Moving from Seattle to Sydney

Sorry guys I just posted a msg but forgot to ask, how do you manage to cope with the high cost of living in Sydney? I did some online comparison, Sydney overall is 150% more expensive on virtually everything compared to Seattle. I am struggling... Anyone can give me a fair comparison?

Hi lindaifu and welcome to!:)

I hope that other members will soon help you.


Hi there! We just moved here from Tacoma.  Things here are VERY expensive. I cannot really give you numbers, but just be prepared!

Hi there,

The Sydney is always Australia's most expensive city. May be if you can look to move to some other city than Sydney. Not even Melbourne that city is expensive also.

The rental room alone in Sydney can cost you around $600-$900 per week.

australia in general is very expensive,it's even scary to do a window shopping no joke .

I would say sydney is one of the most expensive places in the world - I'm assuming you are getting a hefty pay increase moving over here? if not you should!!!!

Sydney is expensive, however mind income here is on avarage 40% higher compared to the US. There is an abundance of jobs and job market is not as competitive.
So basically it offsets itself. Also note if you immigrating you will have low/no medical expenses as most of services (esp hospital) are government funded.
It really depends on what visa you are coming on. If on just working visa with no job Sydney might be a hard place to start your life. But again its very personal so you should plan carefuly. I and bunch of my friends didnt have any trouble with local costs and jobs. Some were more lucky in smaller cities like Adelaide/Bris... it all depends.

Hi lindaifu,
We moved from Seattle (Ballard) to Sydney about 4 years ago.  Back then the financial crisis hadn't quite set in even so the cost of living in Sydney was a shocker! I would say, if you haven't already moved, to expect to pay double for everything.  When you are looking at rents beware that even though they advertise rent per week that actually works out to be a bit more since the number of days per month is different per month.  Eating out was a surprise too.  I remember when we first moved here, after that period of paying rent and bond, we were pretty broke until payday which felt like forever.  Finding a cheap place to grab just easy take away was hard. Groceries have recently gone up due to the Queensland floods.  Bananas are almost the same price as gold.  Just kidding but seriously I have had a banana since February because they are so expensive, about $2 a banana $14 per kilo (2.2 pounds). 

If you are moving I'm assuming you have a job already in place.  If not then I would suggest having at least two month's saved up giving you a bit of a cushion for finding a job and getting that first pay check.  (Just talked to my husband and he says $10,000 with job in place.) Once you have an income in place you'll be fine and honestly, you do get use to the cost of things and you find your favourite cheap eats and happy hour pubs (booze is very expensive here).  The pay rate is pretty good for the cost of living.  Think someone mentioned 40% higher.  Australia is the land of opportunity.  The job market is not as competitive depending on your field.

We have actually managed to save quite a bit.  I suggest you check out UBank as a supplement bank account.  UBank has an amazing 6.51% interest savings account.  It’s pretty awesome. You will also get a Super fund here which is fantastic and you can take all your Super monies home with you if you are temporary.  In the beginning financially it is stressful but just keep in mind it does get better.  Sydney is a beautiful city and Australia is an amazing country.  We absolutely love it here.  240 days of sunshine compared to Seattle's average of 60 days. 

As I said we’ve been here for 4 years, if you want to contact me go ahead and send me a PM.  I’ll do my best to answer any questions. When you get here check out the American Expats in Sydney group.  They do lots of fun activities around town and everyone is very friendly. 
Good Luck ;),
Emerald City to Oz

It is pretty expensive! :/

Thanks people, it's been four years and now we are finally entering the planning stage, but it's going to be another 2-3 years before we leave the country.  I really appreciated everyone's advice and info. Now that after 4 years I think things have changed a little I guess. Aussie dollars have depreciated quite a bit which should help us, just don't know when the Aussie dollars are going up again. Right at this moment we are looking at Sydney or Melbourne. If you have any more advice for me please do share in here. Thanks a lot!

Hi Lindaifu!

I personally prefer Sydney's sights and the more than 100 beaches it has, but other people I know love the European vibe of Melbourne. In any case, I'm sure you'll like Australia, and the relaxed, liberal vibe there may remind you of Seattle.You can check a good comparison between Sydney and Melbourne here, it's quite funny: Sydney vs. Melbourne

Well, I was in Sydney only once and was truly shocked with the level of prices, it is much higher even in comparison to some cities in the USA.


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