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:

Visa Assessment Service
Visa Assessment Service
{ 830 comments… add one }
  • Jamy March 21, 2013, 7:11 pm |

    Can someone please help me ? I have a job offer in Melbourne which pays $1050 per week (after tax). What puzzles me is how can you survive on this if the rent is $400 – $500 a week ? And then water , gas , power is $50 a week, then car fuel etc anotehr $50 , so 70% of ur pay goes on the basics, then you still have food (which is also a basic) another $200 a week for food, what is left ? then u have other insane charges like parking, insurance, etc. how can people survive i’m puzzled. I’m not able to make a decision to take this job or not, please help. is $1050 a week (after tax) seriously a low pay ? I can’t seem to calculate how i’m gonna survive on that along with my wife (single earner) Bob plz help !

    should i just turn it down and aim for atleast $1300 a week after tax ? Currently i’m in singapore and i earn enough to pay for bills, go on weekly outings and have 10% of my salary saved, i don’t wanna enter an endless struggle, i already struggling as it is. can i do the same on the pay offer i’m getting thanks.

    • BobinOz March 21, 2013, 9:27 pm |

      This is a tough one to answer Jamy, $1050 per week after tax is not a seriously low income, it’s pretty much spot on the national average. People do survive on it, I suspect, life gets more comfortable though when there are two income earners, especially when you are paying $400-$500 a week in rent.

      Obviously you would be better off if you could find a job that pays a little more, last time I looked I think the national average salary was something like $68,000 per year before tax.

      You have a tough decision to make, I’m afraid I can’t give you anything solid in terms of advice to help you with that. Would there be any chance of a rise on your salary after a few months? That would obviously help.

      Anyone else have any suggestions for Jamy?

      Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do in the end.


    • Mike March 22, 2013, 12:55 am |

      Bob is correct that is pretty much the average wage. So you are looking at living in an average place further from the centre of melboure..I would also look at using as much public transport as possible which I hear is pretty good in Melbourne. Unlike Sydney. In the grand scheme of things. Singapore is I think about the 6th most expensive city in the world in which to live. Melbourne is 5th, if you are on the same sort of deal as I was and my sister was when living in Sing then your home would have been part of the salary package from the company you are working for so you wouldn’t notice the pain…well we didn’t… Added to that transport around Sing is excellent, around any Australian city, not so great. It might be a case of scaling back how great a place you are looking at renting or the suburb in Melbourne you are thinking about. I loved Singapore, but I hate Australian cities, especially after Singapore, I found a job instead in the country went for the more space slower pace country life. I guess though I am lucky that I have skills that were easily transfered to Country life. I would however seriously contemplate getting your wife to look at working if you are hell bent on city life.

  • Neeta March 11, 2013, 8:20 pm |

    Well, I shall revert for any further doubts after analysing the website once again.

  • Neeta March 11, 2013, 8:19 pm |

    Dear Bob,

    I have gone through the webpage before sending you the earlier message, but I was trying to know the budget one can expect to keep on a normal lifestyle..

    Thanks & Regards,

    • Mike March 22, 2013, 1:25 am |

      Neeta you are pretty much asking an impossible question

      Where in WA, compared to where in NSW, what do you normally purchace, what do you usually like to spend money on, what size house do you want, how many cars?

      If you are looking at living in Sydney, in the middle of town in the most expensive suburb..and average place there could sent you back around $10,000 a month…while if you lived in the average place in the cheapest suburb of Greater Sydney it might set you back $1200 a month…if you lived in rural NSW it might set you back $700 a month in I guess for rent you are looking for an average place at a cost of 700-10000 per month….food pretty much would go down the same path…so it really requires you to sit down and work out where you want to live..and get a list of rents from that area, then work out what you spend money on now, and check those prices online (Coles, Woolworths and other large chain grocery and department stores have their own websites) that will give you a rough idea, Currently in Australia the average wage is approximately $68,000 some states it is a little higher others a little lower, There are large parts of the community that survive on far less. Moderate and satisfied are hard for anyone but you to answer..what some see as moderate is considered by others to be luxury..what some are satisfied with is considered excessive by others

      • BobinOz March 22, 2013, 8:46 pm |

        Exactly! Well put Mike.

  • Neeta March 11, 2013, 7:47 pm |

    Thanks Bob,
    I’ll check the website, but can u help me understand how expensive is Western Australia than NSW. As in, had u been in my place, how much would u spend per week to live a moderate and satisfied lifestyle in Western Australia.

    Thanks & Regards,

    • BobinOz March 11, 2013, 8:09 pm |

      I’ve never been to WA, but I am told it is probably Australia’s most expensive state.

      Neeta, how do you expect me to work out your budget when I have no idea of the kind of things you buy each week? I’ve given you the page to work it out, that you haven’t even looked at it!

  • Syed March 11, 2013, 7:32 pm |

    I am going to apply for EOI , but first i wanted to know in which territory or state should i apply for State Sponsorship in terms of all type of expenses with a family (me my wife and 1 dependent) ? I am a Software Engineer , looking for jobs on SEEK . I feel i will get job around 60-80K per annum. ?? what you say ? i am looking for WA (Perth)

    • BobinOz March 11, 2013, 8:04 pm |

      Are you asking which state or territory is the cheapest to live in? If you are, I’m pretty sure it isn’t WA, but I couldn’t tell you for sure which one it is though.

    • Mike March 22, 2013, 1:00 am |

      G’day Syed

      60-80k pretty much puts you in the average wage catagory..which I think is currently around 68k, I would not be looking at WA, which I suspect is probably the most expensive place to live due to the influx of mining dollars. In the old days WA was far cheaper than any of the eastern states but it isn’t the case anymore. WA, VIC and NSW are all very expensive, SA is heading that way, QLD is still relatively good. I don’t know much about TAS and friend in the NT say things are expensive up there now too ACT seems to be good for all my friends there they are on around the same wage that you are looking at.

  • Neeta March 10, 2013, 2:34 am |

    Hii Bob,
    My name is Neeta. I have cleared the IELTS, skills assessment and have filled the EOI and have got my EOI ID number. Now, I am trying to fill up the online state sponsorship form for Western Australia. I am facing a confusion making a monthly estimation for a family of 3 adults and providing a breakup for the same and of as many routine chores as possible. I have visited the website u have provided in this forum quiet a few times but dint get this answer. I am stuck at this question or else I am done…. Please help at the earliest possible so that I can submit my application for state sponsorship.


  • Jennifer Aldis March 7, 2013, 10:01 pm |

    I am looking to retire in Australia. My Mother, Sister and Brother all emigrated out there in the ’70s with the £10 offer they were doing at the time. The Australian government wanted more people out there. Unfortunately at the time I was married and my partner did not want to go. So I stayed in England. Now I’m coming to my twilight years, I would like to spend them in peace and happiness with my sister and brother. My mother has passed away in Australia as an Australian citizen. I can Bring my pension over to Australia and my Sister and brother will happily sponsor me, however i need to know what the criteria is to retire over there. As an older lady, i do not have a large income however i do have savings but no where near the AD$400,000 they are asking on sites I have researched. Is there any loopholes in the system? Considering my family are Australian citizens? Any information would be of great help. Thankyou for taking the time to read this and possibly reply.

    Regards Jenny.

    • BobinOz March 8, 2013, 4:27 pm |

      Hi Jennifer

      A lot has changed since those £10 Pom days, it’s much harder to get into Australia now I’m afraid.

      I think you will find it very difficult to qualify for a visa here, although it might just help as you have your sister and brother here. But I don’t know for sure because I’m not qualified to answer these questions. I’m sure there will not be any loopholes, but if there is a way in for you then a MARA registered migration agent would be able to find it.

      Unfortunately, they don’t come free, but I do recommend my MARA agent who offers a very reasonably priced Visa Assessment Service.

      I hope things work out for you.


