Cost of living

Some costs to consider when studying in Sydney.

Students exploring Sydney CBD

If you're living abroad or out of home for the first time, managing your expenses is an important skill to master. You don’t want to be worried about running out of money while trying to focus on your studies! So, before you join us, it’s important to think about the costs of living and studying in Sydney, even if you’ve got support from back home.

To start with, we recommend you have at least $A2,000 available to cover the initial costs of books, rental bond and other settling expenses.  

The Australian Department of Home Affairs requires students to have the financial capacity to cover living costs of at least $A26,000 per year (not including course fees). This means that you will need approximately $A1,750 per month for accommodation, food, utilities and entertainment – but the actual costs will depend on your lifestyle choices and needs. You should budget for around $A26,000 per year per adult. Here’s a rough guide of what you might spend that money on, but these will change based on your personal preference, budget and spending habits: 

  • Weekly cost Shared house or flat  One-bedroom unit On campus (college) 

    Average weekly costs

    $A575  $A755 $A662.50
    Incidentals $A30  $A30 $A30 
    Spending money $A100  $A100 $A100
    Travel $A40  $A40 $A25
    Utilities (gas, electricity, phone) $A20 $A20 $A0 
    Food $A100 $A100 $A100 
    Household products (cleaning, toothpaste) $A10  $A10 $A10
    Mobile phone and Internet $A25  $A25 $A22.50
    Rent $A250  $A430 $A375 
  • Item Cost ($AUD)  Item Cost ($AUD) 
    Hamburger $A5.00  Muffin $A4.00 
    Can of Cola $A2.00 Ice Cream $A4.00 
    Soap $A3.00  Deodorant $A5.00 
    Can of tuna $A2.00  Apples (1kg) $A4.00 
    Loaf of bread $A3.00  Chicken breast (1kg) $A10.00 
    Milk (1 litre) $A1.50  Chicken breast (1kg) $A10.00 
  • Item

    Cost ($AUD)


    Cost ($AUD)

    Fast food meal




    Dining out






    Movie ticket


    Monthly gym membership


    Men's haircut


    Women’s haircut




3 ideas for making living and studying in Sydney more affordable

  1. Consider living in a share house. When you live in shared accommodation with multiple roommates, you’re able to split up your costs more easily. That means rent and utilities such as gas and electricity, internet and even some groceries are cheaper. As a bonus, you could make new friends and potentially find other students to study with. 
  2. Try to live close to campus. Sydney has fantastic public transport. But living within walking distance of UNSW can save you a few dollars and get you some extra exercise.
  3. Join clubs on campus. Joining clubs at UNSW Sydney can be a great way to have a lot of fun without spending much money. Check out the huge collection of clubs and organisations on campus today.