Advanced search

Living on a £35k wage in Australia?

(54 Posts)
PhoebeMcPeePee Sun 09-Feb-14 21:56:23

We're in the very early days of considering a move abroad & one possible location is Australia. The jobs DH has been looking at offer sponsored 457 visa & relocation support and quote a basic of $60-65k plus overtime.

As this wouldn't be a forever move (3-5years?), we would rent out our house in the UK which would give us a small additional monthly income & once settled I would be happy to work PT if possible but no guarantees there. So would DH being on £35k salary would actually afford us any better quality of life than the £25k we jointly earn in the UK.

We live in an absurdly expensive part of the country (SE) & not happy with DC's school so already planning a move elsewhere in the UK but then got the idea of a moving abroad & are now both totally hooked on the idea but maybe need a reality check blush

arfishy Sun 09-Feb-14 22:08:05

Where in Australia were you thinking of living? I think you'd struggle in Sydney on that tbh. Take a look at rental prices on and run that salary through a take home pay calculator.

457 visa holders have to pay for state schools in NSW and soon in WA so factor that in too. You can claim some things back but won't be entitled to any government support on a visa.

What line of work is your DH in? You must have specific skills for a 457 and the offer quoted seems low on that basis.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Sun 09-Feb-14 22:13:30

Lots of things are more expensive over there. But if you only go for a bit you could factor that into the move.

Food - very expensive. Clothes, more expensive than here, books - bizarrely so, easier to order from England through Book depository than buy over there.

Housing varies just like it varies over here - different areas/closeness to transport/work etc.

Similarly schools vary. There's a difference in ethos which some people love and some don't. Not the same kind of national curriculum so schools free to do what they want - sometimes great, sometimes not so great. A big focus on sport. Also , your child might be "behind" a bit in school when they move back, but depending on age that might not matter after such an exciting experience. They might not want to move back of course as 3-5 years is a large part of their life!

chloeb2002 Sun 09-Feb-14 22:51:20

Like anything it depends. If you both work then yes. Depends where you want to live too? Sydney would be very hard.. Well all of nsw as they charge 457 visa holders for more "stuff" school etc in contrast qld school is free.
Being realistic is say no. I don't think you could live on that happily. But if it's short term and you both work then maybe?
The average wage is something like 76k they said last week. Seems like a dodgy job underpaying to screw over a 457 visa?
What does dh do? Maybe someone here can tell you a normal wage?

chloeb2002 Sun 09-Feb-14 22:54:04

The thing in your favour is that currently you don't earn huge bucks! So a similar standard of living may be possible! If be wary that unless you have a good relocation package it's a very expensive thing to do for a few years?

SavoyCabbage Sun 09-Feb-14 23:02:25

I think it would be tough but it depends where you would be just how tough it would be.

There are a lot of things that you have to pay for that we take for granted in the uk.

PhoebeMcPeePee Sun 09-Feb-14 23:21:00

DH is in the motor industry & yes has one of the specific skills listed hence sponsorship. $60k is probably the lower end & likely $70k up to £75k if he worked a similar (10hr) day to the UK but it's not a well paid job anything TBC. We don't know exact location yet as the company has multiple sites but talk of Perth, Adelaide definitely not Sydney (even though that's the only city in Aus I've visited shock)

Outdoor lifestyle is a big factor for us (3 sports-mad boys) and of course we may never come back but I find that idea a bit daunting so we're keeping 3-5 years in mind but that could of course change if we settle well. Don't know anything about schools over there other than we may have to pay on a 457 visa so will have to do more research here.

SavoyCabbage Sun 09-Feb-14 23:34:51

Perth is pricey too. Due to the mining.

What we did before we went is looked on google maps to get ideas of the locations of suburbs, then look on at the rents. Then we looked at schools. There can be vast differences between schools.

I live in Melbourne and my rent is $600 a week. We live in an ordinary house in an ordinary suburb about 30-40 minutes out of the city centre. On "wanted down under" last week the houses in Melbourne were hours out. Where there is nothing.

CrystalDeCanter Mon 10-Feb-14 03:27:56

I'm in Adelaide - and if your dh is in the motor industry is he aware that the Holden (General Motors/Vauxhall) factory is soon to close - currently earmarked for closure in 2017 but could be sooner.

The vehicle manufacturing industry is dying in Australia, I would be really careful to do your research - it would be a nightmare scenario if you come over (VERY EXPENSIVE) only to find his job goes tits up.

On the upside, however, Adelaide is lovely, great for bringing up children, I think you could do it on $75K but it wouldn't be easy - although that obviously depends on where you want to live- I have no idea about how SA schools treat 457 visa holders, but do research that too.

Good luck

CrystalDeCanter Mon 10-Feb-14 06:15:03

Ooh, look at this, just broken on Twitter . . .

Nick Grimm ‏@NickGrimm 34m
#BREAKING Sources told ABC Toyota will pull out of Australia in 2017. Company telling workers now. More than 2000 jobs to be lost @ABCnews24

CrystalDeCanter Mon 10-Feb-14 06:16:14

Grim news for Australia's car industry.

echt Mon 10-Feb-14 08:46:09

With Ford last May, Holden later and Toyota now, all major automotive manufacture will be gone by 2017.


