Your Cost of Living in New Zealand

Cost of Living Calculator

The ENZ Cost of Living Calculator tries to show you approximately the annual salary you need for the lifestyle you want.

cost of living

The calculator is based on the living costs of a family of two adults and two school-aged children. You’ll need to adjust these costs depending on your personal circumstances.

For each item you’ll be spending money on, click the button for “frugal” or “modest” or “good living” or enter your personal estimate into the calculator.

After you’ve entered all the costs, click the “Add” button, to find your total estimated weekly spending.

The calculator will estimate the salary you need, taking into account the tax you will have to pay on your salary.

If it’s your first time here, you might find it helpful to read the notes at the bottom of the page.

These will help you find housing cost estimates and explain the calculator more fully.

If you need your salary to go further, read 22 Ways to Slash Your Cost of Living in New Zealand.

The Calculator

Items to Pay ForChoose Your Weekly Spending Level
FrugalModestGood LivingPersonal Estimate
Weekly rent or mortgage$0
Other Supermarket Purchases$15$25$40
House Maintenance$20$30$50
Car WOF / Maintenance / Fuel$30$65$115
Public Transport$0$20$0
House Insurance$10$15$20
House Contents Insurance$2$5$10
Car Insurance$5$7$15
Telephone Local and National$10$12$15
Telephone International$1$7$15
Mobile Phone$0
Council Rates$30$45$70
Electricity / Heating$30$40$55
Small Medical Costs / Pharmacist
/ Dentist for Family In Good Health
Misc / Entertainment / Children’s Treats$25$55$130
Money put aside to Replace Major Items
Such as Cars / Furnishings / White Goods
Tobacco (About $19 per pack of 20)$0
Childcare – full-time in a good pre-school
costs around $200-$250 per week.
Saving / Investing / Pension Provision$0
Medical Insurance. Accident and
emergency care are free for everyone.
70% of Kiwis have no medical insurance.

Total Estimated Weekly Spending

  • You’ve now got an estimate of your weekly cash needs in New Zealand. You’ll need to earn more than this, because the government taxes you.
  • Enter your total weekly costs in the box below and press The Gross Annual Income I Need Is…. (You might want to allow for any weekly costs you have that we haven’t included above.)
  • The calculator will apply current income-tax rates to your weekly living costs and tell you the gross annual wage you need.
My Total Actual Weekly Costs Will Be:

Using the Calculator

Your House

  • Find typical weekly rents in different suburbs and towns here
  • Find average house prices here
  • Use the mortgage calculator (opens in pop-up window) to figure out your mortgage costs.

Living Costs
The calculator is based on the living costs of a family of two adults and two school-aged children. You’ll need to adjust these costs depending on your personal circumstances.

Frugal Lifestyle:
Basic living with few treats or entertainment. Quite happy to buy cheap and second-hand goods; runs a cheap car that travels around 5000 miles (8,000 km) each year.

Modest Lifestyle:
Lives reasonably well but no great extravagance: some wine each week – some takeaway food – nice house in good area – a good quality Japanese family car, bought second-hand that travels around 10,000 miles (16,000 km) each year.

Good Living:
Very nice house, in above average area, two good quality cars bought new and replaced every 3 years, nice food, meals out, a glass or two of wine with most evening meals. Not a millionaire lifestyle, but probably within the top 10 percent of lifestyles for New Zealand.

Mix and Match:
Some people are quite happy to be frugal motorists while spending more on food, wine and entertaining than our ‘good living’ estimate. Other people do the opposite. You will know better than anyone else the sort of spender you are in each category. Some items near the bottom of the table we’ve left for you to estimate based on your personal lifestyle. Our supermarket page gives you typical costs for a range of foods.