Jump to content

You're currently viewing the forum as a Guest
register-now-button_orig.png
and join in with discussions   
ask migration questions
message other members

..and much much more!

Guest mikka711

Canberra Cost of Living...

Recommended Posts

Guest mikka711

Hi, we're preparing for the move and I've searched the forums but can't find a COL list for Canberra. How about we start one up and hopefully it could become a sticky.

(The main things that google search throws up are surveys putting Canberra amongst the most expensive cities in the world!!!)

 

Can anyone help fill in the blanks please? I know it'll vary from household to household (eg we are a family of five and expect to pay around $700 pw rent) but it would be very useful to get some figures down:

 

**Edit: Have added some tentative guesstimates based on utilities' websites etc **

 

 

Monthly Outgoings $$$

 

 

Rent: 2800 (at 700 pw)

Food: 550

Private health insurance: 250

Fire tax: 8.50

Ambo insurance: 16

Electric:110

Gas: ??

House Insurance: 55

Car Insurance: 35

Car Tax/Rego: 60

Council Tax: 135 approx

Water rates: 37

Sewage rates: 44 (132 per quarter)

Petrol:??

Mobile Phones (one smartphone, one regular):??

Internet:??

Cable TV:??

Phone:??

Heating/Aircon:??

School Supplies:??

Parking:??

 

 

 

 

TIA:v_SPIN:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest destinationoz

I'm afraid I can't help but I would be interested to know any answers - thanks for the post!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest mrg

Good post, we are about to apply for SS from ACT so any and all figures for the above would be welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll have a go but we are a bit of a different family - 2 elderly folk no mortgage/rent and a pension income and a part time job with various visitors from time to time

 

Monthly Outgoings $$$

Rent: No rent, no mortgage any more thank heavens (however with your projections 2800 at 700 pw - that is probably on the high side, you can probably get away with $500 - $600 per week for rental, mortgage probably about $3k per month, all depends on how much deposit you have and how much you need to borrow but I think that is about the average mortgage repayment for ACT)

Food: $ 800 - $1000 a month - the DH only eats organic (grows his own vegies) and we eat out quite often, that's usually around the $150 a time for the two of us but we do go to very nice restaurants and drink nice wine. Coffee with workmates and friends also adds up

Private health insurance: $257 a month

Fire tax: dont have fire tax as far as I know but rates are about $120 - $150 a month where we live

Ambo insurance: 16 (ours is included in private health insurance)

Electric: $150 - $250 a quarter but we have solar hot water and a wood fire heater for winter - DH scavenges otherwise wood would cost us around $1000 for the winter. Our one bedroom granny flat is anywhere between $200 and $400 a quarter all depending on who is staying in it, totally electric including heating and air con

Gas: dont have gas

House Insurance: around $650 a year

House contents is about the same around $650 pa

Car Insurance: two cars, one is $200 a year and the other is around $600 a year from memory

Car Tax/Rego: Rego and third party is around $700 per year (being elderly we get a bit of a discount) per car and we also have a trailer at around $50 per year

Council Tax: (see rates, we dont have council tax)

Water rates and sewage always billed together: usually $250 - $300 per quarter

Petrol: two cars, neither much used one filled fortnightly at around $70 and the other filled every 3 weeks at about $60 per fill (Dh bikes to work and I usually walk so neither racks up the miles as much as when we were both working in which case I was paying the equivalent of about $80 per week)

Mobile Phones one iphone $46 per month now that I no longer have to pay for the handset I took the contract with (bought the iphone outright tho, the last phone on contract was a dud!!!) and no longer on contract, one regular phone $23 per month (both with Virgin so make use of free Virgin to Virgin texts and calls

Transact landline phone, broadband and very basic cable tv: $110 a month - if you go for foxtel it is going to be around the $35 per week I think. Dont know that I would recommend Transact though

ISP $35 a month

Cable TV: see Transact

Phone: see Transact

Heating/Aircon: no aircon, a poxy evaporative cooler which comes under the power bill, no heating cost because DH and his trusty chain saw scavenge fallen timber from town sites

School Supplies:no kids at home any more but probably around $100 per term bottom line for excursions, voluntary payments etc, uniforms, books etc more on top of that. Private school fees we used to pay now around $15k pa but Catholic schools around $3.5k pa. Child care around $ 65 - 80 per day but you might get child care rebate (kids long gone!!!)

