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Hoo2Victoria

Cost of Living - Our Observations since moving to Melbourne

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I have read many posts about the cost of living in Australia and also used to watch Wanted Down Under that always pitched that the costs of living in Australia are high.

 

We've moved from South East England (not far from London) to Melbourne.

 

So far these are my own experiences of cost of living.

 

1. Food - very much on par with what I used to spend back in the UK. Back in the UK I used to shop in Aldi (they're everywhere over here) and also Asda which is like our Coles over here (just missing the George range) :)

 

The only differences I would say between UK and Aussie supermarkets is the variety. There seems to be less variety within the shops over here than the UK. However, we have a lot of separate shops, i.e. Butchers, Seafood Stalls, Fruit/Veg Stalls etc. Unlike the UK where the Supermarkets have taken control and monopolised these areas.

 

2. Fuel - well let's just say it's far cheaper over here to fill the tank than it is in the UK. Here it costs me just over $60 to fill my 1.8 Holden Astra Diesel Car. Back in the UK it was costing me £60 to fill the tank on my Citreon Picasso.

 

3. Gas/Electricity - to tell you the truth I have not been here long enough to compare - however so far the predictions of my last bill is that we are using $1.93 a day in Electric and $1.40 in Gas.

 

4. Water Bills - I have yet to receive a bill - but will update once I know what this was (I used to work in this Industry - so this will be interesting).

 

5. Goods - when we first arrived we had to purchase a double mattress a single mattress and a new double bed with mattress. It cost the same as it would have done if we had bought these in the UK. We have bought bedroom furniture in Ikea in Richmond Australia and this has worked out slightly more and slightly less than what we would have paid for the same furniture in Lakeside, Essex.

 

6. Clothes - Exactly the same as the UK. The best shops we have bought clothes are from Best & Less, Kmart, Big W and Factorie. I must admit however, I have ordered Bra's from Marks & Spencer! My excuse is that I have big boobs and I like Marks & Spencer Bras!!

 

7. Cars! - My OH works in the Car Industry and we still can't get over the cost of cars over here! What we would consider worth only a couple hundred of quid is actually valued over $1,000!! The other thing to remember when you move to Melbourne is the Rego. However, this is your car tax and your Third Party Insurance rolled into one. We have noticed however, that the roads are so much better than the UK and this is because of the Rego.

 

If I think of anything else to add or if anyone else wants to add anything, then please feel free.

Edited by Hoo2Victoria

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I would agree with your observations. I think the add-ons are more expensive tho. For instance, cinema, Australian open (compared to Wimbledon), sandwiches for lunch (even taking into account the 2.2 calculations), yearly car tax, car insurance, private health cover (and the fact that BUPA Oz don't cover the same way as BUPA UK when it's actually more expensive).

 

Ok, I am sounding like a grump. Haha. I'm not. I love the food markets, the cheaper patrol, the fact that you drive for no more than 45 minutes and you are by the beach, in the wine valley, up the mountains, etc

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I agree with you both, water is more as we are on a meter here but that hadnt reached the back of beyond where we were in the uk (we had septic tanks too in the UK) Gas and Electric have been a little cheaper but we havent had the summer electric bill but sod it i want the aircon on all day some days!!!

 

Getting used to the food, miss dreadfully the variety in supermarkets but as you say the small shop is still going here. Agree on M&S Bras!! tried a shop at Brand Smart but the bras were not as nice!!

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By variety in supermarkets I meant Sainsburys/Asda/Tesco/waitrose/morrisons as we had all within 20 miles ( I had to drive a lot!!) so would vary where I went...

Yes, miss amazon, esp with their international charges... :(

 

On the plus side, Costco is coming on at Ringwood..

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I think some things are less and some are more - it all works out I think. What we have always tried to do is work as a percentage of income as opposed to conversion of currency.

 

Our rental is more than it was in UK. Comparable distance from CBD etc but then its a much nicer house and area than we came from.

Food - I probably spend a little bit more than I was in the UK but I could save money if I really had to.

Childcare - Not even an option over here whereas in the UK we had the monster in private nursery for 2 days a week even on 1 wage.

Gas/Electric - still not been here long enough to properly compare but again I know I could save money on it if I had to but if Im cold the heating goes on and if Im hot the air con goes on (my excuse is I dont smoke or drink so let me have my treats lol)

Shopping - yes I do miss my haunts as such but Im gradually finding places to get better deals. I do think clothes are much more expensive and not necessarily getting better quality for it. Having 2 teenage girls I probably notice this quite a lot as all I seem to do is shop!

Activities/Days Out - we have found this is where we are really saving money as a family. There are still things we look at and think its just too pricey but I dont think its as much. We get out and do so much more here but again that could be an unconscious reaction to the whole ideology of coming here to better things for us as a family.

Dining/Restaurants - this we are finding a lot more costly and again not as much variety. I think we may find this changes as we get to know the place better and find more little gems etc. Currently I think all 5 of us would give our left leg for a Harvester.

 

We are probably very different from most families who have come over in that we actually arent better off wage wise - for us the move was fuelled by personal reasons around the family etc. I had expected to find it a struggle and I do know I'm more penny conscious than I was in the UK and I know that I can make a lot more tightening in the old strings if I need to as well before we would have to say it wasnt working for us here.

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On the plus side, Costco is coming on at Ringwood..

 

Yay for Costco - been hanging on getting membership till its opened - preying they have the croissants, pizzas, muffins ......... ok im a fat pig!!

x

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Yay for Costco - been hanging on getting membership till its opened - preying they have the croissants, pizzas, muffins ......... ok im a fat pig!!

x

 

Maybe we can meet up!

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The cost of a cinema ticket compared to the UK is expensive. We went to the Cinema yesterday and it was $16.50 (£10.85) for an Adult Ticket and $12.50 (£8.22) for a child ticket! However, they do do a $6 a ticket showings every now and then at Village Cinemas.

 

I have also found that Yoghurt is expensive over here! I haven't bought Yoghurt since I've been here - well apart from the pouches from Aldi for Emily's packing up.

 

Rachel really likes Factorie which is very much like New Look and Valley Girl which is a bit like Primark (slightly more expensive). I have yet to find a clothes shop that compares to Next yet!! Oh and George (Asda) - I think I will be on Ebay to see if I can get any bargains on there that will ship over here :)

 

I must agree with the lack of good reasonable priced restaurants over here. It would be nice to have something like a Frankie & Benny's and a Hungry Horse/Harvester/Weatherspoons chain over here. We did go to a lovely restaurant for my Birthday, but the bill was about $120 for the four of us!!

 

Oh and we don't buy beer like we did in the UK. You could pick up Fosters quite cheap in the UK, it's blooming expensive here :)

 

Saying that, we make sure we're out and about every weekend as a family and we have the weather for it, unlike the UK!!

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Hi Hoo2Victoria

 

You've posted some useful stuff about Melbourne in some of your posts, many thanks.

 

I'm heading to Melbourne on 4th Feb, initially on a short contract on a 457 visa.....but hoping things develop from there :-)

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Hi Hoo2Victoria

 

You've posted some useful stuff about Melbourne in some of your posts, many thanks.

 

I'm heading to Melbourne on 4th Feb, initially on a short contract on a 457 visa.....but hoping things develop from there :-)

 

Thank you. We'd never visited Australia before we made the move! We do however have family over here, but they live in Adelaide and every state is different (you will soon find this out)!

 

I remember actually wondering whether I was doing the right thing and felt very out of my depth (I like to be in control of everything).

 

The only way you learn and find anything out is if you ask.

 

Australians and members on this forum are very friendly and I have yet to receive a bad experience :)

 

There is a "meet up" in Albert Park on 23rd February if you fancy coming along.

 

Safe journey to Melbourne.

 

Claire

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logieboogie I'm surprised what you've said about child care. I've worked out it's better value over here than in the UK. I think we paid about 38 pounds for an 8 hour day in the UK but here it's $40 for a 12 hour day, if we want it. That's taking the 50% rebate into account that I think everyone is entitled to. How much were you paying or are you getting charged??

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logieboogie I'm surprised what you've said about child care. I've worked out it's better value over here than in the UK. I think we paid about 38 pounds for an 8 hour day in the UK but here it's $40 for a 12 hour day, if we want it. That's taking the 50% rebate into account that I think everyone is entitled to. How much were you paying or are you getting charged??

 

Hi Anna - we are on the 457 visa. With that you aren't entitled to any other benefit or rebate whatsoever (only Medicare if you come from a reciprocal country).

In the UK, our nursery was about £48 for a 10 hour day - but then I received the State Nursery vouchers so paid the difference of about £20/25 a day. When I looked here, the cheapest equivalent was $85 for 10 hour days and then no assistance.

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Hi Anna - we are on the 457 visa. With that you aren't entitled to any other benefit or rebate whatsoever (only Medicare if you come from a reciprocal country).

In the UK, our nursery was about £48 for a 10 hour day - but then I received the State Nursery vouchers so paid the difference of about £20/25 a day. When I looked here, the cheapest equivalent was $85 for 10 hour days and then no assistance.

 

Ahh, that makes sense now - you could get the 'benefits' in the UK but no entitlement here yet. One day! ;)

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I have to agree with looboogie. Childcare costs seems much more expensive. 1 day holiday Playscheme here is around $74 (camp australia). In the UK, I used to pay £26 a day in the UK and this is without any benefits. Perhaps if we qualified for the 50% rebate (we are also on 457), it would work out better :)

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Thats some good information you have all put on, really helps me, we fly out to come over on the 11th Feb 2013 and I am now feeling very scared and unsure as we also have never been or even visited Australia. Is there any point in bringing the kids school clothe (boy and girl) starting to pack now and a bit unsure of what to bring in the case.

