Calculating Your Comfortable Family Income in Australia

How much do you need?

I do get asked some quite strange questions at times, but they are usually one-offs. But this one pops up quite regularly and every time it does, there is never enough information given to me to answer it.

moneyEven with lots of information, it would still be an impossible question to answer, but when the question is something like

I’m moving to Australia next month with my wife and two teenage children, what would be a good salary to ensure a comfortable lifestyle for me and my family?

What chance do I have?

Calculating YOUR comfortable family income

Here’s what I think you need to take into consideration when calculating a comfortable family income for you and your family. You might be able to think of many more.

  • Cost of mortgage or rent.
  • Cost of running a car or cars.
  • Cost of food for your family.
  • Cost of utilities; electricity, gas, water and rates.
  • Cost of additional shopping items; clothes, gadgets, health and beauty, jewellery, computers and toys.
  • Cost of insurances, for the home and for private medical insurance.
  • Cost of telephones, both home and mobile.
  • Cost of entertainment items, like holidays, alcohol, digital TV, going out.
  • Cost of unexpected maintenance bills, for your home, for your car and other things that break.

So to answer these sort of questions, you’d have to offer me a lot of information or I’d have to ask you a lot of further questions.

As you can see, it really is an impossible question for me to answer, but you can answer it for yourself.

Check out my page about The Costs of Stuff.

A simple solution.

If you are coming here from the UK though, this works quite well. However much you spend per month over there in pounds, you’ll probably need twice the amount here in Australian dollars. So if you need £4,000 a month in the UK, budget $8,000 a month here.

Sounds stupid doesn’t it? But I bet it wont be far out.

How can I make sure I earn twice as much in AUD as I currently earn in GBP?

Salaries in Australia are higher than those in the UK, by my estimates over 30% higher; click on the third link below under the title “More useful links:” to my post comparing UK and Australian salaries to see how I got to that.

Once your salary is adjusted to Australian dollars and taking into account the high salaries, you will see from the salary comparison charts on that page that it is quite easy to earn double what you earn in pounds in the UK here in Australian dollars.

Check it out for yourself, and I’ve even updated that post with a 2012 version, you’ll see a link to it from the original post.

More useful links:

My report about The Cost of Living “Comfortably” in Australia

My post called Real Australians Reveal Their Incomes And Monthly Expenses

My entire category on the Cost of Living in Australia.

My posts about jobs and salaries:

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{ 852 comments… add one }
  • Seenivasan A June 21, 2022, 7:05 pm |

    Hi bob,
    I’m going to move on Perth WA with the Salary of 125000 AUD per annum. Is it good salary to stay there with family of 4 members?

    • BobinOz June 23, 2022, 2:59 pm |

      Yes, it’s a good salary, good enough for a family of 4. As I said in my answer to the comment below though, these are difficult times, with petrol, food, rents and electricity prices all on the rise, most people needing to tighten their belts to get by. So yes I think you’ll be fine, but do bear that in mind.

  • Arnab June 20, 2022, 7:25 pm |

    Dear Bob,

    I have been offered a job in Sydney (Pre Tax) at 170K AUD in Jun 2022. Is it sufficient to live in Sydney city with my wife and 5 years old kid ? Will we be able to live comfortably and have a decent savings per month. Thanks for helping put on this !!

    • BobinOz June 23, 2022, 2:56 pm |

      Well, it’s a very good salary, probably double the national average. I’m sure you will live comfortably, but these are strange times, house prices/rents are higher, electricity prices are on the rise, and some food items are ridiculously expensive, as is petrol. But I suspect that’s not just happening in Australia, it’s a worldwide consequence of war.

      So I think you will be able to live comfortable you, but I wouldn’t want to comment on how much money you would be able to save on top of that.

  • Mark De Castro May 22, 2022, 10:18 pm |


    Mark here, I received an offer to work in Melbourne with a base salary of AUD 77,818.18 and a Superannuation of AUD 7,781.18. Is this a good offer as I am single that will be moving there?

    • BobinOz May 25, 2022, 6:14 pm |

      Hi Mark,

      That’s not a bad salary, I think it’s slightly below the national average, but not by much. For a single man though, I think you will be quite comfortable on that salary, it would be a different story if you had a wife and a couple of young kids to support.

      Hope that helps, Bob

  • Rebekah May 4, 2022, 6:23 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    My husband and I are from the UK and we have 3 kids , 5 and 2(twins), and he has been offered a job in Far north queensland as a physiotherapist for 100,000 dollars a year. Is this enough money for us all to actually live on and still have some savings. Because we will be moving on a 482 visa we get no childcare subsidy so chances are I might have to stay home with the younger kids while we live on one wage. We are looking for a less pressured and a more laid back lifestyle and while the location really appeals to us we don’t want to move anywhere if we are going to struggle financially. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • BobinOz May 6, 2022, 4:49 pm |

      Well you will certainly get a more laid-back lifestyle up in Far North Queensland. $100,000 a year is a pretty good salary, so I don’t think you will struggle, but a lot will depend on how much you end up paying for your accommodation, which I assume will be a rental. Rentals are really hard to get hold of it the moment, and because of that pricing is quite high, so I would suggest you look into those costs.

      My page Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia will help you with that. According to my research, on the 482 visa you will not have to pay school fees for children, so that will help.

      As you probably know, the cost of living is rising all around the world at the moment, so I think most people these days need to budget carefully, and you will too. The most important thing is to see how much those accommodation costs will be and then have a look to see what you’ll have left and then compare that to how well off (or not) you are currently.

      Good luck, Bob

  • mounir March 31, 2022, 8:42 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    i got a job offer of 85000$ before tax plus 8500$ super + car provide by company. we are family of 4 .(3years,2 months )
    my work location should be in Melton/Melbourne.
    is that a good offer?

    • BobinOz April 4, 2022, 7:20 pm |

      Yes, it’s quite a good salary, but you will have to budget quite carefully with it, what with only one income and two children to look after. You will also need to keep your accommodation costs as low as possible.

  • Larex March 18, 2022, 6:58 am |

    Hi Bob,
    I hope you’re well.
    My girlfriend and I have just been offered a job each both paying $80,000 + super. Do you think between the two of us this is enough to live reasonably comfortably? I know it’s a vague question, but just an idea to give us a ball park figure would be much appreciated.

