Advice and Support for South Africans Immigrating to New Zealand

South Africans Going To New Zealand

Author Topic: Sample budget  (Read 36027 times)

Offline Heaven

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Re: Sample budget
« Reply #210 on: April 28, 2014, 01:00:07 pm »
I couldn't agree more with Yusuf. You really do need savings as backup for the unexpected.

Medical costs are very high on a Visitors Visa, still high on a Work Visa (unless your work visa is for more than 24 months - depends on medical practitioner too), but once you have residence (or if your work visa is for more than 24 months) you qualify for state medical care. GP's still cost a fair bit though - state care is for specialist care, operations & other hospitalisation.

As for redundancy, I've been through it and unless you have held a residence class visa for 2 or more years, you don't qualify for a benefit (You can ask for them to consider granting you an Emergency Maintenance Allowance, but no guarantees you'll get it). You either need some solid savings to fall back on or hope that the company offers a really good redundancy package. (I had both, so we pulled through - very tight, but okay)

It is so very important to live within your means here in NZ and not accumulate any debt - as immigrants, we have a lot at stake. Obviously buying a house / business etc would be different though...
02-04-2011 - Landed in NZ for LSD
22-07-2011 - 5 year WP issued
18-08-2011 - Moved to NZ
21-09-2011 - EOI submitted & selected
21-03-2012 - Residence Approved
16-04-2014 - Permanent Residence Approved

Offline nani

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Re: Sample budget
« Reply #211 on: May 02, 2014, 09:46:46 am »
Here is our budget. Single income family of 3, mum, dad and 2 year old in Auckland (North Shore).

Rent: $350 weekly (cheap 2 bedroom townhouse)
Groceries: about $100 to $150 a week
Coffee and mainly music for baby: $15

Electricity:$100 summer months up to $150 winter months
Water: $50
Insurance: $70 life + $65 car
Car payment: $270
Cellphone: 2 phones $20 each prepaid
Internet plus landline: $85 paid by work as husband works from home
Petrol: $120
Entertainment etc: quickflix $15,  gym membership $85, soccer classes for baby $60

We generally try to do free things like go to the beach/playground/ free community events, buy second hand on trademe if we can and I'm a sahm so I cook almost everything from scratch and make my own yoghurt to save on groceries.  Our home is also very well insulated so we don't really use any heating. And we pay very little rent compared to others, similar apartments to ours generally go for between $400 and $450 a week.

Other expenses we have during the year are:
Playcentre: $50 donation per term
Medical: free for under 6 (doctors and prescriptions), $50 for adults but we don't go that often, $5 per prescription, we use public health system for specialist and work out fine so far
Car wof and registration: $330 per year
Dentist is about $100 for check up and xrays and then anout $200 if you need a filling, free for kids
Husband just had an eye test and glasses: $600

If you are a permanent resident and you are on a low to middle income you can get some help from the government- working for families tax credits, accommodation supplement,  community services card, and childcare subsidies.  These do add up and help a lot.

SA Going to NZ Advice Forum

Re: Sample budget
« Reply #211 on: May 02, 2014, 09:46:46 am »

Offline Serbrose

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Re: Sample budget
« Reply #212 on: June 24, 2014, 12:25:49 pm »
Good day everyone,

Hope you all well.

I need advise and guidance regarding visiting NZ

Before Im going to NZ, I informed my bank that I will be on holiday for 3 months for security purposes.
I even spoke to FNB's Forex dept and they told me that my funds will be automatically converted but will charge R48 per transaction + 2.75 commission. Is this to much?
Could you please provide guidance on your experiences and what I can do before coming over please.
Also, please advise how much funds should I have in NZ if I am on holiday there for 3 months?


Offline Mikesjhb

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Re: Sample budget
« Reply #213 on: June 30, 2014, 10:19:06 am »
I believe according to INZ you would need at least $1000 for each month IF you cannot provide proof that your accommodation has already been paid/living with some one you know. If you are living with some one you know/accommodation is already paid for in NZ i believe the monthly amount goes down to $400 per month.
Landed in NZ: 1 October 2014
Flew Home: 10 December 2014
Visa Submission: 11 December 2014
Visa Approved 23 December 2014
EOI: 1st January 2015
Residency: 22 March 2015

Offline Wreckit

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Re: Sample budget
« Reply #214 on: July 28, 2014, 06:00:56 pm »
Hi Guys,

For a family of two will $100k P.A be sufficient to survive in Wellington ? We just want a normal life nothing out of the ordinary just do not want to struggle.

