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Cost of Living in Melbourne in 2024

Updated on 13 June, 2024

Pragya Sharma

Pragya Sharma

Sr. Content Editor

Cost of living in Melbourne

Melbourne is ranked the 71st most expensive city globally, per Mercer’s Cost of Living City Ranking 2023. Even though on a bit costlier side, the experiences you gain as part of living in Melbourne (as I hear from so many of my friends in Australia), far outweigh the high living expenses there.

In fact, it is because of the following five broad categories, stability, healthcare, culture & environment, education, and infrastructure, that the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) placed Melbourne in the third spot in its most livable cities globally rankings in 2023.

Living Costs in Melbourne for International Students

When studying in Melbourne as an international student, it's crucial to consider your budget for various living costs. These include accommodation, utilities, food, transportation, health insurance, and personal expenses. 

Accommodation expenses can vary depending on your preferences. Utilities such as electricity and internet are additional costs to consider. Budgeting for food and groceries is essential to meet your dietary needs. Public transportation, health insurance, and personal expenses for entertainment should also be factored into your budget.

Remember to gather accurate and up-to-date information from your university regarding living costs in Melbourne for international students.

What is the Average Cost of Living In Melbourne for Students

Living in Melbourne as an international student can cost AUD 1,500 to AUD 2,500 per month, as per a QS article from June 2023. This includes rent, food, utilities, transportation, and other personal expenses.

Accommodation Costs: 

University HousingAUD 200-400/week
Shared RentalsAUD 150-300/week
Private Rentals AUD 300-500/week


GroceriesAUD 80-150/week
Eating OutAUD 15-30/meal

Public transport costs around AUD 30–AUD 60/week, and biking can be cheaper​.

Additional expenses include utilities, AUD 20–AUD 40 per week if not included in rent, and internet costs, around AUD 20–AUD 40 per month.

Other monthly costs like mobile phone plans and entertainment can add up to AUD 70–AUD 140. 

Despite these costs, Melbourne offers many ways to save money, like student discounts at stores, using public transportation, and living with roommates. Proper budgeting is key to managing living expenses in Melbourne for international students.

List of Necessary Items with Their Cost

Melbourne, renowned for its multiculturalism and world-class universities, offers diverse opportunities and experiences. However, it is important to be well-prepared and informed about the living expenses in Melbourne to make the most of your time as a student in this bustling metropolis.

While calculating the cost of living in Melbourne per month, you must consider certain items necessary for a comfortable and smooth transition. While the price of these items can vary depending on quality choices and even location, here is a list of essential commodities along with their approximate costs:


Expenses (in AUD)

Milk (1 liter)

AUD 2.11

White Bread (500g)

AUD 3.88

Rice (1 kg)

AUD 3.31

Eggs (1 dozen)

AUD 5.72

Apples (1kg)

AUD 4.45

Banana (1kg)

AUD 3.81

Water (1.5 liter bottle)

AUD 2.15

Coca-cola (2 liter)

AUD 3.97 

Fitness Club (monthly)

AUD 82.32

Source: Numbeo

Average Rent in Melbourne

The average rent in Melbourne can vary depending on location, property type, etc. Here is a general overview of the average rent in Melbourne:


Monthly Expenses in Melbourne

Monthly rent for an apartment (3 bedrooms) in city center

AUD 4,121.05 

Monthly rent for an apartment  (3 bedrooms) outside of center

AUD 2,666.65

Monthly rent for an apartment  (1 bedroom) in the city center

AUD 2,232.62

Monthly rent for an apartment (1 bedroom) outside of center

AUD 1,832.67

Source: Numbeo

Study Cost and University Tuition Fee

The average cost of living in Melbourne, including university tuition fees, can vary depending on the specific university, degree program, and level of study. However, the average annual tuition fee in Australia for a bachelor's degree can range from AUD 9,000 to AUD 50,000, while for a master's degree, the fee range is typically between AUD 9,000 and AUD 54,000.

The table below shows the average annual fee for UG & PG programs of some famous universities in Australia.