Parking: City centre parking $10 per day rooftop parking unless you get into work very (and I mean VERY early) in which case you might get a rooftop for $8 or 9 per day. Other parts of town not quite so expensive and a few areas are still free for office workers (Barton IIRC). Alternative is bus which is about $2.50 if you buy a book of tickets or $4.40 if you pay for individual rides

Medications two medications a month $68

Doctors visits $35 per visit, probably once every 4 - 5 months (fingers crossed)

 

As I said, we arent the norm and we are rather more profligate in our old age than we were when we had two kids at private school!!!

 

You can see why people in Canberra reckon they need at least two incomes of around the $60 - $80k each in order to make ends meet!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Private health insurance: $257 a month

 

 

Thanks Quoll, that's a really great post. We just gotten our Visa grant on 31 Dec. :biggrin:

heading to Canberra soon this year September (hopefully) ..

 

may i know more about private health insurance and Medicare ?


IELTS - 21/05/09 |*| Graphic Designer VETASSESS 22/06/09 |*| Quota Check 03/07/09 |*| ACT SS 12/11/09 |*| DIAC 176 Visa 24/12/09 |*| CO 23/11/10 |*| Medical 15/12/10 |*| PCC 16/12/10 |*| Visa Granted 31/12/10 |*| Visit 26/09/11 |*| Arrival 08/02/12 *blog*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks Quoll, that's a really great post. We just gotten our Visa grant on 31 Dec. :biggrin:

heading to Canberra soon this year September (hopefully) ..

 

may i know more about private health insurance and Medicare ?

 

Everyone pays for medicare through their deductions every fortnight - it works out to 1.5% of taxable income but if you are a high income earner (not sure what that is any more - around the $145k mark per family I think) then you are slugged an extra 1% of taxable income as a medicare levy surcharge UNLESS you have private health insurance for hospital cover. $250 a month is pretty average for a family - you can pay more or less depending on the cover you want to take and the excess you are prepared to pay.

 

Medicare is a co-payment system (although there will be folk on here who tell you to find a bulk billing doctor - not an animal much seen in Canberra!!!! we have the lowest rate of bulk billing in the country and rightly so, it was designed for low income earners and most Canberrans arent that!) for GP service which means that you go to the doctor, fork out about $60 for the visit and get about $30 back essentially. Public hospital visits are free.

 

Private health insurance only covers you for private hospital services and ancillary services like dental, optical, physio, chiro etc. You dont get any benefit from private health cover just to see a GP, nor a specialist in their rooms but if you need hospital admission and want a doctor of your choice then it becomes important. You have 12 months from arrival in Australia to decide if you want private health cover before they slug you for increased premiums (they go up for every year you are over 30 years of age but if you join within the first 12 months then you are forever 30 with your premium payments)

 

Pharmaceuticals are covered on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme which is an add on to medicare really. The max you will pay for any fill of a drug on the PBS is just over $30 and repeats usually give you a month of medication. There is a safety net so if you spend over about $1200 a year on meds then they go down to the concession rate which is around $5 per fill.

 

Dont worry, you'll get the hang of it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
if you join within the first 12 months then you are forever 30 with your premium payments

 

 

thanks again Quoll, this is very informative.

Will keep that in mind. :biggrin:


IELTS - 21/05/09 |*| Graphic Designer VETASSESS 22/06/09 |*| Quota Check 03/07/09 |*| ACT SS 12/11/09 |*| DIAC 176 Visa 24/12/09 |*| CO 23/11/10 |*| Medical 15/12/10 |*| PCC 16/12/10 |*| Visa Granted 31/12/10 |*| Visit 26/09/11 |*| Arrival 08/02/12 *blog*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest MagsInCanberra
thanks again Quoll, this is very informative.