Offline yusuf

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Re: Sample budget
« Reply #215 on: July 29, 2014, 07:41:52 am »
$100k per year for 2 people will be fine. You won't struggle.
DIY Residence Application - Roughly 18 months
Arrived in Wellington with Residence - 1st May 2013
Relocated to Auckland - 24th May 2015
PR Approved - 19th Nov 2015

Offline Wreckit

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Re: Sample budget
« Reply #216 on: July 29, 2014, 10:12:45 am »
Hi yusuf, I appreciate the reply! We want to get my wife a job as well the moment we land in Wellington to make the financial load less

SA Going to NZ Advice Forum

Re: Sample budget
« Reply #216 on: July 29, 2014, 10:12:45 am »

Offline Meike

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Re: Sample budget
« Reply #217 on: October 15, 2014, 09:32:25 am »
Well, having been here for 6 months now, I am able to give you all an update on Cost of living and monthly budget.

Just to put this in to perspective, this is MY budget for a family of 3 (myself and 2 teenagers) who come from a comfortable middle-class home in SA.
While we don't have extra to spare for much entertainment, this budget is still for a comfortable life in Central Auckland.

Now that last bit is also important - Central Auckland is prob THE MOST expensive area to live in, however this was a strategic decision on my part.  My job is in the city center and with no partner to help with the fetching and carrying to school etc we have chosen to live where I can get on a bus and be at work in 15 min, and the kids can both walk to school and back home with no need for aftercare for the youngest.  So, if you are more flexible you cold prob reduce things like rent from the below budget, but then you may need to increase petrol etc...

Anyway, so here is my monthly budget.....

FIRST a couple of NOTES:
1) watch out for those pesky 5 week months (if you are renting, rent is normally paid weekly so you need to budget for the extra week every 3 months - this caught me out the first time I hit a 5 week month)
2) your first month here will be expensive - allow extra for getting all the basics for your pantry, cleaning supplies, etc... you are starting with an EMPTY kitchen
3) BOND - most rental's here require 3 or 4 weeks rent as a BOND, plus 1 week letting fee + 1 week in advance.... so your first month you can easily DOUBLE your rental budget.
4) Rent - rent for a 3 bed in Auckland Central could be anything form $500 to $700 pw - the below budget is for $550 pw (again you can shop around if you want)
5) Car - We bought a 2nd hand car cash when we got here (from the proceeds of selling my car back in Cape Town) so no monthly cost
6) Health Insurance - I have chosen not to take health insurance.  As I am here on a 5 year visa we qualify for the national health insurance.  I have already had occasion to make use of this as I ended up in Auckland hospital a few weeks ago.  I found the hospital and staff to be efficient and very good.  After 24 hours in emergency, 3 days in ward, 2 ultrasounds & 2 MRI's, the only cost that I have had is the $80 for the ambulance to the hospital.  This is nothing like the public health care back home - but again this is a personal decision.  PLEASE make sure you register yourself with a local GP as soon as you get here, that will get you an NHI number and on to the national registry.

Monthly Budget:

Rent $550 pw (+ extra $190 to cater for the 5 week month) = $2390
Car license $278 annual + $30 WOF Annual = $26
Car Insurance (2005 Mazda Premecy) = $67
Contents Insurance =$70
Water = $25
Electricity & Gas = $200 (higher in winter, lower in summer - this is an average)
Cellphone = $40 ($20 each for 2 cellphone users)
Home phone and Internet = $85
Sky Basic package = $48
Petrol = $100 (however because I bus to work I have found that this cost has actually been around $50 pm, but it depends on how much weekend driving I do)
Bus Ticket = $140 for me for a monthly pass + $40 for 1 child for school bus
FOOD = $1000 (we eat well but this does NOT include many, if any, treats - but if we want to eat red meat we do, LOTS of fruit and veg)
Sundry expenses = $500
Music additional cost for Guitar lessons at school ($31 per lesson) = around $80
Scouts (out of school cost - $50 per term + extra for camps etc) = $25