UniversityAverage Annual UG Fee Average Annual PG Fee 
Monash University AUD 36,500 - AUD 49,200AUD 37,200 - AUD 50,000
RMIT UniversityAUD 38,400 - AUD 63,200 AUD 36,480 - AUD 43,200
Swinburne University of TechnologyAUD 29,400 - AUD 40,600AUD 16,860 - AUD 41,200
La Trobe UniversityAUD 31,400 - AUD 74,600AUD35,800  - AUD 41,600
Victoria UniversityAUD 13,700 - AUD 18,800 per semesterAUD 14,900 - AUD 19,400 per semester
Australian Catholic UniversityAUD 16,160 - AUD 41,472AUD 25,320 - AUD 36,024

Source: University Websites

Transportation Costs in Melbourne

Melbourne is widely regarded as one of Australia's most well-connected cities. With an extensive tram network, buses, and trains, getting around Melbourne without a car is convenient and feasible. A reusable public transport ticket called Myki is all you need to explore the city's various transportation options. Transportation costs play a big role in calculating the cost of living in Melbourne for Indian students:

Mode of Transportation


Ticket (One Way)

AUD 5.3

Monthly Pass

AUD 185.4

Taxi (per km)

AUD 3.00

Taxi (Waiting 1 hour) 

AUD 44.74

Petrol (1 Liter)

AUD 1.92

Source:  Numbeo

Monash University in Melbourne puts the weekly transport expenditure for international students at AUD 15 to AUD 55 per week, whereas the University of Melbourne puts the weekly transport expenditure at AUD 30 to AUD 60.

Healthcare Cost in Melbourne

To understand healthcare costs in Melbourne, you will need to know how the public and private healthcare works.

Public Healthcare

Australia’s public healthcare system, Medicare, provides essential medical services to Australian citizens and permanent residents. If services are bulk-billed, public hospital treatments and general practitioner (GPs) visits can be free or low-cost.

  • Public hospital treatments: Free for Medicare-eligible patients.
  • GP visits: Typically, AUD 70 to AUD 100 per visit if not bulk-billed​.

Private Healthcare

Opting for private health insurance can provide quicker access to elective surgeries and the option to choose private hospitals and doctors.

  • Private hospital cover: Covers hospital accommodation, and inpatient services. Costs vary based on the insurance plan.
  • Extras cover: Includes dental, physiotherapy, optical, and other services not covered by Medicare​​.

Costs for International Students

International students must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), which covers necessary medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, ambulance services, and limited pharmaceuticals.

  • OSHC cost: AUD 40 to AUD 60 monthly​.
  • GP visits without insurance: Around AUD 70 to AUD 100 per visit​.
  • Dental check-ups: AUD 100 to AUD 250 per visit​.
  • Ambulance services: AUD 900 to AUD 5,500 per trip, not covered by Medicare​​.

Cost of Utilities and Bills in Melbourne

When managing your expenses and maintaining a comfortable lifestyle in Melbourne, understanding the cost of utilities and bills is essential. From electricity and water to internet and mobile phone services, these utilities play a crucial role in daily life. Some of the average expenses on utility are as follows:

UtilityAmount per Week
Basic Utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for an 85m2 ApartmentAUD 237.38
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)AUD 79.50
Car (after purchase)AUD 150 to AUD 260
Food and eating outAUD 140 to AUD 280
1 minute of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (Without Discounts Or Plans)AUD 0.10 - AUD 1

Source: Numbeo
Entertainment Costs in Melbourne

When considering the cost of living in Melbourne, entertainment expenses are an important part of the equation, especially for international students. This overview helps you plan your living expenses in Melbourne and maximize what the city offers.

Here's what you can expect:

Entertainment Activity


Dinner in a Restaurant (for 2)

AUD 67

Fast Food Meal (e.g., McDonald's)

AUD 9.84

Beer in a Pub (0.5 L or 16 fl oz)



AUD 3.35

Cinema Ticket (1 person)

AUD 14.3

Gym Membership (1 month)

AUD 52.4

Haircut (simple)

AUD 20.2

Brand Jeans

AUD 89.9

Brand Sneakers

AUD 112

Source: Livingcost.org

Affordable Areas to Live in Melbourne

Melbourne offers a range of cities and suburbs that provide more affordable living options. These areas are known for their lower cost of living than the city center. Here are a few affordable cities to consider in the Melbourne region:

  • Coolaroo
  • Dallas
  • Melton
  • Werribee
  • Tarneit
  • Hoppers Crossing
  • Craigieburn
  • Pakenham
  • Carlton
  • Abbotsford

Also Read: What is the Cost of Living in Australia for Indian & International Students?

