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Cost of Living in Sydney

The average monthly cost of living in Sydney for a single person is over $4,000.

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To work out how expensive Sydney is, we've broken down the main costs of living and provided estimates of how much you're likely to pay. The sections include:

  • Housing and Utilities: $4,900 in total a month.
  • Transport: $30,000 for a standard car
  • Food and Drink: Eating out for lunch? Expect to pay around $20.
  • Clothes and Shoes: Need new shoes? You'll likely pay around $160.
  • Entertainment: A night out to the cinema for two is upwards of $40.
  • Personal Care and Hygiene: A trip to the doctors is around $70.

Housing and Utilities

Housing and Utilities

Housing is easily the biggest expense living in Sydney. By comparison, housing in Melbourne is 24% cheaper than in Sydney. The average rent in an expensive area is $3,404, and utilities per month are almost 50% cheaper in Melbourne than in Sydney. Here's a breakdown of the housing expenses you'll need to budget for in Sydney.

Item Cost
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area AU$3,448
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area AU$2,360
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat AU$646
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in EXPENSIVE area AU$2,620
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in NORMAL area AU$1,813
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 Sqft) studio AU$316
Internet 8 Mbps (1 month) AU$646
40” flat screen TV AU$538
Microwave 800/900 Watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands) AU$227
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) AU$14
Hourly rate for cleaning help AU$32

Transport

Transport

If you drive in Sydney, a standard car is likely to set you back around $25,000 which is very similar to other major cities like Melbourne. Fuel costs work out at around $1.52 a litre, while public transport is more expensive than most other cities in Australia - $172 a month.

Item Cost
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 150 CV (or equivalent), with no extras, new AU$26,275
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas AU$1.48
Monthly ticket public transport AU$176
Taxi trip on a business day, basic tariff, 8 km. (5 miles) AU$55

Food and Drinks

In comparison to Melbourne, Sydney fairs quite well in terms of food and drink costs. While milk costs a little more - 1 litre of whole fat milk is $1.31 compared to $1.24 in Melbourne - lunches, fast food restaurants and domestic beer is cheaper. In fact, beer in the supermarket is 17% cheaper in Sydney than in Melbourne.

Item Cost
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district AU$16
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) AU$13
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast AU$6
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk AU$1.38
12 eggs, large AU$5.75
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes AU$4.71
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese AU$7
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples AU$4.40
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes AU$3.50
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket AU$6
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality AU$22
2 liters of Coca-Cola AU$2.93
Bread for 2 people for 1 day AU$2

Clothes and Shoes

Clothes and Shoes

Unless they're being made and sold in Australia, clothes and shoes are always going to be more expensive here than in other countries. On average, Sydney is 4% more expensive than Melbourne and other major cities in Australia for clothes and shoes.

Item Cost
1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) AU$103
1 summer dress in a High Street Store (Zara, H&M or similar retailers) AU$84
1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands) AU$138
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes AU$133

Entertainment

Entertainment

Entertainment is an integral part of any city. It can include a dinner for two at the local pub, cinema tickets, drinks at pubs and cocktails and more. In Sydney, 2 tickets to the movies will set you back around $40 bucks. A pint in a pub will cost you $9.

Item Cost
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub AU$57
2 tickets to the movies AU$37
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) AU$226
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert AU$99
1 cocktail drink in downtown club AU$19
Cappuccino in expat area of the city AU$4.48
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) AU$9
iPad Wi-Fi 128GB AU$720
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) AU$0.28
1 month of gym membership in business district AU$78
1 package of Marlboro cigarettes AU$38

Personal Care and Hygiene

Personal Care and Hygiene

An important one not everyone considers when moving, personal care and hygiene includes everything from doctor appointments to haircuts and toiletries. A short visit to a private doctor might set you back as much as $70.

Item Cost
Cold medicine for 6 days (Tylenol, Frenadol, Coldrex, or equivalent brands) AU$9
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) AU$13
Short visit to private Doctor (15 minutes) AU$72
1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, ...) AU$8
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) AU$4.94
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) AU$5.44
4 rolls of toilet paper AU$3.83
Tube of toothpaste AU$3.56
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city AU$25

Cost of insurance in Sydney

Cost of insurance in Sydney

If you skipped two takeaway lunches a month, or just one night out, you could afford life insurance.

Type of insuranceMonthly costLearn more
Life insurance$30*Cost of life insurance guide
Car insurance$76.51*Cost of car insurance guide
Health insurance$70.83*Cost of health insurance guide

*The monthly costs are an indicative guide. The actual cost will depend on your personal situation. Check out the guides for more information.

Images: Shutterstock and Unsplash

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