    • BobinOz March 18, 2022, 5:29 pm |

      Yes, those are pretty good salaries, with both of you earning that amount you will be more than reasonably comfortable, I’m even tempted to say you will be well off. You won’t struggle, that’s for sure.

  • Kavya February 2, 2022, 5:42 pm |

    Hey Bob,
    My husband is about to come Sydney with work permit visa for a salary of AUD 5000/month after tax deductions, will this be sufficient for him to manage.
    And also how easy it is to find a job in IT sector for his dependent. If I would be getting a job in a month with 5000 AUD / month will it be sufficient for us to manage with a kid of 2 yrs old.

    • BobinOz February 4, 2022, 7:20 pm |

      Even while your husband is on his own, 5000 AUD a month is going to be a bit of a challenge, he will have to budget very wisely, especially when it comes to his accommodation. He may have to go into shared accommodation otherwise most of his income will go on rent.

      When you arrive with your two year old, I think you will need to be securing work pretty fast, as a family you will need two incomes. It is all doable though, it just won’t be easy.

      Not sure what it’s like trying to find a job in IT in Sydney at the moment, but my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship will help you research it.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Ryan January 28, 2022, 9:49 am |

    Hi bob, I’m a nurse practitioner. I’ve seen wages are between 123k and 133k. Is this enough to live a comfortable life in Australia preferably a City as I’m a city person? Also the wage will just be for me? I just hate the weather here in the Uk and would love to move to Australia. Thanks mate

    • BobinOz January 31, 2022, 4:50 pm |

      Hi Ryan, yes, that is a good wage, you will be quite comfortable on that, especially as it’s just you. I’d get here as fast as you can if I were you 🙂

  • zico January 23, 2022, 8:06 am |

    I’m in a pickle, I work as a physician in middle east, I got a job offer with 400 thousand/per year before tax , is this considered a high salary? I make double that amount where i live now , but it is very unstable region. is this salary enough to get a high standard of living in Melbourne


    • BobinOz January 25, 2022, 5:27 pm |

      That is an extremely high salary, probably about four or five times higher than the national average. You will be very well off on that money, and you’d be able to buy all the pickles you would ever want. And as a special bonus, Australia is an extremely stable region.

      I would jump at the chance if I were you.

  • Karl lennon January 19, 2022, 7:08 am |

    Hi Bob,
    I see construction salaries of 100k plus but what sort of tax would be deducted. Hopefully would have partner and two kids under 10yrs with us, I would be on partners visa.

    • BobinOz January 20, 2022, 5:03 pm |

      Hi Karl, I’ve written a post about that, you can read it by clicking on the following link…

      It is out of date, but that doesn’t matter, because if you look for the following line, which is just a short scroll down the page….

      For all the latest updated tax rates, please visit the Australian Tax Office website.

      And that line has a direct link to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) where you can see the latest up-to-date tax rates for this financial year. Good luck, Bob

  • Mo December 17, 2021, 8:11 pm |

    Hello Bob..recently ive got a job offer in Perth which pays me 100k per annum with Super.. I’m a family of 5, myself, my wife with my 3 kids aged 6, 10 and 12.. would this salary be a struggle for us considering I’m a 482 visa holder and not a PR.. schooling cost as a visa holder is worrying me 😫

    • BobinOz December 21, 2021, 9:40 pm |

      That’s a tough one Mo because if you do have to pay school fees for all three of your children, that could be as much as $20,000 year, maybe even more? I don’t know what the current rules are for who does and doesn’t have to pay for schooling, or how much it might be, I did write a post about it some years ago, but I’m sure it’s out of date now…

      At that time, 2015, someone suggested that in WA it was around $4000 per child, but I’m sure it would have gone up since then.

      I suppose you need to ask yourself whether, after paying for your housing here and other expenses, you will be better off or worse off than you currently are wherever you are. Then decide whether you think it’s worth the move here, even if you maybe would be slightly worse off, or not.

      It’s really not one I can answer for you, it’s just too tough a call. Good luck though whatever you decide.

  • Trevor November 23, 2021, 4:30 am |

    Hi There,

    My wife recieved a job offer for $105 000, we have a choice of either Melbourne or Brisbane as they have 2 offices. Im estimating that I will be able to get a salary of around $100 000. Will a comboned $200 000 annually for us and 1 child be enough to live comfortably in Melbourne or Brisbane?

    I also see you say do not go overboard with accomodation costs. What is a suitable amount to spend on accomodation?
    We will need to rent a place, a car and then obviously general expenses to go with living there.


    • BobinOz November 26, 2021, 5:41 pm |

      Yes, $200,000 a year would be a very good salary, certainly enough for you to live comfortably in both Melbourne or Brisbane. If I were you though, I would definitely choose Brisbane, you will get a much nicer house for your rental price compared with Melbourne, the weather is much nicer in Brisbane and we have also had very few cases of Covid compared with Melbourne, who have the unenviable record of being the most locked down city in the world.

      Sensible rental costs would probably be around $600 or so a week, but given that you will both be earning good salaries, I think you could easily afford around $800 per week to get somewhere better. Good luck, Bob

  • Chris October 1, 2021, 11:52 pm |

    Hello Bob

    I have a job offer of 180k plus super before tax on 482 visa. Does that sound a good salary for a family of 3 (my kid is 5 years old)?

    • BobinOz October 5, 2021, 6:23 pm |

      That’s a very good salary, you will be fine with that.

  • Yashwardhan Singh Ranawat September 29, 2021, 6:17 pm |

    Hi Bob !!
    I have been offered AUD 7700/- per month after all deductions. Is this sufficient pay for a family of 3, also please advise what are the general rules for salary revision in Australia. Is their any sort of compliance that states that a company must provide annual salary increment to its employees. Thanks & Regards

    • BobinOz September 30, 2021, 5:59 pm |

      As far as I am aware, there are no rules regarding salary increases, I think market conditions dictate whether or not your money goes up. What city will you be living in? Do you know how much you will be paying for your accommodation? Try to keep accommodation costs as low as possible. The salary you are on will be a bit tight for a family of three, but budget carefully and you will get by, plenty of people do.

  • Xyz September 24, 2021, 8:13 am |

    Hi Bob,
    I have a salary of 75K aud per annum(excluding super)
    is this sufficient to live good lifestyle in sydney?

