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Planning your budget

Living expenses in Australia can vary, depending on your personal tastes. You should have access to at least A$3,300 when you arrive to settle in, and budget a minimum of $475 per week (single) or $825 (family of four) per week to cover the cost of living in Perth.


Curtin University is a vibrant destination with many food outlets, health and childcare facilities and outstanding sports facilities. Perth has excellent shopping and leisure centres, museums, beaches, wildlife parks, events and festivals. With more sunshine than any other Australian capital, Perth gives you plenty of opportunities to combine study with your favourite activities.

Planning your budget and finances is an important element of making the most of your time in Perth.

Hear what our students have to say about budgeting and cost of living in Perth.

“Perth is a very international city. You have amazing theatres, you have a lot of activities that you can do, festivals, international concerts. I love the sporting culture. I like going out running, going to the parks and of course the best beaches in the world!”

Laura Machuca Suarez, Colombia, Research Fellow, Corrosion Engineering at Curtin University

Settling in

There are costs associated with settling into Perth, so we recommend you:

  • arrive in Australia with at least AUD$800
  • have easy access to another AUD$2,500 during the first week to cover initial accommodation costs, including the bond (security deposit) and the first two weeks rent, paid in advance.

Weekly budgeting your day-to-day living costs will vary, depending on your personal tastes and whether you also have a family to care for. Before you arrive in Australia, you should plan a budget that suits your preferences and needs.

Suggested weekly budget

An infographic outlining the costs of living as a single and as a family.
ServiceSingle (A$)Family of four ($A)
Rent (furnished residence)180390
Services (gas, water and electricity)2030
Food120200
Public transport2540
Clothing, toiletries and entertainment120145
Health insurance9*42*
Total474847

Both the infographic and table are intended as guides only.

*OSHC insurance fees may be subject to change. For more information, visit the Allianz Global Assistance website.

Children’s schooling

If you choose to bring your family with you, you can enrol your school-aged children in public or private schools, provided the school has the capacity to accept them. Schools normally require you to pay international tuition fees. These fees will be listed on your Confirmation of Placement letter. Before you arrive, you will need to obtain a visa for your children from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. If your children require extra English language support, there may be additional fees and we recommend they have some English language training before arriving in Perth. If your child has special needs or a disability, there may be additional fees so that your child can learn in an inclusive environment that meets their needs.

If you have a child under the age of five and require childcare, Curtin University’s Early Childhood Centre provides a warm and caring environment for young children to grow and learn. Find out more about the childcare centre services, hours and fees. Please download the Curtin Dependant Schooling information sheet [.pdf – 125 kB] for more information and regarding visa processing, obtaining a CoP letter, school fees, enrolments and a list of schools.

Study and work in Australia

Your student visa gives you permission to work in Australia once you have started your course. You can work up to 40 hours per fortnight during semester and unlimited hours during semester breaks. However, you shouldn’t rely on your earnings to pay your tuition fees or other living expenses.