Perth/Brisbane budget

(17 Posts)
twilight3 Tue 05-Mar-13 20:27:49

I'm after some advice, still at the stage of doing our maths.

After rent, childcare and car insurance, how do $30,000 (after tax) sound?
Brisbane, $34,000.
Two adults and two young children, the plan would be to go for state schools.

How are these figures? is it doable? I know that people have different expectations and it's a difficult question to answer, but we're used to living frugally, we're not going to Oz to get rich, that's not our dream.
By doable I mean: enough to put food on the table, live comfortably in our house (re electricity bill due to a/c), cover our basic clothing needs, and a bit of entertainment/activities for the children. I don't know what our commute costs would be though, so leave those out. We're not planning on going on a holiday for the first few years, so that's not an issue.

Any insights?

Thank you in advance

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twilight3 Tue 05-Mar-13 20:28:27

I meant it's $30,000 if we go to Perth, $34, 000 if we choose Brisbane

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papooser Tue 05-Mar-13 21:40:00

We lived in Brisbane for several years. 34000 after tax, rent, childcare, and car insurance works out just under 3000 per month. I would say this is doable but it will be tight. It depends on how frugal you are intending to be. I can't quite remember the exact breakdown of what we used to spend, but to give you some idea I used to spend:
$250 per week in the supermarket (this seemed to be fairly standard among friends, although one claimed to only spend 100 per week)
$70 every couple of weeks on petrol (for a small 4x4 but I worked from home and DH took the bus and kids walked to school so not used much)
$400-500 per quarter on electricity - this has gone up massively in the last few years due to steep increases. Obviously depends on time of year but we hardly used the air con. I have friends whose bills were a lot more than this and others who had very energy efficient houses (solar panels etc) who paid less. So this will depend a lot on the house you rent.
Also note re the car that you need to buy rego for it on a yearly basis (it's a registration fee) as well as insurance. As I remember it's around $600 per year.
Also note that depending on your rental you can be liable to pay the water charge rather than your landlord - depends on whether there is a limit set in your rental contract (if you go over this you have to pay)
Also note that state schools are not completely free as they are in this country - you have to pay for all your stationery and books, which cost us $70 per child in year 1 (not sure if this goes up as children get older). Also many schools ask for a 'voluntary' donation for school maintenance (our school asked for $200 per family per year)
Also note that healthcare is not free. You pay for doctor's appointments and then claim a portion of it back. At some doctor's, but not all, you can get everything back. Medicine, even over the counter medicine is very expensive IMO.

We had around 4000 per month after tax and rent and lived fairly frugally. We ate (and drank!) well and didn't go without but there was not much left over for going out (although Brisbane is great for doing free stuff with kids) and I barely bought any clothes in the time I was there (although the great thing about Brisbane is that you don't need a lot of clothes!).

Hope this helps - I'm sure someone else will be along with a completely different set of figures but that's how it was for us! Good luck with whatever decision you make.

twilight3 Tue 05-Mar-13 22:21:10

thank you very much for taking the time to write all these details, very helpful :-)

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Mosman Wed 06-Mar-13 01:06:56

Wow, i was living on more than that in Melbourne as a single girl in 1998.
I would say a none starter in Perth tbh.

ifink Wed 06-Mar-13 10:58:17

Hi twilight, I'm in Brisbane now. We roughly spend:

Food approx $300 per week and that does not inc alcohol. Sadly wine is pricier here in the country of origin than in the UK!
Fuel $80 per fortnight/3 weeks , that's to fill up a normal saloon car not used for commuting
Phone/broadband $80 per month inc calls
We don't have cable tv/foxtel but think its about $70 per month for the basic package
gas about $130 per quarter
Electric averages about $750 per quarter and we are v careful with our air con usage
Mobile phone, I have a real cheapy pay as you go which costs min $19 per month to would be a lot more for a data/smart phone
Kids classes like swimming are usually $15 per lesson, my sons toddler music class is about $13 per class, these sorts of things are normally charged termly
Uniform for dd's state school was a whopping $240 for 3 sets of shirts and shorts, 2 hats, a bag, a headband and a sport top....then we had to get shoes (can be $80 for Clarks here), voluntary contribution $ all adds up!!
There is a tonne of free stuff to do here, but if you like theme parks they are v v expensive think $70 for one day!! unless you get the yearly qld resident ticket (think its about $150 pp for three parks), Australia zoo again is v pricey.

twilight3 Wed 06-Mar-13 14:20:47

wow, thanks, this is heaps of info!!! It looks kind of doable the way you have broken it down for me there :-)

Off to do my maths

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twilight3 Wed 06-Mar-13 14:22:09

what sort of things are free for the kids? (although we're all very happy with beach and park activities alone)

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twilight3 Wed 06-Mar-13 14:25:36

ifink, re food cost, is it four of you in the family? (obviously I take these figures and add some on top for good measure before I make a decision on whether it's affordable or not).