    • BobinOz September 27, 2021, 8:47 pm |

      Sydney is probably Australia’s most expensive city, so a lot will depend on how much you will will need to pay for accommodation. Do you know where you will be staying? And is it just you coming on your own? 75K is not a high salary, it is below the national average, so I do think you will need to be budgeting carefully on that salary. If it is just you though, I think you’ll be fine, but if you’re bringing a family with you, it could be a struggle.

      • X September 27, 2021, 9:13 pm |

        Hi ,
        I am coming alone!

        • BobinOz September 28, 2021, 6:39 pm |

          Well, that helps, just keep your accommodation costs as low as possible.

  • Gareth September 15, 2021, 10:16 pm |

    Hi Bob
    I recently moved to Australia in June (residing in Brisbane) and am working for $90 000 base (plus super). My wife (and our two kids aged 11 and 6) are moving here in December. My question is seeking your opinion on the below scneario:
    My wife is a chartered accountant, who has been offered a $5 000p/m wage (net wage) from her current employer overseas for 12 months flexi hours (Jan 22 to Dec 22), which would give her and the kids enough time to settle into school and routines in Australia. And would our combined wage of $10 500 p/m be reasonable? (My income pays for the rental, electricity, water, (car paid cash), insurances and medical paid annually).
    Would you suggest she be patient and rather find employment in Australia in the new year (say in Feb and March) to maximise her salary potential (plus the super benefits which she would not get by working remotely the South African company). I am sure she could find Australian employment and pay that is (great than her current offer,without super), that is also flexible.

    We are unsure which is best…..finding balance is important, but we just thought we would ask your input.

    • BobinOz September 17, 2021, 8:46 pm |

      It’s difficult to say, but I’m inclined to go with the offer of flexi hours from her current employer because it’s a solid offer now from someone she knows well. Who knows how long it might take to get a better offer elsewhere? Besides, yes, it does give your wife plenty of time to settle in the new lifestyle and will enable her to do things like pick up the kids from school and take them to activities, essential for settling in.

      Not sure why there is a difference, but I think you will be on $7500 a month and with the $5000 a month for your wife, that’s $12,500 a month and that’s certainly good enough to support you and your family with a pretty good lifestyle here in Brisbane.

      Hope that helps and good luck with your move.

  • Jimmy September 4, 2021, 7:43 pm |

    Hi Bob, I’m 24 y/o university graduate mechanical engineer from Malaysia.
    What are the requirements for me to work in Australia?
    Do i have to have any specific special skills in order to secure my job?
    What are the websites that you would recommend for me to seek for a job?
    Also, what is the common salary range for graduate engineer in Australia?
    Thank you!

    • BobinOz September 7, 2021, 8:23 pm |

      Hi Jimmy

      To live and work in Australia you need a visa that specifically states it allows you to do that. For more information about that, check out my page All About Visas.

      I have no idea what special skills you might need to land a job here, but your other questions are answered on my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

      Hope that helps, Bob

      • Jimmy September 8, 2021, 12:26 am |

        Thank you so much for the replies
        Hope you’re having a great day!

  • Paul August 31, 2021, 9:35 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Great page and insight.
    I have been offered a job with a leading industry demolition contractor. The salary is $175,000 + Super. Initially there will be myself and my 18yo son traveling. I have to base myself close to an airport due to the traveling and site requirements. We looked at Brisbane city, but he has his heart set on living in Surfers, I will be away for 3 week periods and back the 4th week, and want somewhere where he has everything on the doorstep and can socialise. Is this salary reasonable for our circumstances and his desire to live on the Gold Coast?
    Regards in advance.

    • BobinOz September 1, 2021, 6:37 pm |

      Yes, that salary is more than good enough, it’s very good. It’s about double the national average full-time salary so you should be pretty comfortable. Gold Coast Airport is about a half hour drive from Surfers Paradise, it’s only a small airport, but hopefully sufficient for your job.

      I have to say, it’s a pretty good lifestyle down there, as long as you like golden sandy beaches and catching some waves. Good luck with your move, I hope it all works out.

  • Simonn Burger July 16, 2021, 7:53 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    We are a family of 4 living in Cape Town South Africa and are wanting to move to Australia. My husband is a Diesel mechanic and I am in office administration, my daughter is 12 and youngest is 1 and we arent sure what a good monthly income would be to survive there. He has qualifications but i dont, would they allow me and the children in and under what visa for myself? Also, what areas are nice to live. We are most attracted to Australia because of the similar climate as well as all the outdoor activities that we enjoy like 4×4, camping etc. It will also be a better life for our kids one day, SA is not the same as it used to be.
    As you know, it sounds very daunting to leave home and go to live in a new place, so advice on these would be great.

    • BobinOz July 21, 2021, 3:30 pm |

      I’d say $7000 AUD per month is about average, but a good salary would be anything from $10,000 AUD per month and above. I cannot give you specific advice about which visas you could apply for, you would need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent about that. What I can tell you though is if your husband qualifies somehow for a skilled visa then you and your children would also be able to come with him to Australia as dependents.

      Australia is a great country, and I think you and your family would love Queensland the most, and if you get the chance to leave SA to come here, I’d grab it with both hands. Good luck, Bob

  • Tom July 8, 2021, 8:45 am |

    Hi Bob

    I am moving to Brisbane in September 2021 and I have been offered a job with a salary of 142,000 AUD. I have been doing done research a can see that I can get a nice one bed flat in the city centre for 400-500 AUD a week. With all other expenses considered do you think this salary is comfortable. I will be moving on my own.

    • BobinOz July 9, 2021, 5:11 pm |

      Tom, you will be rolling in it, loadsa money, as we used to say in the UK in the eighties. You won’t have any money troubles at all as long as you stay out of the casino :-). Enjoy Brisbane!

  • Lucas May 24, 2021, 2:43 am |

    Hi Bob,
    I got an offer to work in Perth with annual pay 155k AUD before super. Planning to move here with my wife and 2 kids (2 and 4 yo.). Wanted to get your advice whether 155k is sufficient to stay in Perth. We are from Kuala Lumpur (KL), both myself and wife is working in KL with housing commitment (about MYR 15k per month). If i were to move to Perth, and my wife couldnt get a job… will 155k still sufficient? kindly advice.