    • Mike March 22, 2013, 1:07 am |

      Good morning Jennifer

      Members of my family and I myself have been involved in being sponsors for people. If you don’t have the money that is required as part visa application, It would essentially put the onus on your family to stump up the funds to meet the shortfall. Depending on your case the government sometimes requires this money to be placed into a holding account. At least that is what happened when my father sponsored his wife’s cousin to come to Australia. There is also usually an onus on the sponsor to cover all medical bills for a certain period of time (Generally around 2 years) and to proove that they have the income or money to support you. My mother and father came as part of the 10 pound pom scheme inthe 70’s, a time of fear for the government and a wish to fill the nation as quickly as possible..

  • Scott February 6, 2013, 3:37 am |

    Hi all
    Many thanks for your replies we will look into it thank you.

  • Scott February 3, 2013, 11:35 pm |

    Me and my wife are moving to Perth in dec, I’m hoping to go back to collage to get my plumbing licence and my wife is hoping to start a job ASAP as a secondary teacher . Will we be able to survive on one wage untill I get my licence
    Many thanks

    • BobinOz February 4, 2013, 4:09 pm |

      That depends on the wage Scott and your outgoings.

    • Mike February 5, 2013, 7:51 am |

      Hi Scott

      I would also look at getting your wife’s teaching qualifications assessed by the education department in WA…In Australia each state is essentialy it’s own mini kingdom and each state a teacher wants to work it will want to check that the teacher meets their particular standards..i.e just because NSW says everything is fine doesn’t mean that QLD or WA will be happy. If you are coming from overseas they often want you to do an extra year of study which is mostly to do with curriculum that you would be teaching..coming from UK this may not be a requirement..but again each kingdom has it’s own rules…It wasn’t required when my mother took up teaching in NSW from UK..that was a while ago though..

  • Mark Griffin January 2, 2013, 11:53 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I have recently came across your site and I am finding it very usefull. I am based in Scotland in the UK and I am a qualified carpenter and a qualified mechanic. Carpenter is my main/most recent employment and I have be able to combine all my skills and use them to carry out work as a multi-skilled engineer in the maintenance sector for domestic, commercial and retail properties. My fiancee is a qualified dental assistant with over 10 years experience who is currently taking a break and carrying out multi clerical roles for a major hospital for mulitiple departments. We also have a 4 year old daughter so we would idealy be looking for a family sponsoship visa, can you send me on the right direction of this becoming reality.

  • Dave Large January 1, 2013, 3:56 am |

    What a great informative site – Thanks guys for your time and effort.

    Me and my family (wife and two young children) are seriously thinking about migrating – Melbourne being our option due to my occupation being sponsored by them.

    Im sure i am missing something about the costs of living in Australia but it may be because im currently working in a low salary job in Devon, UK. We dont have an extravagent lifestyle – being in the countryside we try and get out as much as we can and mostly for free. Due to the weather we want to go somewhere where the weather is slightly better than here in the UK and get the kids out even more. From researching available jobs on seek my salary could be in the region of 70-90k per year in OZ which is substationally more than what i currently earn in the uk. More than double. Now rent seems around $400 per week for a pretty decent place, certainlly better than what we rent at the moment having checked out the rental websites in Australia. Am I dreaming that we could make do on this salary paying that sort of rent per week? Bearing in mind that we currently skrimp at the moment and dont have any spare cash at the end of the month.


    • bigaz78 January 2, 2013, 1:34 am |

      Hey Dave, I dont think you would have to many problems living in melbourne on that sort of money. But like i said before, it is a lifestyle thing if you want to live in toorak well all your money will go on rent but if you want to move out west to say altona meadows or werribee 15 to 20 minutes from the city you will be fine. Its up to you!! Out west you will get a near new rental for around 400 hundred a week. I used to live in altona meadows and found it a good place to live before i moved to the country. No west gate traffic dramas for me anymore.

      • BobinOz January 2, 2013, 8:30 pm |

        Dave, I fully agree with bigaz78 and you will be fine on 70-90 K, just choose your housing wisely. Even if you find it a slight struggle, I’d rather struggle here than in Devon and I can assure you the weather will be a lot more than “slightly better”.

        • Dave Large January 5, 2013, 1:57 am |

          Hi Bigaz78 & BobinOZ,

          Thanks for your replies, That was exactly my thought Bob, id rather be in a place where we can get out more rather than be stuck indoors. The weather has been atrocious here in the raining capital of Tavistock! 15-20 minutes to the City sounds ideal as well but having previously commuted up in London a longer commute wouldnt bother me.

          Right im off to put my skills assessment in….



  • bigaz78 December 28, 2012, 12:14 am |

    Hi Guys, just been reading through a few comments and questions here. Now most immigrants seem dead set on moving to the big citys. The big citys require big salarys to live comfortably as high accomodation costs being the biggest killer!! what you pay in rent in the city you can quite easily buy a house in the country for the same dollar. Of course the employment situation maybe a little tighter in the bush but we are still screaming out for the medical proffesionals, tradesman and general farm hands and the like. If you dont mind getting your hands dirty you can make a real good go of it in the bush and halve your living costs at the same time experience the real australia and australian people. I earn over 120k, am buying my second house which is on a 1/4 acre, dont get caught in traffic jams, live 15mins from the beach, i know mt neighbour and we catch the shrimps not buy them that go on the barbie!!

    • Mikey December 29, 2012, 7:37 am |

      bigaz78..couldn’t agree more. I live in a small town on the north coast of NSW..getting staff has been difficult so I have in a short time and without having to jump from employer to employer like you do in the cities moved from 55k to 90k, with the added bonus of getting my rent paid, and trips home to visit my sister and mother in Sydney..I live about 5mins from the office..when I step out of my office work is done..the trip home is easy..not like when I worked in Sydney and had an hour at least to look forward to to get home. It has meant I have spent large amounts of money on the fun things in life. Like trips, investments and things like that..rather than on the pain of actually getting to work..accomodation and those sorts of things…average Sydney prices are around 600,000 now..with those sorts of places renting for around $500 a week..for that price I can get three places where I am now..and the rental market is so tight each of those places rents for $320 its easy to do the maths.

      • BobinOz January 2, 2013, 8:25 pm |

        bigaz78 and Mikey, if there is one thing I really intend to experience here in Australia it’s living in a small town, away from the big cities. In my head I believe I’d see a much different Australia and way of life, from what you have both said that would certainly happen.

        Five minutes to the office? Catch your own shrimps? And these small towns all have a pub at the heart of their community, don’t they? Got to say, it sounds like a slice of paradise to me. One day 🙂

        For now I am staying put so that I can offer some stability for my young daughter, she has lots of friends and loves her school. But yes, one day I hope to check out the life you’re living, it does sound pretty good and thank you for letting us know.


  • TJ December 25, 2012, 10:24 pm |

    Dear Bob and Carl,

    It is a great site with some very useful comments, I am planning to migrate to Perth by the end of 2013, i would like to know the minimum amount requires to start a small retail store which can help me in earning net of all expenses[including tax] $ 8000 per month. What assistance i can get from a bank financing, means ratio of investment.

    Can you send me some break up of initial and running expenses. Amount of expected weekly sales and gross profit margin.

    • BobinOz December 28, 2012, 8:36 pm |

      Haha! Sorry, I don’t prepare business plans.

  • Mike December 23, 2012, 12:02 pm |

    Naeem..if you Check the Australian taxation office… they will give you all the information you need for working out the take home pay

    on a rough income of $300,000 without having deductions and various other offsets you could expect to take home after tax approximately $186,000.

    Like most things a good salary to live on is entirely dependent on the expectations you have…if you want a car..what type..they range from 14,000 to only God knows in is the same with houses, rents, shows and the other trappings of life.

    I find my wage in NSW of 90,000 a bit difficult at the moment..but that is purely because of the choices I have made, the car I chose to purchase, the home I have picked to live in..good or comfortable living is purely a function of your expectations.

  • Naeem November 26, 2012, 8:19 am |

    Hi Bob,

    I am just wondering what’s the tax rates like in New south wales, Melbourne and Perth area. if somebody is earning AUS$ 300,000 per annum what’s the next income please?

    • BobinOz November 26, 2012, 1:16 pm |

      The tax rates would be the same in each area, just Google “Australian tax calculator” and there are quite a few websites where you just punch in your earnings and it tells you what tax you would be likely to pay.

