Cost of Living in Brisbane

Welcome to the beautiful City of Brisbane! If you're wondering how much it costs us to live in Brisbane, then you've come to the right place.


This blogpost will be helpful if you:

  1. Want to visit Brisbane temporarily or for an extended period of time;

  2. Want to permanently move and live in Brisbane; or

  3. Already live in Brisbane and want to see how you may be able to save more to make your travel dreams happen more frequently!

Brisbane City from Wilson's Outlook
Brisbane City from Wilson's Outlook

We'll break down the costs of living in Brisbane in October 2021. Bearing in mind this is based on our experience of living in Brisbane with the bare basic expenses!


OVERVIEW

EXPENSE

AVERAGE PRICE

🏠 Accommodation - Rent 2 Bed 2 Bath (Outer suburbs)

$400-$500 per week, depending on proximity to the city centre.

🏨 Accommodation - Hotel (3 star and above)

From $130+ per night (Off peak)

🏨 Hostel

$30 per night

🚌 Public transport

$50 per week per person - to travel 40km return on a train.

⛽️ Fuel - 1.6L car

​$20-40 per week, depending on how much we drive.

🚘 Vehicle registration

$750 per annum

🍀 Vehicle insurance

$90 per month

⚡️ Utilities - Electricity

$300 per quarter

🌽 Groceries

$50 per week per person (Woolworths or Coles)

$40 per week per person (Aldi)

🍿 Eating out

$15-25 Breakfast/Lunch depending on location

$20-40 Dinner per person excluding drinks

🍿 $10 Popcorn at the Cinemas

🍰 $7-$12 Slice of cake

🍦 $6 Scoop of ice cream

☕️ $5 Coffee

🍣 $2.20 Sushi roll (each)

🎥 Entertainment

$25 per person - Movie ticket (one adult)

Average cost of living as per above:

  • $3,000 per month approx. (1 person)

  • +$800 per month for an additional person ($4,000 per month approx. for 2 people)

The above provides the absolute core essentials as you can see based on working individuals. We didn't incorporate many other variable expenses such as vehicle maintenance, other insurances, medication (if needed) that we pay for because not everyone pays for that.


Keep reading for more details:


ACCOMMODATION

The rent (or house prices) can vary depending on how close you are to the city, or to transportation. We're about 15km from the heart of Brisbane for context and comparison. You can check the latest median rental prices via the Residential Tenancy Authority.


In terms of hotel accommodation, there have been a lot of bargains since the COVID-19 pandemic. However, beachfront apartments and resort prices have remained unchanged.


PUBLIC TRANSPORT

We would often go into the city. Parking is expensive (early bird parking is around $20-25 per day) so public transport is more cost effective for us. You can plan your trips on via the Translink website.


FUEL

Our fuel expenses often fluctuates depending on whether we are travelling long distances, particularly on the weekend. The price of fuel in Brisbane fluctuates between $1.30-1.80 at the time of this post (October 2021). You can use the RACQ app or website to find cheap fuel near you.


VEHICLE REGISTRATION

This will vary depending on what vehicle you have. Head over to Queensland Transport and see for yourself what yours will look like.


VEHICLE INSURANCE

We have opted for a higher level of insurance (and therefore a higher premium) because I've had my car written off when a P-plater was playing with their GPS at an intersection. I got paid out by the insurance company, but you only get market value for your vehicle so you can still be out of pocket if you want to repurchase a decent car. We found Canstar to be useful when comparing insurances along with reading product disclosures and asking questions. We find it gets confusing so go speak to someone who knows their stuff and can help you choose something that suits.


UTILITIES - ELECTRICITY

This is our average throughout the year. We would often use the air conditioner in summer and the heater in winter.. but we would get to a comfortable temperature and turn it off. We also don't have solar where we are.


UTILITIES - WATER

Of note, depending on where you are, you may also have to pay for water. We don't pay for water where we are but according to a local plumber it's about $300 per quarter.


GROCERIES

We want to spend less and travel more. One of the ways we do this is to save on our groceries. We find there are lots of basic options available at Aldi that is much cheaper (sometimes the same brand) than your the major supermarket chains - so we prefer to do our groceries at Aldi. The fruit and veg is always fresh there too!


Sometimes you won't find the gourmet or fancy stuff at Aldi on the nice you want to make a nice meal, in which case we go to Woolworths, Coles or a local grocer. We also make lists and only purchase what we need so nothing goes to waste.


EATING OUT

Ok, so I'm actually a foodie at heart and LOVE to discover and experience new foods in town. We would trying to cook at home as much as possible and go out a couple of times a week. The cost of us eating out (while at home, not travelling) would average around $100 per week per person. The couple of meals may include a main and dessert, excluding drinks (because I'm allergic to alcohol).


To find deals, we get the Entertainment Book each year which offer deals such as 'buy one get one meal free' or '25-30% off the total bill'. We search for discounts to purchase the entertainment book and it costed us about $70 last year. It becomes a saving after a few outings already.

Entertainment Book Discount Example
Entertainment Book Discount Example

We also use EatClub which lets you find food deals based on your location. Examples may be 25% off dine in, 35% off takeaway orders etc. Of course they vary all the time but every cent we save we can put towards travelling!

EatClub Discount Example
EatClub Discount Example

ENTERTAINMENT

Things like movies tickets are getting more and more expensive. We find we can usually find cheaper deals being members of Optus, Entertainment Book, RACQ etc. Again.. the more money going towards the travel budget, the happier we are!


OTHER - MOBILE

We also didn't include any non-location specific expenses such as mobile phone and internet. For me, I'm currently paying $40 per month for my pre-paid mobile sim which includes 100GB data and unlimited phone calls and text with designated international minutes. We have found it useful to touch base with your telecommunications provider each year to see what better deals they can offer, potentially at a lower price.


Please remember we're just sharing how we manage our expenses and is not financial advice. We recommend you speak to a finance guru to help sort your finances and budgetary requirements to be safe!


Happy travels and keep wandering.


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Wandonist