According to statista.com, the average house price in Auckland is $1,200,00.00; in Bay of Plenty $942,000; and $830,000 in Waikato. The Lowest median was found in the West Coast for $345,000 but this is an anomaly. House prices continue to skyrocket at rates far quicker than the wages of most New Zealanders. Minimum wage workers are hit the hardest by the seemingly never-ending increase to the cost of living, a feeling that you are continually just trying to make ends meet.
In Te Ao Maori, a home signifies more than just four walls. For me and my whanau, it’s a place of stability, a place to practice our culture within the safety of our own place. Due to colonization, this feeling of safety to practice our own culture is not common. For me at least, I want a house to call my own so that my family and I can enjoy time together, rest, and live how I wish. A feeling that this “kiwi dream” of owning my own house being stripped away, frightens me. I’m scared that my whanau and I will never have somewhere to make memories, or burry our whenua (placenta) …
A place to call home can often be referred to as this concept of “matemateaone”. Matariki Williams describes this as “our relationship to each other and our whenua, and I want my kids to understand and live the meaning of this word: matemateaone. I’d love to have space to go to with my whānau, on our tipuna whenua in Te Urewera, to feel the soil beneath their feet and appreciate how holistically our people live there. It’s hard to put into words but there is a connection to that land that grows stronger by being there.”
What is the cost of this feeling? Why is there a cost to have this? Can we all afford this?
To purchase a property in Auckland for $1,200,000 would mean a 10% deposit of $120,000 or 20% deposit of $240,000.00. A simple wage calculation in a PAYE calculator will tell you that 40 hours at minimum wage ($20) would be $677.73 in the hand. With the average rent topping $600 per week (https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/real-estate/125183890/aucklands-average-rent-for-a-threebedroom-home-tops-600-for-the-first-time) , this leaves nearly no room for other necessities like food, transport, clothing – let alone room to save money!
Let’s look at a case which can afford a house:
Claire is 25 and works as an administrator earning $55,000.00
Claire’s take home pay is $860 per week.
Claire lives in the Bay of Plenty where the average house sells for $942,000.00
Let’s say Claire gets a deal and is able to place an offer on a property for $900,000.00
She was declined for a deposit less than 20% and so she needs a deposit of $180,000.00
Let’s also say that Claire lives with her mum, free of charge and her only expenses are food and gas which amounts to $200 per week.
She is able to save $660 per week. So, after a whole year of saving she has $34,000.00. This means that Claire would have to save at this rate for 5 years – but then we have to consider that in 5 years the price to purchase this same home will have increased significantly again, maybe even doubled – putting Clarie 5 steps back, again.
Claire’s story is rare and unrealistic though for most New Zealander’s. Not all of us can live with our parents, and if we can – not for this length of time (or for free) . Most of us usually have other responsibilities too like children and insurance costs. But for a lot of people, we don’t earn $55,000, and if we do – it generally isn’t spent like this.
So, what can we do about this?
Increase your income
Solve the housing crisis ( jokes!)
Make your money work for you.
There are different methods to be able to increase your income. Here are a few:
Asking your boss for a pay rise. - Try and have some evidence that supports that a pay rise is deserved for example " Hey, I've been working longer hours and been making changes in X, X and X. "
Starting a side hustle - you can do this in many different ways such as by starting a business selling used items you don't need, starting a youtube channel, etc.
Changing careers in to a higher paid field
Getting a boarder or renting out rooms you don't use
There are a few ways to reduce spending, try these:
Plan food more so that you are not doing unexpected trips to the store or takeaways because you have not planned.
Shop around for cheaper options of things you need eg. phone plans, insurance, and gas. - The small amounts add up.
Carpool to save gas.
Flat with friends to save costs on rent.
Use reusable items such as cloths and sanitary pads to save on these costs.
Value based spending
Turning lights off to limit power usage
Hanging washing out to limit power usage
Being mindful about where you spend your money.
My last idea is to make your money work for you. This is called investing. Investing is giving your money to someone else to make it grow - for example, a managed fund, stocks or being a shareholder in a business ; or, investing in something yourself with intentions of it growing for example investing in property or your own business.
Comment below your favorite way to increase your income or decrease your spending!