Cost of living crisis highlighted after American engineer asks if $110,000 is enough for family to live on in Aotearoa

New Zealand's cost of living crisis has been highlighted after an American engineer asked whether $110,000 was enough for a family of four to live comfortably in Auckland - only to find out it probably wasn't. 

The potential migrant posed the question on social media platform Reddit this week asking: "Is $110 NZD enough for a family of 4 (2 kids under 2) to live comfortably in Auckland?". 

While the poster said their family lived comfortably on NZD$93,000 in Colorado at the moment, they were surprised to hear many Kiwis didn't think the six-figure salary would be enough.

"No way near enough. To break it down if it was 2 people earning 55k that's slightly over minimum wage. You will be struggling and it won't be worth it," one person said. 

"You'd be able to exist, not much more than that," another added. 

"$110k would give you around $1570 a week after tax. Factor in $700 rent a week for a very average home, $300 minimum for food, $180 for bills, water and internet, maybe another $100 for car-related costs you'd be looking at having less than $300 remaining for entertainment, fun and other expenses. If you pay for life insurance and have a savings target to meet, this could well leave you with nothing left. I'd say $140k a year would be a reasonable minimum family income here to have a pleasant life," another added. 

"Definitely wouldn't support a family," another added. 

"I wouldn't say comfortably. You would definitely need a second income," another poster said. 

But not everyone thought it wasn't enough. One user said they are a family of four living on $70,000 a year and are doing fine. 

"We're a single-income family of about $70k in Auckland and we're okay. We don't struggle, but we don't flourish. $110k would be easy to thrive on," they said. 

Another agreed saying while New Zealand is more expensive than the United States $110,000 is more than enough to live on. 

"110k is fine. NZ is far more expensive than the US but with that income, you will be fine. There are plenty of households around that range and they are doing good. It would be an above-average wage for sure. 

"Now because of kids etc your disposable income won't be as much considering how much more expensive NZ is but you can sure live well.

"I don't think people on 110k are "getting by" that might be too extreme. I know people who are single earners on much less than that and they "get by" but 110k you are better off than a lot in Auckland," they said. 

It comes as high inflation pushes the prices of essentials in New Zealand up. The latest figures from Statistics New Zealand show annual inflation rose a whopping 7.3 percent since the June 2021 quarter - the largest jump in 32 years. 

In response to rampant inflation, the Reserve Bank of  New Zealand has hiked the Official Cash Rate - pushing up the price of borrowing. 

In an effort to help Kiwis with the increasing costs, the Government has rolled out a $350 payment for Kiwis who earn $70,000 or less, aren't entitled to the Winter Energy Payment and meet several other criteria. 

The first tranche of the Government's support was paid out on Monday. The payment of $116.67 is the first of three, with the second and third portions coming on the first business days of September and October.