From utilities and groceries to rent: Australia’s cheapest city revealed

A report has revealed the cost to live in each of Australia's capital cities, uncovering the cheapest cities. Source: Getty

It’s no secret that living in some of Australia’s biggest cities can cost you a pretty penny, with the likes of Sydney and Melbourne coming with hefty price tags and extortionate costs of living to boot, but now a report has uncovered the cheapest Aussie cities. The report by comparison website Finder has exposed the true cost of living in each of Australia’s capital cities, when it comes to groceries, utilities, rent, fuel, entertainment and dining out, revealing which locations will set you back the least.

Adelaide residents had the cheapest average monthly grocery spend at $355, they also spent the least on entertainment, with dining out costing around $18 and an adult cinema ticket to the cinema coming in at $15. The second cheapest city to pick up your groceries was Perth ($369), followed by Darwin ($371), Brisbane ($375) and Melbourne ($379). It’s no surprise that the ‘Harbour City’ is one of the most expensive cities for grocery shopping, followed by Canberra ($401) and Hobart ($386).

Those in Brisbane had it the best when it comes to utilities, with residents just paying $163 per month. But Brisbanites pay the most for their monthly Netflix fix, with internet costing them $77 every month. Meanwhile, cranking up the air-conditioner in Sydney ($181), Perth ($194) and Melbourne ($202) won’t cost you a leg or arm either, but the luxury can ultimately be pricey for residents in Darwin ($303), Hobart ($228), Canberra ($224) and Adelaide ($206).

Darwin residents had the cheapest average monthly rent at $1,212, compared to those living in Sydney, who paid a whopping $2,563 per month. The second cheapest city for rent was Hobart ($1,252), followed by Adelaide ($1,361), Perth ($1,466), Brisbane ($1,681), Canberra ($1,857) and Melbourne ($1,922).

When it came to mortgages, those in Hobart had it the best, with residents just paying $1,787 per month compared to $5,658 in Sydney. Meanwhile, the second cheapest city for mortgages was Darwin, with residents just paying $1,819 per month, followed by Adelaide ($2,043), Brisbane ($2,190), Perth ($2,209) and Canberra ($2,655).

Melbourne residents, however, didn’t fare well, forking out $3,268 per month for mortgage. However, the city was the cheapest when it came to dining out, as they paid around $16 for an average meal. Other cities where it’s cheap to eat out included Adelaide and Hobart, as residents paid around $18 for an average meal. And if you’re after a quick meal from international chain McDonalds, Hobart and Canberra were the cheapest, with an average meal costing you just $10.

Meanwhile, when it came fuel, Perth and Melbourne offered the cheapest, with $1.41 per litre, while a one-way train ticket was the cheapest to purchase in Hobart and Darwin, at just $3.

Residents wanting to get fit, those in Darwin had it the best, with residents just paying $56 for a monthly gym membership, followed by Adelaide ($57), Perth ($61) and Canberra ($62).

While some cities cost far more to live in than others, Angus Kidman from Finder shared some tips with Starts at 60 on how to reduce your outgoings no matter where you live. To cut down on grocery bills, Kidman recommends shopping around, adding: “Different supermarkets will have different deals, so check out the catalogues and plan your shop to make the most of the discounts.”

And when it comes to electricity and internet, he says it doesn’t always pay off to be loyal.

“Electricity is essential, so we often don’t think about switching,” Kidman explains. “But remember that loyalty doesn’t always pay off. Default deals are hardly ever the best deals when you’re paying for power.”

What are your thoughts on this story? Which city do you live in? Do you agree with this report?

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and for information purposes only. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not financial product advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any financial decision you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from an independent licensed financial services professional.

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