Top essential (and non-essential) appliances for your first home

Moving out is expensive, so save your cash for the things you really can't live without.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

Moving is always hard work, but it's even worse when it's your first time doing it. Not only do you have all the stress of packing everything, moving it and unpacking it again, but you also have to purchase a number of appliances for the first time, which can be costly.

To help you out, we've rounded up the home appliances you actually need so you know just where your hard-earned cash should go. We've also included some semi-essential appliances for when you've got a little more money to spare (or to start hinting at when someone mentions a housewarming gift).

Absolute essentials

1. Fridge

Girl with open fridge

Unless you plan on drinking tap water and surviving purely on packet food, you're going to need to invest in a fridge. While whitegoods can be quite expensive, you can definitely find reliable fridge models for under $500.

If you're living on a budget, you may want to consider a model that also features a large freezer so you can stretch your food supply further. With a freezer, you can keep bread from going mouldy and safely store any leftover dinners to pull out on nights when your bank account is looking a little worse for wear.

2. Washing machine

Washing machine and dryer

Next up, you're probably going to invest in a washing machine. Handwashing everything you own is not a fun experience and can prove especially difficult when it comes to washing bedding or towels. Of course, you can always use a laundromat until you can afford one, but this can often be incredibly inconvenient and can also start to add up financially.

Again, whitegoods tend to be on the more expensive end of the price spectrum, but if you shop around you can find a washing machine for less than $400.

Seiki 5kg Front Load Washing Machine
Seiki 5kg Front Load Washing Machine

Appliances Online

3. Microwave

Man microwaving pizza

Even if you don't have an oven, you can get by quite well with a microwave. From reheating food to cooking full meals, microwaves are one of the most user-friendly and convenient appliances you can own. They can cook food much faster than a conventional oven too, which makes them really handy when you're pressed for time.

Microwaves can differ quite a bit when it comes to size, functionality and price, so it's best to do your research before you shop. To find out more about what you should look for in a microwave, check out our best microwaves guide.

Panasonic 20L Compact Microwave Oven
Panasonic 20L Compact Microwave Oven

Appliances Online

4. Kettle

Steaming kettle and mug

As well as providing the means to create a nice hot cup of tea or coffee, kettles are also an incredibly convenient appliance to have if you're quite time-poor. If you're cooking dinner, for instance, you can quickly boil water to cook your veggies in rather than waiting for them to heat up on the stove.

It's also handy when something goes wrong and you find yourself without hot water (it happens). In this case, you can use it to heat water to wash your dishes or to make yourself some emergency noodles for dinner instead of ordering in a meal you can't really afford.

5. Vacuum cleaner

Man vacuuming

Though it can be a pain, vacuuming not only makes your place look cleaner, but it also helps to rid your place of dust and other allergens that can aggravate allergies and asthma. And while you can borrow your parent's vacuum cleaner until you can afford one of your own, it isn't the most convenient of appliances to lug back and forth between houses.

You can choose from an upright vacuum, barrel cleaner or cord-free stick model, though barrel models are often the cheapest. Stick vacuums have risen so much in popularity, though, that there are now plenty of affordable options also on the market. Whichever model you choose, ensure it's made for cleaning the floor type in your home before you buy.

Volta U1220 Bagged Vacuum Cleaner
Volta U1220 Bagged Vacuum Cleaner

Appliances Online

Electrolux Ergorapido Allergy Stick Vacuum
Electrolux Ergorapido Allergy Stick Vacuum

The Good Guys

6. Iron

Young woman ironing

Ironing may be one of the most hated chores around, but it is an essential part of maintaining your personal presentation. It's not a great look turning up to a professional job in a wrinkled shirt, nor are you likely to impress a date in an outfit covered in crease marks.

Though you don't need to splash out on an expensive iron model, it is important to invest in one that can get the job done. Do your research before you shop and buy from a reputable brand to avoid your new purchase burning holes in your clothes. If you need a hand, check out our best steam irons guide.


1. Dryer

Woman taking washing out of the dryer

If you're moving into an apartment, you'll likely find drying your freshly washed clothing and linen a bit of a challenge. Many apartments do not include a clothing line and when there is one it can be quite small.

Whether you need to dry your clothes in a hurry or you need to get your sheets dry when it hasn't stopped raining for days, a dryer can be an absolute godsend. They can be a little expensive to run if you use them constantly, but used strategically, they will make your life a whole lot simpler.

If you really can't afford the cost of one, though, you can pick up clothes drying racks for under $20 from stores like Target Australia.

