The cost of living in New Zealand as an expat

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Living away from your birth country can sometimes be challenging. There are a lot of things that are different between expats and natives, especially when it comes to the cost of living. If you are moving to New Zealand from the US, or anywhere else in the world, you might not know what to expect when it comes to the price of taxes, rent, everyday items… That is why we have prepared the perfect guide for the cost of living in New Zealand as an expat. With this article, you will know exactly what to expect when it comes to all necessary expenses!

The overview of New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the furthest countries when looking globally. It is located in the southern hemisphere, in the Pacific Ocean, near Australia. Like in the whole southern hemisphere, it is quite hot during winter and gets pretty cold during summer. This makes the change of moving here even more drastic if you are hiring overseas removalists to relocate you from the northern hemisphere. New Zealand has a population of around 5 million, and its official languages are Māori, English, and New Zealand Sign Language. As you can imagine, New Zealand is a pretty diverse and welcoming place. But, is it expensive to live there?

Two people calculating the cost of living in New Zealand as an expat
We will help you calculate how much living in New Zealand will cost you as an expat!

The average cost of living in New Zealand as an expat

Without looking at the rent, the average cost of living in New Zealand varies a lot. Depending on where you decide to live, it can cost you 3 times more than some other places. For example, living in bigger cities, such as Auckland or Wellington is way more expensive than the cost of living on the West Coast. When looked at as a whole, you can spend anywhere from $800 to $4.000 every month on your everyday life. And this is not including rent. But even before looking at all of the elements that make up this average cost of living, keep in mind that moving here can be quite expensive. You have to buy a plane ticket, hire international furniture movers, and use any other necessary vehicle for transport. Overall it can get quite pricey so let’s dissect the elements that make up the average cost of living:

  • For starters, when looking at utilities, they can cost anywhere between $150 and $400 depending on your consumption and the size of your household. Utilities typically include heating, electricity, water, and gas. When looking at worldwide prices, there is not that much of a difference. In fact, it is cheaper than in some parts of the world.
  • Depending on what you buy, groceries can come out to $200 a month, which overall is not that expensive. Of course, you can spend even more money, but for necessities, this should be enough.
  • In this digital age, the internet is one of the crucial aspects of our life. So, when you take that into consideration, it is something you should definitely calculate in your cost of living. Internet will cost you anywhere between $50 and $100 depending on your package.
vacuuming money
When looking at different aspects of everyday life in New Zealand, it can seem quite expensive.

What about rent?

Rent for expats is definitely more expensive. You thought that moving houses would be as easy as calling international household movers. Unfortunately, you need to think about where you will settle down into your new life. That is why you need to find an adequate place to live. One crucial thing to remember is that before becoming a full resident, you will probably have to pay rent on weekly bases. This is the aspect that is definitely very expensive and can turn some people off.

We will look at some average prices of housing options, however, they can vary from place to place:

  • Studios are definitely the cheapest option and you can find a studio for as low as $150 a week depending on where you live.
  • A one-bedroom apartment can cost similar to a studio: $150 a week. If we look at payment on monthly bases, in the city center, it can be anywhere from $1.000 to $2.000.
  • When calculating the cost of living in New Zealand as an expat paying for a bigger apartment know that it can cost around $2.000 to $4.000 a month, depending on which city you choose to live in.

Taxes and other costs of living in New Zealand as an expat

Another thing to look at before hiring overseas moving services and moving to New Zealand is the special taxes for expats. One thing to note is that the taxes in New Zealand depend on your income. Here is what that means for official residents:

  • If your earning is between 0 and 14.000, tax rates are 10.5%
  • If your earning is between 14.001 and 48.000, tax rates are 17.5%
  • If your earning is between 48.001 and 70.000, tax rates are 30%
  • If your earning is between 70.001 and 180.000, tax rates are 33%
  • If your earning is over 180,000, tax rates are 39%

And if you still didn’t get your residency paperwork settled, tax rates are 15% flat. There are also other costs you need to take into consideration such as health insurance for foreigners, transportation costs, the cost of going out, shopping, to the theatre, and other fun activities. You can also think about the cost of trips and vacations throughout New Zealand you may take.

A plane flying to New Zealand
Don’t let the cost of living stop you from making your dreams come true.

Overall, New Zealand is a great place to live in and has a pretty good quality of life. Even when calculating the cost of living in New Zealand as an expat, it does not come out to an outrageous amount. This means that New Zealand is quite affordable, even for foreigners. So, don’t miss a great opportunity and move to New Zealand if that’s what your heart desires!


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