The Cost of Living in Australia: An Expat’s Guide

If you thinking about moving to Australia but are unsure of what kind of life you can expect there you can look to the cost of living to get some ideas. While an individual’s cost of living can vary from person to person based on lifestyle and circumstances, a look at an average cost of living for someone in Australia is a good place to start. By looking at an average cost of living, you can decide if Australia is the place for you. It will also help you to budget if you need to and to let you know how much you will need to make in a job to cover your cost of living. Remember that numbers discussed here are averages and your individual experience could vary and be higher or lower in cost.

Imported goods tend to be on the rather expensive side in Australia. Items such as cars and clothes are typically more expensive in Australia than in Europe or North America. If you will be doing a lot of traveling by car in Australia, the cost can be high due to the long distances involved. However, petrol is usually cheaper in Australia than in Europe.

When you are shopping for food in Australia, you will notice that food costs are quite similar to those in the United States. If you are from Europe, then the prices for food will be cheaper than what you are used to paying. You can easily see the prices of staple food items in the capital cities listed in the newspaper Australian Outlook. Another good place to look for pricing on various items is expat message boards. There is a great ‘moving to Australia’ Yahoo group with many people already living in Australia that could answer questions about costs of various items for you.

If you will be living in a shared apartment in Australia, you can expect to pay around $400. If you will be in a one bedroom apartment, prices tend to start at $600. And if you will be living in a stand-alone home with 2 – 4 bedrooms you are looking at paying around $800 minimum.

If you want to budget how much you will be spending on utilities, you can use the following figures as averages. For a single person sharing or in a studio apartment, you can budget around $100 for electric, gas, phone and water. For a 1 – 2 bedroom apartment, you can budget at around $150 minimum. And if you will be in a home with 2 – 4 bedrooms, you might be looking at $200 minimum. Remember that petrol costs are lower than in Europe when calculating transportation costs, but that things can be quiet a distance if you do not live in a city.

Those are just some costs you might want to consider when looking at the cost of living in Australia.

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