  • Bruno November 22, 2012, 6:10 pm |

    If you earn 120k per amnum on one salary, you are very lucky and you can live very well in perth.
    And all the ones who are complaining that it is too hard to live with “only” 120k per amnum in perth are really some spoiled people.

    • BobinOz November 26, 2012, 1:15 pm |

      Thanks Bruno, always good to hear other opinions.

  • syed November 6, 2012, 5:16 pm |

    I have applied for a Australia PR and planning to come to perth. I have 1 dependent and i live a good healthy live ( outing , shopping , dinning ,car, house(rent first)) . I am looking for the salaries for Senior Software developer/Engineer about 80-100k with an experience of 5 years. How much salary is good to live in perth ? kindly let me know as i have to plan things.

    • BobinOz November 8, 2012, 9:47 pm |

      I can’t tell you specifically about the cost of living in Perth, but I have heard anecdotally that it is more expensive over there than it is here on the East Coast. On that basis, I would suggest that 80 K is a bit light, I would be trying for 120 K, but you’d probably get by on 100 K.

      Hopefully somebody who knows the area better than me might pop by and help you out more.

      • syed November 8, 2012, 10:19 pm |

        so If i am earning 100k how much is the hand in case i will take home after tax deductions (all type). and also tell me about the IT related job opportunities , I thought perth is the best in all.

        • BobinOz November 9, 2012, 2:16 pm |

          If you search Google for “Australian tax calculator” you can punch in the numbers and it will tell you your likely tax liability. I couldn’t tell you about job opportunities in IT, check my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and use the links to the employment agencies to search for what you do.

  • kumaran renu November 5, 2012, 3:34 am |

    hi, i am planning to do post graduate part time studies in australia. i have one year expereince as a web developer in php. can i get part time job in this field? with thanks kumaran

    • BobinOz November 5, 2012, 8:31 pm |

      Maybe, but I obviously couldn’t tell you for sure.

  • Ferdy A. Nugraha October 29, 2012, 12:58 pm |

    Dear Bob,
    I just got an job offer as a baker at a restaurant in ACT Canberra, they said the salary starts at $50,000 ($20/hr). I plan to bring my wife after I settle in, we don’t have any kids yet. I am a professional baker in a 5 star hotel in Jakarta and I have been working in the culinary world for 5 years . Since they said the the salary “starts at $50K” should I be asking for more? Also how big is tax there?

    Thank you


    • BobinOz October 29, 2012, 5:59 pm |

      $50,000 isn’t a great salary here in Australia, the average salary is around 62K I think. If you feel you are in a position to ask for more, then why not? If you search Google for Australian tax calculator will find there are plenty about. Good luck!

  • Bilal Naqvi October 28, 2012, 1:46 am |

    Dear Bob,
    I am constant follower of your website and I appreciate it very much.
    I am a Civil Engineer and migrating to Oz within 02 months. I have read some very disturbing arguments from very qualified and experienced engineers like myself of having extreme difficulties in finding relevant jobs in OZ and often let down due to non-OZ experience.
    Based on your experience here, Do you have any idea regarding this on how a new migrant should face this kind of situation?

    • BobinOz October 29, 2012, 5:56 pm |

      I wish I could help you with this, but I simply can’t as I’ve really had no experience. Hopefully someone who does have experience in this area will pop by and help you out. Good luck!

  • Gaurav_Gurgaon_India October 13, 2012, 2:09 am |

    Hi Bob, Indeed this is a highly useful website. I m planning to migrate to OZ with family (wife+2daughters) and following your insightful comments regularly and prior to writing you have got a prima facie idea of employment through which is coming approx AUD 65K (Gross).

    I earn a million (INR) per annum here and PG in Mgmt by working with IT giant. Even my wife is also an IT engineer+educationist, but homemaker and would start career in teching soon.

    Most importantly I would request your comparative judgment between Delhi (India) and Perth on the basis of living expenses.

    Do kindly help me out and take care.


    • BobinOz October 16, 2012, 4:07 pm |

      I wish I could help you with that one, but I really have no idea what 1 million INR is worth or the cost of living in Delhi. Maybe somebody else who has made the move from Delhi to Perth might step in here and help you out. Anybody?

  • Natalie October 11, 2012, 1:24 am |

    My husband has been offered a job in Queensland Australia. He was offered $80,000.00 for his salary and I am currently finishing up my bachelors degree in Science. We live in Michigan right now and am very nervous about the change as we also have 2 teenage children. I will be looking for a job there as well. Do you think we will live comfortably on what he makes for a little while until I find a position there?

    • BobinOz October 11, 2012, 10:39 pm |

      I’m not really sure what your idea of “comfortable” is, or how much you’ll be needing to pay out for accommodation. But with $80,000 a year you certainly won’t go without, but I reckon you’d need to get a job for yourself to truly live the dream.

  • ravdeep September 16, 2012, 3:47 am |

    hi bob,

    first of all thanks to you for providing an information site about australia.Im from India and im planning to come to australia on a student visa.i have enrolled myself for the masters of social work from the university of im married so my husband will also be accompanying me.he can work full time there but after reading about the job prospects in that area we are thinking that are decision is might become difficult for us to take out our expenses including my course fees.bob can you please guide us about the job prospects i hope there must be jobs in that area but what kind of jobs are available and how much will be our earnings and expenses.Is living in brisbane a better option and commuting daily from brisbane to university.



    • BobinOz September 17, 2012, 2:45 pm |


      I can’t calculate it for you, I have no idea what your needs and requirements are. And it appears you want me to tell you about all jobs available in Brisbane and their salaries? I mean, seriously, how would I be able to do that?

  • DTT UK September 8, 2012, 10:42 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for your response and website. Finding it all very useful 🙂


  • DTT_UK September 7, 2012, 8:42 pm |

    Moving to Sydney in October and told my relocation contract will be based on a 133k aprox 120k once the superanuation tax has been taken away.
    for a single lad with no commitments or much debt im hoping i should clear around $6000 aussie dollars.
    Im looking to go into a shared townhouse or apartment for around $400 dollars a week so im hoping i should have around $2500 spare each month once ive paid for food, travel expenses and incidentals.
    My only serious concern is a car. The prices are crazy and for a imigrant and ive not come across any leasing of finance options…..i think its going to take around 6months of salary going into my local aussie bank account before i can get a loan or credit.
    I actually just returned from a week in Sydney (August 2012) and couldnt believe the costs of goods.

    Heres a list of the things that shocked me a bit and gave me a reality check

    Basic rule to follow is always expect the costs in £ pounds of anyithing in the UK to be twice or three times the cost in Aussie Dollars

    Bag of Haribo sweets or Allen brand equivalent $4.50-$6
    Whole Roast cooked Chicken from supermarket $15
    Bottle of coke from vending machine $4.50
    10 minute cab ride from North Sydney over harbour bridge to the Rocks $20
    Day ticket to the zoo including boat and rail travel $50
    Pack of cigs $20 (time to give up)
    Loaf of bread $1.50 (non brand from ALDi)
    1lt of Milk $1.50 (non brand from ALDi)
    Decent bit of Steak from the supermarket Rib eye $15
    Burger King meal $10
    Beer or Cider (about 2/3 pint) $5-6dollars
    Cocktail $20 or more
    train ticket daily return $5 or multi week travelcard around $60
    Nice lunch and beer in Manly $20-25
    Amazing full cooked breakfast at the Rocks $17

    Hope it helps

    • BobinOz September 8, 2012, 10:22 pm |

      Time to give up the Haribo sweets as well, I reckon.

      Everyone says it’s expensive in Sydney, but some of the prices you mentioned do seem a bit steep even for down there. We would pay $10 for a whole cooked chicken up here, for example. $4.50 for a Coke? Gosh! But although some things are expensive there, salaries are very high, I read a report the other week that said salaries in Sydney were the fifth highest out of 73 cities surveyed in the world.

      Anyway, thanks for letting us know those prices and I hope you settle well in Sydney and have a great time there.