    • BobinOz May 24, 2021, 5:42 pm |

      155k is an excellent salary and easily enough for you and your family to live comfortably in Perth. Not sure what you mean by a 15k commitment, do you mean you need to pay that each and every month without getting anything in return?

      MYR 15k is just over $4500 Australian per month and that is quite a hefty chunk out of your annual salary. If you really do have to pay out that amount each month with nothing in return, you will have gone from being really quite well off to just about getting by with careful budgeting, as you will be going from (I’m guessing) something like 10k a month after tax to 5k, and that would be a bit of a struggle.

      • Lucas May 24, 2021, 7:59 pm |

        Hi Bob,

        Thanks for the feedback, that 15k per month (i.e 4.5k AUD) is refering to my housing mortgage. I do have some rental income about 6k per month (i.e. 2.5k AUD).

        • BobinOz May 26, 2021, 6:34 pm |

          So after tax and that mortgage commitment, you’ll probably be left with something like 8k a month, very roughly speaking. That’s still sufficient and certainly more than most families on average incomes have to get by on. So yes, it’s definitely doable.

  • Dionis March 18, 2021, 6:32 am |


    I am looking for some advice regarding my a potential move to Brisbane. I have been offered a job at 80k. We are a couple in our late twenties and wondering whether this would be enough for us. It may take some time for my partner to find a job too.
    Thank you

    • Dionis March 18, 2021, 6:39 am |

      This also includes the superannuation which left me questioning the salary. Around 10% super, 32.5% expact tax and 2% Medicare (uk citizen). Leave under 1k per months?

      • BobinOz March 18, 2021, 5:18 pm |

        Hi Dionis

        80 K is a pretty good salary, and with it being just the two of you, you will be fine on that money. I think you meant to say leaving under 1K per week, but I think you’ll get more than that, maybe as much as $5000 per month after stoppages.

        The two of you will get by just fine on that, just don’t go mad on your accommodation costs, and if/when your partner gets a job, that will be the icing on the cake.

  • Anthony November 27, 2020, 5:04 am |

    Forgot to say this was $100k before tax, is that still fine. Thanks

    • BobinOz November 30, 2020, 6:04 pm |

      Yes, the answer is basically the same, but if you are worried about it then maybe you should do a full costings exercise, my page The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything can help you with that. You can also then compare it with how your financial situation is where you are right now with your current job, so you can compare the two.

      Coming to Australia is a big move, and if it doesn’t work out financially, and you have to return, that can work out to be hugely expensive. So it’s probably worth you spending the time working out a proper budget tailored to your own lifestyle before you make a final decision.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Anthony November 24, 2020, 7:12 am |

    Hi Bob. I’ve been offered a job in Perth WA. I lived in Perth a few years ago but had to move back to the UK. My partner and I loved our time in Perth and would love to move back now with our 2 year old son. Between us we’d bring in $100-110k annually so wondering if that would be enough to live a good lifestyle and not a stressful one. We aren’t looking for a lavish lifestyle just a comfortable one. Thanks again

    • BobinOz November 25, 2020, 6:35 pm |

      With just over $100k per year, you will be fine. You won’t be rich, you won’t be poor, I think you’ll be just what you say, which is comfortable. I think the average annual salary in Australia is still somewhere between $80 – $90k per year, so between you you will be above that. Good luck, Bob

  • Jibz November 5, 2020, 11:05 am |

    Hi Bob,
    I currently received permanent residency in Australia specifically with a 2 year agreement to live in the state of Victoria as per the residency requirement. We are a family of four that would be moving from Canada (currently living in the outskirts of Toronto). I am a registered nurse with about a CAD 88k income before taxes (70k net). From what I see online, my expenses would be basically doubled in Australia. I got a job offer in Melbourne CBD with about the same salary in AUD. Im on the fence though now whether I would be able to manage on a single income with a family of four in Melbourne. What are your thoughts?

    • BobinOz November 6, 2020, 4:49 pm |

      Well, this is a difficult one. I think most lists of the 10 best countries in the world to live in would probably contain both Australia and Canada, as both countries are highly desirable. I prefer Australia because I like my climate on the warmer side, those who prefer cooler may lean towards Canada instead.

      So you’re looking at leaving one very livable cool climate country, to move to another very livable but warmer country, but, as you say, the cost of living here you feel is about double to what you’re used to. You ask if you would be able to manage on that Australian salary, I think if you keep your accommodation expenses down and budget very very carefully, then you would ‘manage”. 88k is a pretty good salary here, but probably won’t go as far as you would like as a family of four in a city like Melbourne where accommodation is expensive. ‘Managing’ is okay, but if you are used to a much better lifestyle in Canada, then it would be a backward step.

      So this is a tough one to answer, and I think the only way to answer it is for you and your family to think about how much you really want to move to Melbourne, Australia. Is it something that is a dream of yours, a move that you really desire, because if it isn’t and it turns out that you are less financially secure here, then it will probably end up being a bad move.

      If you do think you want to give it a go, then I would spend a good deal of time going through your estimated budget here in Australia, using my page The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything To help you work out the costs of literally everything you would need on a monthly basis, including housing and transport costs. That is really the only way you can find out for sure, for yourselves and your situation, whether or not you would have enough money to enjoy the kind of lifestyle you would like.

      You may also like to doublecheck whether you would need to pay for the education of your children whilst here in New South Wales, as I don’t think they will get free education from the state. That can make a big difference to your budget, so it’s something you need to find out. My page State School Fees for Temporary Visa Holders in Australia can help you with that.

      Hope that helps and good luck, whatever decision you go for in the end.

  • Jack October 5, 2020, 1:53 pm |

    Hello, Bob. Due to personal reasons, I will be the sole income earner in my future household and so I have to very carefully choose my career path in order to live comfortably (but not lavishly) within inner Perth suburbs. I haven’t even started university yet.
    I’ve heard many varying opinions though. Will a base salary of 70k be enough to acquire a mortgage on a decent house, nothing fancy, just one that can raise a small family later on, and be able to live without constant financial stress and having to make a big deal out of which loaf of bread I can afford? This occupation has an average salary of 81k (after experience is gained I am assuming).
    What do you think would be enough to be able to live without being a cheapskate on everything and not have constant stress to meet mortgage repayments?

