The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything…

How much is ……?

Water

Let me tell you.

When I first moved to Australia in 2007, shopping online wasn’t what I was used to back in the UK. Most major stores had a website, but they weren’t quite ‘finished’.

By that, I mean almost all websites had a picture of their store, a way of finding where the store was, the telephone number of the store, but very rarely had any information about their products and almost always no pricing.

If you did find exactly what you are looking for, with full details of the product and the price, it would invariably turn out to be a site from the US. Their $ sign and Australia’s $ sign both look like $.

Today it’s a much different story, which is why I can present to you….

The cost of absolutely everything in Australia!

But before you check out all these prices, a word of warning. If you take these prices and convert the Australian cost into your currency, you will not be left with a fair reflection of the cost of living in Australia. Why?

If the Australian dollar is strong against your currency, then Australia will appear to be a very expensive country to live in. If the Aussie dollar is weak against your currency, Australia will seem like a cheap country.

But when you live here and earn Australian money, exchange rates mean nothing. And as salaries here are generally higher than the countries, prices won’t seem so bad once you’re here.

But to understand this fully, you need to read the following two posts…

Now we’re ready for the cost of everything……

Houses:

I’ve got a separate page for that…..

Cars:

Here are some great resources for checking out the price of cars in Australia. The first one is the big one; it’s where both private sellers and dealers can advertise their cars for sale online.

Here are some other options to search for second hand cars, in fact all…

Second Hand Stuff

Ideal for new arrivals to Australia looking to pick up some cheap furniture, maybe a car, or even somewhere to live

Food:

Our two major supermarkets here are called Coles and Woolworths. We used to have a couple of independent websites that would check both of these supermarkets prices side-by-side, but sadly those websites no longer exist. So it’s down to checking out Coles and Woolworths separately…

So click below to find out the prices for your grocery shopping…

Utilities:

This is a difficult one, because there is gas, electricity, water and telephony as well as rates. Prices vary from state to state too and with eight states there would be a lot of links.

To make things worse, utility companies hide their pricing structures behind plans, tariffs, peak times, off-peak times, they build in surcharges, standing charges and sometimes make the whole lot inaccessible by insisting you enter your address and postcode before giving you a price.

But I hope these links help.

Electricity:

I have a couple of posts about electricity prices…

And solar…

Water:

Water prices in Australia are the best kept secret in the world. I am flabbergasted at how difficult it is to find the price of water from these utility companies. Do you think they are trying to hide something? Here are links to what I think are five of our states water suppliers.

Here’s a tip though, don’t bother trying to look for prices, life is too short.

The information is probably there, although you’ll need to dig deep. But on top of water, there are also sewerage costs. And I know, there are 3 more states to go, but as a guide, you’d be better off reading my post about it…

Telephony:

The national telephone company here in Australia is called Telstra. You can find out about their various plans here…

I found them way too expensive, especially for international calls. So I set up a VoIP telephone system which wasn’t that difficult to do. This is the company I used…

You can read my post about it here….

And of course, there are mobile phones too. I used to 3, but they have now been taken over by Vodafone. You will get better countrywide coverage with Telstra, but these people are much cheaper…

But if you really want to research all of your telephony needs, these are the guys to visit…

Rates:

Rates vary from state to state, from council to council and from one year to the next. So I won’t list them all here. But if you search Google for “average council rates” you will get an idea. But make sure you search the Australian one….

I did compare my council tax back in the UK with my rates now that I’m here in Australia though, you might want to read that article and look at the comments…

Clothing and small household items:

The following three stores are amongst the most popular in Australia for what I used to know as “department stores”. So they are like a mix of John Lewis, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer’s, but if anything, a little downmarket. You can buy all sorts of stuff from these people and their websites now show pictures and prices….

Insurances:

There are hundreds of insurance companies, all will require you to speak with them at length before they will quote you a price. We did, (well Mrs BobinOz did) and these are the companies we chose for our insurances. That doesn’t mean they are the best, but they were good enough for us and we haven’t been disappointed with the service we have received from any of them.

Electrical goods:

This is one of Australia’s biggest electrical goods retailers, but more important than that, they have a good website….

