SocietySeptember 30, 2022

I pay $380 a week in rent – this is how I live


An early 30-something lives alone in central Auckland and loves it. 

I am 32 years old and have been renting for just under ten years. I’m a full-time worker with additional (mainly passive) income from other artistic pursuits and for the past year, I’ve lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment in the middle of Auckland’s CBD. Like every flat I’ve ever lived in, it’s a ten-minute walk max from the Sky Tower, and I’m very rarely further than walking distance away from a place I need to be (please don’t look at my Uber receipts). 

I pay $380 rent a week, and about $30 a week for power/internet, including unlimited data on my phone. That rent is about 30% of my gross weekly income, and if I didn’t have additional income, it would probably be significantly more. It’s a price I’m willing to pay for the benefits that come with living alone, and living as close to the CBD as I do.

I’m in an older building that has had a lot of care and love put into it. It’s a semi-famous building, more than a few older friends recognise it and have had friends stay here while working on projects. From what I can tell, at least half of the occupants own rather than rent their apartments. I have a friend who lives in the building, which is handy in case either of us need to isolate, and I have friendly relationships with most of my neighbours on the same floor, but nothing beyond casual chats in the lift. 

Without any doubt, this is definitely the best flat I’ve been in: one bedroom, one bathroom, high ceilings, great views on both sides of the apartment. It’s the right size for one person, and while it’d probably be too small for two people, it’s the perfect size to host a few people around for drinks before a show, or to hang out and have a small dinner. The only downsides about the flat is that it has no blinds – not a privacy issue given how high up I am, and I prefer to be woken up by the light anyway – and no dishwasher, the first flat I’ve lived in without one. 

I never rent a flat that’s more than a ten-minute walk from the Sky Tower.  (Photo: Wikipedia)

I’ve lived at my place for exactly a year. I was meant to move during the lockdown last year, but was unable to for obvious Covid restrictions. I have a great relationship with my landlord – no issues, no dramas. As far as I know I don’t actually have a property manager, but I do have a building manager, who seems fairly useless and non-communicative. Not enough to be a drama, but enough to notice his lack of presence.

I generally get around the city either by walking or Ubering, although once Covid recedes I’ll definitely start catching public transport again. I’m able to work from home a lot, and thankfully this flat is a pleasant place to do that from (living alone helps), and if I need a change of pace, I’m able to work from a number of cafes in the area. This has been an unexpected bonus of the flat, in that I’m able to become a proper regular at a few places in town.

Honestly, I’d love to stay in this flat for as long as I can. I have plans to go overseas at some point in the future, and I’d rather do it as unburdened as possible. I also love the lifestyle that I have in this flat – I feel extremely independent and free, while also being very close to the friends and amenities that I love. Frankly, I also love living alone, while also being able to afford a lifestyle that doesn’t make me feel chained to the house I live alone in. It’s a privilege I’m aware of, and one that I don’t neglect!

Rent Week 2022 runs until  October 2. Read the best of our renting coverage here.

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