    • BobinOz October 6, 2020, 5:31 pm |

      This is a very difficult one to answer Jack, I’m not sure what kind of house you’d be looking for and how much deposit you might have. What I can tell you though is that a decent house, nothing fancy, will probably cost you around $700,000 and if you had 10% deposit, so borrowed $630,000, you’d be paying back about $2500 a month on your mortgage.

      So $30,000 a year out of your $70,000 salary (before tax deductions) would go on your mortgage, then there is a host of other regular expenses like rates, electricity bills, the cost of running a car or using public transport as well as, of course, food and entertainment to pay for.

      I have to say, this scenario doesn’t sound stressfree to me, I think it will be tough from the start and would probably get even tougher when you start to pay to raise that small family later on.

      There are lots of useful links on this page and elsewhere on my website to help you find out costs of everything, it’s probably worth you taking a look at my page The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything to find out more about costs. I’m sure this is not the answer you were hoping for, but I hope it helps all the same.

  • Dave August 2, 2020, 10:28 am |

    Hi Bob, I have a job offer in Melbourne with base salary of 155K. I don’t know if I should take the offer if I am currently working in Brisbane with the salary of 100K giving that I love the weather here. Please can you give me some advice?

    • BobinOz August 3, 2020, 4:27 pm |

      Hi Dave

      This is definitely a personal preference thing, but I’m happy to tell you what my ‘personal preference’ would be if I were faced with the same choice.

      I love Brisbane, I think it’s a great city, we have great beaches not far away on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, and the climate is fantastic, as far as I’m concerned.

      If I were getting by reasonably comfortably here on $100,000 a year (it’s not a bad salary is it?), there is no way I would be tempted to move to Melbourne for the extra money. I just don’t think I’d be happy there, even with more spare cash in my pocket.

      So I’d stay.

      Melbourne is a nice enough city, but it’s one I prefer to visit and not live in.

      That’s what I do, but everyone is different. I have a feeling though from the way you’ve asked your question, that you’re probably thinking the same.

      But what are you going to do?

      • Anne Cargill August 3, 2020, 5:26 pm |

        Hi Dave,
        Anne in Melbourne chiming in. I’ve been in Melbourne for 5 years. I’m thinking the quality of life in Brisbane (and winter time weather) can’t have a price/value put on it. Those of us in Melbourne try to get out of here (and go to Queensland) in the winter since the winters here are so grey and wet. My husband keeps talking/dreaming about when we retire, and wants to move north because of the winters in Melbs 😉 My opinion is…enjoy living the dream life now.

        • Dave August 4, 2020, 10:58 am |

          Anne, thank you for sharing your thought.
          I really enjoy the weather in Brisbane and the lifestyle here, and also the good job. I know the weather in Melbourne is much worse than Brisbane but I think it is still better than the UK weather (where I come from).
          Can you give me some ideas on the life style in Melbourne?

          • Anne Cargill August 4, 2020, 12:23 pm |

            Hi Dave,
            With the additional insight of where you are in your career, it changes things a bunch. I work with heaps of people from Brisbane, and I am here myself from Sunny Nelson NZ because the jobs here are good in the tech and biotech industry. Up until lockdown and covid, I loved all the concerts, art, museums, lectures and especially music on offer here. In comparison to Brisbane, it is definitely more fast paced, and very eclectic and artsy/funky. The food and coffee has been spectacular (and many restaurants are continuing as take away) and there is a strong cycling community and heaps of cycle paths so you don’t have to ride on the road if you don’t want to. It is just that winter is horrible. Today is a perfect example- cold and wet. With lockdown, most of the fun things to do in Melbourne are on hold, but that will hopefully be a temporary thing. As I said, most of us escape north for some respite during winter, even if it is just a weeks holiday. Sounds like you have an excellent offer for where you are in your career, and have some history with bad weather, so I think it might be worthwhile to take advantage of opportunities. You can always head back to Brisbane later (and many people have that exit plan in mind).

            • Dave August 4, 2020, 2:35 pm |

              Hi Anne, thank you very much for your great information and suggestion. Yeah, I will definitely put “head back to Brisbane” on my “to-do” list.

      • Dave August 4, 2020, 10:52 am |

        Thank you very much, Bob. Yes, I think the same and enjoy all the time here in Brisbane. the only thing I need to consider is that the offer is good for my career and I am still young (25s) to experience it.

  • Jayna July 28, 2020, 7:22 am |

    Hi Bob!
    I currently live in the U.S and I really want to move to Australia, specifically Melbourne or Sydney in the near future. I am currently in occupational therapy school and I know that I would be at least making $70,000 in Aus. Is this a good salary for just me living alone in Sydney or Melbourne?

    Any advice would be appreciated!
    thank you!!


    • BobinOz July 28, 2020, 8:27 pm |

      Well, it’s not a huge salary, it’s maybe slightly below the national average, but it’s a pretty good salary for someone living on their own. You could certainly make it work, but you would just need to keep your accommodation costs as low as possible.

      Maybe do that by sharing a house or flat with someone, something like that.

      • Jayna July 29, 2020, 4:35 am |

        okay, thank you so much for responding!
        What do you think would be a good salary for 1 person in those 2 cities?

        • BobinOz August 3, 2020, 3:30 pm |

          Well, I think currently the average full-time adult salary in Australia is about $85,000, but I think that also includes overtime and bonuses. So $70,000 a year isn’t at all bad, it’s just that Melbourne and Sydney are our two most expensive cities, particularly for housing.

          So for those two cities I’d probably say $100,000 for a single person would be a good salary, but again, $70,000 isn’t bad.

          I think you probably need to ask yourself what you are earning now and whether or not you would be better off coming here instead. Also worth remembering that with Covid 19 going on, the job market is very volatile and, along with that, I suspect wages are as well.

          • Jayna August 6, 2020, 9:17 am |

            Thanks for the info Bob!
            I was actually thinking about coming in about 2 years from now…I know the starting salary for occupational therapy is around 70k in Australia and the median salary is 85k and you can make 100-120k working supervisory roles…If I start working next year after Im done with school I would have made about 65k U.S dollars worth of savings. I know occupational therapy is a bachelors degree there, and over here it is a masters degree, so I am hoping they factor that into my pay. Which city do you think is better to live in Sydney or Melbourne?