Entertainment:

I’ve divided entertainment into 3 sections, alcohol, TV and going to the pub! Use these links to find the prices of alcohol and your digital TV package.

I’ve got quite a lot of posts about going out drinking, here’s a few of them….

Find bargains here:

We don’t have a proper Amazon here, but we have a digital one…

These people offer physical good though…

And for product reviews, go here….

If it’s a geeky product though, this is the site for you…

And with that, I think I’ve covered everything.

More useful links:

But if I haven’t, and you can’t get what you’re looking for from here, then I just don’t know. Well, I do, this lot sell everything….

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Open a bank account in Australia
{ 167 comments… add one }
  • Jyoti September 30, 2017, 5:18 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I just loved your website. It’s so helpful to plan things before packing ourselves there. My husband and I have applied for a PR under 189 Visa and it’s currently under process. We both work in Information security domain and expecting our PR to come by this year end.
    My doubt is how much is the cost of living as per the below category per month in Melbourne if we are staying in the city and not suburbs. Thanks in advance for your time.

    Category
    Average Rented Stay per month
    Food per month
    Utilities per month
    Decent salary to sustain per person
    Travel
    Weekend Entertainment
    Tax per month depending on the salary

    Note: Our field has lot of vacancies in Melbourne and the salary would range around $65-150AUD. So let us know the minimum and maximum salary to have a decent life.
    Looking forward. Thanks Again!! 🙂

    • BobinOz October 2, 2017, 8:45 pm | Link

      Yes, lots of questions, but I’ve written pages and articles about every single subject you have mentioned. Have a look around this website, use the Google search box towards the top right hand side of every page to help you find what you need.

      Good luck, Bob

  • THIRION Jean September 7, 2017, 5:55 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    Thanks for your very usefull tips and links !

    Me and my wife are relocating to Sydney next month, coming from Europe (Luxembourg). We both secured jobs and we’ll earn a cumulated 220k AU$, compared to a 120-130k € here. Our lifestyle is mostly average i’d say. Do you think we can keep up with this kind of earnings ? The rents are crazy high in Sydney, my wife is quite affraid of going back to our student lives, when we had to calculate everytime we wanted to buy something or go out for a restaurant…

    Thanks alots !

    • BobinOz September 9, 2017, 12:11 am | Link

      You are right, rents are crazily high in Sydney, so the key to this for you is to choose somewhere to live that isn’t so ridiculously expensive. Keep your accommodation costs down and you will be fine.

      220k AUD is a very healthy income. I always say that if you can earn twice as much in Aussie dollars as you are earning in UK pounds, and I know the euro and the pound very close, then you’ll be fine here in Australia. On that basis, I think you will be able to maintain your standard of living, and enjoy the odd meal in a restaurant.

      Just try and keep your rental costs down. Use my page Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia to do some research into where you can live to keep those costs at a minimum without paying too much in travelling costs to get to where you both are going to work.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Oz Halil August 19, 2017, 5:14 am | Link

    Hi Bob, i am looking to relocate to brisbane in november i have secured a job and were a family of 4 would you say that you can live in brisbane on this salary?

    Also we wish to bring our 2 pet chihuahua and struggling to find anywhere with costs for this?

    Any help would be great.

    Oz

    • Oz Halil August 19, 2017, 5:15 am | Link

      Sorry meant €70k

      • BobinOz August 20, 2017, 8:24 pm | Link

        €70k or $70k AUD? There is a big difference.

        To get help with your dogs, you need to telephone a local pet exporter, they will be able to quote you prices.

  • Alison July 21, 2017, 5:40 pm | Link

    Hi Bob
    Working in Perth for 12 months from November 17. We were hoping to be able to lease a car for the year, but can’t find much information other than purchase or business leases. Is this doable in Oz and if so, what kind of prices should we expect for a small car?
    Thanks

    • BobinOz July 21, 2017, 7:47 pm | Link

      Well, I used to work in finance back in England in the 80s and 90s, at that time and in that country leasing was only available to businesses, not to private individuals.