MissPlumBroughtALadder Mon 10-Feb-14 08:56:35

You absolutely could NOT afford to live in Perth on that wage. Most expensive city in Australia by far and apparently in the top three priciest in the world. I'd say knock that one off your potential list.

PhoebeMcPeePee Mon 10-Feb-14 10:23:14

Thankfully he's not on the manufacturing side but it definitely needs more research as you say.

As we would be getting financial assistant with the visa & some (albeit limited) initial accommodation help, would it be crazy to take a shorter term view ie <<max>> 3 year trip rather than permanent move? As we see this as an adventure rather than a permanent move I'm more inclined to go ASAP & be back in time for my eldest to start secondary school in Sept '17. Mad?

hazchem Mon 10-Feb-14 10:27:34

We are on half that wage and live a good life. Not very fancy but good. we are just outside a major capital so housing is cheaper. I feed a family of 3 adults and toddler on $650 a fortnight including breakfast lunch and dinner for all of us and little wine.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Mon 10-Feb-14 15:21:44

That's a lot more than it would cost to eat cheaply in the uk. About 350 pounds a fortnight, 175 a week. I'd struggle to spend that much!

Food prices are rising here but it's not as much as there. But then wages there are usually higher...

You really do need to work it all out. It may be that 35pound salary there is similar to your income here relatively.

hazchem Mon 10-Feb-14 22:26:21

Yes but our comparable salary would be a lot less. So we take home about 35k Aussie dollars. so that is 17k in pounds. We also eat a much better food then we could have forded to in the UK, fresh meat more fresh fruit including exotics.

lulalullabye Mon 10-Feb-14 23:04:11

No extra charge for public schools in SA for 457 visa holders.

glastocat Tue 11-Feb-14 02:03:24

hazchem, do you have low rent? We have a low rent for Perth but it would be half your income.

To the OP,while a lot of things are more expensive (pubs, eating out)we find food shopping can be done cheaply (love Spudshed) and its much cheaper to run a car. Also our bills here are much lower (leccy and gas) although broadband is higher. How many kids have you got, and will you have to pay for public schooling? When we first moved here we were on one wage lower than yours and we got by just fine, but my husband is a citizen so we go medicare, centrelink and no school fees. I find the people who move here expecting to live the same kind of way as the UK or Ireland find it very expensive, but we go to the beach or for picnics with friends now instead of eating out or going to the pub, its a different lifestyle and you need to adjust. We all certainly think we have a much better life here, and my son would be totally heart broken if we said we were going back, so think hard about the three or five year plan thing!

hazchem Tue 11-Feb-14 03:29:39

Yes we have low rent. We are also not in a capital city. IF we were to move to the closest capital I think would have to add something like $200 or so extra a week to our rent. I know most people who move to Australia will go for a major city but I do wish that people would look at some of the regional areas more.
One of the things that means our life here doesn't feel so hard as we have taken a pretty major wage drop is because so many things here can be free/cheap. So instead of meeting up with friends with bubs at a cafe/soft play we would go to a park and take BBQ stuff ( most parks in Australia have free to use BBQs) so I can meet up with a friend for several hours, have something to eat and the kids play for less then $10.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Tue 11-Feb-14 03:42:37

$70k is the median wage in Australia I'm pretty sure. It can be done in Adelaide, sure; we've lived on that before when I was on maternity leave. But you'd still have to be careful; meal planning and sales shopping and Aldi.

saffronwblue Tue 11-Feb-14 08:34:09

The car industry here is completely fucked. Massive job losses are imminent.

arfishy Wed 12-Feb-14 04:17:18

Don't forget that you will either not get car finance or if you do it will be within the terms of your visa - so possbily all repayments within 3.5 years.

I find my grocery shopping is much less than in the UK - I don't buy much packaged food and eat very little meat.

Clothes and books are expensive here - I tend to buy in the UK now and ship, it works out less.

Agree with the earlier comments about adjusting to Australian life rather than trying to replicate your UK life.

What I would do is work out where you want to live - I assume if you are being sponsored that you know where the job is located. Look up property prices around there and work out how much rent you will need to pay/how far out you need to be. Then work out if you need to pay school fees for public schools (state dependent) and if you need a car.

There's a thread in Living Overseas on the cost of living in Australia - take a look at the average household expenses and calculate what you think you will need. Then see if you can cover all of that on the amount your DH is offered.

Note that 457 visa holders from the UK will get reciprocal medicare, but will also have to take out health insurance. Education costs and flights can be claimed back through tax, along with things like mobile phones, computers, professional membersips/professional education. I would have saved a fortune with good tax advice when I got here.

glastocat Wed 12-Feb-14 04:54:05

I got my leccy bill yesterday, $135 for three people in a three bedroomed house for 92 days, it was a LOT higher in Ireland. Curiously its my third leccy bill since I moved here and each one has been lower than the previous one, I have no idea why.

hazchem Wed 12-Feb-14 05:26:05

Because of summer? Unless you have air con. Ours has been less over summer because we use less lighting and only have a couple of fans. Gas is also tiny over summer too. Particularly because we use a BBQ most days for dinner. even did a lamb roast in ours this week.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: