One Question Quiz
The words "the cost of being" alongside a takeaway coffee cup, an uber eats delivery bag and a pair of sunglasses
Image: Tina Tiller

SocietyApril 18, 2023

The cost of being: A 21-year-old flatting in Auckland

The words "the cost of being" alongside a takeaway coffee cup, an uber eats delivery bag and a pair of sunglasses
Image: Tina Tiller

As part of a new series exploring the cost of living in New Zealand, a young woman living in a flat with five others breaks down her budget.

Gender: Female

Age: 21

Ethnicity: NZ Pākehā

Role: Part-time retail, part-time musician

Location: Urban

Rent per week: I pay $200 a week for my share of a house that I share with five other people; we split it equally.

Typical weekly food costs

Groceries: I buy my own groceries individually. If it’s a big shop it’s around $150 and I’ll do this about every two weeks, or realistically once a month, and I survive off little shops and eating out.

Eating out: $30-40

Takeaways: I get Uber Eats pretty often so I’m gonna say $50

Workday lunches: I usually buy work lunch out around three days a week so $40

Cafe coffees: The oat milk flat white is expensive, and I probably buy five a week, so like $25

Savings: I have just over a grand in savings at the moment and it’s been at that for a while since i’m spending more than I’m earning. I’m not sure what I’m saving for yet, hopefully to go overseas next year.

I worry about money: Sometimes. Money definitely stresses me out but mainly just because I’m not earning enough to save anything significant enough and I often feel like I don’t have enough to have essential items.

Three words to describe my financial situation would be: Chaotic, surviving, stressful

My biggest edible indulgence would be Uber Eats

In a typical week my alcohol expenditure would be $80

I estimate in the past year the ballpark amount I spent on clothing (including sleepwear and underwear) was $2,500

My most expensive clothing in the past year was a matching suit set

My last pair of shoes cost $300 (They were Dr Martens and they were a present)

My annual grooming/beauty expenditure is about $500. I make do with what I have, I don’t splash out very often, and sometimes I get gifted things.

My exercise expenditure in a year is about $1000 (including gym membership)

My last Friday night cost $80 (including Ubers)

Most regrettable purchase in the last 12 months was clothes I never wear.

My most indulgent purchase (that I don’t regret) in the last 12 months was $350 sunglasses, but I got them discounted to $150.

One area where I’m a bit of a tightwad is… Honestly any kind of expensive purchase I could make for myself, even though I end up spending the same amount on silly little things throughout the week.

Five words to describe my financial personality would be: Random, careless, practical (sometimes), spontaneous, fluctuating

I grew up in a house where money was never incredibly tight but we never had heaps and heaps. We would just have the things we need and often worry about the consequences later for an experience.

The last time my Eftpos card was declined was yesterday lol.

In five years, in financial terms, I see myself hopefully having saved up a decent amount of money and in the habit of knowing exactly what to spend it on. Earning a lot more than I do now and having enough money to buy myself all the things I need without having to worry about it.

My biggest financial low was probably a few months ago when my work started rostering me on only a couple of days a week and I wasn’t really making enough to make rent, but luckily I am young and have very nice parents who lent me a bit of money when I really needed it.

I give money away to… Not much, as I don’t really have any left over ever, I mean occasionally if I have cash I’ll give some to someone asking on the street. But hopefully in the future I will be able to give away more money cause I’d love to be able to donate to different places.

Keep going!