      But of course, ‘lease’ is just the name, so maybe you should search for ‘long-term car rental’ to see what comes up. Maybe even add ‘for private individuals’.

      With the internet being what it is these days, there are quite a few websites springing up where you can just borrow cars temporarily, for a fee of course, but maybe something exists where you can borrow them for a long time.

      This is a very long winded way of saying ‘I don’t really know’ 🙂

      • Alison Carr July 21, 2017, 11:46 pm | Link

        Thanks for the reply. I’ll look into it 😊

  • Col B June 7, 2017, 2:59 am | Link

    Hi, Bob, a survey l read yest’day in Bigpond (Sky news) about which supermarkets is cheapest any side of the Black Stump. Aldi is cheapest, Coles is most expensive, Woolworths is in the middle.
    http://www.skynews.com.au/business/business/company/2017/06/06/aldi-cheapest-among-supermarket-rivals.html?ref=BP_LINKLIST_features-list_SKY_aldi-deemed-cheapest-among-supermarket-rivals_060617

    • Mark June 7, 2017, 10:27 am | Link

      Yes Aldi has won the survey but of course it likely would They have won many an award in UK…I remember seeing the newly opened Aldi in Knutsford near my home it was even featured on TV Id say there was easily over a million pounds worth of cars in the car park…Its fashionable to be seen at Aldi nowadays…We also have Lidl on its way First its big brother comes kaufland which is a bit like a Costco (US company) or Makro (Dutch outfit) Lidl is a sister company to kaufland in a group called Schwarz Once Lidl arrive and Amazon are setting up it will likely enforce more competition

      • BobinOz June 8, 2017, 12:00 am | Link

        Interesting link, I had a quick look, I thought it was a bit weird. Aldi are definitely a cheap supermarket, but from what I know about supermarket shopping (very limited, Mrs Bob is head of that department) the selection in Aldi is very limited. They have less choice.

        So, back to the weirdness of the article, they seem to have done two different shopping carts. The first appears to have been normal stuff available from both Coles and Woolworths, Coles were a couple of dollars dearer for the 33 items at $170. So not much in it.

        Then they did a second shop of ‘budget’ items, and Aldi were cheapest at $102 compared with $112 and $113 (21 cents difference in fact) from the other two.

        For me, I think the conclusion is get what you can from Aldi and if it’s not available there, get it from one of the other two, there’s really not much difference between them both.

        It’s all good though, because any competition for the big two keeps them on their toes and when those other supermarkets come in, that Mark has mentioned, then maybe grocery shopping here can become even more competitive.

        • Mark June 8, 2017, 10:52 am | Link

          Yes you have to shop around grab what you can where you can..I wasnt going to reply t this comment again but my son and I went last night, we just wanted potatoes and came out with 2 cases that’s 12 per case of HP Sauce…Brown Sauce, Bob $3.50 a tub I think it was….My lips are salivating for a pastie or bacon egg and sausage mushrooms come Saturday morning…Its amazing what can be looked forward to..

    • Col B June 8, 2017, 7:41 am | Link

      Some people tell me that Aldi has less varieties too, it’s like l want to buy some lite cheese l would find fewer different brand names of the same ingredient instead of up to a boggling dozen different brands of the same ingredient that you see lined along the fridge-shelf in each of the other big two.
      I guess l’m unlike half the townshoppers of which do not find some things they’re after so they find it in the other two.
      As a frequent and long-time customer, Aldi infrequently stocks some products that were never available for me before, and that some products are never on the stock-taking list, or in the case of some regular listed products were sold out of stock until the next stock-taking day.
      Did you know that Aldi is even more cheaper every tuesday (the day before their weekly stock-taking?).

      • BobinOz June 8, 2017, 6:08 pm | Link

        No, I didn’t really realise that Tuesdays can be cheaper, but I do know I can never resist walking in to an Aldi whenever I’m passing, because they always have some sort of bargain or other in those centre aisles.

        I think it’s a really clever marketing ploy of theirs to get things in that are one-offs and when they’re gone they’re gone, you can’t beat the threat of something selling out to encourage people to buy now.

