The Cost of Living in Sydney is Shocking

The cost of living in Sydney is a shocker to almost everyone moving to Australia. Even for expats moving from expensive cities like London.

I get several emails a week asking me if it really is that high and how the heck do we get by. The truth is, it took us a while to catch up on our finances to get back to the point where we actually had something in our savings account. There were many expenses we didn't plan on and a few other financial hiccups that were costly. I won't go over them again as I have a post about how much money in savings you need for your move to Sydney that goes into detail.

A short while ago, I got an email from an SMG reader that forwarded this to me from a forum for people moving to Sydney from South Africa. I had to repost it here for anyone moving to Sydney with small children.

Monthly Cost of Living in Sydney for a Family of Four

We've been here in Sydney as a family for 9 months. My wife works in the CBD, and we are a family of four with a 3 and 5-year-old. We moved to Sydney from Cape Town.

Here are our monthly costs. They've been pretty accurate month to month.

Rent – $4,000
Mobile phones – $45 (1 phone – Unlimited Calls, Texts, and 2GB data with Optus, other phone is covered by my wife's company)
Internet – $124 (Home Phone, Unlimited ADSL, FetchTV with Netflix)
Transport – Public – $100
Vehicle – Bought for Cash on Arrival, sold both cars in SA and used the cash to buy 1 here.
Petrol – $80
Vehicle Tax – $58
Insurance – Vehicle – $91
Insurance – Health (Family) – $200
Insurance – Household Contents – $52
Electricity – $100
Gas – $50
Water & Council Tax – $57
Groceries – $1000
Total = $5957

A few extra things we have include the following:

Clothing – $150
Haircuts – $72
Tolls/eTag – $20
Bank Charges – $12
Others – $300
Total = $554

You can find the original posting on the SA Australia Forum here.

Few Things to Note About Monthly Cost of Living Breakdown

First, the person that posted this in the forum has a permanent residence visa which explains why health insurance is lower than those on a TSS visa (subclass 482). Before you ask, our health insurance is $265 a month for two adults, but we have some add-ons and could probably get away with less if we were on a tighter budget.

Another thing to note is that there is no mention of childcare costs. This is because one parent is staying home with the kids, huge savings as full-time childcare in Sydney can easily be $30,000 plus a year, per child, if not more.

For those on a TSS visa (subclass 482), you will have to pay $5,600 tuition for your child to go to a public school in Sydney. For more about schools in Sydney please read my post here.

Also, there is the mention of $300 for “Other” expenses. Since groceries are listed, I assume this was for entertainment and maybe food takeaway. Those don't often get added to monthly budgets because they just seem to pop up.

I have two other posts that might interest you on the cost of living in Sydney.

1. Rents in Sydney by Neighbourhood
2. A Breakdown of Daily Expenses in Sydney

What Are You Shipping to Sydney When You Move? Do You Know Yet?

The truth is you don’t need to know right now, for sure, what’s going with you.

But you have to get your shipping quote ASAP, especially now.

Why? Because international shipping companies need to schedule your shipment to Australia far in advance, some ask for 6 months in advance. Yes, COVID has changed everything, including international shipping.

When filling out the form below…

  1. You don’t need a street address for where you’re moving to, only the city and country. What they really want to know is the major shipping port.
  2. You don’t need exact dates right now. Go with your best guess.
  3. Don’t bother with calculating your volume. Use one of the estimates below for your estimated volume.
    • Studio or 1 Bedroom —> 20 m3
    • 2 Bedroom —> 25 m3
    • 3 Bedroom —> 30 m3
    • 4 Bedroom or 3 Bedroom + Car —> 50 m3
  4. Use your “real” contact details for BOTH phone and email. Yes, the form is secure. If you don’t use your real contact details, then they can’t get in touch with you for your quote. Makes sense, right?