Cost of Living in Sydney for a Family

view of bay-area in Sydney, Australia with the Opera House and other establishment.

Sydney is popular due to its amazing climate, beautiful beaches, coastal walks, national parks, and massive job opportunities. However, according to Forbes, this city is among the most expensive places to live; you need to understand if its cost of living is manageable before relocating. 

The cost of living for a family of four in Sydney is about $5,415. On the other hand, a family with one child may spend about $4,450, while a couple’s cost of living is around $3,100. Housing is the greatest contributor to Sydney’s cost of living as demand is higher than the supply. 

Although Sydney is more expensive than London and New York, you can easily pull through by understanding the different aspects affecting this city’s cost of living. This article discusses such factors as housing, insurance, healthcare, food, transport, entertainment, and childcare. For more data, read our guide about cost of living in Australia for a family.

How much does it cost for a family to live in Sydney? 

shoes placed near the door.

A family’s cost of living can vary due to several factors like its size and preferences. That said, below are the different factors that affect a family’s cost of living in Sydney. 


Renting is convenient and faster when looking for a home, especially as an expat. That said, housing in Sydney is the most expensive compared to all other Australian cities.

However, the prices may vary based on the location you choose to rent. For instance, living in the Central Business District (CBD) is more expensive than in the outer suburbs like Parramatta Parramatta, Blacktown, or Campbelltown.

One-bedroomed apartments in the City Center require a rent of about $1,593.65. On the other hand, renting an apartment of the same size outside the center will cost you around $834.53. Renting a three-bedroomed apartment in the city center is approximately $3,353, while one outside the center costs about $2,231. 

If you have enough financing, you could also opt to buy a house or apartment. Apartments in the city center are sold at around $12,206 per square meter.

Buying one outside the center may help you save a lot of coins as they can go for as low as $7,036 per square meter. Although living outside the center is undesirable, it may help you live more comfortably. 

However, according to the City of Sydney, plans have been put in place to combat the complicated and expensive housing issues. By the year 2036, there will be an introduction of secure and affordable social housing that will cater to those on low incomes.  


The transport system in Sydney is diverse as it includes buses, trains, light trails, and ferries. That said, calculating fares in this city is challenging. Therefore, ensure you get an Opal card, Sydney’s smart card ticketing system, at the airport on your way in, to avoid getting the fares wrong. 

A one-way ticket on local transport costs around $3.24, while the monthly pass goes for $155. That said, using a taxi for one kilometer is approximately $1.99 and the fee for keeping a cab waiting for an hour is $42.54. The main influence on these prices is gasoline’s cost which is $1.45 per liter. 

Cars equivalent to a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 09KW Trendline cost about $ 22,766.40, while those similar to Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.61 97KW Comfort are around $20,390. 


Like other cities in Australia, Sydney has a combination of public and private health care. Public healthcare covers most of the essential or basic services. However, private healthcare stands for more specialized needs and services.

In this regard, most Australians get a medical insurance policy, benefiting from both types of healthcare. 

You must be an Australian citizen to get public healthcare, also known as Medicare. Therefore, enroll by filling out the form on the Services Australia website, and immediately you get your rights as a permanent resident. Medicare levy is directly cut from your monthly salary. 

Although you can survive on public healthcare, you need to get private medical care just to be safe. Private health cover in Sydney goes for about $1,337 every year. Below are some health insurance companies in Australia. 

Cigna Global is our recommended provider.

The benefits of private healthcare in Sydney include: 

  • It offers you several choices and more health cover. You can choose doctors and get special services quickly. 
  • Reduces tax. People with private healthcare don’t have to pay the Medicare levy, minimizing the amount cut from their salaries. 
  • You could get a private health insurance rebate from the Australian government, especially if your salary is below a certain limit. 
  • It prevents you from paying excessive health cover when older. To qualify for this benefit, take the policy before turning thirty-one years. Delaying will cause you to pay higher charges for a decade. 

