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The Costs of Living in Australia

21 March, 2016



The cost of living down under can be either pricier or more reasonable depending on which part of the country or the type of economy you came from. The mining boom in Australia brought forth stronger dollar value and higher economic upswing, resulting in fears of higher rents, over-priced food, and skyrocketing bill prices, usually driving away potential expatiates and immigrants.

But how much does it really take to live in Australia? We broke the down the numbers (and the rumors) here.

(You may convert the costs to your currency here.)




Cooking your food is always the most economical way for self-nourishment. Groceries for one to two people ranges from AU$300 to AU$800 a month. This includes the basic necessities like chicken, eggs, milk, cheese, tomatoes, apples, bread, and a few bottles of wine, beer and soda.

Of course, dining out from time to time can expand this cost. If you are fancy, a three-course meal for two persons in a mid-range restaurant can mount up to AU$80, while dining at a less pricey café can take you at a lower AU$18. McDonalds, always the most inexpensive eat out alternative, can take you only AU$10 for each meal.



Rent and Housing

Rent prices will always vary depending on your area of residence and the type of housing. If you are a student living near the campus, rent costs AU$320 to AU$1000 a month, while boarding schools offer them at AU$10,000 to AU$20,000 a year.


Sharing an apartment amounts AU$280 to AU$1000 a month, while home staying (in which you reside in a home of a local family) costs AU$440 to AU$1,080. With gas, electricity, phone and internet service ranging from AU$140 to AU$300 a month.


Living in furnished accommodations is another story. In normal areas, monthly dues for a 45 square-meter fully furnished place can place around AU$1,750, while an 85 square-meter apartment can cost AU$3,300. In expensive areas, this price can double. A 45 square-meter apartment can reach up to AU$2,500 while the 85 square-meter ones can worth AU$4,000. Other utilities and services can range from AU$190 to AU$200.



Clothing and Apparels

Unless you’re going for the tailored variety, dressing decently and comfortably in Australia doesn’t take much.

A Geoffey Beene long sleeve button front shirt costs AU$60 to AU$90, or you can take it up a notch and go for the Tommy Hilfiger brand which will cost you AU$120 to AU$130. A pair of Levis 501 jeans (or any similar variety) has a price tag of AU$100 to AU$110.  While a pair of men’s leather business shoes rates at AU$130 to AU$160.

For the ladies, a summer dress from a high street commercial retailer (H and M, Zara, etc.) is just at around AU$70. While a pair of Nike or Adidas sneaks hovers around AU$133 to AU$145.




Roaming around the country is quite convenient and affordable because of its efficient transport system. Going by train costs AU$130 for a monthly ticket pass (or AU$4 for a one-way ticket). If you want a more comfortable option (without dragging your things and ruining your suit), taxi cabs are a great way to move around. Flag down rate is at AU$4 with AU$2.50 for every kilometer.

If you think commuting is not for you, a brand new 2015 Toyota Camry (or any likewise car) will cost around AU$29,000. Or you can settle for a used one (used car dealership in Australia is reliable and undergoes good quality control), for a mere AU$18,000. Gasoline is at AU$1.35 per litter.



Hygiene and Personal Care

Work here can be challenging at best, so you have to look and actually be healthy in order to function efficiently. For those sickly days, a box of antibiotics costs around AU$15, while Tylenol, Coldrex and other cold medicines hovers at AU$10. A quick visit to a private physician rates at around AU$63. To keep pushing the healthy lifestyle effort, you can get a gym membership, too which will land you at $92 a month.

For your toiletries, a 50 ml deodorant roll-on costs AU$5.30, while a 400ml hair shampoo and a tube of toothpaste is at around AU$6 and AU$4.10, respectively. Four rolls of toilet paper costs AU$3.15. And since you (or your guy) need to constantly look good and well-prepped, a standard men’s haircut costs AU$25.



Amusement and Recreations

All work and no play is not a very good way of living. You need to go out and unwind from time to time.

A general admission ticket to Australian Football League, the most famous sport in the continent, costs only around $25, though this price can change right up to game day. If you are not into sports, going for theater is another option, which will take you AU$237 for two tickets. Seeing a movie lands you at around AU$37 for two.

For bar crawling, a pint of beer costs AU$7 and a cocktail drink is at AU$16. Going for a cappuccino afterwards costs AU$4.12. A pack of Marlboro cigarettes costs AU$24.

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