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  1. How much money do I need in Sydney (Also relevant to other cities) There have been quite a few comments about “What is the minimum I need to live in Sydney”. The average salary in NSW is $80,132 and this would have been dragged up by the super wealthy so it should be lower, add that at least 50% of the people earn less than this number if we ignore the distortion, that sets the average wage amount, so if you are earning this you are smack bang in the middle of the bunch. So what is the minimum number…. The problem is that it depends on what you consider to be a minimum, I am pretty sure there are peeps on this forum that would consider anything less than a mansion to be slumming it: While I was getting my business up and running here in Australia, my wife and I with a 1 year old managed just fine on $1k per month for about 4 months, living in national parks @ $12 per day or sometimes free if we headed far out into the sticks, we still bought good quality food with a serious plan, kept petrol usage to an absolute minimum...etc, even once the finances started recovering we lived on a serious budget for over a year. Now that the business is doing well (7 staff here in Australia) I still cannot bring myself to hand over packs of unnecessary cash. Here is our budget with me working in Sydney: We live in a 3-bedroom house with a sealed garage and a garden, 26 min drive to the beach, a 10 minute walk to a train station, in a nice area on the central coast (Narara – got a Durban / Margate feel to the place), it takes me 1 hour 15 min to the city by train, so I sit and work or read a book in the morning and evening. Rent = $1680 per month Food = $800 pm – we really spend more than we need to here, but like lots of fresh fruit, meat, fish etc. Power = $100 approx per month - fans not aircon, don't run the heater all winter just when needed, then keep it in one room, I swapped every light for LED so we don’t care if they get left on, no tumble dryer (Clothes line works just fine) Medium Hospital plan for the family = $200 pm (extras are a rip so skip those) Train Fare = $290 Per month Home Internet = $100 – lots with extras Mobile = $ 40 – I have a contract, but 40 bucks with Telstra gets you unlimited calling in Auz & 5gigs of data (Times 2 for your partner to get one as well) So $3 210 a month will keep a family of 2 adults and a toddler happy and healthy long term, that is $38 520 per year, even adding spending money you will be able to manage just fine on a salary of $60k for a family, and if you are earning more you can save really nicely by keeping your costs down, and if the going gets tough you could make do with $12k per year, we have done it, not fun but you roll with the punches. It is all about what you consider to be good enough, I am perfectly happy with what we have and living debt free with the ability to have my wife stay at home and look after the little one (and one on the way) plus still be able to save, sure i travel to work and back, but even living in the city you will still need to travel, so the difference is not as high, living the dream in my books, others feel that they have to buy a place, it must be close to the city, they have to keep up with the Jones’s and that makes them happy, but needs a heck of a lot more money to make it work. (Required Australian disclaimer) Note this is not financial advice, I just really like the subject, have done a lot of reading up and number crunching on spreadsheets, this is my personal opinion that I find interesting to discuss, don’t get me started abut if buying a house is a good investment….
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