Will keep that in mind. :biggrin:

Hi,

i did these figures recently they might be useful. We are a family of 4, 2 kids age 1 and 3 in an oldish 4 bed house with gas heating,water and electric cooking. We also have air con for summer....based on last years bills

 

$2,166

rent (500 pw)$1,300

food and petrol (300 pw)$112

electric per month$133

gas per month$70

water per month$260

schooling ($30 pw per child Rosary Primary Watson )$56

car registration/3rd party insurance(VW Passat) per month$38

car insurance (AAMI comprehensive insurance on 1998 VW Passat) PM$17

house contents insurance (based on value of $52000 from NRMA)PM$93

phone/tv/ISP per month

Mags

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest mikka711

Have not been on for a while - houseclearing etc, but -

Quoll many thanks for number crunching/medicare info:notworthy:

Magsincanberra thanks for your input too:biggrin:

Hopefully over time other contributors will chip in so there's a broader type of households. With the skewed job market in the ACT it's key those of us heading out get a realistic idea of COL:radar:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest MagsInCanberra
Hi,

i did these figures recently they might be useful. We are a family of 4, 2 kids age 1 and 3 in an oldish 4 bed house with gas heating,water and electric cooking. We also have air con for summer....based on last years bills

 

$2,166

rent (500 pw)$1,300

food and petrol (300 pw)$112

electric per month$133

gas per month$70

water per month$260

schooling ($30 pw per child Rosary Primary Watson )$56

car registration/3rd party insurance(VW Passat) per month$38

car insurance (AAMI comprehensive insurance on 1998 VW Passat) PM$17

house contents insurance (based on value of $52000 from NRMA)PM$93

phone/tv/ISP per month

Mags

 

sorry just realised the formatting got messed up with the above figures heres the correct version

 

myself

husbandGross income$50,000

$60,000medicare levy$750

$900tax$8,300

$11,850net$40,950

$47,250total annual income$88,200

 

Monthly income$7,350

 

 

 

 

Expenses$2,166

rent (500 pw)

$1,300

food and petrol (300 pw)

$112

electric per month

$133

gas per month

$70

water per month

$260

schooling ($30 pw per child Rosary Primary Watson )

$56

car registration/3rd party insurance(VW Passat) per month

$38

car insurance (AAMI comprehensive insurance on 1998 VW Passat) PM

$17

house contents insurance (based on value of $52000 from NRMA)PM

$93

phone/tv/ISP per monthMonthlyexpenses$4,245

 

Monthlyremaining$3,105

 

 

hope its useful!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mortgage $350 pw

Food roughly $100-150pw

Fuel $70pw (one bike and 1 car)

Elec $55 pw

Phones internet $110pm

Car Rego and Green slips (Bike rego $108, green slip $504 per year Car is about $350 rego and $350 green slip. Fully comp insurance on the car is about $640)

House insurance $370 per year

Life insurance $33 per fortnight (i think)

Rates I think are about $100 per fortnight but misses deals with this

Strata is about the same as above but the misses deals with it

 

just be aware that i live in Queanbeyan not Canberra so the cost are a little different to the other posters

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest mikka711

Not wanting to be dim, but what's a green slip:unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Compulsory third party insurance required as part of your rego to be precise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
its included on the ACT rego but in NSW you get to choose your provider

 

Yes, it's about time we had that luxury as well but I dont know why the providers just arent interested in the competition here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll have a go but we are a bit of a different family - 2 elderly folk no mortgage/rent and a pension income and a part time job with various visitors from time to time

 

Good day Quoll,

I hope you don't mind me invading the forum but I have been looking at posts and you always seem to have honest and helpful views on just about anything and I could really do with your advice right now. My husband has been offered a job in Canberra (Mitchell area) and it will be on a 457 visa. We have 3 kids (5,3,1) I need clarification on a few issues. You mentioned that Canberra have a free universal preschool system even for temp visitors - does that mean IF i can get a place for the 3 year old (nearly 4) he would get a year "Kindy" free? Also you had mentioned there are a few not so great school due to reputation can you suggest any "good" schools in the area. Another question i have is that ACT charge huge money for education for 457's BUT someone had posted a while ago they put their kids into private school to save money. I have looked at a few private school and yes the fees are around 4K but do we still have to pay the 9500-13500 on top of this?