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Don't worry, I was the same, never been here before and there are a few on here that hadn't been either. In regards to school, if you are looking at public (state) schools, they wear trakkies not trousers at a lot of schools and the summer uniform is t shirts shorts and runners style shoes so would recommend picking up a pair of runner style shoes, they don't change for PE so need shoes they can do sport in.

 

Unless you have girls then at our school they wear shoes and dresses and on PE days wear the t shirt and trakkies and trainers!

 

dont worry it's a huge learning curve but it doesn't take long.

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Hi Mandy

 

We were exactly the same as you. Before we validated our Visa in November 2011 we'd never been to Australia! What was I thinking, here was my moving my family to the other side of the world to what??

 

However, it doesn't take long to get into the swing of things. We arrived on the 26th October and it's just a learning experience.

 

With regards to kids school clothes, I wouldn't bother. Each school over here have their own unique uniform. My girls uniform is a Bottle Green/Maroon Colour! Just be prepared for the cost of uniforms over here.

 

For example a junior girls Summer Dress costs at my school costs $45 (£28). I would however bring their Trainers with you. It cost me $705.20 to kit both my girls out with their Summer Uniform and then there is the cost of the School fees on top of that (I will be paying $800 at the end of the month for my girls). However, this again differs, depending which Schools your kids will go to.

 

However, I have just been paid something called the School Kids Bonus, but I am a permanent resident so I can claim. If you're on a 457 Visa, unfortunately you will not be able to claim for this.

 

Hope this helps - but please don't worry, it will all work out in the end :)

 

Thats some good information you have all put on, really helps me, we fly out to come over on the 11th Feb 2013 and I am now feeling very scared and unsure as we also have never been or even visited Australia. Is there any point in bringing the kids school clothe (boy and girl) starting to pack now and a bit unsure of what to bring in the case.

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Me and the girls had our hair cut today. We did visit a no frills hairdressers and it only cost us $52.50 for all 3 of us to get our hair cut. That's about £33.60. Didn't think this was too bad.

 

When I say no frills, I really mean it, it's just a place to get your hair cut - no washing, blow drying etc.

 

My Hubby did have his hair cut not long after we arrived and he paid $40 in some hair dressers in the local Plaza! He will definitely be going to this no frills in the local shopping centre next time :)

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I think some things are less and some are more - it all works out I think. What we have always tried to do is work as a percentage of income as opposed to conversion of currency.

 

Our rental is more than it was in UK. Comparable distance from CBD etc but then its a much nicer house and area than we came from.

Food - I probably spend a little bit more than I was in the UK but I could save money if I really had to.

Childcare - Not even an option over here whereas in the UK we had the monster in private nursery for 2 days a week even on 1 wage.

Gas/Electric - still not been here long enough to properly compare but again I know I could save money on it if I had to but if Im cold the heating goes on and if Im hot the air con goes on (my excuse is I dont smoke or drink so let me have my treats lol)

Shopping - yes I do miss my haunts as such but Im gradually finding places to get better deals. I do think clothes are much more expensive and not necessarily getting better quality for it. Having 2 teenage girls I probably notice this quite a lot as all I seem to do is shop!

Activities/Days Out - we have found this is where we are really saving money as a family. There are still things we look at and think its just too pricey but I dont think its as much. We get out and do so much more here but again that could be an unconscious reaction to the whole ideology of coming here to better things for us as a family.

Dining/Restaurants - this we are finding a lot more costly and again not as much variety. I think we may find this changes as we get to know the place better and find more little gems etc. Currently I think all 5 of us would give our left leg for a Harvester.

 

We are probably very different from most families who have come over in that we actually arent better off wage wise - for us the move was fuelled by personal reasons around the family etc. I had expected to find it a struggle and I do know I'm more penny conscious than I was in the UK and I know that I can make a lot more tightening in the old strings if I need to as well before we would have to say it wasnt working for us here.

 

 

Are you on a PR visa? Do you know that you get half the child care back? I used to pay 39gbp per day in the UK and its $80 a day here but I get 50% back so only 40 making it cheaper than the UK.

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Thank you. We'd never visited Australia before we made the move! We do however have family over here, but they live in Adelaide and every state is different (you will soon find this out)!

 

I remember actually wondering whether I was doing the right thing and felt very out of my depth (I like to be in control of everything).

 

The only way you learn and find anything out is if you ask.

 

Australians and members on this forum are very friendly and I have yet to receive a bad experience :)

 

There is a "meet up" in Albert Park on 23rd February if you fancy coming along.

 

Safe journey to Melbourne.

 

Claire

 

I might be in Brisbane on the 23rd - but the date is noted!

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