            • Jayna August 6, 2020, 9:24 am |

              **or even Brisbane?!

              • BobinOz August 6, 2020, 3:52 pm |

                For me, I’d go to Brisbane all day long. Well, I have, I live here in Brisbane and I love it. Queensland is called the Sunshine State for a very good reason, the weather here is just gorgeous. Great beaches on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast as well.

                A much more laid-back lifestyle here than in Sydney or Melbourne, bigger houses, cheaper houses, lots more open spaces and less traffic. It’s cheaper to live here in Brisbane, so if you are able to earn the same money in Brisbane as you would in either Sydney or Melbourne, then you would be much better off here in Brisbane.

                Just my opinion, of course, but in 13 years I have never, ever been tempted to move away to go to either Sydney or Melbourne. I don’t mind visiting those cities every now and then, but I prefer living in Brisbane.

            • Ruth November 1, 2020, 5:39 pm |

              Hi Jayna,

              Just adding my 2 cents – I happened to end up on this site for other reasons and happened to be scrolling through the comments and noted you are studying occupational therapy. I live in Melbourne and and am currently working as a new grad within the OT space so thought I could offer a little bit of insight. Depending on where you start working (ie. setting) will also impact your salary but as far as I am aware, most starting salaries are at around the 60-65k mark. I started at around 58 k (before tax) working for a NFP paediatric clinic. Friends working in the private space earned about 60-65 k in paediatric and community OT. Not sure about hospitals though. My supervisor was earning around 90k but that was after approx 7-10 years of experience. As I’m only just recently out of school, I’m unsure how much pay can rise but hoped you might find this helpful.

  • Raj March 15, 2020, 6:32 am |

    Hi Bob,
    First of all, thank you so much for such a fantastic website of yours.
    I was wondering if you could guide me on this long-lingering question of mine?
    We are a family of 4 in the USA, which includes 2 school going kids. With around 200k worth of savings in AUD and a desire to begin a more meaningful life in Australia, will a less stressful job, like remote work or freelancing, and seriously pursuable hobby, like fitness and youtube, be a good idea to migrate to Australia? What are your thoughts and suggestions to pursue this ambition?

    • BobinOz March 16, 2020, 8:31 pm |

      Yes, I think it would be a very good idea. It certainly worked out well for me when I moved here 12 years ago from England, I absolutely love Australia and me and my family really enjoy living here.

      If you can get the visa, then yes, why not.

  • Lus January 16, 2020, 5:30 pm |

    Hello Bob, amazing article and responses you have here!! super insightful 🙂
    I myself I’m looking into moving to Brisbane from Dubai and been offered $90k package (base + 9.5% superannuation) + cost of Visa. I have no clue what superannuation means or if this is a good salary as I’m not used to taxes. I’m earning about AUD7.4k a month here and I’m able to save 1k a month. would that be possible with the mentioned salary?

    Thank you!!

    • BobinOz January 20, 2020, 7:28 pm |

      Well, your superannuation is money put by by the company to go toward your retirement. $90k is a good salary for here in Brisbane and if it’s just you on your own, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t still be able to save 1k a month.

      I don’t know much about Dubai, but I passed through their airport terminal the other week and everything was hugely expensive and if that’s a reflection of what costs are like elsewhere in that city, even though you’ll be paying tax here, I think you might be slightly better off or at least the same.

  • Thiru November 24, 2019, 3:53 am |

    Dear BobinOz
    A friend of mine,have received a marriage proposal (We in India,State of Tamilnadu)for her daughter is an Government employed,earning 5 lak per annum whilst the groom is a permanent Resident in Victoria earning 85000 AD per annum.
    Is it suffice for a couple with a future kid,If married,the bride resign the job here.The bridegroom is employed in building construction segment.please
    Project your opinion which is of great help
    With regards
    Sridar Guru.

    • BobinOz November 24, 2019, 5:48 pm |

      $85,000 per annum is a pretty good salary and I would say many a young couple with a child are living reasonably comfortable on that. So yes, it is suffice.

  • Johan October 12, 2019, 4:48 pm |

    Hi Rob,

    I received a job offer of 144 000k per year in Newman Western Australia. Will that be sufficient to support a family of 4? 2 Adults and 2 children, ages 7 and 1 year old. We are thinking of moving there from South Africa

    • BobinOz October 14, 2019, 6:17 pm |

      Yes, that will be enough, it’s a very good salary. From what I hear about South Africa, I have a friend who comes from there, I would jump at the chance if I were you.

      • Guru November 24, 2019, 9:06 pm | BobinOz..thankyou for your prompt reply which tends to an idea.

  • Bal August 30, 2019, 6:11 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Could you possibly tell me if living on a salary of 63,000 per annum Australian dollars for 2 adults and 2 very young children be enough for a comfortable life in Perth city? My hubby has been offered a job with that as the starting wage, it will be the only wage coming in. We would wish to have a mortgage on a modest 3 bed house. We are currently in UK.

    • BobinOz September 2, 2019, 7:02 pm |

      This isn’t a great salary for a family with a couple of young children, so I think you would probably need to do some very thorough research.

      My pages The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything and Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia will help you to do that.

      My main concern would be how much you will need to pay for a suitable house for you and your family, and specifically how much deposit you would have because, the bigger your deposit, the lower your mortgage payments would be.

      Once you’ve worked that out, see how much you’ve got left. Then work out how much you would need for the basics and if you do all this properly, you will get a good idea of how tightly you would need to run your budget.

      So my answer isn’t straightforward, because it’s impossible to say whether it would be enough or not, because it mostly depends on how much your mortgage would be.

      You might also like to think about how well off (or not) you are currently and try and work out how that would compare to your new life here in Australia before making a decision on whether to do this or not.

      • Bal September 2, 2019, 9:01 pm |

        Hi Bob,

        Thank you so much for your reply. I had a feeling you would say that too regarding the wage being offered. I will definitely have a look at the pages you have suggested and do as you’ve instructed. Oh you have an awesome site that people like myself really appreciate.

        Thank you again so much

        Best wishes

  • Dj August 28, 2019, 2:00 am |

    Good day.
    Myself and my wife is looking to come over to Perth. My current company has offered me AUD84K, initially my will not work untill we find a suitable position for her. Would the salary suffice to live in Perth?

