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.
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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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|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 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.
|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|
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.
|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|
If you skipped two takeaway lunches a month, or just one night out, you could afford life insurance.
|Type of insurance||Monthly cost||Learn 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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