It’s bloody expensive to live well

Living well is expensive - it takes a lot of money just to get by

Who says money can’t buy happiness? Life is expensive. A basic life – at least in NZ – is expensive, and a good life even more so.

Money buys a place to call home

It’s an incredible feeling to know I never have to move again unless I want to – as long as I keep paying.

It’s an equally incredible feeling to wake up and NOT start sneezing immediately, every single day. I no longer dread middle-of-the-night awakenings (for whatever reason) because I’m not automatically going to be a huge snotty mess. To have the whole house be the same temperature. To not have condensation on the windows.

I bow to you, mighty HRV system. You cost practically nothing to run overnight and yet make such a huge difference.

My physical health (not to mention my mental health) has been boosted legions by owning my own home. Money has literally bought me better health.

Money buys a way to get around

Having a reliable vehicle is so important, particularly in a one car household. Buying cheapo cars has never worked in our favour; taking out a car loan turned out to be a wise choice. Spending more for a car that will last is not indulgent; it’s rational.

Money buys decent clothing

Having bras that fit is crazy awesome but it’s definitely not the cheapest. Quality ethical clothing, ditto – and I must confess I don’t actually make this a huge priority. I hope I’m doing a little to help by thrift shopping as much as possible. And I might add to this, other items that touch the skin – namely, bed linen, good sheets are a must!

Money buys real food

I love my carbs. Yet I know I really need to eat more fruits and veg. But they’re so much more expensive (as are nuts, seriously)! A loaf of bread or a bag of pasta gets you so much further than the equivalent spend on apples or tomatoes. And don’t even get me started on the cost of good cheese and meat. Yeah, I’m a glutton.

I was watching the mini series Chef’s Table recently. It was a joy to see the artisan growers the top chefs source from, and just how much thought and love goes into developing those amazingly flavourful, organic crops – but it ain’t cheap, for obvious reasons. The plan is to grow more of my own, but I’m never going to be completely self sufficient.

And you know what, quality dog food isn’t the cheap stuff, either. I don’t think the preservative and grain laden kibble is the best for my girl, and I’m pretty certain she gets more hyperactive after eating it.

Money buys getaways

I love travel, but NZ is just so darn isolated. My hostel days are past me, and I’ve never been into camping. But that’s okay, because I love my home and I’m nesting hard; I’m totally happy to be a hermit for the foreseeable future.

5 thoughts on “It’s bloody expensive to live well

  • Reply Genie May 10, 2016 at 07:53

    Ah, money. You get by with what you have. At least I do. I recently quit my job to work for myself. I’m in that weird limbo where there’s savings in my account but I don’t want to touch it until I know can see a regular income. It’s been a long time since I traveled to another country, I don’t even own a current passport. But we’ve done little weekend getaways around NZ and we’re lucky to have beautiful spots just a short drive away. It’s good to list things that are cheap or free. They balance out the things that are non-negotiable.

    This year, food-wise, I’m focusing on buying free-range meat because that’s important to me. I stock up when meat is on special and in the end, the price is comparable to non-free-range.

    I’d love to live in a house with a HRV system. We live in a damp old villa with mould issues. The rent is cheap…but at what cost?

  • Reply The Personal Economist May 10, 2016 at 08:27

    This really resonated with me, especially in Australia and NZ, it is expensive just to live, and food seems more expensive than in the US. And travel is so expensive from here. Enjoy your home, make the most of it!

  • Reply Dividendsdownunder May 10, 2016 at 11:04

    NZ is pretty isolated, there are lots of nice islands around though (including a huge one called Australia 🙂 ) that are worth a visit.

    Money itself doesn’t mean anything – it is an exchange for something else. It’s what we exchange it for shows what’s important to us.

    You’re right about the food, we’re trying to eat even more healthily and even with Aldi, it costs so much more to do so. Ugh! But in the real long term, it’ll save money by being healthier.


  • Reply Amanda @ Move Love Eat May 11, 2016 at 09:55

    Great post! It is expensive to live well here in NZ especially if you want to travel! Although prices have slowly been coming down for international travel which is nice!

  • Reply Michelle May 11, 2016 at 14:27

    Love this. I don’t know why people pretend like money isn’t important or poo poo the notion of earning more.

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