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Cost of Living

To help you understand how much it might cost you (and your family) to live in Melbourne, check these price summaries from the Mercer Cost of Living Survey.

The Mercer Cost of Living Survey 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 for Melbourne and recorded in March 2014. At that time, one US dollar (USD$1.00) was worth $1.18 Australian dollars (A$1.11725). To find out the current exchange rate, visit

The cost of living in Melbourne is generally higher than the cost of living in Victoria's regional areas.

Expenses to consider

When estimating your cost of living, consider these expenses at least:


  • Rent or mortgage costs
  • Food and groceries
  • Expenses involved in owning your own home – such as home and contents insurance, council rates and water rates
  • Utilities such as electricity, gas and water
  • Telecommunications, including telephone, mobile phone and internet access costs
  • Furniture and appliances.


  • The cost of buying, registering, servicing and running a vehicle
  • Car insurance
  • Public transport costs.


  • Clothing and shoes
  • Personal care and cosmetics
  • Medical costs and health insurance.


  • Childcare
  • Education costs including school fees, books, uniforms, camps, excursions.


  • Debt expenses including repayments on personal loans, car loans, credit cards
  • Savings including superannuation contributions and regular investments
  • Pet food, maintenance and veterinary costs (if you have pets)
  • Take-away food and restaurants
  • Sports and hobbies
  • Entertainment including films, theatre, newspapers, magazines, books and music
  • Holidays
  • Gifts
  • Donations to charity.