It’s hard to calculate just how much change you would have to get accustomed to when living in a different country. Settling down in a new house, in a new neighborhood, all of it can take some time.
But after a month of two, you should be able to find your way in and around Melbourne with ease either by train, tram, or bus. You can easily map out where the nearest convenience store is , where the post is so you can drop your mail, where the bottle shop is so you can grab a cider or two, and of course, the nearest market or grocery for fresh produce.
You can easily build your routine within a few weeks, but how much is the change going to cost you? I have tried my hardest to research about the cost of living in Australia. So far, there isn’t a concrete or fixed amount out there. I guess it all depends on the lifestyle you live and what you can afford. But, to give you a rough idea and maybe help you manage your budget, here is a list of expenditures you can expect on a weekly basis for a couple with no kids:
The closer you are to the city, the pricier and the smaller your unit or apartment becomes. The same holds true for really popular streets or neighborhoods. Nevertheless, you would be spending roughly $300 – $350 per week on rent for a 1 bedroom apartment located near the CBD.
2. Health Care
For a couple, you would be spending roughly $100 every 2 weeks for health care coverage. The estimates vary if you are availing private health care, which policy, and other extras.
Every week, I try to keep my grocery down to a maximum of $50. However, that budget can be very limiting especially if you like variety in your diet. It also doesn’t include any toiletries and other household effects like cleaners.
Remember, almost all products are priced at $1 per piece or more. This partial list, as of December 2012, costs roughly $23. Imagine if you add in your beef, chicken, pork and other produce, not to mention your rice, it’ll only cost more.
2 Litre Milk $2.00
250g Butter $1.40
500g Spaghetti $0.69
750g Bread $3.50
Brown Vinegar $0.95
1 Dozen Caged Eggs $2.90
2 Litre Pineapple Juice $2.77
1 kg Cashmere Potatoes $2.98
1pc Iceberg Lettuce $0.90
250g Strawberries $1.98
1kg Tomatoes $2.50
Electricity is responsible not only for your refrigerator and television, but also your electric stove/ oven and your hot water, unless, of course, it runs on gas. Your bill might run up to $100 per month or more with additional appliances in the house such as dishwasher, dryer, or heater.
Depending on your tenancy contract, water bills are due quarterly or yearly, and may or may not be paid by your landlord. Please check with your agent accordingly.
Buy a prepaid sim for $2 and load up. Network to network text messaging is free, but other than that, you need to pay for calls and data. Without international calls, you may spend just $30 a month.
If you have applied for an ADSL connection, it may cost anywhere from $49/month or more, depending on your data plan. On the other hand, if you have bought a prepaid internet kit, you may spend more than that if you are unaware of your consumption. If you make video calls every day, watch a ton of Youtube videos, and download a lot of files, you can spend $25 in an instant. A budget of $20-30 per week is good for a modest use.
If you commute to the city everyday by train or tram, you may spend roughly $30 per week, excluding Saturdays and Sundays.
8. Take away
Running errands can leave you hungry. Sometimes, you just have to grab a bite to eat. The cheapest ones out there are $5 pies and $5 baguettes. Wash it down with $3 coffee and it’s a simple break you can indulge yourself in. Yes, indulge. Australia makes great coffee.
9. Dining out
A plate of grub can cost anywhere from $10 to $18 and it all depends on where you eat. An average meal costs $10, be it TexMex, Vietnamese, Chinese, or Fish and Chips.
Ticket for two at the cinemas can cost anywhere from $40 – $50. A walk in the park or on the beach, free.
Now, you have a more realistic figure for your household when it comes to making your weekly or monthly budget. Hope it helps you. If you have better ideas, why don’t you share your own thoughts and tips!
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