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Australia - Cost of Living

When moving to Australia the cost of living is an important issue. You need to be aware just how much you would be spending on everyday life in order to determine if the move is a cost effective one for you. Overall the cost of living in Australia is considered to be very similar to that in the UK and the US and it has remained fairly steady in recent years, with Australia not experiencing the same level of recession that has been seen in the UK and the US.

Those who enjoy eating out at restaurants will find that the cost is on a par with that in the UK and the UK. To eat a meal in a relatively inexpensive restaurant can cost an average of $16 per person, while a meal for 2 at a mid-range eatery can cost in the region of $60 for 3 courses. Fast food prices are on a par with the UK and the US and if you purchase alcohol in a restaurant you will find that cost is fairly high at around $6 per half litre and higher for a bottle of beer.

When purchasing groceries you will find that some items are a little more expensive than when buying in the UK, with the average loaf of bread costing more than $3. A mid-range bottle of wind can be in the region of $13.50 and 1 litre of milk costs almost $2. If you are a smoker then you will find that the cost of cigarettes is nearly $15 which is more expensive than in the UK. A 1.5 litre bottle of mineral water costs on average $2.50.

If you regularly use public transportation then you may be interested in buying a monthly pass for buses. The cost will depend upon the area you are in but the average is more than $90. Single tickets cost on average $3.50 and a 5 km taxi ride within a city centre costs on average $14. The cost of purchasing a mid-range car is more than $27k.

Running a home is going to be one of your main concerns and the average cost of all utilities combined such as gas, electric and water is around $160 per month. Those who want to have an internet connection and are not paying for a special rate bundle will find the average monthly cost in the region of $48. If you are paying rent then a one bedroom apartment in a city centre varies wildly, depending upon the city. The most expensive are in Sydney, with rents for a small apartment at more than $2k per month. In some cities they can be as low as $500 per month. If you want a small apartment but are prepared to live away from the city centre then the average cost is just over $1000, with some cities offering small apartments for around $300 per month in the suburbs.

To rent a large apartment in the city centre then the average cost will be more than $2200, with some cities having apartments which cost more than $3600 to rent each month. A similar sized apartment in the suburbs will cost in the region of $1500, although some cities will have apartments that cost much less than this. The cost of buying an apartment looks at the price per square metre, with city centre apartments costing on average $6700 per square metre and those outside the city centre costing just over $4400 per square metre.

For leisure time a visit to a cinema for one person costs on average $15 and if you want to join a gym then the monthly fee can be in the region of $75, although this will depend upon the gym and can be more than $120. Clothes shopping can be expensive with branded jeans costing more than $90 in some shops and the average cost of a dress in a low price store such as H&M costing more than $50.

Salaries vary a great deal depending upon the area and the type of industry you are in but the average national take home pay for the first quarter of 2011 was just over $3800 per month.

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