How much the average family needs to earn to live comfortably in New Zealand

The family saves $ 100 per week for emergencies on top of $ 200 a week for Christmas and holidays combined.

The family also contributes a minimum of three percent of their income to Kiwisaver.


An average family of four in Auckland would need a combined income of around $ 111,150 annually after tax and Kiwisaver contributions to live comfortably. Including tax, ACC and a three percent contribution to Kiwisaver, the family would need to earn around $ 162,600 annually.

In Wellington, the cost of living for the family costs after tax around $ 112,892 annually, which is around $ 165,320 before tax and Kiwisaver contributions.

Christchurch came out the cheapest with the average family of four spending around $ 95,045.6 after tax each year to live comfortably. This is around $ 137,440 before taxes and Kiwisaver contributions.

Stats NZ’s average weekly earnings (including overtime) for full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) at the end of June 2022 went up 5.7 percent to $ 1438 per week which equals just over $ 55,840 annually after tax and a three percent contribution to KiwiSaver.

According to these calculations, for the average family of four to live comfortably in the main cities would need to be well over the country’s average income or both parents would need to be earning just over the average income.

Make your money work harder

Shanks said while inflation is high there are still ways Kiwis can keep costs down without missing out on their quality of life.

She said it is important for families to analyze their everyday expenditure and go through line by line to see how they can tighten things.

Shanks said one way to cut down on unnecessary spending is to understand if you have any money costing you money, for example missing credit card payments and paying high-interest rates.

She said getting in control of your debt is important to keep costs down if you are able to.

In terms of everyday spending, Shanks said making your own lunch or ‘home takeaways’ instead of buying out is a good way to save money.

She also advises people to look at their mobile plans, power companies and online streaming services to make sure they are on the right plans and getting the most bang for their buck.

“This tightening doesn’t mean you lose a standard of living it just means you’re making your money work harder for yourself than previously,” Shank said.

“We work hard to get our income, it’s really important that we make it work hard for us when we spend it as well.”