  • Mr Refugee. September 5, 2012, 7:45 pm |

    I have seen in news posted from Australian Immigration Department that now a refugee from anywhere can go to Australia for permanent lives.a refugee will contact to UNHCR and will himself register and they will introduced him to Australian Immigration Department.Do you have some idea about this issue.if you have then write here with further detail.thanks

    • BobinOz September 6, 2012, 1:11 am |

      No, Mr Refugee, I don’t know anything about that at all. Wish I could help, I can’t. Good luck though!

  • eshwar September 5, 2012, 7:49 am |

    hi bob
    im eshwar from india i completed my diploma in tool &die making i have planned to come australia for work how much salary i will get per week? wether i wil get good job in australia ha??

    • BobinOz September 5, 2012, 12:15 pm |

      Who could possibly know?

  • Shahar September 5, 2012, 6:30 am |

    Sir if some one come there through student visa and loss his passport and show himself illegal.then what is the legal way for this illegal student!

    • BobinOz September 5, 2012, 12:17 pm |

      Sounds like a riddle Shahar, not sure what the answer is, but is the clue in the last two words?

  • MD September 4, 2012, 10:56 pm |

    I have got an offer to relocate from india to sydney for 2 years under 457 visa from my current employer. The are offering me 82k per year which includes (9%super annum + 8% incentive). i have family with one small kid(1 year). i just want to know whether we can able to lead a comfortable life with this package or not.
    i dont know anything about tax and medical insurance details. Please suggest.


    • BobinOz September 6, 2012, 12:39 am |

      That depends, I suppose, on your requirements for comfortable living, but the big question is how much will you be paying for your accommodation. It’s what you have left after that that matters, and decides how comfortable, or not, you would be.

      • MD September 7, 2012, 7:05 pm |

        Thanks Bob, I have drawn the minimum expected expenditure buget for sydney living. i am not sure whether i have included everything or not. please provide your inputs so that it helps me to decide.

        S.No Details Weekly Monthy
        1 Accomodation 400 1600
        2 Food 150 600
        3 Elec 100
        4 Phone 100
        5 Internet 50
        6 Travel 250
        7 Others 300
        8 Medical(Me, wife and my Kid) 200
        Total 3200

        Moreover i think for 400AUD(2 bedroom apt/ good 1 bedroom apt), i can get only in outside of city. Is that correct?


        • BobinOz September 8, 2012, 8:46 pm |

          No I’m pretty sure you won’t get anything in the city for $400 a week, you may even struggle to get something for that outside of the city. Check out my page about Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia and do some research to get an exact figure.

          As for the rest of your figures, these are for you, your wife and your child? If so, these are absolute minimums, I would think you should budget for at least $4000-$5000 a month. But then everybody has different expenditures, maybe you’ll get away with it.



  • Marnie September 3, 2012, 10:48 pm |

    As I’ve read in above conversation it seems that Australian cost of living is very high, do you think as a butcher (hope i will be qualified) could raise a family with 2 kids? the wage for butcher range from 35k-50k per annum. thank you.

    • BobinOz September 4, 2012, 12:36 pm |

      I wouldn’t say Australia’s cost of living is “very high”, but it’s certainly not a cheap country either.

      I’m afraid to say though, in my opinion, you will struggle on that kind of wage with a wife and two children. I’m a little shocked that that is the salary range. Students are earning $20 an hour, that’s over 40k a year based on 40 hours a week.

      Are you saying a butcher can only earn the same as students who are amongst the lowest paid in the country? Doesn’t seem right to me.

  • anonmarketing August 28, 2012, 1:10 pm |

    Sybsea – there is very little work in marketing. The majority of companies big enough to have a marketing department have these people located in their Eastern States HQ. I am in a marketing role and we advertised for another person – had hundreds of extremely well qualified applicants. Starting salary you would be looking at around 50-55K even with experience. As for your $120K – I’d say 85K in pounds in the UK would be getting you a hell of alot further over there. It is a complete rip off here, brace yourself.

    • BobinOz August 29, 2012, 5:51 pm |

      Yes, that’s what I think too. As I’ve said above, I think he should be aiming for 160K.

  • Sybsea August 28, 2012, 4:48 am |

    Hi Bob, great website, but thinks its just put me off coming over, well not your website but the info on it!! I have just been offered a job in Perth for a salary of $120k, now that works out at £80k, which is what i’m currently on in the UK. But by the looks of it, coming out there means i’m effectively halving my salry due to cost of living, i’m gob smacked at how expensive Perth is! My wife and I were really considering it, but shes not gaurenteed work, (although she is a graduate and has several years Marketing experience) so $120k salary just doesnt seem enough. Gutted as we were looking forward to coming out, until I found this out! Anyone in Perth able to answer how the job market is out there at the moment, is my wife likely to get work? Thanks all

    • BobinOz August 29, 2012, 5:49 pm |

      My rule of thumb for income is to aim for earning twice as much in AUD as you currently earn in the UK in GBP. On that basis, your target income should be $160,000 here in Australia for you to live as comfortably as you currently do in the UK.

      So, you are not halving your salary, but you can, roughly speaking, say you are looking at a 25% pay cut.

      Sorry, it’s not good news, but if I were you I’d come anyway, you won’t starve and you just can’t put a price on the lifestyle. Good luck whatever you decide.



    • girlfriday August 31, 2012, 4:15 pm |

      GBP80k will give you a much better lifestyle in the Uk than AUD$120k in Perth, stay in Blighty!

      • BobinOz September 3, 2012, 4:04 pm |

        I don’t think better “lifestyle”, but financially better, yes. Hitting some waves on a surfboard is free, can’t do that so easily in the UK.

    • Jon T April 25, 2015, 5:23 pm |

      hang on..
      120k in perth- 2 of you no kids, is absolutely doable. It wont be lavish by any means, but certainly comfortable.
      No doubt perth is expensive, but 120k is high as well. Your wifes qualifications and experience sounds ok, although she might initially find it tough to get a job [ most immigrants gripe no 1 is tough to get a job]
      once you are in the employment game, its easier.
      Needless to say, avoid buying big ticket items like real estate until both are well settled with a job.

  • Marj August 21, 2012, 1:47 am |

    Hi Bob,
    Please keep up the good work. This is the only site I’ve been reading for the past few days regarding moving to Australia. Both friendly and informative. I have a question though regarding overseas employment. Like most, I’ve been looking for work in Australia and was wondering about taxes. I am trying to do a sample computation based on info you shared about cost of living but I don’t have any idea on taxes. I tried the ATO site but I’m not sure under which category I fall. Please redirect me to another link if I overlooked any. Thanks in advance.

    • BobinOz August 21, 2012, 9:19 pm |

      I have written about this before, but the post is a bit old. Check out my post on income tax. The good news is that it does have a link to more up-to-date information provided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Cheers!

  • Shahar August 16, 2012, 7:40 am |

    Sir in my country one of the best consultancy told me that you are allowed 20 hours per week.but in week you have two days weekend and also you can work in weekend.which is allowed for you and this is your choice that how many hours you can work in weekend.
    so you are easily can cover 20 Hrs +16 in two days=36.and will give you 25 to 30 dollar per hour.

    • BobinOz August 16, 2012, 6:02 pm |

      Well, if you have already had this question answered by one of the best consultants, I’m not sure why you ask it again here to me.

  • Shahar August 15, 2012, 11:33 pm |

    Hello Sir,I have Plan to go to Melbourne city next year,I have question that is you know student will allow to work for 20 hours per week, but you know we will have already 2 days weekend there per week, So should we will allow for work full time in weekend. and how much the wages for student per hour minimum..thanks reply me please.

    • BobinOz August 16, 2012, 12:49 am |

      As far as I am aware 20 hours per week is 20 hours per week and a week last seven days, which includes the weekend. What I’m saying is, 20 hours per week is the maximum you can work, that’s my understanding of the role. So I think you can work eight hours a day over the weekend, but that will only leave you 4 hours left for the rest of the week.

      I believe the minimum wage is about $15 an hour, but it’s not that hard to get a little more in most places. Hope that helps.

  • shalin August 15, 2012, 10:41 pm |

    can i just ask, roughly how much does a nurses in adelaide been paid for a month? i ask everywhere but no one seem to know the answer. you seem like an expert to me. can u answer my question?