    • BobinOz August 29, 2019, 5:30 pm |

      84k is a pretty good salary and as it sounds like it’s just you and your wife, it will be sufficient for you to live in Perth. Just try and keep your accommodation rental costs as reasonable as possible.

      I think you would be able to live indefinitely on this one salary if you needed to, but if your wife can find work, you’d be able to treat yourself more often.

  • Louise June 13, 2019, 8:58 pm |

    Hi there,
    I’m leaving this comment here because I wanted to follow your contact requests and not spam you but my query is a bit complicated and I was hoping you may be able to help. I have the opportunity of leaving my job and studying a PhD in Perth on a stipend ($27500) which wouldn’t be an issue I guess if I was young and single however I am older and have caring responsibilities for my husband. We don’t have a standard lifestyle and probably live very comfortably off (£20k in the UK) but I’m aware that this won’t translate and a stipend of £15k is still 5k less than we’re living very comfortably from here.
    The other part of the query is that because of the research nature of my job and the amazing quality of research in Australia, I’ve wanted to come out for a good few years but because I’m lacking my full clinical qualifications, I don’t qualify for a visa and Universities generally don’t offer sponsorship for contracted or project limited staff. Is there anything which I am missing on this front?
    I also have an aunt and uncle who emigrated with their jobs and who are now citizens, does this have any impact on my ability to live and work (through visa, sponsorship etc) in Australia.
    Any information or signposting you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Best wishes,

    • BobinOz June 14, 2019, 5:50 pm |

      Sorry I can’t help with this Louise, I do not offer advice on qualification for visas. Only MARA registered migration agents can help you with this, to find out more, see Choosing a MARA Registered Migration Agent.

    • RaoulDuke66 June 14, 2019, 6:31 pm |

      Hi Lou,
      I’m not a migration agent. I just wanted to query why you wouldn’t be coming on a student visa if you’re studying a PHD with a stipend. Also just to point out that the stipend amounts to a lot less than minimum wage. Just a couple of points for you to consider.

      • Louise June 17, 2019, 6:50 pm |

        Thanks, I would if I came as a student but as I’m not sure if I’d have enough income for both of us, the alternative is to find a research post as Australia is one of the leading fronts in my area. This would require a non student visa and alternative visa route to sponsorship (although I’m pretty certain this isn’t doable for my post without sponsorship).

  • arun singh June 12, 2019, 4:23 am |

    Hi Bob,
    Thisis Arun from India. I have recently been offered a position in Perth by my current company and have been asked if I can move with my family. Visas/Tickets, Shipping Goods will be taken care by them. I have been offered a 75KAUD annually with 10K Additionla bonus every year. We are a family of 4 with 2 two young boys ( aged 6yrs and 4months).I am really hesitant to make a move with this offer as it seems less for staying in Perth. Could you please share your views on same. Thanks a ton.

    • RaoulDuke66 June 12, 2019, 5:12 pm |

      Hi Arun. If the 75k includes superannuation, you would take home $1000 per week. You could rent the most basic 2 bed unit or townhouse for about $250 per week. You could eat for about $200 per week. About half your regular income would go in food and rent alone. If your wife was intending to work that would change the equation…

      • Arun June 12, 2019, 5:16 pm |

        Thanks Raul

        • BobinOz June 14, 2019, 5:47 pm |

          That’s a reasonably good salary Arun, it’s pretty close to the national average, may be a tad higher than the average these days with your additional 10k.

          As has been suggested, if you can keep your weekly rent slow, you will have a reasonable standard of living and there are plenty of things you can do for free. Perth offers a great lifestyle for families, so whilst you might not be rich on that salary, I think you could enjoy a very good way of life.

  • RaoulDuke66 June 11, 2019, 3:57 pm |

    When my wife and I first moved to Brisbane 7 years ago, it was on a single salary of 85k. Back then the conversion said that was GBP50k, but of course conversion doesn’t tell you anything useful. As you say, it’s completely legitimate and intelligent to ask about salary versus living standards. Well we managed to live on the 85k and save a little, but that was with the LAFHA tax break (remember that?). When that went, I had to go to my employer and ask for a raise in order to stay (which luckily I got). Anyway, things improved steadily as my wife and I requalified here, she got her first job, and we started building experience in our Oz jobs. We now have a household income of about 360k but what I’ve realised along the way is that people immediately increase their lifestyle to match their incomes (bigger house, two cars), and still complain they can’t make ends meet. This is why people on above average incomes can sound very entitled (referring to Kevin’s previous comment). As you always say, the amount of income you need depends on your lifestyle. Brisbane has lots of things to be enjoyed for free – Southbank Beach, Glasshouse Mountains, Mount Coot-tha, Shorncliffe Pier, Raby Bay etc, and shopping in a certain German food retail establishment keeps food costs way down. All that being said, I personally wouldn’t accept a role here to support 2 people if it was paying less than 100k. That would be a bit of a threshold for me.

    • BobinOz June 14, 2019, 5:33 pm |

      Well, looks like you’re all set now, 360k is a very good joint income for the two of you here in Brisbane, you would have to spend quite magnificently beyond your means not to get by on that amount 🙂

      I do kind of agree with you though, 100k is probably the minimum to live a comfortable lifestyle in Brisbane, although without children, I’m pretty sure 80k will suffice, and I do know of plenty of people who earn less and with careful budgeting still lead a pretty good lifestyle.

      Thanks for your input, Bob

  • Deepa May 9, 2019, 9:01 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    My husband got a job is Sydney for 100k $. He will be alone there. Pls guide us if this is sufficient pay for an average life style. Thanks.

    • BobinOz May 10, 2019, 3:02 pm |

      Yes, your husband will be fine on that salary, especially as he only has himself to take care of. Have a look at my answer to Alex below, he asked a similar question, so it is worth checking out my reply to him as well.

  • Alex in Ireland February 20, 2019, 9:50 pm |

    Hiya Bob,

    As with most people, trying to suss out if my package offer will be enough to at least start comfortably in Sydney. I have been offered a base salary of 110k/year + Super + 10% bonus + RSUs and 15k relocation assistance. We are a family of three (me, my wife, and young daughter). The company is located in the CBD.

