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Cost of living

Perth has a lower cost of living compared to other major Australian cities. 

Finder Cost of living comparison(opens in a new tab)

When you arrive in Australia you will need to consider opening a bank account and getting started with a budget.

To view Australian dollar (AUD) amounts in your local currency, use Xe Currency Converter(opens in a new tab).

Hand placing coin in piggy bank

Opening a bank account

Most banks and financial institutions offer special student accounts that offer zero/minimal fees for transactions. 

It may be possible to open a bank account before you leave home, otherwise you will need to do this on arrival. You will need to provide your passport and other forms of identification.

These are some banks that offer accounts for international students.

Automatic teller machines

Once you have opened a bank account, it will be possible to access your money using an ATM (automatic teller machine) in locations such as shopping centres, hotels and banks.

Electronic funds transfer points of sale

EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer points of sale) is an electronic payments system that provides a convenient and fast method of payment. It is available throughout Australia and can be used when paying for most goods and services. Most places will allow you to take ‘cash out’, an easy way to withdraw money from your bank account while shopping.

Getting started with a budget

Getting started

You should arrive in Perth with at least AUD$1,000 and have access to another AUD$2,000 during your first few weeks to pay for your accommodation or other services.

It is a good idea to have either a pre-paid travel money card or an international credit card when you arrive.


It is useful to develop a budget that will allow you to live within your means. This can ensure you will have enough money to meet payments and pay bills such as electricity and water. Keep your budget flexible to allow for any changes and unexpected events.

Many students choose to share a rental house or apartment with other students. The average rental price for a furnished room in share accommodation can vary – view the Study Australia Cost of Living Calculator to estimate costs including utility bills(opens in a new tab).  

If you are planning to buy a car you should account for expenses such as petrol, insurance and licence costs. 

A guide to living expenses in Australia

The Study Australia Cost of Living Calculator(opens in a new tab) is designed to help you estimate the costs to live your chosen lifestyle in an Australian city.

You can compare accommodation arrangements, transportation options and other lifestyle choices. The costs provided are an estimated guide only. 

Estimate your living costs(opens in a new tab)


International student discounts

Last updated on February 21, 2024