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Sydney...cost of living

Sydney...cost of living

Old Jan 14th 2009, 12:54 pm
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Default Sydney...cost of living

Hi all,

Trying to do our sums and assess the cost of living in Sydney.
Can anybody put some average costs in AUD to the following items? We are a family of 4 relocating in February. We will be renting a 3/4 bed house initially.

Thanks in advance

Electricity
Gas
Water
Rates/Council Tax
Home Insurance
Car Insurance
Groceries
Phone
Internet
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Old Jan 14th 2009, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: Sydney...cost of living

Hi, if you have a search on "Sydney cost of living" you will find a few threads.

This one sprang to mind: http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=519092
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 1:53 am
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Default Re: Sydney...cost of living

Electricity - I budget $450/quarter but very rarely use all of that (in winter & summer our bills are a bit higher than the other 2 quarters because of using aircon or fan heaters - no central heating/cooling in our place)

Gas - I budget $270/quarter - we have gas for cooking and for heating the hot water. Normally come in way under the budgetted amount

Water - we don't pay for water as we're renting a unit and that's the landlord's reponsibility. Not sure how it works if you rent a house

Rates/Council Tax - we don't pay it, it's the landlord's responsibility again

Home Insurance - I budget $70/month for it - I paid the first year's content's insurance upfront and then put the money aside each month for the following year. Normally comes in under. Depends on where you are, the security measures in the property and how much stuff you have

Car Insurance - shop around. I'm buying a car tomorrow and the quotes ranged from about $690 - $1200. Also you need to pay CTP & Rego, and stamp duty if you buy a car. NSW is apparently very expensive for car costs. But at least petrol is cheaper than the UK LOL

Groceries - totally depends on where you shop and what you buy. Check out woolworths.com.au or coles.com.au to do a "pretend" shop.

Phone - we pay line rental of $29.94 per month with calls on top. Our bill normally comes in around the $50 mark. We use an international calling card for phoning "home" (you dial a local number, key in a code and go from there)

Internet - we pay $99.95/month for an "unlimited" package with Bigpond - although when we hit 25GB of usage they slow us down to dial-up speed for the remainder of the month.
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 4:50 am
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Default Re: Sydney...cost of living

Hi there

Short answer is it depends! On where, what type of dwelling (house vs unit) how much you eat what vehicle you drive, what suburb you live in and how fussy you are when it comes to insurance etc etc

Read through others posts to get more ideas, and you'll soon start to see the diversity of replies. Electricity, for example, can range anywhere from $300's per quarter to $2000. Landline phone rentals are around $30 per mth but you can always use a VOIP line through your PC and save about half this. Groceries are a highly individual affair (blue ribbon vs no frills) and you'll soon find out for yourself how much you can afford. Mind you, having said that, Aussie groceries are about 3/4 of what you Brits pay. I couldn't believe your prices for basics when I visited a couple of yrs ago!!
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 6:34 am
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Default Re: Sydney...cost of living

Originally Posted by TillyG View Post
Groceries - totally depends on where you shop and what you buy. Check out woolworths.com.au or coles.com.au to do a "pretend" shop.
And then make sure you shop somewhere else if you can

Some prices near me: Rump steak at Woolworths; $18 kg, but at a butchers only $10 kg for a much better quality rump steak.

Rates are paid by the Landlord, and so is the main water access charge.

Water usage can be charged to the tenant if it is metered individually.
My Sydney tenant used 112kLs last quarter and it cost $183
Rates and water, combined, came to $322 for the quarter.

My internet is about $50 per month for 12Gb at 1512 speed, same price as Sydney
My Telstra phone line is $24 per month, used for incoming calls only, but I also have another phone line set up for $20 per month which gives me free landline calls all over Australia, UK, USA and a few other countries. 2 phone lines is very useful with a near teenage daughter.
Total phones cost $44 per month + a bit extra for calls to mobiles.

House insurance is paid by Landlord, you will need contents insurance only, which will depend on your content valuation.
I have $100,000 cover for $305, but it is more expensive in Sydney.
I think our premiums dropped about 20% when we moved from Sydney to QLD. So may be about $370 ?

I've just come across my old 2002 Electric bills from Sydney: $1,657 for the year, but I used air con near enough 24 hours a day, 12 months a year.
That dropped to $1,100 in 2003 for QLD, with less need for air con.
It has risen to $2,050 for 2008, but only because of price rises !!!!!
No Gas was available in either house.
 
Old Jan 15th 2009, 6:42 am
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Default Re: Sydney...cost of living

Originally Posted by ABCDiamond View Post
And then make sure you shop somewhere else if you can
Yep, definitely agree with that! But for at least getting a ball-park figure on grocery costs, it can really help.
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 1:46 pm
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Default Re: Sydney...cost of living

Thanks for your responses...very helpful indeed
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 1:25 am
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Default Re: Sydney...cost of living

Originally Posted by Lucasofia View Post
Thanks for your responses...very helpful indeed
As a general observation you won't find Sydney any cheaper than the UK.
One thing will obviously appear cheaper but this is balanced by something being more expensive.