Next question is rental......... Yes we have looked at allhomes and realestate websites but not knowing where is ok-ish it is hard to make a call. Also my husband could be working away for anything from 1-3 weeks of a month so there is no need for him to be "close" to work, any idea on a further out nice area that might be cheaper.

I am a childcare worker myself (0-6 years) and am hoping to get part time work (would like to be home in the afternoons for the eldest coming home from school) I am in the process of trying to find out how to have my qualifications assessed as i don't have a degree of diploma, mine are Certificates. There seems to be a shortage of childcare workers so fingers crossed it will work out for me. your cost of living thread was really good and it has given me a good idea on what to expect but I would say it will be a while before we are eating out in nice restaurants and drinking good wine with 3 kids in tow

 

Sorry for rambling but trying to get as much info as possible before signing the contracts.

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll have a go but we are a bit of a different family - 2 elderly folk no mortgage/rent and a pension income and a part time job with various visitors from time to time

 

Good day Quoll,

I hope you don't mind me invading the forum but I have been looking at posts and you always seem to have honest and helpful views on just about anything and I could really do with your advice right now. My husband has been offered a job in Canberra (Mitchell area) and it will be on a 457 visa. We have 3 kids (5,3,1) I need clarification on a few issues. You mentioned that Canberra have a free universal preschool system even for temp visitors - does that mean IF i can get a place for the 3 year old (nearly 4) he would get a year "Kindy" free? Also you had mentioned there are a few not so great school due to reputation can you suggest any "good" schools in the area. Another question i have is that ACT charge huge money for education for 457's BUT someone had posted a while ago they put their kids into private school to save money. I have looked at a few private school and yes the fees are around 4K but do we still have to pay the 9500-13500 on top of this?

Next question is rental......... Yes we have looked at allhomes and realestate websites but not knowing where is ok-ish it is hard to make a call. Also my husband could be working away for anything from 1-3 weeks of a month so there is no need for him to be "close" to work, any idea on a further out nice area that might be cheaper.

I am a childcare worker myself (0-6 years) and am hoping to get part time work (would like to be home in the afternoons for the eldest coming home from school) I am in the process of trying to find out how to have my qualifications assessed as i don't have a degree of diploma, mine are Certificates. There seems to be a shortage of childcare workers so fingers crossed it will work out for me. your cost of living thread was really good and it has given me a good idea on what to expect but I would say it will be a while before we are eating out in nice restaurants and drinking good wine with 3 kids in tow

 

Sorry for rambling but trying to get as much info as possible before signing the contracts.

 

Thanks

 

 

Oops I lied - I just checked the ACTED site http://www.det.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/151100/2011_Application_Temp_Residents_Printable.pdf and it looks as ithey do now charge for preschool, they didnt a few years ago $3600 at the mo. Sorry to give you a bum steer on that one.

 

They will waive fees if the visa holders skill is on the SOL and it is worth calling them to find out.

 

The last time I spoke to the Catholic Education office they just charged regular fees for 457 visa holders and have not heard anything different lately.

 

Working in Mitchell you will probably want t be northside - either inner north, gungahlin or eastern Belconnen for choice. Imho it doesnt get nicer as it gets cheaper further out (if you see what I mean!!!). For school information check out Find a school | ACARA But nothing really beats the eyeball test - you have to choose a place that suits you. There is nowhere so totally gruesome that you cant walk down the streets but you will know if you feel comfortable or not - Charnwood, Richardson and some bits of Narrabundah usually get the worst rep!

 

You might be interested in being a Family Day Carer Employment Opportunities

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great info Quoll thanks, had a look at the site and will that one saved to my favourites:biggrin::biggrin:

I am sure I will have loads more to ask but for now I am researching researching....

Thanks again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am looking to apply for ACT nomination and need to provide estimate of cost of living in Canberra. I have family of 4 (2 children, one is 2.25 and other one 1.25 yrs both girls). Here are my questions..

 

1) Are there any necessary insurance that I have to make if I am granted 190 visa? Like private health, childcare, home contents insurance etc..I would appreciate a list of must have insurances for immigrants. Also, let me know what are the rates and where can I get those insurances?