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twilight3 Wed 06-Mar-13 15:53:24

And if anyone would be so kind to explain this about school as I tend to get conflicting info. DD is an aug.2006 baby, now in Y2, whixh Y would she go to? Do they assess their ability or they go to their year group? Thank you

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newbiefrugalgal Wed 06-Mar-13 19:33:32

If you do a dummy shop you'll get a good idea of food costs, although you could make it cheaper by using other supermarkets - fresh markets etc.
I would say school would assess and I would ask for this, your daughter could go into two different year groups - sorry thinking NSW here not sure what it's like in QLD. You could always email a school directly and ask what they do?

newbiefrugalgal Wed 06-Mar-13 19:33:45

papooser Wed 06-Mar-13 19:46:23

twilight 3
In QLD she would be in year 1 currently. There the school cut off date is July (10th ish I think). Kids start reception (called prep) between 4 and a half and five and a half (so six months different to the UK). So the current year 1 children are born between July 2006 and July 2007. The school year runs from the end of January to mid December - there are four terms of 10 weeks (no half term - it's brutal by the end of the year!) They would not assess as far as I know - have a friend whose son is born a day after the cut off and very bright for his age but nothing she could do but wait for him to go into the correct year.

Free stuff for kids does tend to focus on parks and beaches but the facilities they offer can make for a really good day out. For example Wynnum esplanade in the east of Brisbane has water play features, and enclosed sea water pool as well as a small beach. Many parks have very good (clean and undamaged!) barbecue facilities.
Feel free to pm if you need any more info.

papooser Wed 06-Mar-13 19:50:27

Oh and one more thing about schools - in QLD (and I think in Australia in general) your catchment school has to accept your child. Enrolment in state school is very easy and done via the school. Even in the western suburbs of Brisbane which have excellent state schools, many were not full and we had a choice of several really good schools, even ones outside our catchment. It is much less stressful than the UK system (which was a total shock when we moved back!).

ifink Thu 07-Mar-13 03:15:27

Hi Twilight, yes we are a family of four - DD5, DS3. The food bills are alot here but to be honest I could get this lower if I had the time/inclination to go to markets on weekends, shop around more etc. I haven't ever seen a 3 for 2 offer and the 'discounting' is a bit laughable sometimes in its meanness!

Re school, yes your DD would be in year 1 now, cut off is June 30th - my DD is in prep (the first year of school), her birthday is August 2007. You would need to speak to the school about where they would put her - I think there is some flexibility to move up or down grades.
Re the free stuff, yes I agree is mainly beaches/parks - there are also mountain ranges to explore - Tamborine is fabulous, Sunshine coast hinterland with pretty towns, D'aguilar range etc for family days out.

newbiefrugalgal Thu 07-Mar-13 08:03:56

I would choose Qld over WA not as isolating once living there,

twilight3 Thu 07-Mar-13 09:42:39

oh, thank you, you're all awesome, I have so much info to work off now... I have lived in QLD for six months about a decade ago and I absolutely fell in love with the place, would love for the kids to grow up there. I spent most of my time in Cairns and Townsville (used to make my money by teaching scuba diving) and I couldn't believe how well looked after public property was, the shower facilities and the barbecues on the beaches, people seemed to look after them as if they were their own (which they are). I loved that.

I'll do the dummy shop and I'll have a look at areas today as well so I can look at schools. DH would be working in CBD, are some areas safer than others to live in? We're not after anything particularly posh, but are there areas to be definitely avoided (high crime rates for instance)? This is the sort of info you can't find on official sites grin

newbie I agree about choosing qld over wa for precisely this reason, but if qld falls through we want to make sure we can afford wa, it is after all a way into Oz which has been our dream for years.

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