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Expat Exchange - Cost of Living in Melbourne 2024
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Centre Place in Melbourne


Cost of Living in Melbourne

By Betsy Burlingame

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: If you're moving to Melbourne, understanding the the cost of living in Melbourne helps you know what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Apartment Rentals The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Melbourne is $1,890 per month. The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $2,400 per month. The median rent for a three-bedroom apartment is $3,000 per month.
Apartment Purchases The median price for a one-bedroom apartment in Melbourne is $400,000. The median price for a two-bedroom apartment is $500,000. The median price for a three-bedroom apartment is $600,000.
Transportation Public transportation in Melbourne is relatively inexpensive. A single-trip ticket on the tram, train, or bus costs $4.50. A daily ticket costs $8.80. A weekly ticket costs $38.50. A monthly ticket costs $146.50.
Groceries The cost of groceries in Melbourne is relatively low. A loaf of bread costs around $2.50. A liter of milk costs around $1.50. A dozen eggs costs around $4.00. A kilogram of apples costs around $3.00.
Restaurants The cost of eating out in Melbourne is relatively low. A meal at a fast food restaurant costs around $10. A meal at a mid-range restaurant costs around $20. A meal at a high-end restaurant costs around $50.
Utilities The cost of utilities in Melbourne is relatively low. The average monthly cost for electricity is around $100. The average monthly cost for gas is around $50. The average monthly cost for water is around $30.
Private School Tuition The cost of private school tuition in Melbourne varies depending on the school. The average annual tuition for preschool is around $7,000. The average annual tuition for elementary school is around $10,000. The average annual tuition for middle school is around $12,000. The average annual tuition for high school is around $15,000.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Melbourne

"The cost of living in Melbourne is generally considered to be higher than the average for most cities in the world. Although rent and groceries can be expensive, there are many ways to manage your expenses. Transportation costs are generally low and there are a variety of options for getting around the city. Taxes are comparably low and life in Melbourne offers plenty of free entertainment such as festivals and parks. In short, living in Melbourne can be affordable with a little bit of planning," said one expat living in Melbourne, Australia.

Can I live in Melbourne on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Melbourne for a while now, and I can tell you that it's possible to live on $1,500 a month, but you'll have to make some sacrifices. First, you'll need to find a place to live that's affordable. Some of the more expensive neighborhoods like South Yarra, Toorak, and St Kilda might be out of your budget. Instead, consider looking for a shared apartment or house in more affordable areas like Footscray, Brunswick, or Coburg. These neighborhoods are still close to the city and have good public transport options, but the rent is more reasonable.Next, you'll need to be mindful of your spending on food and entertainment. Eating out can be quite expensive in Melbourne, so you'll want to cook at home as much as possible. Shopping at local markets and discount supermarkets like Aldi can help you save on groceries. When it comes to entertainment, there are plenty of free or low-cost events and activities in the city, like visiting the many parks and gardens, attending free festivals, or checking out the National Gallery of Victoria, which has free entry.Transportation can also be a significant expense, so consider getting a myki card and using public transport instead of driving or using rideshare services. Walking or cycling is also a great way to save money and explore the city.Finally, be prepared to cut back on some of the luxuries you might be used to. For example, you might need to skip the gym membership and work out at home or in the park, or cut back on shopping for clothes and other non-essential items.Overall, living on $1,500 a month in Melbourne is doable, but it will require some adjustments and sacrifices. By being mindful of your spending and taking advantage of the more affordable options the city has to offer, you can make it work," commented an expat living in Melbourne.

Can I live in Melbourne on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Melbourne for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, but you'll need to make some sacrifices and be smart about your spending. First, you'll need to find an affordable place to live. Some of the more expensive neighborhoods like South Yarra, Toorak, and St Kilda might be out of your budget, so I'd recommend looking into more affordable areas like Footscray, Brunswick, or Coburg. These neighborhoods are still close to the city and have good public transport options, but the rent is more reasonable.Next, you'll need to be mindful of your spending on food and entertainment. Eating out in Melbourne can be quite expensive, so you'll want to cook at home as much as possible. There are plenty of fresh food markets and affordable grocery stores in the city, so you can still eat well without breaking the bank. When it comes to entertainment, there are plenty of free or low-cost events and activities happening around the city, so you won't have to spend a fortune to have a good time.Transportation is another area where you can save money. Melbourne has an extensive public transport system, and if you live close to a train station or tram stop, you can get around the city quite easily without a car. A monthly public transport pass will cost you around $150, which is much cheaper than maintaining a car and paying for parking.Finally, you'll need to be mindful of your utility bills and other living expenses. Make sure to turn off lights and appliances when not in use, and try to conserve water and energy as much as possible. This will not only help you save money but also reduce your environmental impact.In summary, living comfortably on $3,000 a month in Melbourne is possible, but you'll need to be smart about your spending and make some sacrifices. By choosing an affordable neighborhood, cooking at home, using public transport, and being mindful of your utility usage, you can make it work," said one expat living in Melbourne.

Can I live in Melbourne on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Melbourne for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. However, you might have to make a few sacrifices in terms of location and lifestyle choices. For example, you might not be able to live in the most expensive neighborhoods like Toorak, South Yarra, or Brighton, where rents can be quite high. Instead, you could consider more affordable areas like Footscray, Coburg, or Preston, which are still well-connected to the city and have a good mix of amenities.In terms of housing, you might have to opt for a smaller apartment or share a house with others to keep your rent costs down. But you can still find modern, well-maintained properties in these areas. You'll also need to be mindful of your utility bills and try to conserve energy and water where possible.When it comes to transportation, you might want to rely on public transport instead of owning a car, as parking and petrol can be expensive in Melbourne. The city has a great public transport system, including trains, trams, and buses, so getting around shouldn't be a problem.Eating out and entertainment can also be quite pricey in Melbourne, so you might have to limit how often you go out to restaurants, bars, or events. However, there are plenty of affordable options if you know where to look, and you can always cook at home to save money.Overall, living on $5,000 a month in Melbourne is doable, but you'll need to be smart about your spending and be willing to make some sacrifices. But in my experience, the city has so much to offer that it's worth it," commented an expat living in Melbourne.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Centre Place in Melbourne

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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