Helpful Tips to Save Money in Melbourne as International Student

Saving money in any international city can be done through various strategies and mindful spending habits. Here are some tips that can help you save money while living in Melbourne:

  • Budgeting: Create a monthly budget outlining your income and expenses. Track your spending to identify areas where you can cut back and save.
  • Accommodation: Consider living in shared accommodation or the suburbs outside the city center, where rent tends to be more affordable. Look for rental deals or negotiate with landlords for a lower rent.
  • Transportation: Utilize public transportation instead of relying on private vehicles. You can also purchase a Myki card for discounted fares and explore off-peak travel options. Consider walking or cycling for shorter distances.
  • Grocery Shopping: Plan your meals and create a shopping list to avoid impulse purchases. Look for deals, discounts, and specials at supermarkets. Consider shopping at local markets for fresh produce at lower prices.
  • Cooking at Home: Prepare meals at home instead of eating out frequently. This can be more cost-effective and healthier. Pack homemade lunches for work or university to save on dining expenses.
  • Entertainment and Activities: Look for free or low-cost entertainment options in Melbourne, such as public parks, festivals, art exhibitions, or community events. Take advantage of student discounts offered by museums, theaters, and other attractions.
  • Utilities: Be mindful of your energy and water usage. Turn off lights and appliances when not used, and consider energy-efficient options. Compare utility providers to find the best rates.
  • Student Discounts: Take advantage of student discounts available at various establishments, including cinemas, restaurants, retail stores, and transportation services. Always carry your student identification card.
  • Second-Hand Purchases: Consider buying second-hand items for furniture, electronics, clothing, and textbooks. Websites, thrift stores, and community marketplaces can offer affordable options.
  • Financial Apps and Deals: Use mobile apps that help you track your spending, manage your budget, and find discounts. Stay updated on special deals and promotions offered by local businesses.

Disclaimer: All costs mentioned above are indicative and subject to change at any time.

FAQs on Cost of Living in Melbourne

What are the major components of the cost of living in Melbourne?

The major components of the cost of living in Melbourne per month include accommodation, utilities (electricity, water, internet), transportation, groceries, dining out, entertainment, healthcare, and personal expenses.

Is public transportation affordable in Melbourne?

The cost of public transportation depends on factors such as the distance traveled and the type of ticket or pass used. A Myki card, the reusable ticketing system, is used for public transport and offers discounted fares.

Are there affordable dining options in Melbourne?

Melbourne offers a wide range of dining options to suit different budgets. While dining out can vary in price, plenty of affordable eateries, cafes, and food courts are available, particularly in suburban areas.

How much does it cost for an international student to live in Melbourne?

The average monthly cost of living in Melbourne ranges from AUD 1,500 to AUD 2,500. This includes accommodation, food, transportation, and other personal expenses​.

Which city is the cheapest for international students in Australia?

Adelaide is often considered the cheapest city for international students in Australia, offering lower living and accommodation costs than other major cities​.

How can you save money on food and groceries in Melbourne?

To save money on food and groceries in Melbourne, shop at discount supermarkets like Aldi, buy in bulk, cook at home, and take advantage of student discounts at various grocery stores and eateries.

Are there part-time job opportunities for international students in Melbourne to help with living costs?

Yes, international students can find part-time job opportunities in sectors like retail, hospitality, and administration, which help cover living expenses​ in Melbourne, Australia.

Pragya Sharma

Sr. Content Editor

Pragya Sharma is a content developer and marketer with 6.5+ years of experience in the education industry. She started her career as a social media copywriter for NIELIT, Ministry of Electronics & IT, and has now scaled up as a 360-degree content professional well-versed with the intricacies of digital marketing and different forms of content used to drive and hook the target audience. She is also a co-author of 2 stories in an anthology based on the theme- women empowerment.

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