Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MJO

Cost of living and Sydney budget

Recommended Posts

MJO

Hi all,

 

We decided last night to immigrate to Australia. My partner and I are both chartered accountants and I will move within my firm (i.e. TSS visa). I received an offer from my company for AUD 137,000 p.a. My partner will resign from his current job and will have to look for something when we arrive (expected April/May 2019 depending on visa process).

 

Looking to the folk in Sydney, how comfortable would a life in Sydney be compared to SA? I know this is subjective, but if we spent AUD4,000 to 6,000 p/m on rent (want to cut back on travel time), it does not really leave a lot of room for other necessities if your monthly salary is about AUD 7,000 for the first few months until my partner finds something in Sydney.

 

Compared to SA, the offer in Sydney is about 1,7 times my current salary and I have read that to maintain the same quality of life, you require about double your current salary. Is this a good rule of thumb?

 

 We are happy to dip into savings, but obviously do not want to be worse off in Sydney compared to Jozi. 


Any thoughts from anyone out there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Duggen

I haven't lived in Sydney, but moved to Melbourne under a very similar offer a couple of years ago.

 

The cost of living debater is a really difficult one to answer, but essentially I would say you require about 1.7x or 1.8x to maintain the same standard of living. For your reference I was a senior analyst at a Global Investment Bank so was earning pretty well in SA and my wife also had an income. 

 

There are some huge caveats though:

1) Eating out and drinking is a lot more expensive. I used to eat out a lot more in SA than I do in Aus.

2) Alcohol is a lot more expensive. I personally am not a huge drinker but big nights out definitely hurt the bank account a lot more.

3) I find groceries to be about the same price or maybe up to 1.5x more. Somethings are cheaper some are more expensive. I find red meat to be about the same (or slightly more expensive), chicken  and fish (especially Salmon) to be cheaper than SA.

4) People reckon rent is crazy expensive bu I don't really agree. I currently let me 2 bed apartment in Saxonwold for R13k pm. You would get a similar type place, with a similar length commute (say in St Kilda in Melbourne) for about $550 pw which works out to about 1.8x

5) Transport - cars are cheaper absolutely and petrol is about the same price absolutely so on a relative basis much cheaper. Public transport works and is reliable and in my opinion affordable. Overall transport works out much cheaper so long as you dont park in the cbd.

6) Private health cost about the same absolutely (you will have to have this on a TSS visa) so cheaper relatively

7) Clothes and shoes are pretty much the same price, so relatively cheaper than in SA.

 

I found when my wife started working that we had more disposable income than we had ever had before. We were almost saving as much as I earned in South Africa every month.

 

I also kind of feel people think SA is a lot more affordable than it is. When we were last home in December, both my wife and I were struck by things being more expensive than we expected. My parents visited me last month and they also mentioned that things here weren't as expensive as they had expected (except when they ate out which as mentioned before is a lot more expensive).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pell

That's a good starting salary, and your partner will work as well, so you don't have to worry, you'll be comfortable. I've not done a budget, so can't help there, but if you're both CA's, I don't expect you'll have an issue with the cost of living.  Eating out is more expensive, rent in good areas is quite pricey indeed, but that's true of most 1st world big cities. I guess the big issue to overcome is stopping from translating everything you buy in AUD into ZAR (which you may do in the beginning if you dip into savings or buy property). If you made AUD, and spend AUD, two CA incomes will have you live a pretty good life.

Edited by Pell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MJO

Thanks @Pell and @Duggen

 

I agree - its very much stop translating everything and just settle already!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FromDurbs

People ask about once a day on facebook "Can I live on x salary".  You can live on any salary, you just make different choices.  Google the median salary in the city you are interested in.  If you make more than that I think you would be OK.  The median salary means that half the people live on less than you would be earning.  If they can do it, you can do it.

My husband and I both earn a little bit more here than we did in South Africa - definitely not 1.7 times more.  We think everything is crazy expensive; especially  rent, buying a house, eating out, any kind of entertainment (theater, fun parks, movies, etc), mangos and alcohol.   But, we have saved a bundle of money since we got here.  I dont understand it.  Maybe we are reluctant to spend because things seem expensive.  I think the difference is that some things are so much more expensive and others are so much cheaper.  School fees are much lower than in SA, maybe by a factor of 10.  Medical insurance is cheap, doctors can be free (if you go for bulk billing), the kids (high school) earn their own money so we dont pay for their meals out or their expensive entertainment, insurance is much cheaper (but car registration is much more expensive).  

Dont stress about it.  If 24.6 million Australians can afford to live on the salaries they earn, then so can you.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
frosty

We have not moved over yet (planning to go first quarter 2019). As you are both CA’s Im sure your understanding of finances are a bit better than mine :) . The biggest mistake most South Africans make is they convert everything to rand value. What I did was make a Pie chart of my budget here and my budget there, basically compare the size of the slices. At the end I found the size of the slice left over and above was more or less the same size, but the value of that slice is substantially more. In other words, there is a lot more I can do with my annual savings in Aus than in SA. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pell
On 11/9/2018 at 5:12 PM, FromDurbs said:

 School fees are much lower than in SA, maybe by a factor of 10. 

 

I beg to differ here, school fees differential between a top SA private school and a top Sydney private school were about 3 x (with Sydney more expensive, of course). 

Edited by Pell

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
Sign in to follow this  

×