The Average Cost of Living in Australia for a Family

Happy family taking a stroll on the beach

Are you thinking of moving to Australia with your family? If so, you might wonder how much it costs to live in Australia. Australia is a beautiful and diverse country, but it is also known for its high living costs.

How much do you need to budget for your living expenses in Australia?

For a family of four to live comfortably in Australia, they’ll need approximately AU$6,840 a month.


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

In this blog post, we will give you some information and insights on the cost of living in Australia. We will cover topics such as the average living costs, the consumer price index, the transport costs, the utilities costs, and the estimated monthly costs for a family of four.

We will also give you some tips on how to save money and reduce your living costs in Australia.

Related article: Is It Better To Live in the UK or Australia?

The Average Living Costs for Families in Australia

Person holding 20 euro dollars on both hands

Living in Australia comes with a substantial cost of living. The average living cost for families is approximately AUD 6,840 ($4,333) per month, which includes housing, utilities, transportation, food, healthcare, and education expenses.

This figure signifies the average cost of living in Australia and is essential for families planning their budgets. The estimated monthly costs are calculated based on the consumer price index, reflecting the cost fluctuations over time.

International students studying in Australia also need to factor in these living costs, adding to the overall Australia cost.

Families in Australia manage budgets wisely to maintain a decent standard of living despite higher expenses.

Also read: What Is A Good Salary in Australia? [Average Salaries 2023]

Breakdown of the Average Living Expenses in Australia

Living in Australia comes with a considerable cost of living. The average living cost is approximately AUD 6,840 ($4,333) per month, covering housing, utilities, transportation, food, healthcare, and education expenses.

Here’s a breakdown of a family of four estimated monthly costs for each category:


The cost of rental accommodation in major cities is a significant part of the cost of living in Australia. Prices vary depending on location, impacting the overall living costs for families. Here are the average rent prices in different cities in Australia, according to

  • Sydney: $2,880 rent per month (house) / $2,120 (unit)
  • Melbourne: $1,780 rent per month (house) / $1,620 (unit)
  • Brisbane: $2,080 rent per month (house) / $1,820 (unit)
  • Adelaide: $1,950 rent per month (house) / $1,560 (unit)
  • Perth: $1,990 rent per month (house) / $1,690 (unit)
  • Hobart: $2,167 rent per month (house) / $1,856 (unit)
  • Canberra: $2,925 rent per month (house) / $2,290 (unit)
  • Darwin: $2,600 rent per month (house) / $1,920 (unit)


Based on a report by, basic utilities like water, electricity, and gas for an 85 square meter apartment can amount to approximately AUD 220 ($139) per month, contributing to the living cost.


The cost of gasoline, an essential aspect of transportation, is approximately AUD 7.54 ($4.78) per gallon, impacting monthly costs for families.


Families often spend an estimated AUD 400 ($254) per week on food and dining out, highlighting the significance of this expense in the overall cost of living.


Healthcare costs vary based on insurance coverage and required services, making it challenging to provide a precise estimate of monthly costs.


Tuition fees, an essential part of education expenses, vary based on the type of school and level of education, further influencing the cost of living in Australia. International students generally pay more for education in Australia than domestic students. According to, the typical annual tuition fees for international students in Australia are as follows:

  • Undergraduate bachelor degree – AU$20,000 (US$13,675) to $45,000 (US$30,769)
  • Postgraduate masters degree – AU$22,000 (US$15,045) to $50,000 (US$34,192)
  • Doctoral degree – AU$20,000 (US$13,675) to $42,000 (US$28,721)

Childcare Costs

Childcare costs are another financial consideration for families, impacting the overall living cost.

To manage and save money, families often compare prices, opt for prepaid mobile tariffs, and monitor price rises. These strategies help in budgeting and adapting to the cost of living in Australia’s expensive cities, especially in the city centre. The consumer price index and price index provide insights into these fluctuations, aiding in understanding Australia’s cost of living.

Related article: Living in Australia vs USA: Pros and Cons

Understanding the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Australia

Grocery items in Australian store

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Australia is a key measure of inflation that quantifies the changes in the prices of a basket of goods and services consumed by the average household.

The CPI is calculated quarterly by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and is published once a quarter. It serves as a crucial tool for understanding the impact of price fluctuations on the cost of living in Australia.

The CPI directly influences the average cost of living in Australia, reflecting how price increases or decreases affect real terms budgeting for households.

In the June 2023 quarter, significant price rises took place. These include a 2.5% increase in rents, a 6.2% rise in international holiday travel and accommodation, a 2.5% surge in other financial services, and a 1.0% growth in new dwelling purchases by owner-occupiers.

These changes may lead to higher living costs for the average household.

Are you planning to work in Australia? Check this article: What Are The Most Common Jobs In Australia? [2023]

How Could It Affect The Average Cost of Living in Australia?

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Australia can significantly impact the family of four estimated monthly costs, affecting various aspects of daily life. Here are five ways it can influence the cost of living in Australia:

Living Costs and Services

A rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) can escalate living costs in Australia, particularly in top cities. The CPI’s impact extends to essential services like healthcare, utilities, and transportation, directly affecting the cost of living. This shift affects the average cost of living in Australia, influencing how much money is allocated to necessities in both cities and other parts of the country.

Gas and Heating Expenses

Fluctuations in the CPI can result in changes in gas prices, affecting heating costs during different seasons and thereby impacting the household budget.

Accommodation and Housing Costs

CPI variations can influence rental prices and property costs, making housing less or more affordable for the average household.

