Living in Perth

Whether you’re heading west for the sunny days, shopping in the alleyways & hidden boutiques, sampling the diverse range of bars and culinary gems or playing tourist in your own city – it’s all here in Perth!

Perth, WA

Perth is the capital city of Western Australia and lies along the Swan River, approximately 9km from the beach-lined west coast of the state. The city is situated along the inner harbour of the Swan and is the fourth largest city in Australia, containing about 75% of the state’s population.

The city is a sprawling suburban metropolis that extends over 100km from north to south along the sun-drenched coast. People from all corners of Australia, not to mention the world, make up Perth’s international community.


$70-$150 per week

Food. This is where budgeting gets tricky. With the rise of UberEats and MenuLog in Australia, it is getting harder to save our money and cook or prepare meals at home. However, buying groceries and meal prepping is the most cost-efficient method.


Depending on your taste preferences and whether you are eating salmon or sticking with canned beans for dinner, the average meal at home will cost you:

  • $3 a day for breakfast
  • $5 a day for lunch
  • $10 a day for dinner

Eating Out

Eating out will cost you a significantly more than cooking at home, with the average prices of meals in Perth:

  • $15 for breakfast
  • $15 for lunch
  • $28 per meal at dinner.

Drinking Out

Coffee, Coffee, COFFEE. If you are a coffee drinker and you have an acquired taste for barista-made coffee, you will know we are looking at a budget killer here. An average cup of coffee in Australia is $4.20 per cup. Depending on your weekly threshold you could be looking to spend between $655 to over $1500 a year!

To save some money, you can make your own coffee at home – it is FREE.

Other than coffee, the average Aussie loves a social glass of wine or beer with their lunch. On average in Australia, a glass of wine, beer or cider ranges between $8 to $12 each, with spirits being on the more expensive end costing around $11 to $18.


$120-$250 per week

Depending on where you rent, weekly rent prices can be as low as $130 Australian dollars per week, shared accommodation is the cheapest option.

Campus Accommodation (for students only)

The average cost of living on campus at a university in the Perth area ranges between $460 to $620 per week. Campus accommodation is an expensive option, but will come with perks and added convenience. You not only wake up daily on the university’s doorstep but you save money on other expenses such as food and transport.

You will have your meals cooked for you every day, your utilities will be included and you’ll have lower travelling fees. However, don’t forget to factor in costs for eating out, health, phone bill and entertainment.

Weekly cost: $460 to $620

Annual cost: $22,080 to $29,760

Student Accommodation

Commercial accommodation for students is scattered across Perth’s CBD. MSA recommends the Student Housing Company.  Their Boulevard location is located at 89 Stirling Street in Perth.

Click here for the Boulevard Student Handbook: The Boulevard_Student Handbook

The cost will range depending on which of the above companies you choose, however, it is important to remember this only includes your rent and utilities. Food, entertainment, eating out, phone and health costs will all need to be budgeted.

Weekly cost: from $249 per person / per week

Annual cost: from $12,950 per year

Private Lease or Sharehouse Accommodation

Moving into a sharehouse (on average) will work out to be the cheapest option when you move to Australia.

On average, organising accommodation in a sharehouse will work out to be the cheapest option when you move to Australia. However, forecasting a budget for a sharehouse can be tricky, for example:

  • Where is it located?
  • How many tenants are you moving in with?
  • How old is the house?

Forecasting a budget for a sharehouse can be tricky, for example: your individual preference on the factors above will impact the price. On average you can expect to pay between $120 – $250 per week, keeping in mind this does not include utilities.

Weekly cost: $120 – $250

Monthly cost: $480 – $1,000

The most trusted and most popular search engines for rental (and sale) or properties in Australia are and


$25-$50 per week

When it comes to getting around, public transport is a good start and, in some areas, students travel cheaply or for free! All Central Area Transit (referred to in Perth as ‘CAT’) buses within the Perth, Fremantle and Joondalup zones are free for everyone – click here for the map.

For all trips outside of this free zone, international students receive a 40% discount as a Tertiary SmartRider. You can register to be a Smart Rider in Perth here.

Weekly cost: $5 – $35

Annual cost: $240 – $1,680

Cost of Living

Australia’s West Coast is a unique location, with the Indian Ocean on one side and the Australian Outback on the other. Perth’s population is about 1.9 million people, an ideal size for new migrating families, international students and skilled professionals!

Whether you’re interested in exploring the beaches around Perth on the west coast, or immersing yourself in the slow-paced hustle of this growing city, Perth will offer you a chance to explore different landmarks, get a great education or a job with plenty of potential and allow you to enjoy your Australian experience.

Although Perth offers a lower cost of living compared with other Australian capital cities Melbourne and Sydney, we still recommend that you use careful budgeting practices to get the best experience out of your time in Perth. Plan ahead, set good financial habits and choose realistic living options to set you up for success. We have compiled everything you need to know about budgeting for your big move, including average costs of accommodation, transport, health, admin, entertainment and phone charges in Perth, Western Australia.

Working in Australia

All workers in Australia have the same rights and protections at work, regardless of citizenship or visa status. Your employer must comply with Australian workplace and immigration laws, including their obligation to: pay you the right pay rate for all time worked. provide a safe workplace.

