How much does it really cost to live in Wellington?

Wellington is listed as one of the most affordable cities in Australasia.

Cuba Street Wellington Night Markets

What you consider a reasonable cost of living will very much depend on where you come from and what your take home pay is. That’s to be expected, but problems arise when there is a mismatch between their expectations and reality.

Income varies widely according to what you do, how much experience you have and where you live. However, the best way to predict your likely income is to look at current job listings online.

The cost of living in Wellington is comparable to other OECD countries, and we're rated as more affordable than the country's largest city, Auckland.

Oriental Bay houses fountain aerial

Mercer's 2019 Cost of Living survey ranked Wellington 114th in the world in terms of its cost of living, making Wellington a reasonably affordable city by world rankings.

If you are lucky to have a job already lined up, and are planning to make a budget, Immigration New Zealand has a robust cost of living calculator to help you navigate the obstacles.

If you have just arrived in New Zealand you may find the cost of living is more, or less than you expected, but we’re here to help you navigate what exactly that might mean.

Renting in the capital, like many cities, can vary dramatically, with the median price coming in around $565

The wider Wellington region can be slightly cheaper the median weekly rent coming in at $520. Although this is expected to change year to year.

Coffee cafe stock pouring milk into coffee

Depending on where you are from, grocery supplies may cost more than you are used to.

For comparative measures, a standard 2 litre bottle of milk can cost anywhere from $3.50 - $4.50, with coffee starting at $4 from a café, and the average bottle of wine jumping anywhere from $8 - $30.

Most New Zealand supermarkets offer online grocery shopping. As an experiment, try pricing the weekly shop you do at home on one of their websites. Kiwi supermarkets regularly have special offers, so you may well pay less in store.

In New Zealand, quite a large number of people use the Sorted website and their great budgeting tool to help make sure they don’t spend more than they earn.

Cuba Street people walking shops

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