Average cost of living expenses: US vs Australia - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 01-06-2012, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I live in Australia.

 

When I'm reading here, I read about high COL areas, regarding food, and rent and such things.  Some things in the US seem really cheap, and others, very expensive.  It got me to wondering how costs in the US compare to costs in Oz.  The AU and US dollar are pretty much on par at the moment, and have been for a little while, so I just wondered if anyone would care to share their average spend on some "usual" type items. 

 

I'll start:

(if you want to list different items, that's okay - I'm interested in an overall picture)

 

Petrol: $1.30-140 per litre

Public transport: $3-4 (20 mins/15km trip, one way)

 

Bread: $1.50 per loaf (wholemeal - white is $1)

Milk: $1 per litre

Cream: $1.31 (300g)

Corn Flake Cereal: $6-7 (750g box)

Tinned tomatoes: $0.80c (400g)

Brown onions: $2.89 per kilo

Zucchini: 3.98 per kilo

Squash: $6.99 per kilo

Tinned kidney beans: $1 (400g)

Flour tortilla: $3.49 (10 pack)

Pasta: $0.59 (500g)

Rice: $2.29 (1kg)

 

Rent: $350-400 per week

Average house price: $450-550k

(The area I live in is a "middle class" area, about 12 kms from the city)


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#2 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 10:50 AM
 
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lol.gif  I think you're going to run into two major problems:

 

1) the US is very diverse so things can cost twice as much (or more) in one area than another.  I don't know how much it varies from city to city in Australia, but would assume the distance from major ports/population centers could have a huge effect.

 

2) everything is in gallons/ounces and pounds here.

 

Your numbers in "American" would be:

 

Quote:

Petrol: $4.90-$5.29/gallon

Public transport: $3-4 (20 mins/15km trip, one way)

 

Bread: $1.50 per loaf (wholemeal - white is $1)

Milk: $3.79/gallon

Cream: $2.06/pint (473 mL)

Corn Flake Cereal: $6-7 (27 ounce box); that would be $3-3.50 for a 13.5 ounce box (which is more standard here)

Tinned tomatoes: $0.80 (14.4 ounces, so $.89 for a 16 ounce can)

Brown onions: $1.31/pound

Zucchini: 1.80/pound

Squash: $3.18/ pound

Tinned kidney beans: $1 (14.4 ounces, so $1.11 for a 16 ounce can)

Flour tortilla: $3.49 (10 pack)

Pasta: $0.54 / pound

Rice: $1.04/pound

 

Rent: #350-400 per week ($1517-1733/month)

Average house price: $450-550k

(The area I live in is a "middle class" area, about 12 kms (7.5 miles) from the city)

 

I only changed the ones that made sense to me (and tried to change them to quanties they would be purchased in here--- like a pint for cream).  I'll be interested to see how this plays out.

 


 

 

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#3 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hahaha - Okay, I didn't think of that part of it!  You Americans probably thought I was typing in another language!

I thought I was so clever by looking at the exchange rate.

 

I'll have to go research the conversion rates for pounds and gallons.

 

The main thing that varies here in Australia, is the cost of fresh produce.  I think the produce is probably cheaper where I live (Queensland), because a lot of it is grown in this state.  I would say most other costs are within a pretty small range of each other.  (Except petrol!). 

 

I guess it's more when I have read threads like $2 meals, and thought: ' there is no way I could make that for $2!"


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#4 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 04:32 PM
 
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Hi Milk! 

 

We live in a low-average COL area.  "Average" is rated at 100, and food prices here are a 91.  Overall, our area is rated an 80, so housing costs are considerably lower than those found in larger cities.

 

Petrol: $3.50/gallon

Public transport: $.75 for a bus ticket with free transfer, though routes are limited

 

Bread: the brand I buy is about $2.79, whole grain.  I've seen white bread as low as $.99

Milk: $2.99, on sale it's $2.50

Cream: no idea...

Corn Flake Cereal: $2.50 for a 12 oz box (sale price)

Tinned tomatoes: 28 oz cans were 4 for $5 this week

Brown onions: $.99/lb

Zucchini: currently out of season, but I can get them for $1/each at the farmer's market during the summer

Squash: also out of season, but fall squash are about $2-3 each, depending on size at the market

Tinned kidney beans: $1.79 for a 16 oz can, but I've seen them on sale for $1/each

Flour tortilla: $1.79 for 10

Pasta: $1.00+ per pound

Rice: $1.50 per pound, though less when you buy in bulk

 

Rent: $700-1000 per month for something in a decent neighborhood

Average house price: $135,000 (which is also average for the entire Midwest part of the country; average for the US right now is $178k)

 

 


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#5 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 04:56 PM
 
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Yeah it's certainly different wherever you go throughout the US.  I"m in Texas.  I bought a house for 89, the same size house on the west/east coast... 350 and up. 

Tortillas here are cheap 1$ for 12.  I buy corn.  And they're made in a Taqueria!  Muy Bueno!

Most veggies and fruits are decently priced depending on the time of year.

 

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#6 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 05:24 PM
 
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Here's a website where you can compare the cost of living in different US cities:

 

http://www.bestplaces.net/col/

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#7 of 15 Old 01-08-2012, 07:43 PM
 
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I'm in a really high COL area, and looking at the converted prices, I'd say that your big ones seem pretty much on par with what we pay here (housing & transport - although houses can range from ~$200K to over $1M).  The train is about $5 round trip to go ~7 miles (11.25 km) and back (my DH does this daily for work).  The bus is I believe $3.50 each way for the same distance (this is the next town).  In town is a bit cheaper, but not a whole lot. 