Schools - again this will vary depending on which school you choose.  These are once off costs per year, so depends on how you want to budget it (i.e. spread it across the year etc)
BUT lookout - even though they say the schooling is "free" or donation based, there are all kinds of extra's (not least of which are the school uniforms and stationary and sport requirements)

Child 1
School donation - $300
additional costs for subjects, school year book, student card etc - $245
School uniform (only available at the school shop) - $680
Stationary - $150
Sport additional cost for team volleyball - $80
Total annual school cost for this year = $1455 = $121 pm

Child 2
School donation - $255
additional social costs, subjects, compulsory 2 day water safety course (outings etc) - $270
School uniform (available only at one Warehouse store) - $600 (and this is for the bare minimum)
Stationary - $100
Total annual school cost for this year = $1225 = $102 pm

So all-told, for a family of 3/4 (depending on age of kids) for a comfortable life in Central Auckland you need a MINIMUM of $85000 annual Household income (this takes in to account a 2% contribution to supperannuation, 3% contribution to KiwiSaver and TAX)

So, while many posts here will say that an annual household income of $45000 is comfortable - please take it with a pinch of salt.... it will depend entirely on WHERE and HOW you want to live.
Jan 2014 - Applying for jobs
12 Feb - collect passport
24 Feb - police clearance arrived
26 Feb - Job Offer
1 Mar - XRays/bloodwork
6 Mar - Medicals
10 Mar - Visa Applications sent
1 Apr - Passports and Visa's arrived
14 Apr - Arrived Auckland

Offline Heaven

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Re: Sample budget
« Reply #218 on: October 19, 2014, 01:02:27 am »
Absolutely fantastic budget information Meike. As a single mum, I can absolutely see your logic in all of that and how it makes more sense strategically. I'm in Napier and on a different income with different expenses, but if I was in Auckland, that's what my budget would look like too.

All I have to add to Meike's post is please save whatever you can whenever you can and get income protection insurance and insurance on any credit you have. I lost a job when my role was made redundant. It was on a last in first out basis and quite a traumatic experience to go through after only 2 years, 2 months employment with them. If it wasn't for the great redundancy package I got, very good savings I'd accumulated, income protection policy that paid out and credit insurance that paid off the last few hundred dollars on some appliances, I would have been in a very different situation to what I am in now.

It's been almost a year since my redundancy and I still haven't found another job. But, I started my own business which went very slowly at first. Mid year I decided to go back and study full time to change careers (now doing Accounting & Law major) and within two weeks business had picked up so much that I nearly dropped my studies - Murphy's Law ey! Now I've managed to balance work and study, so going okay but exhausting!!! (Keeps me out of mischief though)

I guess what I'm trying to say is get as much protection as you can from the unforeseen and be prepared to adapt drastically if you have to. I chose to stay in NZ despite what happened and even though we lived on bare minimal groceries and $1 salvation army clothing for months, we are through the worst and things will be fine for now.
02-04-2011 - Landed in NZ for LSD
22-07-2011 - 5 year WP issued
18-08-2011 - Moved to NZ
21-09-2011 - EOI submitted & selected
21-03-2012 - Residence Approved
16-04-2014 - Permanent Residence Approved

Offline Morne

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Re: Sample budget
« Reply #219 on: October 28, 2014, 10:43:28 pm »
Good on you Heaven. I hope your business really takes off. People often look back on redundancy and say it was the best thing that ever happened to them.

You're right about getting as much protection as you can. I gave the agents a miss and went online and at and got 25% off income protection insurance and life insurance.  New Zealand is expensive and can be a tough place to live without any income.

If you are renting make sure you have got contents insurance, even if your contents aren't worth very much. The policy will come with public liability insurance, so if you or your mates burn down your landlord's property or do any other damage to it you will be protected.  Here is a good article all about this:

If you buy a house be careful about insurance. Things have changed here after the Christchurch earthquakes and replacement value policies aren't available any more.  The onus is now on you to calculate how much you would need to rebuild your house and then to get insurance for that amount. They say many people are underinsured because of this. A good place to work out the numbers is the Cordell online calculator.