The following items are approximate, based on our 15 months of experience. The cost of living can vary vastly. Someone is living in the house with 3 Bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (yes, it was us, because nothing else was available), else can survive in 3 people in Toyota Estima. :-)
Price: $2000 - $4000 average, most often Toyota Estima $2500-$3500
WOF: $50-$100 just for the check + repair cost
Fuel: $2 - it varies during season and depends on place, may be $1,3, usually around $1,8
Diesel: pretty much the same as fuel, the price itself is lower, but you have to pay road tax per km, which makes the price pretty much the same (and yes, some assholes just disconnect the odometer)
Consumption: from 7l/100km (some diesels) to 14l/100km. Usually 10-12l/100km (Toyota Estima)
REGO: road tax, ca. $50 for 3 months (Toyota Estima 94)
Whole house: $300-$500/week + energies (according the place and size)
Room in shared house: $75-$200 + energies (usually around $125-$150)
Backpackers: $60/night for private double room, from ca. $25/night in dorm
Camping: from ($6/person a night in DOC) to $20-$25 in private camping
Car: from free (staying in allowed places) to $200/night (staying in non-allowed places ticket ;-))
Energies and more
Electricity: sometimes included in the rent, but usually not. The consumption varies according to the type of house and season. Bigger house with electrical heating can cost up to $500/month. During the summer it may be $50.
Water: usually included in the rent, because it´s paid per year.
Gas: usually in big gas bottles, ca. $120/big bottle (can last 1-3 months)
Internet: ca. $80/month
Phone: tariffs from $19/month, you can get reasonable from $29/month
Food and drinks can cost you a lot. In average the prices are little bit higher, but some are even cheaper than in Europe. The season is really important, during winter you can get 1 bell pepper for $8. :-)
Most supermarkets also have special section with discounted food, sometimes you can find really cheap food there. And of course they run promotions.
In South island you can get New World ClubCard which can save you some extra money - even if you don't
have one, you can always ask the cashier to use his or hers.
If you don't
want to read all the prices, you can just use our experience. As a couple we spent usually between $100 and $200. We didn't
drink a lot and we cooked nice dinner every evening.
Approximate prices of some food and some tips:
Meat - you might be surprised that all kinds (beef, pork, chicken) of meat can cost the same, prices over $20/kg are common.
chicken - from $12/kg tights in promotion to over $20/kg for breast, usually the cheapest way is to buy roasted chicken
beef - the cheapest meat is the Rump Steak, you can buy it in promotions from $13/kg. Even for the goulash you will buy Rump Steak rather than some other cut. It will be cheaper and faster. Mince for burgers usually around $15-$18/kg.
pork - from $8/kg for a shoulder to $20+/kg for chops etc.
salami - ham etc. in promotions from $1/100g. There is usually always some in promotion.
Fruit and vegetables - the prices are really different according the season. 1 bell pepper for $8 or tomatoes for $22/kg during winter will make you to eat carrots.
Very often there are multi-buy offers, usually $4.50/3 pieces (peppers, cucumber, iceberg lettuce).
Onions and carrots are cheap - from $1.5/kg.
Potatoes - they have so many different kinds, most of them tasteless. Prices vary pretty much.
Fruit depends on season as well, some is really expensive. $25/kg for cherries will make you laugh after you have been picking them for minimum wage. :-D
Pastry and bread
Rolls: from $2.5/pc
Bread: ca. $8/pc, you can buy good "german type" bread in german bakeries
Toast bread: from $0.5/package, better for $3/package
tuna can - from $1/100g can
beans can - from $1/420g can
dried food (Chinese or Indian sauces) - from $2/package
Coca-Cola: from $2-3/2l in promotion
Beer: $15-$25/12x0,33l (for $25 you can get Stella Artois or Pilsner Urquell)
Wine: from $5/bottle of decent quality
High volume alcohol: between $40 and $80
Draft beer in pub
from $3.5/420ml during happy hour to $9
All prices are just indicative but good enough to get an idea.