November 14, 2016

Do you want to start fresh with a new life in a new country? Do you want to move to Australia? Do you know how much money you need to be able to live comfortably?

It has been an eventful week with the elections in the USA. At Northern Immigration Australia we have had a significant increase in enquiries from people wanting to migrate to Australia. It was a similar scenario after the Brexit referendum in Europe. There are many different Australian visa options available: work visas, student visas, partner visas, business visas, investor visas, skilled visas, visitor visas, family visas, etc. Click here for a full list.

However, getting the visa is only the start of your new life in Australia. Do you know how much money you will need to maintain your current standard of living? To figure it out, it’s a good idea to draw up a budget and compare it to your salary. Here you can find some useful information.

In recent years, Australia has become known as a destination with many job opportunities and a high cost of living due to the strengthening of the Australian dollar and to the rise in house rental prices. According to the 2015 Worldwide cost of living survey in The Economist, Australian cities are ranking under the top 25 most expensive cities in the world, i.e. Sydney is 20th in the world and Melbourne is at 21st.

In comparison, cost of living in Darwin is 8.21% lower than in Sydney. The Numbeo estimator estimates monthly expenses for a single person at $1,082.22 and for a four person family at $3,761.78 (without rent).

How can you as a migrant from overseas ensure that the salary you earn is enough to cover your expenses? First of all you need to draw up a budget.

Cost of living and monthly expenses budget
In terms of individual monthly expenses, figures can be influenced by a wide range of variables. For example the city you choose to move to (Sydney and Melbourne are the most expensive in Australia), how big or luxurious is the accommodation you rent, whether you decide to buy a car or to rely on public transport, and what is your category of Australian visa (this makes a big difference in terms of tax payments, schooling and healthcare costs).

Here you can find some important elements to consider when drawing up a monthly expenses budget for Australia:

  • Rent: Australian cities are expensive places for migrants to live in terms of household accommodation costs. While economists predict that price increases will come to a halt, and perhaps even recede slightly in the next few years, migrants need to be aware that more or less 30 percent of their monthly income might need to cover their rent costs. More information on the website of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
  • Utilities: If you are renting an accommodation in Australia, your landlord is responsible for council rates but you have to pay your own gas, electricity and water bills.
  • Transport: If choosing to have a car, you need to consider compulsory car insurance and petrol. If using public transport, you can check what the costs are in the city you are living. Here you can find some information about MelbourneSydney and Darwin.
  • Healthcare and medical insurance: All Australian taxpayers contribute about two percent of their salary to Medicare, Australia’s national healthcare plan. However, migrants on a working visa are also required to purchase private health insurance to cover themselves while in Australia.
  • Schooling: Schooling costs will depend on the type of visa a migrant is on. Keep in mind that you can find both public and private schools.
  • Tax: It varies according to your visa and to your economic condition. Check the ATO website to get an idea of the Australian tax system.
  • Groceries: This will depend on what you want to buy and where you live. Numbeo website provides a rough estimate of prices for groceries. You can select your own city.
  • Entertainment: Drinking alcohol and eating out is pretty expensive in Australia.

Here you can find the average costs of some products in Australia. A few examples for groceries:

  • Cappuccino $4.08
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) $2.61
  • Milk (1 liter) $1.50
  • Beer (0.5 liter) $7.00
  • Apples (1 Kg) $4.09
  • Lettuce (1 head) $2.44

So what do you think? How much money do you need to maintain your current standard of living?  In what city in Australia would you like to live?

Please share your comments and questions below, or contact us at Northern Immigration Australia.

For people who currently live in the USA and thinking of moving to Australia: In general, cost of living in Australia is 9.35% higher than in the United States of America. Rent in Australia is 8.10% higher than in the USA.

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