 

Your canned/boxed goods (pasta, tinned tomatoes, tinned beans, etc.) are cheaper than we would find in a regular grocery store (but might find them on sale or at a dented goods store for that price), and your squash and tortillas seem a bit expensive (although we have a high concentration of Hispanics, so tortillas can be had for pennies). 

 

I paid $3.60/gallon for gas today, but that was the cheapest station in town - the station a block away was $3.95, IIRC, and prices across town vary up to a dollar.  I am in a large metro area, and among the most expensive areas in the US.  COL is 42.90% higher than the U.S. average.  By the same index mentioned by a pp, we rate 164. 


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#8 of 15 Old 01-09-2012, 07:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
  COL is 42.90% higher than the U.S. average.  By the same index mentioned by a pp, we rate 164. 



I did *not* like that link!  It says our COL is 84.8% higher than the US average.

 


 

 

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#9 of 15 Old 01-09-2012, 09:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post

I did *not* like that link!  It says our COL is 84.8% higher than the US average.

 

 


I'd have to hazard it's basing that solely on cost of housing.  I looked up the city that DH works in, and it gave me that same number (84.8%).  Yet we're rated at 42.9%, the next town over.  COL-wise, the only real difference is in the cost of housing - we have more "poor" neighborhoods (and less expensive ones) that affects our average housing costs.  The costs of food and gas and utilities are all basically the same. 


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#10 of 15 Old 01-12-2012, 03:39 PM
 
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The entire us does not have an average house price that high!!!  Good grief!  Everyone would have to live with their parents until they are 50.    THere are more expensive areas, yes, but the average is much, much lower.  This website gives a good example: http://www.realestateabc.com/outlook/overall.htm    Sure, there are zipcodes where the average price is super high, but that's a zipcode, like Beverly Hills, or Belair,  not a whole county or anything like that.  

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#11 of 15 Old 01-14-2012, 04:56 PM
 
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HAHAHA. that's funny.  I knew I lived in a high cost of living area, but I didn't know how bad it was compared to other places.  That was really eye-opening.


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#12 of 15 Old 01-14-2012, 05:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Yeah it's certainly different wherever you go throughout the US.  I"m in Texas.  I bought a house for 89, the same size house on the west/east coast... 350 and up. 


 

DH and I were just - briefly - really excited about possibly being able to get in the local real estate market. There was an amazing opportunity to buy a $360,000 townhouse - one floor, 1150 sq.ft., 3 bedrooms. No yard, just a fenced patio. It was built in 1968, and it's not a nice neighbourhood, by any means. But, it was a steal. I wish we could pull it off, but we're still paying off our van and the maintenance fee (which includes the property tax) is another $544/month.


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#13 of 15 Old 01-24-2012, 02:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milk8shake View Post

So, I live in Australia.

 

When I'm reading here, I read about high COL areas, regarding food, and rent and such things.  Some things in the US seem really cheap, and others, very expensive.  It got me to wondering how costs in the US compare to costs in Oz.  The AU and US dollar are pretty much on par at the moment, and have been for a little while, so I just wondered if anyone would care to share their average spend on some "usual" type items. 

 

I'll start:

(if you want to list different items, that's okay - I'm interested in an overall picture)

 

Petrol: $1.30-140 per litre

Public transport: $3-4 (20 mins/15km trip, one way)

 

Bread: $1.50 per loaf (wholemeal - white is $1)

Milk: $1 per litre

Cream: $1.31 (300g)

Corn Flake Cereal: $6-7 (750g box)

Tinned tomatoes: $0.80c (400g)

Brown onions: $2.89 per kilo

Zucchini: 3.98 per kilo

Squash: $6.99 per kilo

Tinned kidney beans: $1 (400g)

Flour tortilla: $3.49 (10 pack)

Pasta: $0.59 (500g)

Rice: $2.29 (1kg)

 

Rent: $350-400 per week

Average house price: $450-550k

(The area I live in is a "middle class" area, about 12 kms from the city)


We live in an area that is below average COL for the US.

I would say housing cost is the biggest difference here vs. another place in the US or in AU.

I would expect to be able to rent something pretty decent for $600 per month in our area.

I would say housing prices average between $60,000 and $150,000. We got our house for less than that though.

 


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#14 of 15 Old 01-31-2012, 10:19 AM
 
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There goes my dream of moving to Australia. greensad.gif Unless...how do incomes compare?

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#15 of 15 Old 02-02-2012, 09:13 AM
 
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We live near Seattle WA and had dreams of moving to New zealand. We traveled there for a month and fell in love with the county. The cost of living was do able. What was not doable was in the US, my dh is in construction (a union) and makes a very decent wage in WA. If he were to work in the mid west or east coast he would make almost half of what he does here. In NZ, we were faced with the same issue. He would make much less there. So for us, we live a good life in a fairly high COL area, but his wage is higher. There are many places in the US where I would NOT ever want to live.... So for you, I suggest finding a few areas in the US that interest you. Look on craigs list to get an idea of rents or any real estate site for buying, then look at the wages for what work you would be doing. Also in the US health care is a huge cost unless you get a job with "good" benefits. In Au does the gov pay for health care?

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