Australia is not a cheap country. Let’s face it: it’s a very expensive country. A cup of coffee for $3.50 or even $4. Renting a typical 2 bedroom apartment will cost you $500 to $700 per week. Yes, not per month, per week! And don’t even mention the cost of public transport.
Compared with many other countries the cost of living in Australia is high. Tourists and first time visitors are often in shock at the prices. It’s not uncommon for people to be as amazed by the prices as they are by the natural beauty and the fantastic tourist attractions.
So, let’s think about what makes Australia so expensive. First we have to consider the salaries. Australians enjoy some of the highest salaries in the world. And certainly the highest minimum wage in the world at $2,695 per month. And with just 5% unemployment rate (one of the lowest in the world) that means that most people have money in their pocket and can afford to pay $3.50 for a cup of coffee.
High average and minimum salaries force prices up. If you have to pay the barman $3,000 or more per month then your cup of coffee is going to be expensive. And that’s true of anything you buy in Australia. Where there is a labour cost involved (and that means in everything) then costs are higher than they are in many other countries.
So, Australia seems very expensive when you are not working or when you have just arrived and you change your Euros into Australian dollars. But once you start earning those good Australian salaries it soon starts much less expensive. And if you are successful in getting a good career in Australia and you enjoy those great salaries that are easier to get in Australia than in many other countries today…Australia will no longer seem so expensive at all.