To help you understand how much it might cost you (and your family) to live in Australia, check these price summaries from the Mercer Cost of Living Report:
The Mercer Cost of Living Report compares the living costs in the world’s biggest cities for more than 200 items including food, clothing, household goods, health and personal care, transport and entertainment.
All the prices displayed are the median price reported and recorded in September 2011. At that time, one US dollar (USD$1.00) was worth $0.95 Australian cents (A$0.95). To find out the current exchange rate, visit X-rates.com.
The cost of living in Melbourne is generally higher than the cost of living in Victorian regional areas.
When estimating your cost of living, consider these expenses at least:
There are a variety of shopping environments across Victoria:
Shopping centres have hundreds of stores, including large department stores and supermarkets, retail chain outlets and smaller specialty stores, usually under one roof.
‘Discount’ centres such as Direct Factory Outlets (DFOs) and Brandsmart where large retail chains offer major discounts on sample, second and out-of-season stock.
Shopping strips (high streets), are retail precincts with shops on both sides of the street.
There are many local markets. The most famous market is the Queen Victoria Market, which has stalls selling everything from clothing to fresh fruit and vegetables, in an open-air or semi-covered environment.
General shopping hours on weekdays are from 9.00am to 5.30pm. Many shops open for extended hours on Thursday and Friday – usually until 8.00pm or 9.00pm. Most stores are open on the weekend and many supermarkets, fast-food stores and petrol stations are open 24 hours.
For information about your rights and responsibilities regarding shopping, visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.