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mollyandhendrix

Advice re. cost of living in Sydney

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Hi, we are trying to decide whether to move to Sydney. There is a possibility my husband could be offered a job so we could go with him getting the 457 sponsored visa. However we cannot decide if we will be able to survive financially on his salary. We are a family of 5 (our children are aged 4, 5 and 21 months) and he'd probably be on approximately 100,000 AUS dollars. However, we understand that you have to pay for medical care and schooling (in the first two years?) etc over there and that the cost of living is higher than over here. Any advice/ info would be greatly appreciated.:biggrin:

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On a 457 you do have to pay for schools in NSW - $4500 per child per year. You don't have to send them until they're nearly 6, though, but either way you're looking at a £9K pa bill before long

 

Opinions vary on living costs, and everyone's lifestyle is different. The big killer is housing, check out the sites like http://www.domain.com.au and realestate.com.au - I reckon you'll struggle to find a family home that you'd want to live in for much less than $600 or $700 a week? Depends a lot on area of course

 

The tax situation is *generally* better over there, though. You have to do your sums based on take home. But don't expect to just be able to convert A$ to £ at the current exchange rate to work out what your salary is "worth" - the exchange rate is very low at the moment but you need to work off a MUCH higher multiplier than the current 1.55 to get to a "purchasing power parity" rate

 

$100K for a family of 4 sounds pretty tight to me, given the education costs. I guess there are plenty of people living there on that sort of money and I'm sure it can be done, but I don't think I'd be uprooting my family for it. In another state where housing costs are lower and you don't have to pay for schools it's much more liveable - NSW and especially Sydney is expensive I'm afraid; think of it like living in London

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That probably sounds a bit negative. You might want to look into LAFHA (Living away from home allowance) - a tax break which effectively increases your tax-free threshold substantially, so you'll pay a lot less tax. Designed to compensate you for the costs of running two homes/living away temporarily, therefore only available to temporary residents (including those on a 457)

 

Also some employers pay the school fees for temporary residents - mine does

 

There are a lot of sums to do though for you to work out whether or not it'll stack up

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Guest colodie

Definitely look into LAFHA, we weren't eligible as my husband came on a resident visa, but it would have helped, housing is definitely the biggest expense. Having said that,you get more for your money the further you go out, so if you are happy to commute you may find more affordable rentals. Generally, living costs are more expensive that the UK (my husband says meat and petrol are cheaper but thats about it), but then, salaries can be better, and there's a lot of stuff you can do outdoors with young kids for free. It's a big decision, good luck!

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Hi Molly, it does sound tight but you might want to check into the offer, for my company 457 visas get a fully expenced car and schooling so starts to relieve some of those additional costs, however not all companies are the same. But really it depends on what level of living you are coming from and expecting, the lifestyle change can make it worth while.

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