How much does it cost to live in Australia?

I’ve published the same post in Finnish (you can read here).

Money. A topic that usually interests everyone. I wish I got a dollar every time when someone asks how I’m able to afford my lifestyle.  I’m currently living in Melbourne, and living in the most liveable city in the world surely comes with a price. This is the second most expensive city in Australia after Sydney and according to a survey by the Economist, the sixth most expensive city in the world. However, I work only part-time and still can save money every month for my future travels. So is living here that expensive after all? I decided to find out. For a month I saved all my receipts and added up all my costs of living, food and activities and now I’m going to reveal it all to you.




I’m sharing a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment that is located in Melbourne CBD near Queen Victoria Market and Melbourne Central. I share the flat with three other girls. The rent is due fortnightly and it is 160 AUD per week, all the bills included. So some months I pay the rent twice, some months three times.

This time I paid the rent three times, which was 960 AUD (677 €) altogether.



My diet is not a typical backpacker diet consisting of goon, white toast, noodles and the cheapest sausages. I try to eat healthy, a lot of veggies and fruits, lean meats and fish. The way I’m trying to cut my food costs  is by preparing my own lunch to work instead of just grabbing something from a deli or a sushi restaurant. I try to keep eating out as kind of a special treat even though with a restaurant selection like the one in Melbourne, it is proving to be a bit difficult.

I spent 391 dollars on food and drinks (that is somewhat 275 euros).

Moving around


I’m lucky to live and work within a free tram zone so I rarely need to use my Myki card (you need this card to pay for your public transport in Melbourne). I usually top up my card with 20 AUD in a month (14 €) and use it for example to visit St Kilda beach.

Mobile phone plan

For someone coming from Finland, the land of Nokia, mobile phone plans in Australia are ridiculously expensive. Back home I used to pay ONE EURO a month for a limitless mobile phone data and here they haven’t even heard of the concept. Anyway, here I’m with Optus and pay around 30 dollars (21 €) per month for my phone plan. Luckily I have limitless wifi included in my rent.



I would consider this blog as my hobby but at least for now it doesn’t cost me anything. I also go to the gym that is conveniently located on the ground floor of my building. I pay 73,45 dollars (52 euros) for that. It is not cheap but I just value the convenience of being able just to take the lift downstairs.

Other activities and expenses


I’m a bit boring (read: old) and don’t feel like going out very often. That’s why I don’t spend a lot of money on drinking or partying. And because I have to be able to fit everything into my backpack when I’ll continue my travels, I can’t by a lot of clothes or other stuff either. I rather spend all the extra money on experiences rather than stuff. When I buy these ‘other activities’, it usually means tours or trips to other cities or places around Australia. And that is expensive but it is another story.

This time I spent only 73,54 dollars (52 euros) on a couple of drinks and one trip to IKEA.



If you are planning to move to another country, it is very important to find out the cost of living, and I hope that this post will help those planning to come to Australia. Remember that these expenses are based on my personal experiences and my preferences considering living, eating and spending my free time, and these things vary from a person to person. Remember also that if you’re planning to come here as a tourist, you are looking at spending at least 100 – 150 dollars a day per person. Staying longer periods in one place is a lot cheaper and that is the reason why I have chosen to spend the next months enjoying the warm summer days in Melbourne.

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