    • BobinOz August 16, 2012, 12:36 am |

      Well, yes, I (sort of) can answer your question, I wrote a post about it called Australia versus UK: salaries compared. Check out the link in that post called Australian salaries and search for your profession and location to find an answer.



      • shalin August 16, 2012, 9:45 pm |

        thank you so much:)

  • dustin August 12, 2012, 7:00 pm |

    hi bob,

    very insightful website and information, however i am still struggling to figure out whether or not 75k aud would be enough to live on in wa outside of perth. were a couple and are due to fly the 12th of sep, to say i am getting worried about the money is an understatement.

    • BobinOz August 13, 2012, 1:18 pm |

      Hi Dustin

      Whether you will struggle or not on 75K largely depends on how much of that you will need to pay for rent or mortgage. As a real rough guide, and it obviously depends on your lifestyle, I reckon you need between $3000 and $4000 a month take home, after you have paid for your accommodation.

      I think you’ll get by okay, so I wouldn’t worry too much about this yet.

  • Amir July 22, 2012, 12:23 am |

    Hi Bobinoz
    I am Egyptian with 6 years banking experience and currently working in Egyptian bank as a Deputy branch head but i wanna leave egypt and travel to Perth and study there and have a student Visa , so will i be able to work (with student visa) as a banker or any normal job like i am working now in Egypt or i will work low works with low salaries?
    Thanks in advance

    • BobinOz July 22, 2012, 9:28 pm |

      I think you are restricted to work only a certain number of hours if you are here on a student visa. I don’t know the details, I’m not qualified. You would need to give all of your details to a MARA registered migration agent if you wanted professional help on this.

      I have one who works with me here on this website, check out my Visa Assessment Service.

  • Amir July 22, 2012, 12:13 am |

    Hi Carl
    It seems that u know everything about Australia specially in Perth , so I have a question and i hope u can help 🙂
    I am Egyptian with 6 years banking experience and currently working in Egyptian bank as a Deputy branch head but i wanna leave egypt and travel to Perth and study there and have a student Visa , so will i be able to work (with student visa) as a banker or any normal job like i am working now in Egypt or i will work low works with low salaries?
    Thanks in advance

    • Carl August 30, 2012, 12:29 am |

      Hello Amir
      Sorry for not replying to your message and I hope Bob does not mind if I share my comments.

      I am unsure how many hours per week a student can work in Australia, I guess that if your are studying then there are only so many hours you could work. I would very much doubt that a bank or any large organisation would accept a foreign student on a student visa to gain employment in their organisation. I do know some foreign students in Perth and they mostly work as taxi drivers, in cafes and restaurants, bars and clubs or counterhands etc, I guess they take the jobs that are easier to obtain but are most likely only a few hours per day. The average hourly rate would only be about $20 so you would need some other source of income to be able to perhaps rent a room with other students in a house plus cover all your other expenses. I know also that foreign student fees in university and college is pretty expensive.
      As a student anything is possible especially as you only have to look after yourself, perhaps you eat cheap, share a room, public transport and spend your spare time working when you do not need to study. All I know is that it is not easy to live on a small budget in Perth especially when renting a place to live is so expensive.
      If you have any other questions just ask.

      • BobinOz August 30, 2012, 8:10 pm |

        Carl, no, not at all. I love it when people share what they know in these comments. Thanks for taking the time to help out Amir. Cheers, Bob

  • Gert July 1, 2012, 7:46 pm |

    Dear Bob

    Great website!! very informative!
    Me and my family will be moving to Perth in September this year. Can you recommend a couple of nice neighborhoods to scout for a rental 3 bedroom home? do wana take a place and end up in the sticks lol! just a nice family middle class area will be good 🙂

    thx! g

    • BobinOz July 3, 2012, 1:42 pm |

      I can’t, no, never even been to Perth. But you might like to check out my page called Which Suburb?, and especially check out the “Local Voices” link at the foot of the page.

      Happy house hunting!

  • Ali Dousti June 24, 2012, 8:21 pm |

    Hi Bob. thank you very much for your great website .I’m 33 man in Iran and have bachelor in English
    but I’m unemployment right now . how I can migrate to Australia as short and cheap way as it could be . which city is proper for me .how much I need .
    that would be my pleasure to let me know about it. My dream is to be able to migrate to Australia.
    your friend Ali Dousti

    • BobinOz June 25, 2012, 11:12 pm |

      If there is a cheap way, I don’t know it. Australia is a very difficult country to get into, just like everybody else, you will need a visa. Check out my page about Visas to find out more about that and the cost of those visas.

  • Jini May 31, 2012, 2:40 pm |

    I have lived in Perth for about 7 years now and the prices of everything has skyrocketed.

    You can get rentals for around $300 a week but they are usually in dodgy areas.

    Same with buying a house. You can get one $350k but in a dodgy area or really small and old.

    It is very nice here but am really getting tired of spending all my money just to survive.

    • BobinOz May 31, 2012, 10:20 pm |

      I think that’s the case in most of the major cities, they say prices have skyrocketed here in Brisbane in the last five or six years as well.

      Although I think you are right, Perth is slightly worse off because of the mining boom over there. Prices have gone up because of that, trouble is, most people just aren’t miners.

  • marelize May 29, 2012, 7:02 pm |

    Hi there

    We are currently living in South Africa and would love to move to Australia.
    My husband is a Sheet Metal Worker / Boilermaker. Do you perhaps know where we / he can get a sponsorship job?

    • BobinOz May 30, 2012, 7:30 pm |

      Not really, that’s a specialist area itself in which I’m not qualified. All I know is what appears on my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

  • vinit pahil May 10, 2012, 1:27 pm |

    heb bob,
    i am an indian boy ,17 years old…..i want to come australia for graduation….so can u tell me about my visa…and part time job there for me…….

    • BobinOz May 10, 2012, 10:39 pm |

      Sorry, no, I have no idea how that works. But take a look at my page about
      Visas and follow the instructions and the advice given on the video. That should help you get started. Good luck!

  • Carl May 3, 2012, 12:30 am |

    For anyone intending to come live in Perth, I have lived here my whole life and I have never seen it become so expensive as it is today. Some prices below in Australian dollars as of 01/05/2012.
    Rent – $550 per week upwards, for a 3 bedroom unit or house in a middle class area, the average would be around $700 per week.
    Food – $150 per person per week if buying groceries from a supermarket and cooking at home.
    Transport – $ 50 per week if using public transport within 10 km from your residents.
    Medical Insurance – $ 90 per month per adult
    Electricity – $ 200 per month for a 3 bedroom home (not including cooling or heating)
    Telephone – $ 80 per month for a landline
    Internet – $ 70 per month unlimited usage
    Ladies hair cut/colour/style – $200 – $300
    Mens haircut – $20-$30
    Restaurant Dinner – 3 course meal plus half bottle house wine – $100 per person
    DVD rental – new release overnight – $5
    Coffee – takeaway, Cafe Late = $5
    Water – 300ml from lunch bar or deli – $3.50
    Sandwich – $10 – takeway
    Movie ticket – $20 per person
    Packet of 25 cigarrettes – $18 per packet
    Beer – 6 bottle of 330ml = $ 16
    Chinese meal – home delivered serving 3 adults = $55
    Beer or Wine in a Bar or Club = $ 12+
    Taxi ride – 10 minutes = $20

    The average wage per week is $600 – $1000 clear of tax.

    Perth is very icolated from the world, people tend to keep to themselves and mix only with people they know. Perth becomes a very small place very quickly once you have seen the sights and done the rounds. Perth is best suited to people who like anything to do with nature and outdoors on your own or within your family group. Shopping and Fashion does not live in Perth as Perth people tend to be extremely casual. Bare foot is the norm, from bed to shopping centre is ok too.

    If you have any questions before coming to Perth please do contact me, it would be my pleasure to help.

    • BobinOz May 3, 2012, 7:40 pm |

      $12 for a beer in a club! I was going to go there for a holiday, now I’m not so sure.

      Seriously though, you must be able to buy a beer cheaper than that, it’s not overly cheap here in Brisbane, but we are only paying about $7 or $8. And never buy your takeaway beer in a sixpack, get a carton, much cheaper!

