Cost of Living in Australia: How Much Will It Be?

Accommodation costs in Australia

Accommodation in Melbourne is notoriously expensive, but there are ways to mitigate this cost. Location and convenience play an essential role in determining housing prices, with the most desirable locations, such as Sydney, being the priciest. Living further away from the city center and having to commute may not be convenient, but they can help lower rent costs.

Healthcare costs in Australia

Many expatriates living in Australia don’t qualify for Medicare, which covers most medical costs for Australians. However, they may find that Australian healthcare is high quality and affordable.

Medicare is funded by individual tax deductions and provides free comprehensive medical services permanently for people living in Australia. Some expatriates may need to provide proof that they are adequately insured before they receive their visas.

Unfortunately, Australian healthcare costs can be pretty high, and there is no easy solution for temporary residents who want to avoid paying them.

Education costs in Australia

If you’re an expat relocating to Australia with children, you might be concerned about whether the Australian education system is good enough for them. But don’t worry – most states offer free primary and secondary schooling for residents who live there for at least 12 months.

If you want your children or younger siblings to attend a private or international school, they will need to pay for it themselves.

There are two main types of schools: State schools and private schools. Public schools tend to cost less than private schools, but they are sometimes the cheapest option. Some faith-­‐‑related schools are even more affordable than public schools!

Cost of living in Australia chart

Prices may vary from one city to another. The following table shows the average prices for Sydney during November 2022.

  • Accommodation (a monthly rental fee) A one-bedroom apartment in the heart of the CBD costs $2,500; 
  • An apartment outside of the CBD costs $1,900; 
  • Three bedrooms in the CBD cost $4,900; 
  • And three bedrooms outside of the CBD cost $3,200. 
  • Buying eggs from Woolworths costs $5.48 each; 
  • Milk costs $2.03 per liter;
  • Rice costs $2.76 per kilogram;
  • Chicken breast costs $11.64 per kilogram;
  • Big mac meals cost $13.95 each;
  • Coke costs $3.27 per 330 ml bottle;
  • cappuccinos cost $4.56 each;
  • Bottles of local beer cost $9.50 each;
  • Three courses at a mid-range restaurant cost $120 each; mobile-to-mobile calls cost $0.64 per minute;
  • Internet costs $75 per month;
  • Essential utility bills cost $190 per month;
  • Taxi rates cost $2.70 per kilometer;
  • Bus/train fares cost $4.50 per kilometer;
  • Petrol/gasoline costs $2.03 each;
  • And petrol/gasoline costs $0.64 per liter.


How can you make savings?

If you are renting, consider splitting the cost of groceries and utilities with your family or close friends by renting a house, apartment, or unit. Additionally, having excellent company when you get home is always lovely.

  • To find potential savings, frequently review your spending.
  • Steer clear of shopping without a plan. Please list the items you must buy, compare their prices, and keep an eye out for sales and discounts. Get your budget in order and stop making impulsive purchases.
  • Plan your clothing purchase to coincide with end-of-season sales to save hundreds. Mixing and matching with less expensive designer items from op shops or second-hand shops is another helpful tip.
  • Shop at thrift stores to find the best deals for your house. There are tons of gently used items at unbelievable prices, from spoons to furniture.
  • Verify that you are getting the best prices by comparing gas and electricity offers.
  • Watch the price of gasoline and make your purchases when it is less expensive.
  • Find the best smartphone plan for your needs by comparing prices and usage allowances.
  • Cook your food, bring home-brewed coffee and pack a lunch and breakfast.

There is no “one size fits all” strategy, but it is understood that in Australia, a single person may need about $20,000 annually, while the average family requires more than $50,000.

Depending on where and how you live, the cost of living may be higher or lower, and this estimate excludes the price of any extracurricular activities you might want to participate in, as well as any health or emergency costs not covered by your private health insurance or Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

The most expensive category is lodging, followed by mortgages, rent, utilities, and maintenance. The second-highest expense after food is the cost of a car, which includes gas, insurance, registration, parking, and tolls.

Australia’s price level about other nations

The USA and the UK are far behind Australia, with their 15th and 31st being the highest in the world and the 12th highest in Australia. 

Although living in Australia is expensive, according to Mercer’s most recent survey, Australian cities do not rank among the top 50 for the cost of living, which is good news for businesses sending staff to the Asia-Pacific region.

Sydney is considered the most expensive city in Australia and is ranked 58th on the Mercer cost of living index. Brisbane comes in at number 84, Perth at 97, Adelaide at 102, and Canberra at 104. Melbourne is ranked at position 67. ².

With significant hubs for expatriates like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo all ranking in the top ten2, Australia is more desirable than ever.


Australian dollars, also known as A$ or AUD, are the country’s legal tender.

The comparison of the Australian dollar’s current value to a few critical currencies3 is shown in the table below.

  • $1000 = A$1498.
  • £1000 = A$1781.
  • €1000 = A$1547.
  • C$1000 = A$1119.

The exchange rate is one of the first routines you must consider before moving to Australia. For example, how much in Australian dollars your home currency is worth? Additionally, what kind of conversion fees might you incur?

You will have to make significant currency exchanges if your income is in your home currency.

This is so that banks and other financial institutions can increase their profits by marking up exchange rates. They can keep their conversion fees low because they profit from the rate.

As a result, even though you may not get a good deal, you might think you are. Always use a currency converter to find the most up-to-date mid-market exchange rate when converting your money.


The consumer price index explains how we measure the cost of living.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Living Cost Indexes (LCI), and Wage Price Index (WPI) are the three primary metrics used by the Australian government to assess the cost of living. Despite having distinct and significant meanings, these statistics all sound alike.

An economist understands the term “index” to mean “change in value.” as a result:

  • CPIs track changes in the cost of consumer goods and services (such as food or healthcare).
  • LCIs calculate how much a household must spend to maintain its standard of living or how changing values affect various families.
  • In a few different standardized sectors, WPIs track changes in the cost of labor or shifting household incomes.

Let’s take the rising cost of food as an example. Due to the increase in value, the corresponding CPI will rise. However, a pensioner with a fixed income will be significantly more negatively impacted by this increase than a young worker with a discretionary payment. As a result, despite the CPI increase having the same effect on young workers and pensioners, the LCI will show different expenditure increases.

It is crucial to remember that as long as wages increase, price increases for consumer goods won’t negatively impact people’s finances. Then, economists maintain a good understanding of how wage growth (WPIs) contrasts with the CPI. We can then assess whether households can keep up with inflation in this way.

In conclusion, by examining the correlation between the CPI, LCI, and WPI, we can determine which socioeconomic groups are subject to more significant financial strain due to changes in the economy’s price levels and how this affects their standard of living.