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Thread: Cost of Living Calculator - how much one person needs as a minimum on a modest, not frugal, lifestyle

  1. #1
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    Default Cost of Living Calculator - how much one person needs as a minimum on a modest, not frugal, lifestyle

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    This is not another “how long is a piece of string” question but rather a “how do I adjust the calculator” one.

    The ENZ cost of living calculator is a very good approach to doing the basic sums as it allows for adjusting individual items of the weekly spend from “frugal” to “good living”.

    But it is based on the living costs of a family of two adults and two school-aged children. Any such calculator takes into consideration certain economies of scale. Therefore, being a three-person family (e.g. 2 adults plus 1 child) wouldn’t work out to three quarters, being a two-person family (single parent or couple) to half, and being single to a quarter of the weekly cost of living. The cost of living is related to the number of people but not proportionally.

    Is there any similar calculator that’s based on a single person’s cost of living? Or a realistic formula how to adjust this calculator? I would be interested to know how much one person needs as a minimum on a modest, not frugal, lifestyle, excluding the cost of housing.

  2. #2
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    Oh, heavens, I think you HAVE got a 'piece of string' question there, if you try to adjust the calculator. How old are the children in the original calculation? - that would affect how expensive they are to feed, clothe and entertain, and therefore how much of the total you could discount for them, before dividing for the adult couple.

  3. #3
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    Absolutely. It’s not just economies of scale (simple head count) but also quite substantial, specific costs related to children that were factored into this calculator. Even the children factor might be an average value across the entire schooling time from Year One to high-school graduation.

    Therefore, I was hoping there are some singles who have lived in NZ for a longer period of time, exercise the boring practice of keeping a book of household accounts and hence know their regular budget which they might want to share. I would like to know the regular living costs disregarding some major up-front expenses, such as the purchase of a car, big-ticket appliances or furniture.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by emka View Post
    I would like to know the regular living costs disregarding some major up-front expenses, such as the purchase of a car, big-ticket appliances or furniture.
    100 views but not a single answer... Can’t believe there are only couples or families who emigrate to NZ. Or singles who are that well off that they haven’t got a clue how much they spend on everyday living costs because it doesn’t matter.

    But maybe people just don’t want to share their household budget figures with the world, which I would understand as it is rather personal info. So, if you are a single, budget conscious lurker who hasn’t posted yet or if you prefer to PM me, please do so.

    I only want to do my homework properly, and crunching the numbers is crucial.

  5. #5
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    Maybe the answer is, that if all the foolish people who don't watch their money can get by, if you are sensible, as you seem to be, you will be fine.

    If you know what your gross salary is going to be, then find a tax calculator and work out your net - very simple in NZ. Find a rental on trademe which is realistic, calculate heating costs depending on that rental. Now you know how long your string is. Work out a budget for food and clothes and phone and see if you can deal with what is left. In my opinion that's a very personal thing. I run a house for seven people on 200 euros a week and I know people with less kids who spend twice that in the supermarket.

  6. #6
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    I still think that the calculator would give you a rough idea of costs. It maybe set up for a family of four but other than the food bill nothing is automatically factored in that would skew it too much - it's only a rough guide after all. A family of four might spend more on a food shop but may well spend less on eating out and socialising. Likewise more spent, proportionally, on kids clothes less on the parents clothes (that's certainly how it works put here). We just used it to work out the minimum wage we would need to make moving viable - set everything to moderate and then had a think ourselves about how much above the figure quoted would be comfortable and compared that to expect wages.

    Hope that makes sense. There are single people on here who have made the move so sone may come out of the woodwork to help you a bit more

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