      Right, now we’ve got the important stuff out of the way, the rest of it. Yes, it does look expensive, but then I really don’t buy your average wage figures of $600 – $1000 after tax. I would have said wages are much higher than that, average take-home pay over there should be about $1100 a week. The national average annual salary before tax is around $62,000, but over WA, it’s apparently closer to $72,000.

      Obviously no one could take-home $600 and then pay $550 a week for rent, could they?

      I’m sure Perth is expensive, but I’m also pretty certain salaries are higher than you suggest. Thanks for all the figures though, always useful.

      • Carl May 3, 2012, 8:02 pm |

        Hi Bob
        I guess the best way to back up my figures would be to check out two websites,
        1) for rentals –
        2) for salaries,

        I have friends working in banks, travel agencies, hospitality and sales persons in shops who clear $600 per week and a more senior person position would clear about $1000+ per week.

        I just did a search myself on searching for positions for call centre/customer service staff and the annual pay range was between $43000 to $70000 making the average salary $56000 gross before tax.

        You will find that the only way a person can afford the rentals in Perth is if both husband/wife or partners both work otherwise it is just not possible.

        It has been said that the mining boom is responsible for this new hefty cost of living.

        Wishing you all the best.

        • BobinOz May 4, 2012, 8:52 pm |

          Hi Carl

          Yes, I’m aware of both of those websites, I have them on my pages about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia. Sounds to me as though the mining boom is sending prices upwards, but only the miners can afford those prices.

          Well, it’s not just the miners I suppose, I know there are other trades that are doing really well there, over this side of the country we keep hearing about just how much work there is at the moment in Perth.

          But the downside, as you have kindly pointed out, is if you are not one of those trades people, and you don’t get one of those salaries to match, you might just find Perth a little bit too expensive.

          Thanks for your contribution.

      • Jaded December 10, 2012, 8:32 pm |

        Yes it wages are that low!!! And it is hard for a lot of us Perthites. It’s harder than ever to make income balance outgoings…mostly outgoings exceeds income so it’s bad. And forget about going out…it’s too expensive, and you wont get time when you get that 2nd or 3rd job to cover the income deficit. Lucky ones are teachers…12 weeks off per year, and pay rises regularly. Dr’s are doing okay too, because they don’t train enough here so they can basically ask what they want. GP’s get away with heaps and accreditors appear to turn a blind eye to imperfections in their Practices because they need to have them running to cover the lack of them, as once again not enough of them get trained here. Most Dr’s are too hard to understand because the majority are foreign and trained in non-English speaking country.
        Pretty place though. I have lived here all my life.

        • BobinOz December 11, 2012, 4:53 pm |

          I take your point Jaded, obviously there are low paid jobs there, but at the same time there are also some very well-paid jobs. But for those who are not commanding a big salary, I suspect it is a struggle. Haven’t prices in Perth though always been a little more expensive than the rest of Australia, because of its isolation?

          • cucumber August 1, 2013, 9:31 pm |

            i remember perth used to be quite cheap compared to sydney.

            • BobinOz August 2, 2013, 12:26 am |

              Ah, those were the days 🙂 It’s probably still cheaper than Sydney, but not by much.

            • Mike August 5, 2013, 10:54 am |

              Yeah house prices are up everywhere..Perth has had the biggest jump due to the mining boom inflating home prices, I think the average house price is now around the $560,000 price mark..Sydney is around the $650,000 so still higher but not like the old days where you could sell one average house in Sydney and purchase 3 in Perth..

              • BobinOz August 5, 2013, 2:58 pm |

                You can check house prices (as at 2012) across all Australia’s major cities over at my recent post about House Prices in Australia. Perth not yet at $560,000 according to those figures, but yes, it still expensive over there.

                Cheers, Bob

                • Mike August 6, 2013, 11:08 am |

                  Yeah I checked the 2013 figures it seems to have peaked at 560 in Jan but has dropped to 520 in the period to Jun..still a massive price increase on the old days.

      • Jemma August 14, 2013, 4:26 pm |

        Hey BobinOZ.. national average wage is $48k I’m not sure where your getting your info, but its not right.. check out the job sites.. lots of low paid industries.

        • BobinOz August 14, 2013, 8:42 pm |

          Hi Jemma

          The average wage in Australia is about $70,000 per annum, what you are referring to is the median wage including part-time workers. My figure is average for full-time workers only.

          If you check out my post about the Hard Yakka, you will see where I got my figures from, there is a link to the Australian Bureau of Statistics that goes straight to the page with updated information.

          Thanks, Bob

    • Ayomide Samuel July 22, 2013, 9:23 pm |

      You are really doing a great job here and I’ve found this link helpful. Thanks.

      I got this link as part of my EOI.
      —- — “The application for State nomination includes a test about life in Western Australia . We strongly recommend you read the
      {link to} test information page before starting your application.
      Please I like to know what are the likely questions that could be asked in this test.


      • BobinOz July 23, 2013, 4:12 pm |

        Can you provide the link? I would assume it’s fully explained if you click through.

    • goldghost December 24, 2013, 2:58 am |

      Great post Carl. Especially the descriptive penultimate paragraph.

      Perth is a city of almost 2 million and covers a huge area but it really is dead unless you have lots of friends and/or family here. It feels like a much smaller town. A very comfortable environment and wonderful climate but there is a reason most of the educated and ambitious young people high tail it over east or to Europe!

      Wages can be high but so is the cost of living if you are not very restrained and self disciplined. $10+ for a pint of beer (if you actually are lucky enough to come across a pub! The average London suburb would have 3-4 times more pubs than the whole of Perth. Here it is one pub per suburb if you are fortunate. The cost of everything else is also extortionate (noticeable exception of petrol). Thank God for the internet.

      The bottom line is do not move to Perth unless you are fortunate enough to land a very well paid job.

    • Amandeep March 10, 2014, 4:39 pm |

      Hey Carl, nice to see such an effort made by you in explaining almost all the expenses so precisely. Thanks a lot !!

      My wife(an Australian citizen since last 6 years) is working in Perth in a bank and I am currently in India serving in the Indian Army as a Commissioned officer. I visited Perth a couple of times(in 2011 and 2012) and really liked it…more so as I am currently posted in New Delhi, which is highly populated and polluted.

      I am about to quit my service and apply for immigration to Australia. I plan to get into photography as I love photography and have been learning and practising since last 4 years. I am aware of the fact that its not simple and easy at all to get into any creative field, that too in a entirely new place. I am ready to struggle for sometime and get into the business of photography. When I think about the ‘expenses’ I sometimes get confused and bogged down wondering how to go about meeting them. My wife earns a little over $40,000 and I wouldn’t have too much saved when I reach Perth…and venturing into something which takes time to build would need money!
      I sometimes think of working part time and gradually side stepping into photography but I am not sure of what all kinds of work would I get and how much would I be able to earn?
      My wife tells me the same thing like you brought out that people in Perth don’t hang out with people they don’t know, so even she, practically, doesn’t have any friends whom we could consult, you see, as she moved to Perth from Melbourne in 2011 and since then could not really make friends.

      Thats the reason I am contacting you for some answers. I know its a long mail and would be thankful if you could attend to queries.
      For your ease I would jot them systematically in the following few lines :

      1. How much family income is considered ‘Comfortable’ generally?
      2. What all jobs will I be eligible for, considering that I would be on a Temporary Visa/ PR ( leading to citizenship as my wife is a Citizen) and my almost 10 years of service in the Indian Army as an Officer?
      3. How to go about starting a photography business or get a job in photography to start with (in case you know someone in this field) ?
      4. I am a very friendly and a sociable person by nature and love to mingle around and know people. How easy or difficult would it be for me to have a social life and make friends in Perth?

      Thank you.


  • Sabine April 27, 2012, 10:20 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I love your blog, there are so much advices. Thank you very much, it’s a big help. We are living in Germany and here we say that you should give max. 1/3 of your salary in your rent. Is it the same in Australia ? The rentals prices are so high in Australia compare to Germany that it seems impossible…
    Thank you for your answer.
    Kind regards.