It depends where you are coming from in the UK.

I came from London and I find it works out roughly the same, although I live within 20 min walk of the CBD so grocery shopping is horrific.
Eating out however is much cheaper.
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 2:47 am
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Default Re: Sydney...cost of living

Electricity - I am pretty conscious of the elec I use and only have 1 lamp on at night times, and turn lights on/off when going into or out of rooms or walk about in the dark, not that odd as I have a conservatory/passage area down the side of the house and the street light streams through it so things are visible - kind of. I live by myself in sydney and mine comes in at $120 per quarter - I am sure this will go up as I have been using a portable aircon of late.
Gas - $80 per quarter for boiler and cooker. I cook alot...
Water - $42 per quarter
Rates/Council Tax - rental so not sure
Home Insurance - not sure
Car Insurance - not sure as work pays
Groceries - For 1 person, who does alot of entertaining at home, $200 main shop once a month (cleaning stuff and staples) and then about $50 per week. This does not include alcohol. Greens & Meat are from a farmers market every saturday which is much cheaper than the supermarkets. I am an extravagent food shopper so this may be a tad excessive, I know.
Phone - about $25 for the landline
Internet - about $99 uncapped (well its the one that slows down after you have used a certain amount)
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 3:56 am
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Default Re: Sydney...cost of living

My figures are as follows:

Mortgage - $1,100 per week
Electricity - $35 per week
Food (2 adults, 1 child in nappies, includes wine and beer) - $270
Car insurance $50 per week
Health Insurance for 2 (high level cover) - $75 per week
Child care - $450 per week
Petrol - $70 per week
Travel (train to work) for 2 - $65 per week
Lunches at work for 2 - $120 per week
Sundries ( coffees, snacks) - $50 per week
Hairdresser ($260 every 8 weeks) - $32 per week
Horse - $220 per week
Entertainment (e.g. once every two weeks takeaway, beers after work, dinner out once ever 2 weeks) - $150 per week

So on an average week we spend $2,700 to cover our everyday (good) living costs. These figures involve no extreme spending but likewise I don't budget.

Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 8:34 am
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Default Re: Sydney...cost of living

Just don't expect Sydney to be "cheap". It's the most expensive city in Australia. Very high cost of living but wages are quite high compared to other cities.

Recommend shopping at Aldi first for food and other items then whatever they don't have go to Franklins as it's normally cheaper than Woolies and Coles.
Caution: Always double check receipts from supermarkets as they tend to charge twice for the same item, happened to me several times, and I often have to point the error out.

Electricity and phone/internet are quite expensive by Australian standards. Many successive rises in recent years.

Telstra Bigpond Broadband $60 per month (Unlimited downloads/not capped)
Phone Landline $34 per month plus calls
Mobile $80 per month (includes 125 free SMS per month)
Gas for oven and hot water only ($100 every 2 months)
Power $100 - $150 every 3 months in the summer, rising to $300 in the winter.
I rent so don't pay for water nor rates.
I don't have a car as it's too expensive like rego and insurance. I live at Bondi so have access to 24 hour public transport to city/work/entertainment and is usually excellent in the eastern suburbs (Others will probably disagree with me!). Red weekly ticket - around $40 a week.
Don't have health insurance as too expensive. Always use Medicare.
Food $150 per week.
Foxtel PayTV $80 per month for a variety of channels including the IQ2 machine and HD programs
Luxuries - clothes, DVDs, eating out, movies, dinners, pubs etc around $400 per week but usually spend under this amount by around $70 to $100
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 8:38 am
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Default Re: Sydney...cost of living

Originally Posted by blaengarw25 View Post
Telstra Bigpond Broadband $60 per month (Unlimited downloads/not capped)
Ooh, how did you wangle that one then - do you happen to know what the name of the "package" is?
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 8:58 am
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Default Re: Sydney...cost of living

Oops sorry I made a mistake, haven't checked my "plan" for years . The plan is Cable Standard Liberty with a limit of 12GB then slowed. I have never exceeded 12GB and I use the net everyday so I consider it good value compared to other plans. On the current plan there is no additional charges for excess usage. I find the speed very excellent, rarely do I have "slow" downloading times. Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 9:08 am
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Default Re: Sydney...cost of living

Originally Posted by blaengarw25 View Post
Oops sorry I made a mistake, haven't checked my "plan" for years . The plan is Cable Standard Liberty with a limit of 12GB then slowed. I have never exceeded 12GB and I use the net everyday so I consider it good value compared to other plans. On the current plan there is no additional charges for excess usage. I find the speed very excellent, rarely do I have "slow" downloading times. Hope this helps.
I don't think I would exceed mine either if it wasn't for UKNova
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 10:40 am
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Default Re: Sydney...cost of living

I find the cost of living in Sydney less than the UK (we were in Manchester for the record).

As a figure hasn't been put to council rates yet I'll jump in. We pay about $1000 a year for our house. That's about 1/3 what we paid in Manchester!

Graham
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