Money – specifically, budgeting money, is a very important part of studying abroad. So important that it needs its own blog post. Especially if you decide to study abroad in one of the most expensive places to live in the world, Australia.
My guess as to why everything is so expensive here in comparison to the States would be the difference in minimum wage. In Australia, minimum wage is 17.70 /hr, so about $673 a week.
Rent – per week?!
It was weird to hear rent being posted as “$____per week” instead of “$____ a month”
Of course living in any big city is never going to be cheap, and Melbourne is definitely no exception. The closer you are to the heart of the city, the more expensive rent becomes. This is also the case when it comes to how close your home is to your uni (university).
I was lucky to find a place so close to uni that I can see the East entrance right outside my window. If you want to be that close be prepared to pay about $370-$380 a week.
Groceries are pretty normal and the prices are similar in comparision to California, that is until you get to the fruits and veggies. On average, I spend about $30-40 AUD on groceries every 2-3 weeks. Which isn’t bad in my opinion. My secret? If you want affordable fruits and veggies however, go to the Queen Victoria Market to save!
There are so many awesom places to eat here in Melbourne! However, eating out usually comes with a pretty significant price tag – about $20 on average per meal. Since there are so many good restaurants but so little money, my advice to you is to try to limit eating out only once or twice a week to save money!
Activities & Entertainment
A group of friends went to the movies here and that’s when I discovered that movie tickets are 20 dollars a person. The Eye of Melbourne is $30 a person, some art exhibits charge an entry fee too. But while there are some things that are going to cost you, there are a ton of things to do in Melbourne for free and/or for cheap! So just keep look around at the fliers and the Facebook events for free events. Trust me, there’s TONS!
One thing that hurt me the most was how expensive it is to buy makeup products in Australia! So if you wear makeup, make sure you bring full/new products or extra of anything in your makeup routine you might need while abroad!
I’m still not over the prices of some things here in Melbourne, but I know when I go back to the States I’ll appreciate the inexpensive meals, avocados, and rent soooo much more.