Food and Meals

Changes in the CPI can influence the price of groceries and dining out, impacting the weekly expenditure on meals for families, students, and individuals.

Public Transport Costs

CPI alterations can affect public transport fares, impacting the weekly commuting costs, particularly in top cities like Melbourne.

Understanding how the CPI influences these aspects is crucial for households to adapt their budgets, seek discounts, and save where possible. It also helps in comparing the cost of living in Australia with other countries, considering the living index, and making informed decisions regarding spending and saving.

Also read: How Much Does Food Cost in Australia? [2023]

Cheapest Cities For Families to Live in Australia

House in Australia with a "for sale" sign on the frontyard

Housing, utilities, transportation, groceries, and other expenses must be considered when calculating Australia’s cost of living. Some Australian cities are cheaper, making them appealing to families wishing to settle. Let’s look at Australia’s cheapest cities for families and their living costs.

Charleville, Queensland

Charleville, located in Queensland, boasts the lowest median house price in Australia at just $75,000, making it an incredibly affordable option for families looking to buy a home.

Additionally, the average rent is approximately $230 per week, totaling $920 per month. The low housing costs significantly contribute to a lower overall cost of living for families in this town.

Cairns, Queensland

Cairns is usually one of Australia’s most affordable locations for families. The projected monthly living expenditures in Cairns are 2125 AUD, including housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, and more. This makes Cairns appealing to families seeking a comfortable, affordable living.

Sunshine Coast, Queensland

The Sunshine Coast is known for its relatively low cost of living, with estimated monthly living costs averaging around 2175 AUD. Families in this city benefit from affordable housing options, accessible amenities, and a pleasant environment without breaking the bank.

Geelong, Victoria

Geelong, Victoria, has a low cost of living and a high quality of life. This area costs about 2200 AUD per month for housing, groceries, power, and more. For those wanting a smaller city with a local feel, Geelong is ideal.

Adelaide, South Australia

The most affordable capital city for renters in Australia is Adelaide, South Australia. The average weekly rent is $534, or $2,136 per month. Adelaide has lower housing expenses than other big cities, making it cheaper for families.

These cities offer cheap lodging, consumables (including whole fat milk and local cheese), energy, and internet (with unlimited bandwidth). These factors lower the living score compared to Melbourne and Sydney.

In these places, vehicle and public transportation prices are lower, helping families save money and stay on budget.

Check this article: Best Websites To Find Apartments in Australia

Internet Services For Families In Australia

Wifi router logo on white background

Internet services in Australia play a crucial role for a family, student, or freelance writer, and the quality of these services can significantly impact their online experiences.

Based on recent data and reviews, here are some insights into internet service providers in Australia and how they may cater to different needs:

Aussie Broadband

Aussie Broadband is often considered one of Australia’s best internet service providers. Their NBN plans offer fast speeds and unlimited data, which is ideal for families and freelance writers who need reliable connectivity for business and play.

Furthermore, their customer service is 100% Australian-based, according to, ensuring a more personalized and responsive experience for users.

For students, having a dependable connection is essential for online coursework, and Aussie Broadband can provide the necessary reliability.


Tangerine is another highly-rated internet service provider in Australia. They offer NBN plans with fast speeds and no lock-in contracts. This flexibility can be advantageous for students, especially those needing short-term internet solutions, as they can avoid long-term commitments.

For freelance writers who value cost-effective options without compromising on speed, Tangerine’s competitively priced plans might be attractive.


Australian internet giant Optus provides NBN subscriptions with fast speeds and unlimited data. These ISPs may vary in quality and availability, especially in regional Australia. For students and families, consistent connectivity is crucial.

These internet service providers may vary in quality and availability, especially in remote areas of Australia. Families, students, and freelance writers must examine their demands, such as quick and reliable internet for online work or education.

Internet service prices in Australia are relevant when compared to the country’s cost of living. Prepaid cell tariffs and bundle savings can help families, students, and freelance writers manage internet costs.

Related article: Best SIM card in Australia for International Students

Health Insurance For a Family In Australia

Doctor explaining a patient's diagnosis

Medicare provides free or subsidized healthcare in Australia. Medicare covers basic medical requirements but not dental, physiotherapy, or ambulance services. Many prefer private health insurance to fill these gaps.

To get dentistry and physiotherapy therapies not covered by Medicare, families often buy private health insurance. This provides full healthcare coverage, relieving families of non-Medicare costs.

Private health insurance helps families stay healthy by covering hospital stays, expert consultations, and extras. To get the finest private health insurance for your family, evaluate coverage, costs, waiting periods, and annual restrictions.

The cost of private health insurance varies with your chosen coverage and location. On average, you’ll pay AU$166 per month. You’ll pay less if you live in the Northern Territory.

For expats in Australia, we recommend health insurance from Cigna Global.

Final Thoughts About the Cost of Living in Australia

Australia is a beautiful country with a high cost of living. For a family of four in Australia, budget AU$6,840/month for accommodation, utilities, transit, food, healthcare, and education.

This blog post discusses the cost of living in Australia, including the typical living costs, consumer price index, transit costs, utility costs, and anticipated monthly costs for a family of four.

We have also given you some tips on saving money and reducing your living costs in Australia.

If you want to learn more about the cost of living in Australia, please click the links in the article to access more resources and details. By doing so, you will also help us keep this blog afloat and provide you with more valuable content in the future.

Liked it? Take a second to support Nicholas on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Similar Posts