Food and groceries 

The food here costs more compared to other developed countries like the UK or the US. Budgeting and looking out for deals are the best ways of surviving grocery shopping in this city. That said, below is a chat showcasing the prices of different groceries in Sydney markets. 

a graph of food prices in the markets of Sydney, Australia.


Sydney has the most expensive suburbs in Australia for childcare. Some include Coogee, Crow’s nest, Bondi, Surry hills, Vaucluse, and Mosman. Taking your child to daycare in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney will cost you around $168 daily. 

If you’re searching for childcare, visit websites like KindiCare, which analyzes community feedback and government audits to come up with a list of the best caregivers. This means you’ll compare the prices and quality of different childcare centers hence getting value for your money. 

Cost of living in Sydney for a family of 4 

a dad and his daughter spending some quality time on the beach.

The cost of living for a family of four in Sydney is about $5,415, excluding rent and utilities. This is a vast difference from a single person’s cost, of around $2,309. 

Unlike a single person who can stay in a studio, a family of four will require a two or three-bedroomed house to live comfortably. Two-bedroomed apartments go for around $1,550 per week. On the other hand, a three-bedroomed apartment could cost you approximately $2,700 per week. 

A family of four will spend about $1,243 on food. That said, relying on home-cooked meals is advisable as eating out would greatly increase this cost. Below is a chart showcasing the prices of eating out in Sydney. 

a graph of food prices for eating out in Sydney, Australia.

This family spends about $6,932 on childcare. Additionally, children are always in need of entertainment to keep them occupied, thus adding up to your general cost of living. That said, a cinema ticket for one child goes for $14.3. 

If your children are old enough, you’ll have to cater to their education too. The amount of fees you pay depends on the type of school your children attend.

For instance, a school is cheaper than an independent school but more pricey than a government school. The average fee for an international primary school in Sydney is about $15,307 per year. 

Lastly, a family of four needs mobile data for studying, networking, or socializing. Like all other Australian cities, Sydney has a 4G network and several service suppliers.

The amount you spend on this service depends on the amount of data you want. You can get 2GB of data with free calls and data for $14.23 every month. 

What salary do you need to live in Sydney with a family 

To live comfortably in Sydney with a family, you need a net salary of about $4,771. That said, below is a table showing what this salary can afford. 

Salary $4,771
Food $1,280 
Rent and utilities (heating, water, internet plan and mortgage interest rates) $2,116 
Transport $852 
Savings $523

Learn more about salaries in Sydney.

If you make a little less than the recommended amount or intend on saving some coins, below are some tips on how to do so. 

  • You can reduce the amount spent on rent by living outside the center. This is because apartments inside the center are quite pricey compared to those in the suburbs. However, if your job requires you to be in the center, try to weigh the different options to save up on some coins. 
  • An effective way of reducing food expenses is to check the supermarkets in your area. Woolworths, Harris farm market, and Coles are the most popular supermarkets in Sydney, and you’re likely to find products at different prices in each. In this regard, take your time to choose the most affordable for you. 
  • A family that enjoys eating out could reduce its spending by looking for restaurant deals from websites like EatClub.
  •  If you enjoy drinking, check websites and local papers for discounts to save some coins. You could also scour through your area to find alcohol deals. 
  • Saving on transport expenses is easy in Sydney. For instance, you could buy a forty eight hour ticket for you and your children, which is cheaper than buying on a daily basis. Purchasing a network day tripper is also cost-friendly as you’ll be able to travel after 09:30, which costs only $6.60. 
  • A family can cut on its transport cost by car sharing or carpooling with other families as it will generally reduce the amount spent on gasoline. Taxis are also a cheap option as they minimize on parking charges, especially if you’ll be parking the whole day. 
  • Preference is another factor that affects the prices of these necessities. You will spend more if you prefer the high-end or best quality. In this regard, it’s advisable to sacrifice quality to some reasonable extent until you can afford what you want. 
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