Cost of living in Perth

Not only is Perth one of the most liveable cities in the world - it's also Australia's most affordable! Read on to find out what your expenses may be as a student living and studying in Perth.

Rental prices in Perth

Renting a one bedroom in Perth, outside the city centre, will cost about AUD $1,000 a month on average. In Sydney, you can except to pay up AUD $1,900 a month for an identical apartment, and AUD $1,500 a month in Melbourne where rent prices are on average 40% higher than Perth (Source: Budget Direct).

A great way to save costs is to live in a share house with other students or friends you meet in Perth. Depending on where you live and how many people you rent with, costs can be as low as $350 a month.

Don't know anyone in Perth? Many of our international students choose to live at the Murdoch Village in their first year of study. Conveniently located on campus, accommodation at The Village starts from around AUD $600 a month and is a great place to make new friends that you can choose to live off-campus with in the future to save money.

Utility prices in Perth

If you decide to live off-campus or in private/shared accommodation, you'll need to factor in the cost of utilities, like gas, water and electricity.

Murdoch recommends budgeting around AUD $35 to AUD $140 to cover the cost of these utilities per week. While Western Australia only has one state-owned electricity supplier (Synergy) and one state-owned water supplier (Water Corporation), you can shop around for your gas to get the best possible price, with companies like AGL, Alinta, Kleenheat and Origin available.

If you're splitting these costs with other renters as opposed to living alone, you can expect to pay less.

Food prices in Perth

There are four main supermarket chains operating in Perth: Aldi, Coles, IGA and Woolworths. With all suppliers having multiple stores across the metro region, you're never far from a supermarket. Murdoch University has an on campus IGA, plus a Coles, Woolworths and Super IGA all within 2km.

Murdoch recommends budgeting around AUD $80 to $120 per week on food supplies. Here's an idea on the average cost of some common grocery items. (Source: numbeo)


Average cost

Milk (1L)


Loaf of bread (white)


Rice (1kg)


Eggs (12)


Chicken breasts (1kg)


Apples (1kg)


Bananas (1kg)






Phone and internet prices in Perth

Having a sim card that can make international calls and access to personal Wi-Fi (while not at the Murdoch University campus) is a great to keep in contact with family and friends back home.

Murdoch recommends budgeting between AUD $20 to $55 per week for phone and internet costs. There are many different phone and internet providers you can choose from in order to get the best price, including Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone for mobile sim cards, and iiNet, TPG and Dodo for internet.

Remember that by choosing to live in a share house and splitting bills, you can save considerably on internet costs.

Transport prices in Perth

There are many different transport options available to get you around Perth, including private car, bicycle, taxis, rideshares like Uber and Ola, and of course, public transport.

Perth has an extensive public transport network, provided through the state-owned Transperth. Murdoch has its own bus port, and we are just 500m from the Murdoch train station. Plus, as an international student, you'll receive 40% off all public transport across the state!

Murdoch recommends you budget AUD $15 to $55 per week for transport costs.

Australian Currency

Australia’s currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD) and includes notes and coins. The notes are plastic, colourful, vary in size, and have famous Australians on both sides. Coins vary in size and colour and have an Australian icon on one side and the Queen of England on the other.

Notes: $100, $50, $20, $10, $5

Coins: $2, $1, 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c

More information

The Australian Government’s MoneySmart website provides helpful information about managing your finances, including advice for living on a student budget. The 'Insider Guides Cost of Living Calculator' is also a useful tool to help estimate your cost of living in Australia.

Considering all the costs above, plus entertainment costs like going to the movies or out to dinner as an occasional treat, Murdoch recommends budgeting around AUD $500 per week (excluding tuition fees and car expenses).

We may be the cheapest city in Australia to live and study - but it's not just about cost. Perth is a diverse city with lots to offer, including beautiful beaches, shopping malls, and a vibrant nightlife. Plus, Perth is listed in the top 15 most liveable cities in the world.

So why not take advantage of a better cost of living and a great student lifestyle? Learn more about coming an international student at Murdoch.


Disclaimer: The costs outlined in this article should be used as a guide only. Living expenses will vary depending on your lifestyle.

Posted on:

2 Dec 2019

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