List of Expenses to Help You Estimate Your Cost of Living in Sydney, Australia.
This post covers daily and monthly expenses in Sydney like groceries, utilities, public transport. I also include things like shopping, dining out, and going to the movies at the bottom of the post.
I have a second post that lists rents in Sydney by suburb and the number of bedrooms. I highly recommend checking out that post as your rent will be your top monthly expense in Sydney.
Cost of Living in Sydney, Australia: Average Monthly Utilities
After you have secured your first rental in Sydney, you are going to need to keep the lights on. You will also need to pay for your space heater during the winter months because central heating is rare in Sydney.
This means your electric bill will be more during the winter. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t have at least two space heaters, one for the living room and one for the bedroom. No, it doesn’t get that cold in Sydney but after living in Sydney during a hot summer, you will be surprised at how chilly it can get at night in July, the coldest month of the year. (Remember seasons are switched around in the Southern Hemisphere.)
We even own an electric blanket for those chilly nights. It was worth every penny getting one that has a timer. No more getting into a cold bed during the winter months. We both sleep better being bundled up, nice a warm. I absolutely love it and wish I didn't wait a year to get one.
Then there is battling the summer heat in Sydney. Running an air conditioner will dramatically increase your electric bill.
Cost of Electricity, Phone, and Internet in Sydney, Australia
Cost of Living in Sydney, Australia: Groceries, Alcohol, and Cigarettes
Some groceries are seasonal, so the prices will range quite a bit for the whole year. The table below is very general, but it should give you a basic idea of prices and allow you to compare with what you pay back home.
Of course, where you shop will also have an effect on what you pay. The two major grocery stores in Sydney are Coles and Woolworths (aka Woolies). There's also IGA (Independent Grocers of Australia), Aldi, and Harris Farm Market (great for produce and now has online shopping, yay!). There are other independent markets spread throughout the city, but those are the main ones.
Cost of Groceries, Alcohol, and Cigarettes in Sydney, Australia
Cost of Living in Sydney, Australia: Public Transport
Public transport in Sydney is pretty good in my opinion but I’m from Seattle where the train is limited and I don’t like taking the bus, pretty much the only option for public transport in Seattle. It’s not really taking the bus that bothers me. It’s more the waiting and the limited number of seats available. The train is faster and has more seating.
When you arrive in Sydney, you will hear many Sydneysiders and expats who have moved from cities with good public transport complain about the public transport in Sydney. But in my opinion, the train is a great way to get around the city quickly. It runs so often that I never feel like I have to wait for long, but I live very close to Bondi Junction Station, and I do not commute during peak hours to get to work.
Public transport is definitely something you need to think about if you are commuting from a distance. Traffic in Sydney is pretty bad, and parking in the city is expensive and limited. There is also the time sitting in traffic stewing vs. sitting on a train reading. I personally prefer the latter.
If you go out for an evening and miss the ferry and bus, a taxi will cost you about $50-65 from the city center to Manly.
It can be hard to get a taxi to Manly late at night because taxis are usually unable to pick up a fare going the opposite direction. Therefore they don't want to be stuck in Manly. Be sure to keep that in mind especially around Christmas and New Year’s Eve when it's almost impossible to catch a taxi.
The same goes for Parramatta and Cronulla too.
Train Fares in Sydney, Australia
Bus Fares in Sydney, Australia
Ferry Fares in Sydney, Australia
Light Rail Fares in Sydney, Australia
Taxi Fares in Sydney, Australia
Other Transportation Costs in Sydney, Australia
Cost of Living in Sydney, Australia: Restaurants and Dining Out
The top, more expensive restaurants are not included in the table below. But just to give you an idea, Tetsuya is one of the best restaurants in Sydney and can cost as much as $250 per person.
Again, these prices are very general but will give you an idea of how much things cost.
I have a list of my favorite cheap eats in Sydney with a map and recommendations on what to order if you are interested in other options.
Cost of Dining Out in Sydney, Australia
Cost of Living in Sydney, Australia: Shopping for Clothes, Personal Care and Electronics
The first time I went shopping for jeans in Sydney, not only was I in shock from the prices but also in tears.
Tears because sizes in Australia are not the same as in the US.
I am usually a size 8 in the US but a 10-12 in Australia when it comes to jeans.
Every expat from the US I have ever met has had the same experience shopping for clothes in Australia.
Before you move to Sydney, go shopping at home for jeans and shoes. You will save yourself money in the long run.
Cost of Clothes, Personal Care, and Electronics in Sydney, Australia
Ok, that is it. We covered pretty much all your daily and monthly expenses in Sydney except for health insurance and monthly rent.
The cost of health insurance will depend on what options you choose and what visa type you have. Generally, health insurance for those on temporary visas like the 482 work visa is more expensive.
I have a post that lists rents in Sydney by suburb by the number of bedrooms.
I would definitely check that post out since your rent will be your top monthly expense in Sydney. Where did I get this info from?
What Are You Taking 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 do have to get a shipping quote ASAP, especially now.
Why? Because international moving companies need to schedule your move 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…
- 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 main shipping port.
- Moving date is an estimate. You don’t need exact dates right now. Go with your best guess.
- Estimate volume is an estimate. 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
- 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?