New Zealand is one of the most expensive countries in the world. According to the Cost of Living Ranking by Country released by Expatistan, NZ ranks 12th out of 75 countries as the most expensive country. It's worth nothing, though, that while the prices in NZ are staggeringly high, Kiwis enjoy lower income taxes, relative to its ranking and median household income.
On the side of the Tasman is Australia — a country also known for higher cost of living. The same index study ranks it as the 14th most expensive country, only lagging behind Israel. Great news is, Aussies have a high purchasing power, giving them more worth for their money.
However, determining their prices for basic utilities isn’t as straightforward as ranking countries according to prices. Take a look at a more comprehensive look on their price difference in basic home utilities.
Basic home utilities are essential to keep our home running. These are usually categorised to rent, house maintenance, food, water, electricity, gas, and heating. Aside from these, there are also other expenses which have become essential in Kiwis’ lives. These are broadband, mobile plan, insurance policies, and more.
Generally, these are considered the most basic home utilities for most Kiwis. Other Kiwis may also consider VPN services, KiwiSaver, and other services as their utilities. Similarly, some Kiwis may also find some of the basic utilities unnecessary in their day-to-day living, so they don’t consider it a utility.
For this comparison, basic utilities are categorised into rent, water, electricity and gas, broadband, mobile plan, and food.
Note: All listed prices are in New Zealand dollars. Australian prices are converted to New Zealand prices for a more consistent comparison.
|Prices in NZ||Prices in OZ||Price difference|
|Rent (85m2 furnished home in a big city)||$2,762/month||$2,723/month||$39 (1.43%) more expensive in NZ|
|Water bill||Usually included in rent||Usually included in rent||N/A|
|Electricity and gas||$275/month||$182/month||$93 (51.1%) more expensive in NZ|
|Broadband plan (8mbps download speeds)||$70/month||$64/month||$6 (9.38%) more expensive in NZ|
|Mobile data plan (1GB)||$14.35/month||$4.02/month||$10.33 (256.97%) more expensive in NZ|
|Food (not including dining out and food delivery services)||$350/month||$200/month||$150 (75%) more expensive in NZ|
These estimates are for a basic household of 2-4 occupants. These are also the average prices in all regions in both countries — not considering their location. Needless to say, if you’re living in the city, you may have to spend more than these average monthly prices. Consequently, if you live rurally, you may have to spend less than these prices.
As a rule of thumb, these prices also greatly vary depending on your needs and spending. If you have more occupants in your home, these prices may increase. Living alone may decrease your financial load, since you’re only paying for yourself.
The quickest and easiest way to save money is to limit the usage of these utilities. For example, you may want to unplug unused appliances or cancel your unused streaming, cable, or music subscriptions on your devices.
Another way you can save is to find something that matches your needs. If you live alone, you probably won’t need to live in a two to three-bedroom house or stock up food for 3-4 people. While it may be tempting to go bigger, it doesn’t always mean it’s better.
If you’re living well above what you can afford, you may want to reevaluate your basic home utilities. Are you getting your money’s worth in your broadband plan? Do you always have plenty of extra in your mobile data plan at the end of the month? Do you use gas to power up your home?
You may want to switch to better value plans for your utilities! To score the best plans that match your needs, use our comparison tool at CompareBear. Compare the deals for broadband, power, mobile plan, car insurance, travel insurance, KiwiSaver, and more!
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