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What is the Cost of Living in Australia?
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What is the Cost of Living in Australia?

Tatiana Forero Rubiano
Tatiana Forero Rubiano

If there is one thing that characterizes Australian cities it is their excellent quality of life. Not in vain, the Australian territory has been cataloged, on several occasions, as one of the best countries in the world. If you likely plan to live on the island for a while, therefore, you must know how much is the cost of living in Australia.

We want you to enjoy its incredible study programs and job opportunities but above all its wonderful attractions. So, check out this article, find out how much it costs to live in Australia, and organize your trip to this country.

*Disclaimer: All prices in this article are for reference only and may change over time.

How to calculate the cost of living in Australia?

Talking about the exact amount of how much it costs to live in Australia is complicated, as it may vary depending on some factors. What we can assure you is that, if you manage yourself well, you will be able to live comfortably.

The main factors to consider when calculating how much is the cost of living in Australia are:

1. The city you may live in

The Aussie territory is characterized by its excellent quality of life; for that reason, the cost of living in Australia can be a bit high. However, it also varies greatly, as the prices of food and accommodation, for example, are different in each city of Australia.

In Sydney and Melbourne, two of Australia’s most famous cities, the cost of living can be higher than in Gold Coast or Brisbane. For that reason, you should move to a city that suits your style and your needs, but also your budget.

2. The area in which you stay

When calculating how much it costs to live in Australia, you need to consider the residential area you are moving to.

For example, the cost of living in Australia is high in the center because of the high demand. On the other hand, in the residential suburbs, you can find excellent alternatives at an excellent price.

3. The accommodation you live in

In addition to the area, the type of accommodation you live in will greatly influence how much it costs to live in Australia for you. For example, a room in the center does not have the same cost as a room in a residential suburb, even if they offer the same services.

4. Your monthly expenses

If you want your cost of living in Australia not to go through the roof, you must plan carefully your expenses. This way, you will not overspend and you will not reach the end of the month with no money and in debt.

5. Your monthly income

If you are worried about how much it costs to live in Australia, we have good news for you: foreign students can work in Australia! Your Student Visa allows you to get a work permit to work 48 hours biweekly during the school term and full-time during vacations.

The income you earn during your working day will positively influence your cost of living in Australia. Not only will you be able to cover your expenses more easily, but you will also be able to treat yourself from time to time. In addition, you will be able to save and return home with some money.

What is the cost of living in Australia?

As we told you, it is difficult to determine how much it costs to live in Australia with a specific amount. However, we can talk about some reference prices that will help you to prepare an approximate budget for your stay in the Aussy land.

To make it more practical, we will focus on the main Australian cities that receive the most international students:

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Brisbane
  • Gold Coast
  • Perth

We will review the main items for you to calculate how much it costs to live in Australia according to the city you are staying in.

However, you also have to take into account the initial investment to meet the cost of living in Australia when you first arrive.

Initial investment to live in Australia

When calculating how much it costs to live in Australia, take into account the initial investment. This amount usually ranges from AUD 5,400 to AUD 9,000 and will cover the airfare and the application for your student visa (AUD 715). Also, the purchase of health insurance and the initial payment of tuition fees.

In addition, you can include, in this list, the first expenses for your stay:

  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Transport
  • Leisure

This way, you will have no worries during the first few weeks and you can focus your energy on studying and looking for a job in Australia. Let’s look at it in more detail.

Cost of living in Sydney

Sydney is Australia’s largest city and the most important in terms of economic movement, opportunities, and demographics. It even steals the limelight from Canberra, Australia’s capital city.

As expected, it is the most expensive city in the country of the kangaroos. That is why, when calculating how much it costs to live in Australia, Sydney has the highest prices as a reference. Let’s see.

Accommodation

Accommodation prices in Sydney are quite high, as are the other items that make up the cost of living in Australia. The most popular sites for finding a place to live in Sydney are Airbnb, Gumtree, and Flatmates. To give you an idea, this is how much it costs to rent in Sydney.

