Living expenses and budgeting

The budget table below gives you an idea of how much you can expect to spend as a student in 2019.

This is a general overview of living costs, excluding course fees. It is calculated for 52 weeks of the year, so if you are renting for the academic year only, your expenses will be smaller. Your individual circumstances, university course and lifestyle will determine your actual budget. Some students will spend more, while others can get by on less. 

There are various scholarships and concessions that you can apply for in order to reduce your costs. Some local students can also access our grants for financially disadvantaged students.

Contact a Swinburne financial adviser to ensure you receive all the financial assistance you are entitled to. 

Student budget example for 2019

Items Average weekly expenses (sharing a house or flat) Average annual expenses Notes

Living expenses




Check out a detailed comparison of accommodation options




Once-only expense

Establishment costs



Desk, bed, etc

Telephone/utilities connection charges



Once-only expense

Bills (gas, electricity, telephone)



Depends on usage

Mobile phone and internet



Depends on usage


Lunches and kitty



Cheaper if you cook at home and bring a packed lunch

Spending money

Haircuts, sport, entertainment



Depends on your needs


Weekly fares


Approx. $1300

Zone 1, with concession card or iUSEpass

University expenses

Books, stationery, photocopying



Computer/ laptop



Local students who are financially disadvantaged can apply for a grant for a MacBook or Lenovo Thinkpad laptop

Total (excluding course fees)

$450 per week

$27,610 per year

The average weekly expenditure is $450, but in your first year, you will need roughly an extra $2000 to set yourself up