2. Toaster

Toaster with toast

If you find yourself short of time in the mornings, or just really don't really like making breakfast, you may want to consider getting a toaster. Allowing you to easily toast bread and bagels, toasters are a convenient small appliance to have around.

While there are plenty of pricier models on the market, this is one appliance you can definitely pick up fairly cheaply. It is still best to invest in a reputable brand but, other than that, all you really need to do is decide if you want a two-slice or four-slice option. For more on reliable toaster models, you can see our best toasters guide.

3. Television

Girl watching television

Okay, this one may be more of a personal preference, but we live in the 21st century. That means you can keep up with current news much faster by watching it than by reading a newspaper. It also means a large percentage of the talk in your office is likely to revolve around current Netflix shows and, if you're missing out, things are going to get boring for you really quickly.

Luckily, televisions are so commonplace now that it is possible to pick up basic models that won't break the bank. If you're willing to forgo a big LCD screen, you can find yourself one for as little as $200–$250.

CHiQ 32 Inch Smart HD LED TV L32H5
CHiQ 32 Inch Smart HD LED TV L32H5

Appliances Online

4. Mixer


If you want to start expanding on your skills in the kitchen, a stand mixer can quickly become your new best friend. From making dough to whipping cream or mixing your cake ingredients together, a mixer makes fast work of tasks that can be quite cumbersome to do by hand.

Though not an absolute must-have, this one is great to ask for as a housewarming gift from family or friends. In return, you can promise to wow them with a really great dessert next time they drop in.

Sunbeam MX5950 Mixmaster Compact Pro Food Mixer
Sunbeam MX5950 Mixmaster Compact Pro Food Mixer

Appliances Online

5. Slow cooker

Slow cooker meal

A slow cooker is not only an absolute dream for the time-poor, it can also help you to save some cash. Dry beans, grains and cheaper cuts of meat can all be made incredibly tender in a slow cooker, meaning there's no reason to splash out on the more expensive versions.

Slow cookers can reduce your cooking utensils down to just the one bowl, which is perfect for those without a dishwasher or a lot of time to clean up. Finally, slow cookers can also stretch your meals further by allowing you to cook large batches of food at once and store the leftovers for the rest of the week.

Breville The Smart Temp 6L Slow Cooker
Breville The Smart Temp 6L Slow Cooker

The Good Guys

6. Coffee machine

Coffee machine

Coffee machines may also be more of a personal preference but, if you're something of a caffeine addict, they can help to save you money in the long run. The average price of a regular cup of coffee in Australia is around the $3.50 mark, meaning a coffee a day can see you fork out a whopping $1,277.50 per year.

With some small, simple machines coming in at under $200, you can easily save yourself a fortune, even with the added cost of buying coffee pods/beans and milk. You'll also appreciate it on cold, rainy mornings when a walk down to your local cafe suddenly doesn't seem so appealing.

Philips LM8012-60 L'Or Barista Capsule Coffee Machine
Philips LM8012-60 L'Or Barista Capsule Coffee Machine

Appliances Online

Nespresso DeLonghi Inissia Capsule Coffee Machine
Nespresso DeLonghi Inissia Capsule Coffee Machine

The Good Guys

Sunbeam Cafe Espresso II Coffee Machine
Sunbeam Cafe Espresso II Coffee Machine

The Good Guys

Where should you shop for first home appliances?

While there are plenty of great stores to buy home appliances from, Finder has shopped around and found that Appliances Online typically offers the most-competitive prices. It also offers free delivery in most Australian metropolitan areas and will connect your new microwave, refrigerator and/or washing machines on delivery for free. Installation services are also available for televisions, dishwashers, dryers and more for a fee.

The Good Guys, Bing Lee and JB Hi-Fi are some other great options if you're after a good deal on appliances.

Handy hints

As purchasing new appliances is costly, you'll want to ensure you're getting the best possible price for your goods. Here are some tips to help you get the best deal:

  • When it comes to buying whitegoods, you can often save yourself quite a bit of cash by investing in a package. For instance, buying both a washing machine and a dryer as a package deal can work out to be hundreds of dollars cheaper than buying them separately (prices based off Appliances Online's site). You can also pick up kitchen packages such as kettle and toaster combinations too, so look around before you buy.
  • If you're buying in-store, get friendly with a salesperson. Stores like JB Hi-Fi are incredibly competitive with prices and chatting to a salesperson about what you're after (and being super friendly) can often land you a better deal.
  • Consider buying your appliances secondhand from sites like Gumtree. You will often find the asking price is way under regular retail price, especially if you're willing to go and pick up the item yourself. You can also check out eBay to compare pricing on both new and secondhand appliances to easily grab yourself the best deal.

Images: Getty

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site