  • Kelly March 17, 2017, 11:13 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, we have just rented a place in Melbourne, now need to purchase furniture. Can you help with a few furniture chain store names? we would like to go to a physical store 🙂 thanks for any tips!

    • Mark March 18, 2017, 4:49 pm | Link

      There is a road Dandenong to Frankston If you find Coffey Ford online and find the road that runs to Frankston from the side of Coffey Fords place you will come to a section of it where every furniture multiple and independent is located with Super A Mart on one corner and Fantastic furniture and Sleep king (annoying sales lady in there) but they are all in one p;lace approx 20 of them assuming you are that side of Melbourne If you buying decent stuff I have a friend at an importer who will sell what sleep king or Harvey Norman sell for say $5000 for £2200 for a full bedroom suite that’s a big suite though,. Hope this helps for now

      • Kelly March 18, 2017, 5:43 pm | Link

        Thanks Mark, will check them out 🙂 We are renting in Abbotsford, these places seem to all be a bit further out. We might end up going to IKEA instead >_<

        • Mark March 18, 2017, 5:58 pm | Link

          Ikea Springvale is good and your not that far from the road I mentioned Its a day job mooching looking comparing but they are all in one place which in the long run saves venue to venue…Watch yourself with Ikea as the bed sizing is pretty what their own and does not match with Aus bedding to well..
          .

          • Kelly March 18, 2017, 9:51 pm | Link

            Thanks Mark! True about Ikea bedding… We will go check that road tomorrow! 🙂

            • BobinOz March 19, 2017, 8:16 pm | Link

              The plus side with IKEA though is that you get to take the furniture away with you on the same day. In most of the other stores you will need to wait for delivery and some items will need to be ordered in and can take up to 12 weeks to show up, particularly for settees.

              Beds are normally delivered a bit quicker though, I think. Happy shopping.

  • J. Swathi March 9, 2017, 7:18 pm | Link

    Hii bob, i want some information about australia. Actually we r from india now my husband wants to come there. Iam currently living with my husband and 2 children. The kids r 10 years and 7 years. I would like to apply for australia pr. Now currently he is working as a data analyst in ford. What would you suggest. Is it better to work here or shift to australia?

    • BobinOz March 10, 2017, 1:20 am | Link

      Well, if you want information about Australia, you’ve come to the right place. Over 1400 pages of stuff all about Australia on this website. For sure, if you get the chance, I would move to Australia if I were you. I did, over nine years ago, no regrets.

      Have a good look around my website J, you will find out a lot about what it’s like to live in Australia.

  • J. Swathi March 9, 2017, 7:05 pm | Link

    Hii

  • Sarah March 3, 2017, 3:06 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    Myself and my husband along with our 10 yr old daughter & two staffie dogs, are looking into the big move to Australia, from Wales! I’m a nurse and soon to qualify as a Health visitor, husband is currently in the RAF.
    Wonderimg if there a good time to do it, or just to do it?!

    • Mark March 3, 2017, 6:36 am | Link

      I was so tempted to write just do it but that’s so easy…We started the process just over two years ago and have been here a year and a half nearly…Not the longevity of Bob but even he is a mere pup compared to some…Read through the comments on here..Even read Fred’s amusing 10 reasons not to move to Australia…There is a lot of comments and if you read between the lines, all good. Even the moving animals page whilst full of bad is just a few folk compared to the far higher number that come in. Choose your city to aim for then find your suburbs you may like…Sort the Visa and if you follow this site there is a lot of help even what to bring Tvs Car even…Your just in time for your little one at high school by the time the visa is in. I think you had answered you own question above because whilst Australia is not for some, for many it is and its still massively growing with a population nearly a third of the UK on land 33 times the size. Good luck!! .

      • BobinOz March 3, 2017, 7:47 pm | Link

        I’d go as far as to say yes, do it now. Now is the best time, because it does take a year or often more to sort out the visa and before you know it, your daughter will be 12 or 13 and the older they are the harder it is to convince them to leave their friends behind.

        As Mark has said, if you can sort it out and get here in time for her to start senior school, that would be perfect.

