When you are going on the other side of the world in search for a better life, it takes a lot of things, but the one mentioned the most is – money. Especially since we are talking about New Zealand, one of the most expensive countries in the world.

In this article you can check our (Maria’s and mine) expenses and earnings in the first 50 days of living in NZ. You will maybe find it useful, maybe not.


If you come from Croatia, like I do, New Zealand is literally the other side of the world. Which means, its not that cheap to come here. But, its not THAT expensive.

These are our expenses of arriving here:

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Like always on our travels, the main mantra is to cut down the costs. Even though we didn’t come to hitchhike and sleep in parks, there are still alternatives.

The biggest expense is always accommodation. We decided to cut it by using two websites (I wrote about them HERE) – house sitting and home exchange. After 50 days we spent on our accommodation only the amount we spent on electricity while house sitting in Wellington. That was our biggest saving – usually we would have to pay $200-250 for the rent only.

Second biggest expense is transportation. The fact that we changed cities only once (going from Auckland to Wellington) helped us not to have huge expenses right at the start, but even then we used car relocation (I wrote about that HERE). Also, entire time we spent in Wellington we used our hosts bicycles so we didn’t use buses and trains every time we wanted to go to 11 kilometres distant city centre. Even though, we had some unexpected bike repairs, we bought locks for the bikes, etc. But at least we practiced healthy life and all that.

Since we got accommodation and transportation sorted, we spent the most money on the obvious – food, drinks, etc. We shopped in (for New Zealand) cheap supermarkets, we cooked for ourselves, ate/drank out only few times when we afforded an ice cream and coffee, and we were never hungry. Also, we never went out out, its an expensive sport in NZ.

Other expenses you can see in the table – cell phone (we bought two SIM cards and put some dollars on them), expense related to the work (printing CV’s and buying work pants), sport (one badminton racket) and Maria bought one shirt for 4 dollars.

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All in all, our average daily budget for two people came down to $51. Not that bad, right?


Now the most interesting part – how much did we earn in these first 50 days?

Coincidently – almost the same amount we spent – NZ$2.556. But the most important thing is how much we worked in those 50 days:

me – construction jobs 11 days for 8-9 hours a day, and part-time for

Maria – waitering 8 days for 3-4 hours, and one 8-hour day.

We could’ve done better than that.


After 50 days in New Zealand, we managed to cover our costs of living here. Now we can start paying off our costs of arrival, and at the same time think should we travel around NZ and do some short-term jobs, or settle down at one spot and get a permanent job, maybe even a work visa that will allow us to stay here after our current visa expires.

All in all, to start a life in a country like New Zealand takes some money, little bit of preparation, a dose of renunciation, and a lot of resourcefulness. Here, things depend on ourselves. There are a lot of jobs, its up to you to find one, prove yourself, get some acquaintances, and let yourself go to small coincidences that will take you who knows where…