    • BobinOz April 30, 2012, 8:56 pm |

      Hi Sabine

      Last time I looked, the average salary in Australia was around $62,000. That’s about $1200 a week. There are plenty of places up for rent that cost $400 a week, so we are not far away from that one third rule.

      Rents might be high here, but so are salaries.



  • Tommy March 21, 2012, 1:40 am |


    Am looking for some information about moving to Australia.

    Me and my wife and 2 kids have been looking to move for some time now and dont know where to start


    • BobinOz March 23, 2012, 1:38 pm |

      Best place to start is by finding out if you would get enough points to qualify to apply for a visa, you can find out how to do that on my page called Visas.

      You may also want to read the story of how me and my family got here, the link is at the top in the navigation menu, it’s called How to Move to Australia.

  • Vinny March 13, 2012, 3:58 am |

    Hey! im 22 years old and ive been doing sheet metal work for around 6 years and i really want to move to Australia, i have family over in western who said they wouldn’t mind sponsoring me, i done an online assessment test and im eligible to apply for a working holiday visa. im currently in process of getting my passport renewed! where do i go from here? i was thinking of going with visa-first and im doing overtime at the moment to be able to have enough money to help me fund myself for a few months. the careers adviser told me that i need roughly £2,500 to help get me started, just need help on what i should do next. thanks

    • BobinOz March 14, 2012, 12:26 am |

      Hi Vinny

      When you say what should you do next, do you mean how do you secure your working holiday visa? I think they are reasonably easy to organise, and I think it can all be done online. But I don’t know the exact process. Would you like me to ask my MARA agent if he can give you any advice?

  • Zoee February 17, 2012, 10:24 am |

    Hi bob,
    I’m thinking of moving to Australia in the next couple of years, on my own, don’t earn much an hour in my current job and currently still living with my parents in England.
    How much do you recommend saving to take to oz, to rent a flat/apartment, and to live over there until I start earning? My job is on the wanted list, and money is the only thing holding me back.


    • BobinOz February 21, 2012, 3:40 pm |

      The short answer is as much as you can. I don’t know how long it would take you to start earning, so I can’t really answer, but see my pages Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia
      The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything to get a better idea.

      The deposit you have to pay to rent a flat will vary depending upon which state you move to. Typically it is 2 to 4 weeks rent in advance plus a bond equivalent to about four or six week rent.

      Hope that helps.

  • Heidi July 11, 2011, 8:46 am |

    Hi there
    We are planning to go to Perth in Sept as husband been offered a job of $120,000 – feeling slighly worried now as we thought this was a good salary as equivalent to £80,ooo here – however on one expat site they were saying $120,000 is not a comfortable salary to survive on in Perth ? I have used your simple solution to try and work it out and we feel it is ok. Can you jsut confirm this please.

    • BobinOz July 18, 2011, 7:16 pm |

      Hi Heidi

      I’ve just added another useful link under the heading above. Please visit the page with my report on The Cost of Living “Comfortably” in Australia. I think you’ll find the information there more than useful.



    • Mike Reeve October 1, 2012, 6:45 pm |

      Hi Bob,
      Been reading your site with great interest – lots of useful information in one place – cheers.
      There’s a chance my family and I may be moving to Oz in the not too distant future – we’d being going to the Mornington Peninsula area south of Melbourne.
      I’m currently a self-employed Landscaper / Fencer with a small company of casual employees, and, in the absence of a large lottery win, would be looking to set up something simliar down under…
      I read with interest your article saying that you couldn’t get a general gardener to come out for less than $40/hr, and just wondered what a landscaper might expect to earn, as I guess that working on your £4k = $8k rule of thumb I would need to be pulling in at least $50/hr to make that work. I was hoping that you might be able to point me in the direction of any links etc. that give me some more detailed info. on my particular area.
      Mike Reeve.

      • BobinOz October 2, 2012, 3:29 pm |

        I can’t give you any exact figures on that one, but just to clear up that $40 per hour thing, that’s what a skilled gardener would charge. But that’s not to say they would not have less skilled and younger labourers working with them who are earning around $20-$30 an hour. So I’m sure if you do it right, you could achieve $50 an hour for yourself.

        Not sure how easy or hard it would be though to pull in 40 hours of work each and every week though, but then that’s the same problem in every country. Cheers


        • Pete August 19, 2015, 4:49 pm |

          Hi Bob brilliant site thanks for making time to answer questions.

          I’m having doubt about moving to Adelaide, we have family who’s been living there for 12 years who say they could sponsor us & stay with them until we’re sorted with a place of our own. I’m a driving instructor with 3 years experience my wife is unemployed I’ve also a 4yr old daughter. I’m currently saving as much as possible and were going to holiday there after Xmas to see what it’s like. We don’t own our house as we rent and I’m aware that I would need to pass Australian instructor exams to work as an instructor. Our family out there has an agent who is a personal friend of there’s who I won’t speak to until we’re there. Could you give me some advice or a reality check before I get my hopes up? Thanks again

          • BobinOz August 19, 2015, 8:59 pm |

            This website is full of advice Pete, over 1000 pages of it. Have a good look around, use the Google search on the right-hand side to find specifically what you want and have a good read.

            If you have a specific question after you’ve done that, just ask it on a relevant page and I’ll help if I can. Good luck, Bob

    • Heythere January 18, 2013, 5:30 pm |

      We earn just over $80K and $60K respectively. My job recently got axed. $80K you will barely survive in ACT (as we are)- as before I lost my job- both of us working together- $120K before tax- lower middle income.. struggle, but doable, mortgage of maybe 12-15+ years with little to spare. No room for the second partner to stop working to have children unless your husband makes $150K+ here in Canberra and then you will have to budget very carefully.
      We are a couple in our late 20s early 30s and have many sleepless nights and arguments/health problems from financial stress. Ironically we have lost income due to being unable to work from those health problems in the last year or two. We are university educated, and have saved virtually every $$ for 10 years in order to save for a home. As poor students for the best part of 10 years of full time study and part-time work…. three years on we have grey hairs, wrinkles and a giant student debt to show for it.. and even on a “reasonable income” it’s not enough or even nearly compensate for ACTs high housing prices.. in fact we would have been better having never gone to university. Now we have a mortgage of close to $500,000 for an outer suburban home in Canberra (including our $80,000 deposit we managed to save by having no life financially speaking and perhaps literally in some ways for 10 years- massive sacrifices). It will take us a further 12 years to even potentially catch up financially to the lowest average income earners from income lost through study (maybe longer, maybe never). We have thus far been poor for our entire lives since leaving our parents home at 18. The years of cheerful student poverty long gone in our early twenties. The psychological impact of being permanently poverty stricken, especially after gruelling through punishing years of study for high level qualifications, is chronically accumulative and probably more devastating than had we “never even tried” and gone out and gotten the first bum job that came along. We thought that finally now, we might be comfortable or that the effort and stress would pay off. Instead we are much poorer than all our peers, have less access that anything that makes life enjoyable (no holidays, virtually EVER (except job related moving for jobs if you can count that after nearly 10 relocations in the land of permantly renting and following jobs through the land), no haircuts, few clothes, arguing over broccoli, no outings or activities or hobbies that cost money etc.) and still cannot afford to have children whilst most of our friends do. We cannot afford to fix the car, the roof of the house that needs a repair and other essential costs. We can barely afford to go to a dentist. Work for the APS. Waking at 3am due to chronic financial stress related depression doesn’t leave much room for a high level of motivation in the morning. To top that, living in Canberra makes our wage to house price ratio so that our wages are the equivalent of having a job with 30% less income than living in Melbourne (from Melb. originally). With this is mind- for having the highest level of qualification available academically and all the associated lost year of wages we are on the equivalent wage to housing ratio of being a 21 year old supervisor at Maccas in the outer burbs of Melbourne or a well paid receptionist just out of high-school and at this rate will be poorer than people that never bothered to try to get a better job for most of our lives. You can only imagine the impact psychologically… we want to have children soon, we have already waited the best part of a decade to be ‘sensible’ financially sound parents.. thinking now it would finally happen. Now we realise we still cannot afford to have children. Recently a gyno. informed us that if we have any chance of having them at all it is ‘now or never’ basically. We are counting down to considering raising a family.. not feeling secure and financially sound (as planned for, for over 10 years)- rather not knowing if we will be able to afford to feed our family, keep the house or put shoes on their feet and having chronic health problems from stress.

