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Cost of Living in Perth: Apart from being the capital city of Australia, Perth is also the fourth largest city in the country. Known for its booming economy, the city has a population of over 2 million people with migrants comprising of up to 60% of residents living in Perth suburbs. Overall the largest number of foreign residents living in Perth and Australia as a whole are Europeans and those from Asia.
Although it is known as the most isolated city in the world, Perth offers the best education Australia has to offer. Dubbed the Education City, Perth is home to a number of international students and more keep coming. If you are moving to Perth, Australia, I have done a comprehensive guide on some things you may need to consider.
What does it Cost to Live in Perth?
Perth is considered the fifth most expensive city in Australia. Conversely, it has one of the lowest costs of living in all Australian cities. The accommodation options, basic food and non- alcoholic drinks are less costly compared to other major cities. Public transport is also efficient and affordable.
Nonetheless, being new to the city, you will definitely spend a lot more in the first few months. That’s because you are required to furnish your rental house or apartment in addition to paying rent on a weekly basis. You however can save some money by buying second-hand furniture and ensuring you buy new energy-saving appliances to save on the electricity bill.
Perth is one of the cheapest city to rent a home compared to all other Cities in Australia. A rental house usually goes for $ 355 per week and $ 300 for units per week. If you decide to stay in the CBD and inner suburbs, be ready to spend $600- $650 per week on East Perth.
However, there are cheaper apartments and units at East Perth that charge $300- $390 per week. For other rental houses close to the CBD, Osborne Park which is 8 kilometers from Perth has one-bedroom units for $230 per week, two-bedroom houses for $295, three bedrooms houses for $300- $350.
If you are on a budget, the cheapest house can be found in Daglish and Shoalwater areas. The median units go for $220 per week and $215 respectively. Daglish is located only 4 kilometers from Perth CBD, while Shoalwater‘s distance is 14 kilometers from Perth, in the city of Rockingham.
For international students, there are several accommodation options to choose from. On-campus student accommodation goes for $162-$336. Renting a home or unit will cost from $165-$445 per week. Homestay is another good option where the student stays with an Australian family. The cost per week is mostly from $235-$325. Lastly, youth hostels and guesthouses charge from $90-$160 per week.
When budgeting for house rent, you need to also consider the cost of utilities such as electricity, gas, water, heating, cooling, garbage and internet. For most places in Perth, the utility bills vary depending on the usage and accommodation. If you are two people living in an 85m2 apartment, the monthly cost will be roughly between $180 and $194. For one person living in a 480 square studio, the monthly bills will be $146.
Note that the bill does not include internet and mobile phone calls. Therefore, for internet usage, you can choose either the 60Mbps or more and get unlimited data as well as cable for approximately $69.34. Alternatively, you can go for the one month 8Mbps for $56. Additionally, the one-minute local prepaid call will cost you $0.52.
Food & Drink (Eating Out)
Just like other cities in Australia, some food and drinks can be quiet pricey in Perth. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs $20 dollars while a combo meal in McDonald’s is $11. If you and your partner want to enjoy a three-course meal on a mid-range restaurant you will spend $95.50.
Non- alcoholic drinks such as water cost $2.72 for a 0.33 liter bottle while a coke/Pepsi the same liter as water bottle costs $2.98. A regular cappuccino will cost you $4.63.
For alcoholic drinks, beer is sold on various places such as the supermarket, restaurants, and pubs. A 0.5 liter of a domestic beer in a supermarket will cost you $4.49 and in a restaurant $10. However, imported beer is more expensive in restaurants as it goes for $20 and in the supermarket $6.25. Finally, if you prefer enjoying a glass of wine, a bottle at a mid-range supermarket will cost you $15.
When it comes to buying groceries, it all comes down to the quality and quantity. For a fresh 500 gram loaf of bread, you will pay $2.94. 1kg of chicken breasts is $11.17 while beef is $14.11. For cheese lovers, the price of 1kg of local cheese is usually $9.18.
For fruits and vegetables, 1kg of potatoes goes for $2.50, 1kg of tomatoes cost $ 4.26 while lettuce goes for $2.21. Furthermore, fruits such as apples cost $3.97 per kg, bananas goes for $3.43 and oranges cost $3. 59.
However, the best way to save money while buying groceries is purchasing a discounted gift card from Woolworths or shopping at Aldi. Another option is to buy your shopping at Middle Eastern owned outlets found in Mirrabooka Plaza in Dianella or Galleria Morley.
Getting around Perth is made easy due to the well-established public transport networks. You can take the bus, ferry or train with Perth’s rail service which has been rated highest for six years in a rollover all other major cities in Australia.
TransPerth is the best public transport system to use as it offers smartRider cards. The card is a reusable smart card that allows easy, hassle-free travel. There are many SmardRider options starting with a standard card that offers a 10% discount off the cash fare. Other cards are concession smartRider, senior’s smartRider, pensioner smartRider, and student’s smartRider cards among others.
To obtain these kinds of cards, visit TransPerth InfoCentres or retail sales outlets all over Perth. Note that, if you don’t have a smartRider card, a one-way ticket on any local transport will cost you $4.40 while a monthly ticket will cost you $130.43.
Nonetheless, with a monthly pass on regular prices, you will spend $103. If you decide to take a taxi, the normal tariff will start at $4.80 while for car owners fuel costs $1.41 per liter.
Entertainment and Travel
Perth is a vibrant city and there all kinds of entertainment for working-class residents as well as students. For a day at the theatre, you will spend $18 for a ticket and $35 for two tickets. Additionally, a basic dinner for two people in a pub will cost you $52 while for one beer you will spend $11.
If you spend a night out on a downtown pub, a cocktail drink will cost you $19.
Moreover, for those itching to see the city but are on a budget, there are various tour companies offering sightseeing combo passes all over Perth.
Clothing, Electronics and Other personal Items
Electronics can be overpriced in Perth just like in other cities in Australia. Nonetheless, there are online platforms that enable you to purchase electronics at a cheaper price such as eBay. Another great online store is the grey market that is based in Australia that offers affordable prices.
For clothing, you can visit several chain stores such as Zara, H &M and get the chance to choose a variety of clothes. For example, a summer dress will cost you $51.00 while a pair of jeans is $96. Furthermore, to be able to buy affordable cosmetics, visit Perth local chemists and priceline stores.