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IDP Australia Hotline: 1800 664 700

Cost of living in Australia

Want to plan your living expenses in Australia? We’ll help you.

There is no “one size fits all” plan for all but it is understood that an individual may need approximately $20,000 each year and an average family needs more than $50,000 a year to get by in Australia.

The cost of living may be higher or lower depending on where you live and this estimate doesn’t include the cost of any social, sporting or other recreation activities you might want to be part of, or any health or emergency costs not covered by your private health insurance or Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

Accommodation costs top the list with home loans, rates, utilities and maintenance. Food is the second highest followed by car costs which include petrol, insurance, registration, parking and public transport fares.

Cost of Living

Accommodation costs

  • Hostels and Guesthouses: $90 to $150 per week
  • Shared Rental: $85 to $215 per week
  • On campus: $90 to $280 per week
  • Homestay: $235 to $325 per week
  • Rental - $165 to $440 per week

Other living expenses

  • Groceries and eating out: $80 to $280 per week
  • Gas and electricity: $35 to $140 per week
  • Phone and Internet: $20 to $55 per week
  • Public transport: $15 to $55 per week
  • Car (ongoing cost): $150 to $260 per week
  • Entertainment: $80 to $150 per week

How can you save?

  • If you are renting, share a unit/apartment/house with family or friends as you can share grocery and utility expenses. Plus, it is always nice to come home to great company.
  • Check your spending regularly to identify possible savings.
  • Avoid shopping without a plan. Compare prices, look out for deals and discounts for things that you can’t live without and make a shopping list. Stop the impulse buying habit and get your budget on track.
  • Time your clothing purchase during end of season sales and it will save you hundreds. Another handy tip is to mix and match with cheaper designer items from op shops or second-hand stores.
  • Strike gold by shopping in op shops for your home. From spoons to furniture, you’ll find heaps of pre-loved goods at amazing prices.
  • Compare gas and electricity deals to make sure you are getting the best rates.
  • Monitor petrol prices and buy when the price cycle is lower.
  • Shop for the best mobile plan that offers the best price and usage limits for your needs.
  • Make your own meals, pack lunch, breakfast and bring coffee from home. 
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