Cost of living?

Hi everyone

I like many Poms have been looking and wondering about moving down under and getting a job somewhere that actually sees the sun on a daily basis ( yep, no surprise here; I am a Pom, and yes we are obsessed with the weather).

I have never been, but as usual everyone I know that have been start crying into their warm beer when you ask if Oz is all its cracked up to be, all of them want to come back.

So here I am , applications have gone off a few acknowledgements, a few pending phone interviews, and a few worries about the pay.....

I jacked in my job in the UK over a year ago, for numerous reasons too boring to go into, I never expect to get that much salary again, I was well paid, but out of my mind bored, and I really wanted to ask some Aussies about this great standard of living I have been hearing so much about. In a nutshell how much do you need to have a comfortable lifestyle with a Mortgage and all that jazz?.

My main worry is I aint no spring chicken, I am in my mid thirties, married ( happily, thank god!) with two small kids under five. Is there anyone on this forum in a similar position who can help me out with info as bland as how much do nappies cost?. I hear that the average salary is way below the UK, but it cant cost the same to do a weekly shop?, or can it?

Having done a bit of research, most of the places I have sent off to are around the Brisbane area.Any one working in the games industry and living around there who can help me out I would really appreciate it, and if I do get over there for interviews and the like, the beers will be on me.

Cheers guys and gals, and thanks for reading.

rezn0r's picture

Check out:

Never mind the ugly politician talking at the top of the page.

Creative Assembly also has an awesome page on Brisbane with an assortment of links you should find useful.

Brisbane is a great place to live (near the coast, warm friendly people, laid back atmosphere), and you should find that even a half decent games salary will keep you all fed and happy.

If you do get out here I'll take you up on some of those beers!


indianna500's picture


Thanks for all of the above,That has put my mind at ease regarding the cost of living, and rent etc, etc.

The next question I have is salary. I haven`t been `officially` offered a post yet, but that sticky problem of wages has sort of come up, I think I blew the first interview by mentioning a conversion of what i was on before I quit; I could hear a large intake of breath and wind blowing through the conference room, so i have now adopted the `make me an offer` scenario.

so, guys in your view if there was an Artist with ten years exerience in video games with portfolio work ranging back to the SNES days up to PS2 and Xbox, with a degree in Industrial Design, would AU$45,000 be considered a good salary for Brisbane family living?.

what worried me is when converted only unqualified trainees with no experience and qualifications would be on that in the U.K. Its gone crazy over here with House prices, petrol, even food has gotten out of control, and Beer well your looking at around 5 - 6 dollars a pint ( and thats the North of England, where its supposed to be cheap!) all the more reason to leave as far as I am concerned.

and finally Scott, If I get over there I will have to organise a free bar in Bris for guys on this site and start making some friends ;-)

Thanks again your a star.

shiva's picture

from a salary survey done in australia last year: [url][/url]

Junior - 30/45k
Medium - 45/65k
Senior - 55/75k
Lead - 60-80k

Jacana's picture

Hey indianna500,

Can't tell you prices compared to UK but can compare to US so maybe that can help.

Petrol costs are a lot higher here about 38 cents US a ltr vs 1.30
Health care costs are a lot cheaper here
Food is generally more expensive. 1lb of Chicken about $3 US vs $6 when its on sale.
If you like to smoke you will pay a small fortune.
ATM I pay $480 (this is a fortnight) for a two bedroom appt. Decent location but crap design.
Cost of overseas calls and postage are way cheaper here. You'll find when its expensive a call to the UK is about $15 an hour.
Can't tell you about nappies :) I don't have kids.
For singles, its about $60 a month for decent health cover.
An "average" McDonalds meal is about $6 (fries coke burger)
To eat at a "cheaper" place to dine out you'd pay about $18 - $22 for a main (not asian etc)

As for salary, I know I do spend a bit, but I am on $49k a year now, and as a single I can go through that. It depends on how tight you want to be.

As for taxes I am not sure now, but somehwere over the 50k mark you do get put into the highest tax bracket.

Hope that helps :)

unknownuser2's picture

Heya Indianna,

Heres the tax bracket information that Jacana touched on.

If its a bit hard to follow - basically what it means as an example is ( using the 2005 - 2006 tables )

Lets say your wage was $74,000 au per annum.
You would fit into the 63,001 - 95,000 bracket.
The tax on your wage is 14,760 lump sum regardless of where you are in between the 63,000 - 95,000 + 42 cents in every dollar over 63,000.
So your tax would payable on 74,000 per year income would be 14,760 + 4,620 = $19,380.

Just over a quater of your wages goes straight to big taxman in the sky. Hope that helped [:)]

groovyone's picture

Dude, it depends on what you do and where you're going to live as to what salary will support you comfortably.

If it's Brisbane, cost of living is lower compared to say Sydney or Melbourne. Hope you like humidity as well!

You can survive comfortably on $50k + Super. We have a compulsory %9 super annuation contributions by employer so when asking about salary be sure to consider this. Average house prices in Brisband can be anywhere from $220k - $400k for 4 bedroom depending on location. Have a look at for house prices both renting and buying.

Brisbane and Adelaide both are supposedly cheaper cost of Living, though house prices to salary is not what is was 6 years ago!

A Car will set you back $13k for a Hyundai - 24k for say an Opal Corsa / Holden Astra NEW.

Average Big Mac is about $3.50 Aus.

Cost of Nappies is anywhere from $23 for 90 for 8-11kg or $32 for 108 for newborns Snugglers.

> You'll find when its expensive a call to the UK is about $15 an hour.

We have phone cards which $10 can get you about $300 minutes of calls to the UK.

Our Dialup internet is $25 for flat rate. Broadband can be as cheap as $50 / month for 1.5meg connection which will also include $20 phone card per month costing under 1c per minute to the UK. (TPG)

You won't have to deal with farmers feeding cows to cows or sheep with rotten feet. Most of the UK's organic beef comes from Australia. We don't use as much pesticide and fertilizer on our fresh produce as the USA either.

Brisbane also has a good Asian (as in Chinese) culture. So asian food is good and cheap.

indianna500's picture

Thats great info!

Thanks very much to all of you and if I am lucky enough to get an interview over there i will post an open invite for a pint in Bris.

Cheers guys

trinity's picture

hi there...your in exactly the same boat as me...ive just accepted an offer with a brisbane developer and like you was concerned regards the difference in uk/ozzy salaries.
ive done a fair bit of research and have just decided the best way to find out is to go for it...i mean whats the worst that can happen??
if you didnt decide on the move down under ill post a response in a month letting you know if the $45 000 is enough :-)

Darksai13's picture

I have been wondering what the costs of living in Brisbane were like compared and this gives me an estimate to work off when i eventually move for Uni or a job.