    1. Is this enough to get by from the start?
    2. Will 15k be enough to start without diving too deep into savings?
    3. What are some well-known family-friendly neighbourhoods/towns within 1hr commute of CBD? Via Public transport that is.

    Thanks so much in advance.


    • BobinOz February 21, 2019, 9:07 pm |

      Sydney is probably our most expensive city, but that’s a pretty good package you’ll be on. I’m sure there are plenty of people earning less less than that with a wife and young child to support, but getting by just fine.

      15k probably won’t cover everything, by that I mean flights, rental deposit and bond, removal costs and visas, but it will certainly help out a good deal. If your company are paying for your visas, then 15k might just be enough, maybe.

      As for where to live, I think you would be best off having a look at the comments made on my pages about Sydney, you can access them all from the main navigation menu above.

      There’s lots of talk about the various suburbs and remember, it’s very much a falling house price market in Sydney at the moment, so best to rent for now.

      Good luck, Bob

      • Alex February 21, 2019, 10:11 pm |

        Thanks a mill Bob! Fortunately, the company is covering visa costs for the family so that’s quite nice. I’ll give the neighbourhood section a wee look. I appreciate you taking the time to answer! 🙂

        Good things,


        • BobinOz February 25, 2019, 6:44 pm |

          That’s handy and will certainly help out. Glad to have helped, hope it all works out.

  • Tasmiyah February 12, 2019, 7:40 pm |

    Hi Bob! Thanks for this article.. I am an optometrist and my husband is an accountant.. I’ve googled average salaries and have come up with worst case scenario of about $41k to my hubby and $67k to me. We are a family of 3, just have 1 daughter. The problem is that I may have to work part-time in the beginning as I have to pass exams and undergo additional training to register to work as an optometrist under Australian standards. In doing so, I may only earn about $20k a year for the first year.. Will a total of about $60k be sufficient for a family of 3 that first year considering that I may need to put my little girl into childcare – childcare prices are ridiculously high from what I’ve researched! We are looking at living in Brisbane. Hope to get some insight! Thank you so much!

    • BobinOz February 18, 2019, 6:24 pm |

      It’s very difficult for me to say, because I have no idea how much you will be paying for your accommodation. Will you be renting or buying? If you are renting, do you know how much you will be paying each week?

      I think what you need to do is a full budget based on your needs, my page The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything will help you do that.

      I think your budget will need to be very tight, but I do know that there are plenty of couples with one child getting by on 60k a year, so it is doable.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Bryan February 1, 2019, 9:26 pm |


    Loved your post! Quick fact about myself, I am single but intended to propose soon! Got a 100k+ AUD salary package in Melbourne office. Is that sufficient to be financially comfortable in the CBD area? I always have the habit to save around 50% of my salary monthly, can that be done? 🙂


    • BobinOz February 4, 2019, 4:40 pm |

      100k + is a good salary and you will be just fine on that, it’s enough for both of you, just keep your accommodation costs as low as possible. Pretty sure you won’t be able to save 50% of your monthly salary though, I suspect you’ll be able to save something, but I don’t think it will be anywhere near that.

      Of course, it depends how tightly you can run your budget, maybe you can get close to that, who knows?

      • Bryan February 4, 2019, 10:36 pm |

        Aww, thanks for the words Bob! Always love how you interact and advises on others, it was inspiring! The biggest chunk of the expenses probably going to be rental/mortgage, I recently saw that for a single bedroom apartment in Melbourne CBD is around 300k AUD, I was thinking about it. Can a foreigner buy a property straight? Is 20% for deposit always accurate? If that’s the case, monthly repayment should be very minimal (<1k AUD/month). What's your professional advises? 🙂

        • BobinOz February 5, 2019, 8:21 pm |

          Thanks for the kind words, I always like those 🙂

          It depends what kind of visa you are on whether or not you can buy a property here, and there may be restrictions on what you can and can’t buy depending on your visa as well. For example, you might only be able to buy a new build.

          You need to Google “FIRB” – which is the Foreign Investment Review Board, hopefully they have the rules on their website. If you can buy though, 20% deposit should be good.

  • Basel December 13, 2018, 2:46 pm |

    Hi Bob, I have been offered one year job in Melbourne earning 150k per annum. I will be heading back to the UK after that. My wife will probably not work and I have two kids (6 year old and 9 month old). I am expecting the worst and trying to put in my calculations paying for my sons public schools fees (around $1000 per month?). Searching on, I can see a lot of renting options between $650-800/week for two bedroom flat which we will be happy with as its temporary. I am not planning on buying a car and wanting to use public transportation. Say my rent is around $3k/month and taking school fees into consideration that’s around $4k/month, assuming the take home salary is $8000/month or thereabouts that should leave me with $4000 to live with, I feel that’s enough to support my family.. is that correct or am I missing something?

    • BobinOz December 13, 2018, 8:24 pm |

      No, I don’t think you are missing anything, in fact you may have over estimated the ‘public’ school fees with only one of your kids being of school age. Public school here means state school, and I do know that some temporary visa holders have to pay for state schools whilst they’re here, but I thought it was about $6000-$7000 a year in Victoria?

      If you’re talking about a private school though, and prices do vary massively for those, but I’m sure you can get one for around $1000 a month if that’s what you mean.

      Either way, I think you will have enough to support your family, you won’t be rich, but you won’t be hungry either. May I suggest you check out my recent post about a series of articles called Cash Confessions which, in some ways, will help answer your question but also show you why it is so difficult for anyone to give a meaningful answer. Here’s a link to the article…

      Hope that helps and good luck, Bob

  • Sara December 3, 2018, 9:03 pm |

    Hi bob
    My husband and i are thinking about moving to Australia. We live in the middle east and we are both pharmacists.
    We have 2 kids. we want to know if we both worked will it be good? Financially
    Thank you

    • BobinOz December 4, 2018, 5:21 pm |

      It depends how much each of you are going to be earning. I tried to google the average income for a pharmacist in Australia, one website said $68,000 a year and another $117,000. That’s a pretty big difference between the two, so it depends where you each end up on the pay scale.

      Do remember that Sydney and Melbourne are our two most expensive cities, so if you can avoid living in either of those, your dollar will go much further in any one of our other cities or towns.

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