The cost of living in Canberra is moderate and the city's low-cost supermarkets and discount stores can help keep costs down. It also helps to buy seasonal produce and cook your own meals to manage your budget.


To live on your own, you'll need about $26,000 a year to cover basic costs. We also recommend you have at least $5000 on arrival to cover the initial costs of study material, rental bond and furniture. These estimates don't include large household items such as a refrigerator or car.

The cost of supporting a family can be substantial, wherever you are. In Canberra, the additional living cost for a partner is about $8000 per year. The additional living cost for each child is about $5000 per year. This doesn't include the cost of childcare or schooling.

The cost of childcare in Canberra is about $500 per week ($100 per day). At the more popular childcare facilities, there's often a long waiting list.

For more information, please see the Australian Government information on living costs.

Weekly expenses for a single student Shared house or flat One-bedroom unit
Rent $200 to $250 $350 to $450
Mobile phone and internet $15 $15
Household products (cleaning, self-care) $10 $10
Food $100 $100
Utilities (gas, electricity, phone) $30 $50
Travel (concession bus) $30 $30
Spending money/entertainment $50 $50
Incidentals $20 $20
Total weekly costs* (AUD) $455 to $505 $625 to $725

*Please note: these are estimates only; actual costs of living will be determined by lifestyle.

Contact us 

For questions, advice, or more information, contact the Research Student Unit.  

T: +61 2 5114 5000