Money and living costs in Australia
Melbourne is a relatively expensive city, but there are ways to manage your money to make it go further.
Setting yourself up when you first arrive
You need to budget approximately A$2,300–$5,000 for the initial costs of establishing yourself in Melbourne, excluding airfares. We also recommended you allow A$1,000–$2,000 to buy a computer if you aren't bringing one with you.
Generally, if you choose accommodation close to the city centre it will be more expensive, but you will have lower transport costs; if you live further away, accommodation is more affordable, but transport costs more.
Ongoing living expenses
Besides the costs of establishing yourself, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) suggests student visa holders budget at least $21,041 for each year of study to cover living expenses.
We recommend that your budget is a minimum of A$25,000 – and more realistically, around A$32,000 per year – depending on your living arrangements and lifestyle choices. These costs do not include tuition fees.
If you are bringing your family, you will also need a minimum of A$7,362 per year for your spouse and A$3,152 per year for each child (not including school fees and uniforms). More information can be found at the Study in Australia website.
Financial support and advice
Having money troubles or need some advice regarding your financial situation? We’re here to help. Find out more about our available grants, scholarships, and get one-on-one advice.
Banking in Australia
If you plan to work at a job or have money paid to you by anyone from your home country while you live in Australia, you will need an Australian bank account.
Australia has a few major banks and many smaller, independent banks. You should compare banks to see which is best for your personal needs before choosing where to open your account.
Generally, to open a bank account you will need to bring the following to the bank:
- personal identification (passport, birth certificate or similar)
- proof of your current address and contact details
- some money to deposit.
You may also be required to show your student visa and/or Confirmation of Enrolment.
Note: If you intend to do any paid work while you study in Australia, you will also need an Australian Tax File Number.
Not sure what bank is best?
Keep on exploring
Getting around Melbourne
Bringing your family to Melbourne
Things to do in Melbourne