      • BobinOz January 19, 2013, 5:44 pm |

        I have no idea what I can say to this one Heythere, other than I hope your situation improves soon and you are able to start a family. I’d certainly consider moving, if I were you, but obviously I do not know your full circumstances and moving may be out of the question.

        Good luck!

        • chris February 5, 2013, 2:28 pm |

          Several points being made here:
          one. it doesn’t necessarily pay to get tertiary education, but it definitely improves the chances of getting secure employment in big cities. The persistent illusion that university meant privileged lifestyle was long ago dispelled.
          two. taking on a mortgage is a financial choice, but not one wisely reommended to someone who fears losing his sole source of income. You borrowed half a million dollars? What were you drinking? What was the lender smoking?
          three. if you want to have a baby, Australia makes it easier now than ever before. Kids are heavily subsidised by the system from before they start school (or are even born) till they leave home, in sickness and in health. Yes, parents still have to feed and clothe them at private expense.

          five. no matter how sorry you feel for yourselves there are others worse off than you.

          • BobinOz February 5, 2013, 8:53 pm |

            Some good points, but I want to know what number four was? Or maybe I don’t? 🙂

            Thanks Chris!

            • cucumber August 1, 2013, 9:35 pm |

              80K + 60K together is not bad at all.. know alot of couples on less than that with a mortgage and family…

              • Jemma August 14, 2013, 4:22 pm |

                single mum with 3 kids on $70k per year. If you guys can not survive on $140k per year, then there is something not quite right, you are living beyond your means.

                I manage on $70k.. my kids are not underfeed, not under dressed, they have nice belongings, always have had, the average wage in australia in 2013 is $48k per year. Hairdressers and lots of other industries earn less.

                food for thought I would say, look at your bills and what you have committed to if you can not survive.

                • BobinOz August 14, 2013, 8:44 pm |

                  Average full-time salary in Australia is around $70,000 a year, you can check that out on my post called Hard Yakka. $48,000 per year is median salary and includes part-time workers.

                  Cheers, Bob

                • Dan September 12, 2015, 12:13 am |

                  The 70k he mentioned is also brought up my the small percent of people earning 159k+

                  You are correct that more Australians earn your specified amount

                  • BobinOz September 13, 2015, 6:10 pm |

                    Yes, that’s kind of how averages work, we can’t do anything about that Dan.

      • Carly November 26, 2013, 9:03 pm |

        Poverty stricken??? Are you serious?! Have you any idea how negative you sound. Maybe you should take a trip to Africa and then you would know what poverty was! And yes you should be able to afford it. You are earning a good income between you. I live in the city in Sydney and my husband and I live comfortably on $100,000 between us. I have no idea what you are doing with all that money you are earning. You don’t know how lucky you are. I know I sound harsh but I think it’s time you gave yourself a shake and start being thankful for what you have.

      • Elsie January 15, 2015, 4:06 am |

        We too live in ACT in outer suburbia, so I’m comparing apples with apples here. We have a single income of $68,000 before tax after many years studying like yourselves. We’re 10 years older in our late 30s-early 40s, and have 3 children. 2 children have special needs and high medical expenses & we pay at least $10,000/year in specialist Dr bills, medicines, medical equipment etc. We also get some publicly funded services for our children, but I’m only calculating our out of pocket expenses for things not covered by the public purse. We cannot afford health insurance as the lifetime loading at our age makes it prohibitive on our income & the benefits wouldn’t make much of a dent in our $10k outgoings anyway. I’ll concede that our mortgage is smaller at ‘only’ $450,000 compared to your $500,000 and I assume we pay less tax….because there’s less to pay tax on. We have a health care card from Centrelink for one child & so get his prescriptions at a discounted rate (the other 4 of us pay the usual PBS fee and full price for all private scripts), but even with that valuable concession, our medical expenses cost as much as a lavish holiday. Like you, we do not have holidays or go out & we wear clothes from op shops or Target purchased at end of season sales (though we still get lots of comments about how well dressed we are. We like to look nice, but we do it on a teeny tiny clothing budget). At $80k we would enjoy great family holidays, like QLD to visit a theme park every couple of years or Sydney to watch a show. At $120k/annum we’d treat the kids to a week at Disney World. You have chosen to pay off your mortgage over “12-15+ years”, how fortunate you are to be able to choose to be free from your mortgage in such a short time. We had no choice but to take the 30 year option as it is simply not feasible for us to pay it off sooner. We will pay off our home when my husband turns 73, but it seems you will be mortgage free by your mid 40s, I’ve never heard of anyone living in poverty owning their home outright at such a young age. We choose to send 2 of our children to a modestly priced private Canberra high school and we pay full fees with no fee concession or assistance from family (I can’t gripe about the cost of this luxury as we could opt for public school, but we choose to make sacrifices elsewhere to manage this). If we can support 5 people on $68k gross in Canberra, paying $23k on mortgage, $10k medical expenses, $12k school fees leaving the after tax balance for food, cars, utilities, clothes, phone, insurance, Internet (necessary for high school students) etc then you are not poor or living in poverty. We are not living below the poverty line, so I’m not sure how you figure you are. I don’t mean to sound harsh and I don’t doubt you struggle to pay everything, but assuming you don’t have any other non typical, but essential expenses then your money is disappearing more rapidly than it seems it should be The proof is in the pudding really, if 5 people with some extraordinary expenses can live in Canberra on $68k, then 2 people without massive medical bills can comfortably live in Canberra on the same & extremely comfortably on significantly more. We’re not special and don’t need a pat on the back, we just choose to live within our means & aside from HECS & mortgage, are debt free…if we can’t afford it, we can’t have it (eg, we got a flat screen TV 12 months ago after our old tube TV stopped working. We are particular about where and on which days we buy our fresh produce to get cheaper prices, we rarely have takeaway, we own sufficient tech gadgets to meet our needs, but don’t have and don’t need the latest & best, we do our own home maintenence where possible and so on). We don’t feel as though we’re missing out on anything. There’s things we want, but there’s nothing else we need (except maybe to see our children well & developing normally). You are not the only person I know of on a good income who uses words like poverty & poor to describe their financial situation. I guess ‘poverty’ can be a matter of attitude because I’m very very rich and I have everything I need and more. I truly hope you are able to see how fortunate you are before the poverty mindset and ‘why me’ attitude makes you miserable. I hope your stress related illness is overcome. When finances are getting me down I find focusing on those worse off puts things into perspective. With a roof over my head, food in my belly, clean clothes & medicine when I’m sick I’m far wealthier than 95% of the people in the world.
        For those considering moving to Canberra from UK, I wouldn’t say $68k is a comfortable place to be financially for a family with children, because it is a struggle at times, but it can be done. The 5 of us could live quite comfortably on $80k with domestic holidays &;other luxuries.

        • BobinOz January 15, 2015, 10:01 pm |

          You say you don’t want a pat on the back Elsie, so I won’t give you one, but hopefully you won’t mind me politely applauding. We all hear too many people whingeing along the lines of ‘it’s not fair’ but for everyone of those we hear there are people like yourself quietly getting on with it and not complaining.

          Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

          Heythere, you’ve had quite a few replies now, we haven’t heard from you for a while. Hopefully some of these comments have put your plight into perspective, it would be nice to hear back from you if you get the chance.

      • jtf April 4, 2015, 2:08 pm |

        Sell your house. That will give you near instant cash that will allow you to have kid.. Although 20s is not late at all…35+ starts getting late. I will bet you your ob/ gyn did not say now or never before 30.
        Many good suburbs in Canberra to rent for families. Alternatively, you might look interstate such as brisbane where costs are a bit less than Canberra and offer more employment opportunities. Syd and melb will offer the most opps, but are priced accordingly.

        • Bill in CBR June 3, 2015, 11:40 am |

          or you could just rent your home out – and rent yourself. It’s an instant way to increase your disposable income, AND you get to keep your house.

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