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Sufficient Monthly Income for Living in Melbourne

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(@crimsonchaos)
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My wife and I have been exploring what price range of properties we should consider in Melbourne. After deducting the mortgage payment, our take-home pay should be around $2,500 per month on a single income. We are a family of three. The $2,500 will cover utilities, all bills, nursery fees, and our grocery shopping. We don't typically dine out, but our grocery expenses tend to be higher because we are both foodies. If we have any money left over, we might purchase new furniture and other items, but they are not essential for us when we first arrive. I'm hoping that my salary will increase once I gain local experience.

Does anyone have experience shopping at Costco in Melbourne? Are they good places for grocery shopping?


   
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(@aquamarineace99)
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It really is a "how long is a piece of string" question. There's nothing wrong with your inquiry, but over the many years of being on this forum, I've seen a family of five manage on $500 a month (he was on a student visa), and at the other extreme, a family of three who claimed they could only afford tinned beans, potatoes, and a bottle of tomato sauce, despite earning over $300k a year.

I never shopped at the Melbourne Costco when I was there, but I do in Brisbane. We also purchase meat in bulk from wholesalers and are fortunate to have farmers nearby where we can get a 20kg bag of potatoes for $10, pumpkins for $1, and a 10kg bag of onions for $5, etc.


   
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(@crimsonchaos)
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Thank you for the quick response. I would say we are not the extreme type, pretty average overall. However, we do like to buy better quality food from supermarkets, but we balance our spending by not going out to eat at the moment in the UK. Other than that, our current monthly outgoings are just bills, utilities, insurances, road tax, some repair work every now and then, etc. – pretty average, really.


   
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(@moonlitmystery5)
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It doesn't sound like enough to me.......

Only $30k per year for the two of you to get by and pay all your bills.


   
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(@crimsonchaos)
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Topic starter  

This is really helpful. We should probably either look for a cheaper property or not send our daughter to daycare at first. We were thinking of buying an $850k house with a deposit of $600k. I'm not aiming high with my first job, probably $60k to be safe.


   
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(@aquamarineace99)
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Also, something to consider: are you on a PR visa? If so, you will get some payments, i.e., family benefits.


   
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(@crimsonchaos)
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Thanks for the reply.

We have been reading a discussion from last year.

Our situation is actually similar. We want to follow our hearts, but the numbers don't add up. Currently, our combined pre-tax income is £95k in the UK. However, we work long hours, and our jobs are demanding. My wife wishes to spend more time with our young daughter. This is why we are hoping that we could survive on my income in Melbourne. However, it seems my job there will pay $80k. This is about average pay in Melbourne and would not be enough for us. We could buy a property in the Upwey area for $600k as we like the trees. However, we have a much better lifestyle in the UK, so we struggle to see why we are going there if we follow our head.

This seems to be a now-or-never decision as our PR visa runs out next year. We are struggling because it's always been our dream to go there.


   
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(@antstick)
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Posted by: @crimsonchaos

Thanks for the reply.

We have been reading a discussion from last year.

Our situation is actually similar. We want to follow our hearts, but the numbers don't add up. Currently, our combined pre-tax income is £95k in the UK. However, we work long hours, and our jobs are demanding. My wife wishes to spend more time with our young daughter. This is why we are hoping that we could survive on my income in Melbourne. However, it seems my job there will pay $80k. This is about average pay in Melbourne and would not be enough for us. We could buy a property in the Upwey area for $600k as we like the trees. However, we have a much better lifestyle in the UK, so we struggle to see why we are going there if we follow our head.

This seems to be a now-or-never decision as our PR visa runs out next year. We are struggling because it's always been our dream to go there.

That is such a shame.

The quality of houses in Upwey can also be "challenging." They build them differently in the hills! They look like I've built some of them, and I am to construction what Donald Trump is to diplomacy – a blunt instrument! 😄

Your UK wages are good. Are you able to afford to reduce hours there to allow for more family time? I'm sure you've gone through everything a thousand times in your head already.

On $80,000, it would be a step back in lifestyle, I think. Good luck with your decision. It's such a pain when the realities of a situation don't comply with our vision. I've suffered a bit of that myself.

 


   
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Australia Made Simple
(@ams-migrate)
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@crimsonchaos A lot of people seem to think Australia offers a more laid-back lifestyle. That may be true in some parts of the country, but in Melbourne and Sydney, it definitely is not. The fact is, if your job entails long hours in the UK, it will be exactly the same in Melbourne or Sydney. If anything, the corporate culture is more demanding in those cities than it is in the UK, from what I saw last time I was there. The standard working hours are 8:30 to 5:30 in most offices, not 9 to 5. I've known people to lose their bonuses if they don't "volunteer" for special projects on the weekends or if they dare leave at 5:30!

The other problem is that to get affordable housing in both those cities, you'll have to live some distance out of town – an hour or more commute each way. If your wife's not working, that might seem OK, but what about you?

Basically, if you want more time with your family, you have two choices: move to another part of the country where living is cheaper and the commutes are shorter, OR work part-time and accept a reduced standard of living. Again, you could do either of those things in the UK with the same result.

If you are determined to move to Australia, then I'd rule out Sydney or Melbourne as potential destinations without question. On the figures you're proposing, you'd be penny-pinching, and it would badly affect your ability to settle in and enjoy life, IMO.

One thing which you may have overlooked – once you've arrived in Australia, you don't have to work in the occupation you applied with. It may be hard to find work in your current occupation in a small town somewhere, but if you have other strings to your bow, perhaps you could make a living doing something else?


   
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(@supermarcello)
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Joined: 2 months ago
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If you're cute with it, you'll have loads. We're down on the South Eastern side of the Mornington Peninsula (about 1 hour from CBD).

We're a family of 5 (2 adults + 3 kids, all under 8 years), and we spend about $1,600 to $2,000 per month, including all food and utilities (excluding mortgage).

The big draw on money is not utilities and food; it's things like eating out and unnecessary "fluff" like cinema trips or expensive sporting activities.

You're a migrant; use the BBQs outdoors, watch a free DVD from the library (free to join), take your kids for a walk, and go to Aldi. 😉


   
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