  • Vaibhav February 22, 2017, 6:38 pm | Link

    Hello Bob,

    I am moving to Austrailia with my Daughter and Wife so how much would be the expenses including rent, transport, utilities, optic fibre, mobile pack, grocery, kid school fees.

    How much if we want to hire a helper.

    Please suggest.

    Thanks
    Vaibhav

    • Mark February 22, 2017, 7:08 pm | Link

      Pretty what all your answer are in the links above go through them then anything you cant find an answer to Happy to help

  • Ravi Kapur January 2, 2017, 11:42 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    I’m 30 years old, currently living in India. I’ve lived in Australia before and have a Master degree in Business from a very good Australian University. I’m considering moving to Australia, Melbourne in particular and start a carrier in Real Estate (Become an agent). Do you think it will be a good time or the right time??

    • BobinOz January 3, 2017, 9:18 pm | Link

      I think there have been better times to move to Australia, certainly around the rest of the country, but Melbourne (and Sydney) both still have very good economies. I don’t think there is a good time or the right time, there’s probably just a do it time.

      Only you can decide if you want to do it now, and it is a big decision because there are no guarantees it will work out. Good luck whatever you decide though.

  • Amresh Anand December 25, 2016, 2:38 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    I am from India and I am thinking about applying for PR for Oz. I am 39 years old and my wife is 38 and we have a 9 year old kid. Just wanted to have a fair advise from you.
    My wife is a Senior secondary school teacher here in India. Her profile is coming under sub class 189 for Australian PR.
    What kind of opportunities r available for secondary school teachers in Australia. How hard is it to get job after PR?

    I am working in a bank in India on a middle management level and my wife is working as a Secondary school teacher.
    Currently our joint earning is approx INR 2 lacs per month. I am 39 years old and my wife 38.
    Is it a wise decision to immigrate at this time. We both plan to work in Australia.

  • Shaik December 22, 2016, 5:37 pm | Link

    Hello Bob,
    I am currently based in Singapore working as a Software Developer of around 5 years of experience. I had started my PR application process. I am applying with my wife.
    May I know which part of Oz has more exposure to IT field and also which place will be good to start our living?

    • Mark December 23, 2016, 7:10 am | Link

      Hi Shaik If you read through a lot of the stuff on here or google it You will generally find the better job prospects might be in Sydney Melbourne or Brisbane, The more volume of population the more likelihood of businesses wanting staff, though of course that comes with competition as well for said jobs which is arguably higher than even nowadays.

  • Kavitha September 28, 2016, 3:14 am | Link

    Hi bob,
    I am currently living with my husband and two children in Dubai, the kids are 10 and 8 yrs old… From my kids point of view I see Australia will be the right place for their education.I would like to apply for Australian PR and contacted the MARA agent regarding this , they have suggested us to apply for Adelaide.My husband is eligible to apply for PR.But my concern is about his job, currently he is working as a sales head in Dubai with close to USD 8,000 a month.what would you suggest ?
    Is it better to work here or shift to Australia

  • Paul M August 14, 2016, 11:06 am | Link

    Oz is getting ridiculously expensive. In the two years since we have been here, prices on almost everything have increased dramatically. It’s starting to get silly and I often wonder how those on ‘normal’ wages survive. I earn $200K and live a very, very limited lifestyle (nothing like the lifestyle I was expecting and what made me come here)……far worse than that in the UK while earning a similar wage.

    • BobinOz August 15, 2016, 6:12 pm | Link

      There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever of any dramatic price increases in Australia over the last two years on any particular items. I’ve been running price comparisons between Australia and the UK for eight years now, nothing much has changed in that time.

      Some things are cheaper here in Australia, some things are cheaper in the UK. In terms of cost of living, there’s really not much to choose between the two countries. $200k is a lot of money to earn, I am at a loss to even begin to comprehend how you can only manage a very limited lifestyle on those kinds of wages.

      For more details of my cost comparisons, see…

      https://www.bobinoz.com/blog/category/cost-of-living-in-australia/

  • Nhat Tran August 14, 2016, 1:03 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I’m finding your advice is very useful to me but it’s most appreciative if you could tell about some main points of living in Darwin, Northen Territory, Australia. Thanks.

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