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Elizabeth Davies finds the costs of relocating two-and-a-half hours down the road prohibitive

Elizabeth Davies finds the costs of relocating two-and-a-half hours down the road prohibitive

By Elizabeth Davies

The last three months have been some of the most expensive of my life.

Summer and Christmas are always an expensive time of year, but for us it was the cost of relocating.

One of the main reasons we chose to move away from Auckland was to save money and we’ve already seen savings in many different areas of our lives; from rent to parking to insurance and entertainment, getting out of Auckland hands down means a cheaper life.

That being said, moving cities is an incredibly expensive process.

Relocating is a logistical, costly nightmare. You can’t just rope in a couple of mates with a box of beer and drag your stuff around the corner. Having lived together for a couple of years we’d gathered our fair share of junk and while we did a massive clear out we still spent over a thousand dollars on a truck and two strong guys to help us move our worldly possessions two and a half hours down the road.

Finding a new place to live always means a big initial outlay of expenses.

We spent a fair amount of money doing trips to Tauranga to check out potential homes, and when we did find the right one we then had to pay letting fees and bond, and advanced rent. Once again that’s more than $1000.

By this stage I’d had to quit my job and my partner had finished studying so neither of us had any significant income.

Just as we had vaguely started settling in to our new home Christmas hit. I have a huge family so it would be an understatement to say that Christmas is an expensive time of year.

My partner started straight into a fulltime job but gets paid monthly, which meant an adjustment to the way we handle our finances. I left my fulltime job in Auckland and I’m yet to find fulltime work here in Tauranga, putting more strain on our finances.

We decided to have a very modest Christmas, buying small, inexpensive gifts for family and choosing not to give each other presents. But the cost of travel from Tauranga to Auckland to Matakana and back to Tauranga was unavoidable.

The reality is, as we come into March we’re still on the back foot, trying to drag ourselves out of the financial hole we’ve found ourselves in as a result of relocating.

We’re still living modestly, but this year is about serious savings, so it’s time to tighten our belts once more.

Money starts to become a problem when you stop thinking about it. A few days ago we sat down and re-did our budget and set ourselves new rules.

We’ve made a plan to look at our budget once every six months for the foreseeable future. As time goes on and our financial positions change or develop we can identify our spending habits, where we need to improve and make adjustments.

We’re discovering that being financially responsible means being aware of everything you spend, not just large, irregular purchases but small habitual spending. As the saying goes, take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.


Elizabeth Davies is a graduate of the Auckland University of Technology post graduate journalism course. She writes a weekly article for on money matters and financial struggles from a young person's perspective.

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When you get a tempting offer to sell the house just remember;
real estate fees 16 - 30k 
solicitors 1500
moving 2k
re mortgaging. = hassle and 500
switching phone/broadband/sky/addresses etc 
fixing all the bugs in new house 3k 
compared to staying put, & repay all the above on the current mortgage! 

We all went through those belt tightening phases.  When I graduated from Victoria Uni in the mid 90s, I held three part time jobs.  Full time job came 18 months later in Palmerston North, didn’t have a car then so I bought a Skoda 110LS from an auction for $420.  While everyone else was driving Ford Escort, Corolla SR with borrowed money, I was a laughing stock for driving such a dump.  It’s not all bad, it’s just good character building 

Can you not find an hourly wage job while you look for work?

keywest are you in some advantaged position?
"hourly wage job" IS what most of us call "work"

Can you not find an hourly wage job while you look for work?

Money/Work is just a vehical you use to get you where you want to be.  These kind of expenses should be viewed as an investment in your journey.  That is how you asses the costs, 2k could be cheap or it could be expensive, it depends on your own personal goals.

Hi Elizabeth,
Pop me an email if you'd like some help at all :)
E.K :)

Elizabeth, like you, my husband and I moved from Auckland to Tauranga 2 weeks ago. Both of us gave up our full-time jobs for this relocation. I understand the pain of spending on the moving and accommodation expenses at one go. We are now digging into our savings while job hunting. Hubby and I have job interviews this week - keep fingers crossed!
We felt that getting out of the Auckland traffic woes to this beautiful part of New Zealand, is worth the financial hardship. Each day we woke up to the rolling hills and the sea, it brought smiles to our face.
We keep telling each other to be brave, there will be light at the end of the tunnel and tomorrow will be better!
Just remember, you are not alone.

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Days to the General Election: 35
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.