Living Expenses


Manufactured goods tend to be expensive in Australia, particularly imported goods. This includes automobiles, clothes and other manufactured items, which are generally more expensive than in Europe or North America. If you do a lot of travelling, transport costs are high owing to the large distances involved, although petrol is much cheaper than in Europe. Overall though, you learn to adapt to the circumstances and situations, and once learnt how to transport best there is no big issue.

The price of food is similar to the US and around 25 per cent less than most European countries. Approximately $600 should be sufficient to feed two adults for a month in most areas (excluding luxuries such as expensive alcohol, caviar and fillet steak). Australia provides some fantastic produce that is worth spending the extra money to get you rhands on, due to its lush taste and texture.

The approximate amount for monthly major expenses of an average person or family in an average town or suburb are shown in the table below:
(Please note that figures are an approximate and will change with time due to market trends and influences

Monthly Cost (Aud$)

Item Single Couple Family of Four
Housing (1) 700 1200 1720
Food 520 600 1200
Utilities (2) 200 250 300
Leisure (3) 150 200 350
Car/travel 200 250 350
Insurance 75 150 150
Clothing 150 250 400
Rates 50 75 100
TOTAL 2,045 2,975 4,570

1. Rental or mortgage on a modern apartment or semi-detached house in an ‘average’ small town or outer city suburb. The cost for a single person is for a bedsitter or sharing accommodation. Other costs are for a two (couple) and three-bedroom property (family). Subsidised housing is not included.
2. Includes electricity, gas, telephone and water, plus heating bills.
3. Includes all entertainment, holiday and sports expenses, plus newspapers and magazines.