Type of AccommodationEstimated cost
Apartament in the Bondi Beach area720 AUD per week
Apartament far from downtown420 AUD per week
Private room270 AUD per week

The most advisable option is to share with roommates. That way, the expenses are divided and you will be able to reduce the cost of living in Australia.

Food

This is an essential factor in determining how much it costs to live in Australia. Coles and Aldi are the best-known supermarkets in Sydney and throughout Australia, to give an example.

Of course, you can also opt for local markets or farmers markets, depending on your possibilities and your food regime. Let’s take a look at the price of food in Sydney.

A 1 or 2-week supply of food at the grocery store80 AUD Approx
An average restaurant menu for 1 person20 AUD Approx

Utilities

When we talk about utilities, we mean the fixed monthly payments for electricity, water, telephone, and internet. This is also necessary to calculate how much it costs to live in Australia.

It is also necessary to clarify that it depends on how much you consume, the area where you are, and the time of the year. If you have air conditioning, you will probably use it more in summer to cool the house, or you may turn on the heating in winter. Let’s see.

Electricity, water, heating180  AUD a month
Vodafone fiber optic Internet75  AUD a month
Vodafone mobile data plan40  AUD a month

Transportation

Another factor you should take into account when calculating how much it costs to live in Australia is transportation. Transportation in Sydney works mainly with Opal Card, which allows you to travel by bus and subway. You also have the cab, although you know that it is the least economical option.

Busbetween AUD 3,20 and AUD 4,87 according to distance
Train and subwaybetween AUD 3,20 and AUD 4,87 according to distance
Ferrybetween AUD 3,20 and AUD 6,21 according to distance
TaxiAUD 2,30 per km

Leisure

Of course, it’s not all about studying and working in Australia. You also have to go out and have fun from time to time, as long as it doesn’t significantly affect your budget. For this reason, when calculating how much it costs to live in Australia, also includes leisure.

All-included dinner for two100 AUD
Glass of beer8 AUD
Coffee4.50 AUD
Cinema ticket20 AUD

Cost of living in Melbourne

Melbourne is one of the most important cities in Australia. It is located in the state of Victoria, in the southeast of the island. It is considered the cultural capital of Australia, so the artistic and student movement is one of the most active in the country.

Of course, there are also study and work opportunities. Here are the benchmark prices for you to calculate how much it costs to live in this Australian city.

cost-of-living-in-sydney

Accommodation

We recommend that you don’t get permanent accommodation from your country. Many students have done this and ended up disappointed. The best thing to do is to look for your permanent home in person. This way, you will find a place that is comfortable and beautiful, and that suits your cost of living in Australia.

These are the reference prices for accommodation in Melbourne:

Apartment in the downtown areafrom AUD 700 per week
Private roomsome AUD 200 per week

Food

Groceries in supermarket (up to 2 weeks)AUD 70 estimated
Average restaurant menuAUD 20

Utilities

Electricity, water and heatingAUD 170 a month
Vodafone fixed InternetAUD 75 a month
Mobile dataAUD 40 a month

Transportation

You can use the Myki Card, which costs 6 $AUD. Then, you can recharge it for an estimated cost of 155 $AUD. It is important to include this to know how much it costs to live in Australia.

Public transportation fares in Melbourne are:

Bus tripAUD 4,50 an AUD 9 (2 hours or full day)
7-day passMyki card: AUD 30
TrainAUD 4,50
TaxiAUD 1,70 per km

Leisure

Dinner for twoAUD 100
Glass of beerAUD 10
CoffeeAUD 4,30
Cinema ticketAUD 20

Cost of living in Brisbane

Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia. Although it is a little further away from the beaches, it is still one of the favorite cities to study.

Here are some prices to let you know how much it costs to live in Australia if you choose Brisbane as your city.