 

2) Since both of my girls are less than 3 years old, do I have to include the schooling cost? If yes, pleases suggest which schools and their fees?

 

Fahad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Difficult to know where to start but here's a few pointers...

 

Insurance - house & contents insurance will be the same as in the UK; if you rent you'll need contents insurance,if you buy a house you'll need home and contents. You can find the main providers using google (we've used AAMI and NRMA who are like the AA) but as a general rule, the more policies you have with a single provider, the more they'll discount the total premium.

 

Healthcare is more complex and will depend on your visa/circumstances. If you're not an Australian citizen you won't be elligible to use their health services without paying unless your home country has a reciprocal healthcare arrangement (the UK does) but the reciprocal healthcare arrangement only provides basic health cover so you will probably need to take out a form of top-up insurance (to cover things like ambulance charges) unless your visa specifically waives such charges (sorry I'm not familiar with the 190 visa).

 

In addition, the Australian government also introduced a healthcare levy on high earners (i.e. those earning over about $140,000 p.a. from memory) which means that you'll incur an additional tax charge of 1.5% (and this percentage increases each year) unless you have healthcare insurance (and in my case, the insurance top-up that I had to top up on the reciprocal healthcare arrangement did not count so I had to get a second policy). The good news is that BUPA Australia seem to be very familiar with the healthcare levy and insurance requirements for all sorts of visas - you can contact them through www.bupa.com.au .

 

After that car insurance and the rest are broadly the same as in the UK except that basic third party injury insurance is included with your annual road tax charge (which is why it will cost $700-$1,000) dollars a year rather than £150 or so at home. The annual road tax charge here tends to just be abbreviated to 'Rego' and the details can be found at www.rego.act.gov.au .

 

Children won't normally start school until they 4-5 years old. Canberra was designed to have a primary school for every suburb but demographic changes means that this is not now always the case, but nonetheless there are plenty. There are broadly three types of schools; state schools, semi-independent and private (my terminology I'm afraid).

In Australia unless your visa includes schooling rights, you'll need to pay a percentage of the nominal cost of educating a child each year - last year this was around $9,500 p.a. and the contribution percentage for the ACT was 100% (it was 30% in NSW and 0% everywhere else) so it will cost you $9,500 plus a processing fee of about $500 to get your child into a local state school (as a rule if you're a migrant the Australian authorities will charge you heavily for just about every interaction with government so that just dealing with potential migrants doesn't burden the Australian taxpayer - very different to the UK). Details can be found at: http://www.det.act.gov.au/school_education/enrolling_in_an_act_public_school (note that when you google anything to do with Australian government/authorities, there will be both a state and a federal 'Department of Education and Training' so you need to be sure which you're looking for, and note there is not always a one to one correlation between state and federal departmental names/remits).

 

The semi-independents are generally Catholic Schools (but widely used by people of many denominations). I think historically in the early days of Australian settlement the Catholic Churchwere the only body to provide schools and so they were eventually subsidised and became a de-facto part of the state provision of schooling. They often provide a better environment but due to their popularity and large class sizes the standard of education may not be as high as in the better state schools - nonetheless, ordinary Australians will pay about $3,000-$4,000 p.a. but as a migrant you'd probably also have to pay the subsidised element too bringing the total to about $11,000-12,000 p.a.

 

Finally there are the totally independent/private fee paying schools of which Canberra Grammar and Radford are probably the two best in town. They'll cost you a flat rate of $12,000-$15,000 p.a. (plus excursions etc) for junior school places and there are waiting lists for places (for a country with such an 'egalitarian' society, most Australians will turn to private or semi-independent schools if they can afford it. Local state schools have to take your kidsif you live in the catchment area, the others can take who they please.

 

Again, just use google to find them as there are plenty of guides e.g. http://www.australianschoolsdirectory.com.au/canberra-schools.php . Australian schools are evaluated and listed in league tables by school year results so you can see which the better ones are at: http://bettereducation.com.au/Results/ACT.aspx

 

My daughter did her kindergarden in a state school, year 1 in a Catholic school and she's now just been given a place in a private school so we've some experience of the processes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Bazinga

Pretty sure on 190 you don't pay anything for schooling and are PRs so you can have a Medicare card?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×