 2 months for a police clearance!)
27/05/2010: Passports submitted
02/06/2010: Passports returned - YAY!!!!!