Accommodation

These are the costs of rentals in Brisbane:

Room in student residenceBetween AUD 150 and AUD 300
Room in homestayAUD 300 and AUD 350
Private roomsome AUD 200 per week

Food

Groceries in supermarket (up to 2 weeks)AUD 80 estimated
Average restaurant menuAUD 22 estimated

Utilities

Electricity, water, heatingAUD 180 a month
Fiber optic InternetAUD 75 a month
Mobile data planAUD 40 a month

Transportation

Public transportation in Brisbane is operated by TransLink through the Go Card. The fares are as follows:

Busbetween AUD 3,27 and AUD 20,34 according to distance
Single ticketbetween AUD 4.90 and AUD 29,50 according to distance
TaxiBetween AUD 25 and AUD 50 according to section

Leisure

All-inclueded dinner for twoAUD 100
Pint of beerAUD 8
CoffeeAUD 4,60
Cinema ticketAUD 15

Cost of living in Gold Coast

Gold Coast is located in the state of Queensland, just like Brisbane. The beach and chill vibe is breathed into every corner of this city. Being smaller, the cost of living is lower than other cities in Australia.

cost-of-living-in-melbourne

The estimated cost of living in Gold Coast is:

Accommodation

Apartment in downtown areaAUD 550 per week
Private roomAUD 240 per week

Food

Groceries in supermarketAUD 70
Average restaurant menuAUD 20

Utilities

Electricity, water, heatingAUD 170 a month
Fiber optic InternetAUD 75 a month
Mobile data planAUD 40 a month

Transportation

Public transportation in Gold Coast is also operated by TransLink, same as Brisbane. As we told you above, both cities are located in the same state.

There may be some variations in prices when calculating how much it costs to live in Australia between these two major cities, but in general they are the same:

BusAUD 3,27 and AUD 20,34 according to distance
TrainAUD 4.90 and AUD 29,50 according to distance
TaxiAUD 25 and AUD 50 according to section

Leisure

3-course dinner for twoAUD 100
Glass of beerAUD 8
CoffeeAUD 4,70
Cinema ticketAUD 18

Cost of living in Perth

Perth is in the state of Western Australia, on the other side of the country. It is, therefore, the most remote city. However, it is still modern and attractive, although with less tourism.

The cost of living in Australia in this part of the country has its unique characteristics. Let’s see:

Accommodation

1 bedroom and 1 bathroom apartmentAUD 200 a week
Private room in shared floorAUD 150 and AUD 200 a week

Food

Groceries in supermarketAUD 60
Average restaurant menuAUD 20

Utilities

Electricity, water, heatingAUD 160 a month
Fiber optic InternetAUD 75 a month
Mobile data planAUD 40 a month

Transportation

Public transportation in Perth uses the card SmartRider. It is based on time and zone availability. For example, a ticket allows you to make unlimited trips within 2 hours and move around one or two zones. You can combine bus, Trains and ferry service.

So, the rates for transportation in Perth are more or less as follows:

2 sections” ticket, for a single one-way journeyAUD 2,20
Travel through 1 zoneAUD 3,20
Unlimited daily passAUD 13,10

Leisure

All-included dinner for twoAUD 100
Pint of beerAUD 9
CoffeeAUD 4,60
Cinema ticketAUD 18,50

How to save money in Australia?

You already know how much it costs to live in Australia, but you may have a limited budget, so you need to decrease your expenses. For that reason, we have prepared for you a section of tips that will help you save money without sacrificing your comfort. Take a look at them!

save-money-in-australia

1. Choose your accommodation carefully

As we mentioned before, the accommodation will determine, to a great extent, your cost of living in Australia; therefore, you must choose carefully. Once you arrive in the city you have decided to live in, take the time to look for a room or an apartment that is well located, but that fits your budget.

2. Open two bank accounts

It may seem unnecessary, but in our experience, we know that having two bank accounts can help you better manage your expenses. In one account you can keep the money to cover your basic expenses, and in the other, money to treat yourself to a few whims or to save for savings.