  • How to find work in Perth:
    • Like most cities around the world, finding work greatly depends on your skill-set, motivation & willingness to learn a new skill as well as personal connections and how you represent yourself (resume presentation, interview experience, etc.)
    • The most common online job-search websites in Australia are: and Applicants can post their resume’s online as well as search for vacancies posted by local businesses.
  • How to apply for jobs in Australia:
    • Click HERE for a link to and their free resume template.
  • Your rights as an employee in Australia:
    • All workers in Australia have the same rights and protections at work, regardless of citizenship or visa status. Your employer must comply with Australian workplace and immigration laws, including their obligation to pay you the right pay rate for all time worked and provide a safe workplace.
    • Click HERE for a link to the Government of Australia’s FairWork rights & obligations information page.
  • Average Salaries in Western Australia:
    • As with any city around the world, salaries and wage amounts can range due to an employee’s experience, formal qualifications as well as the supply & demand within each industry type for a specific workforce. The average full-time salary in Western Australia is $72,000.
    • According to com, the following job positions are noted below with average salaries:
      • Operations Manager: $92,000
      • Project Manager: $109,000
      • Mechanical Engineer: $77,000
      • Project Engineer: $93,000
      • Tax Accountants: $61,000
      • Account/Sales Manager: $71,000
      • Retail Store Manager: $55,000
      • Retail Store Employee: $42,000-$55,000

Bank Account in Australia

Foreigners migrating, studying or working in Australia can open a bank account. Those on a tourist or visitor visa can open an Australian bank account by visiting a local branch and providing your passport.

Applicants who wish to open a bank account must arrive in Australia within 12 months of opening their bank accounts.

Here are the basic steps to opening a Australian bank account online:

    • Compare accounts to find the right one
    • Apply for your account online
    • Verify your identity (passport & email required)
    • Your debit card will arrive
    • Start using it!


A Tax File Number (TFN) is your personal reference number in the tax and superannuation systems in Australia. It is free to apply for a TFN online and it is an important part of your tax and super records as well as your identity in Australia.


Shopping in Perth’s business district is centrally located around the Hay Street & Murray Street malls, however there are numerous large shopping centres located throughout the suburbs.

Perth has 2 factory outlet shopping centres: Watertown (located in the CBD) and DFO Perth or “Direct Factory Outlet” (located east of the city near the airport).

Other popular shopping areas are: Hay & Murray Street Malls (in the CBD), Garden City (in Booragoon), Fremantle walking street, Karinyup Shopping Centre and boutique shopping down King Street (CBD), Northbridge or in Leederville.

How to Keep Expenses Down

Everyone has their own personal budget, and the level of expenditure depends greatly on one’s accommodation location, quality and lifestyle. Click below for some basic, yet handy tips for students, families and young professionals.

  • Monitor your expenses
  • Make a workable budget
  • Choose your priorities
  • Let go of small luxuries
  • Find another source of income
  • Choose to do free outdoor activities (visiting beaches and nature parks)

Perth Highlights

The city of Perth has an endless array of free highlights for both young and old to enjoy! Check out the list below, or for more information please visit Perth’s official Visit Perth website HERE which has information on must-see points of interest, eating and shopping locations.

  • Spend a lazy afternoon in Kings Park and Botanic Gardens
  • Catch an Indian Ocean beach sunset
  • Take a stroll around Elizabeth Quay
  • Watch the world go by at Yagan Square
  • Sample wine in the Swan Valley
  • Tour through the Perth Hills through quaint townships
  • Visit the new Art Gallery in Northbridge
  • Lay on the beach anywhere from Hillary’s Boat Harbour, Scarborough or Cottesloe
  • Stroll through Northbridge Piazza for boutique bars, restaurants and people watching
  • Head south a couple hours to world-famous Margaret River wine region
  • Spend a whole day getting lost through the alleyways of Fremantle

More information to get you started in Perth


Overseas student health cover is mandatory for your student visa when coming to Australia. Not only is it great for peace of mind, it covers doctors’ appointments, hospital costs, emergency ambulance and portions of your prescription medicine.

Use the Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) tool to check the price and book your overseas health cover today.


Rental Contracts

All residential tenancies in WA are covered by standard terms which cannot be altered. It is the landlords obligation to put the agreement in writing.

The standard form Rental Agreement Form (Form 1AA) can be downloaded and used for free from the Western Australian Government Department of Consumer Protection.

In WA, this standard form Residential Tenancy Agreement should be used for agreements between:

      • Landlord and a tenant
      • Landlord and co-tenants
      • Head-tenant and sub-tenants
      • Click HERE for the standard Rental Agreement Form to be used in Western Australia.

Click HERE for the standard Rental Agreement Form to be used in Western Australia.

UTILITIES (cost of)

You can’t forget to factor in utilities. Utilities may or may not be included in your housing option. Electricity, water, gas and internet are generally split between tenants, but if you are planning on renting by yourself, this will be more costly. An average home in Perth costs:

  • Electricity: $500 per quarter
  • Water: $300 per quarter
  • Gas: $169 per quarter
  • Internet: $120 per quarter


Entertainment is another expense you will want to factor in while you are in Australia. Ranging from going to the gym, watching a movie, taking a trip to any of the world-famous beaches or enjoying a comedy show. Below are a few different options you could add to your budget.

  • Movies (student night): $7 to $10
  • Fitness sessions: $15 to $30
  • Shows (comedy, plays etc): $30 to $50

Are you planning to move to or study in Perth? Great choice. Let’s get started – click HERE to get in contact with us today!