Australia. We refer to it as the lucky country. However, if there is one thing both locals and tourists would change about Australia, it would be the cost! While travelling last year, I had many fellow students telling me they would love to come to Australia but can’t, because it is all too expensive. I hated hearing that, because it is unfortunate that money is what is holding people back from experiencing the incredible beauty and lifestyle of Australia. That being said, it is true, living in Australia can be pretty expensive. In fact, according to data provided byNumbeo, Australia is the 6th most expensive country in the world, more so than New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
However, before you all go running in fear, there are some pretty reasonable explanations for why this is the case. Hopefully we can help you understand it a bit more, so you know the best ways to support yourself when you arrive in Australia.
Our wages are higher
This would have to be the most important point, because if you are planning on working while living in Australia, our high costs will not be so much of a problem. Australia ranks as one of the top countries in terms of high paying wages. While you may be spending a lot to live here, you could be making quite a lot of money at the same time, so there is no need to worry! In fact, the minimum wage a 21-year-old part-time worker is entitled to is between $17 and $20 per hour (varies per profession).
No extra tax or tips
In Australia, the price you see is the price you pay. There is no need to tip your servers, driver or helper (as wages already cover the gratuity), unless service is exceptional, which helps keep your costs down. Similarly, a product's listed price will always include tax (GST), rather than tax being added at the checkout. Therefore, you will always be paying only the advertised price, and no more. A $10 meal will actually cost you $10!
We are an isolated country
As I’m sure you know, Australia is pretty far away from most other countries. Being so tucked away in the southern hemisphere means that importing any goods internationally is a long, costly process. Therefore, prices tend to be higher to pay for the transport process. Even local Australian products suffer the transport mark ups. This is because the country is so large, with cities spread far apart, so it is a long process to transport products or produce from one side of the country to the other. Just as your plane ticket to Australia is expensive, so is the travel cost for almost every product.
So many things are free!
While there are many high costs you will face in Australia, don’t let that scare you off, as it balances off with the many free things to do as well! You will always find free events like festivals, presentations, shows and pop-up markets, as well as free clubs, community BBQs, beaches, and public transport. Not to mention the pay-what-you’d-like restaurants (but do always pay fairly)! So really, you don’t have to blow your budget to have fun!
We really hope that no student looking to study in Australia is put off by our high price tags. Once you are earning some money, you should easily be able to support yourself. Of course, there are cheaper alternatives for many costs you will face, so if you are smart with your finances, and budget realistically how much you will need, you will be able to spend less time worrying about money and more time living the true Aussie lifestyle.
If you have any questions about this, or about any aspect of studying in Australia, please don’t hesitate to ask! Feel free to ask questions below in the comment section, or email us directly at email@example.com. We are here to help!