3. Buy in local markets

Shopping at local markets is an excellent way to save money. Here, you can get seasonal fruits and vegetables (very fresh) at an excellent price. Oh, and you can also buy second-hand products in excellent condition.

4. Avoid taking taxis

Taking a cab can be expensive and a hard hit to your cost of living in Australia; for that reason, we recommend that, as far as possible, you travel by bus or train. You can also walk or ride a bike to get some exercise and get to know the city where you are living.

5. Get a roomie

Having a roommate during your stay in the Aussie territory can be a 2×1. First, your cost of living in Australia will be much lower, since you will be able to share all the expenses with your roommate. Second, you will make a new friend and you can say goodbye to loneliness and boredom.

Salaries in Australia

Now you are clearer about how much it is worth to live in Australia, so let’s talk about the wages you can earn if you work.

The minimum wage in Australia is AUD 23.23 per hour, or AUD 557.52 for 24 hours worked per week.

Keep in mind that this is minimum wage, which covers jobs that require little experience and qualifications. But if you have a better resume, the job opportunities available for you are better.

This will certainly give you an advantage when calculating how much it costs to live in Australia based on your salary.

How to get a job in Australia?

If you want to work to cover all the expenses of the cost of living in Australia, you should know the requirements you are going to need. Also, we wanted to share with you some tips that might be useful for you to get a job and not die trying. Take a look at them!

Requirements to work in Australia

Some of these requirements are indispensable and others are not; however, having all of the items on this list will open the doors to the job market and allow you to save to cover the cost of living in Australia.

  • You must have a Student Visa or a Work And Holiday Visa. This will allow you to obtain a work permit.
  • You must speak English. This way, you will be able to obtain better-paid job opportunities.
  • If you are under 18 years of age, you will not be able to work. No employer can hire you if you are under 18 years of age for legal reasons.
  • Apply for the TFN or ABN. These documents certify you as a taxpayer so that the government can deduct the statutory taxes from your salary.
  • Open a bank account. Many Aussie employers often pay wages through wire transfers, so you must have a bank account.

salaries-in-australia

Tips to get a job in Australia

We know that getting a job abroad can seem intimidating… and even more so when the goal is to save to cover the Cost of living in Australia. However, there is no need to worry, because if you apply these tips, you will succeed in your search.

  • Visit temporary employment agencies. Some companies such as Workabout, MLKA Recruitment, Travellers at Work and The Job Shop offer incredible job offers.
  • Check out social media. On Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedln, Aussie employers post job offers in different areas. Pay attention!
  • Take a look at the specialized websites. Gumtree, Adzuna, SEEK, Indeed and Working Australia are the most popular websites in Australia; here, you will find offers of all kinds.
  • Hand out resumes. Although it may not sound very millennial, it is a foolproof method to get a job in Australia.
  • Talk to your friends and acquaintances. Networking can help you meet employers who are looking for a candidate like you.
    Have a great attitude.

Experience Australia with GrowPro!

Now that you know how much is the cost of living in Australia, it’s time to start organizing your trip. If you don’t know where to start, we are the right people to help you.

We have years of experience accompanying adventurous boys and girls to conquer destinations far from their comfort zones. The change you need for your life is near! With us, you can achieve it. How?

We have courses in areas such as Business and Marketing, Sports, Environment, Hospitality and Tourism, Arts, Design and Fashion, among many others. Click here, select your experience and fill out the form!

With GrowPro, you will live the adventure of a lifetime, so don’t wait any longer. Calculate how much it costs to live in Australia and pack your bags. We assure you that you won’t regret it. Go for it!

About the author

Tatiana Forero Rubiano
Tatiana Forero Rubiano

Tatiana viajó como mochilera por Canadá, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Chile y Brasil. Allí, mientras hacía una pasantía en Marketing Digital, descubrió su pasión para escribir sobre viajes. Desde 2018 se ha especializado en Content Marketing y, actualmente, es editora del blog de GrowPro.

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