Estimated Cost of Living in Canberra

Guidance to help you budget for your lifestyle in one of the world's most liveable cities. We have listed some categories below to help you plan ahead for your studies in 2023.

To live on your own in Canberra, you will need approximately AU$31,200 a year to cover basic costs such as accommodation, food, utilities and clothing (approximately AU$600 per week). In Canberra, the additional living cost for a partner is about $8,100 per year. The additional living cost for each child is about $5,200 per year. This does not include the cost of childcare or schooling. These estimates do not include large household items such as a car or furniture. It is possible to reduce the cost of living significantly by living in a shared house or apartment or living in homestay.

NOTE: Actual costs will depend on your lifestyle choices and needs.

If you are bringing children of school age, you will need to pay for their schooling (unless exempt) and/or childcare. Please see the ACT Government Education and Training Directorate website for full details on school fees, additional fees (if applicable), eligibility and application criteria.

For very young children, you may need to consider childcare. The average childcare cost in Canberra is approximately $690 per week ($138 per day) as at December 2022. It is important to organise a place in childcare early as facilities are often booked-up well in advance of semester start.

Initial establishment cost

Australian Dollars 

Rental bond

$1,040 - $2,000

2 weeks rent in advance

$520 - $1,000

Electricity, gas & telephone $260 - $590
Household items (furniture, linen etc.) $720 - $1,300
Approximate total cost $2,570 - $4,890

Average weekly living expenses in Canberra


Accommodation (per week)

$288 (sharing) - $500 

(not sharing)


$110 - $181

Travel $35
Phone and internet $18
Electricity & gas $42
Stationery, postage $8
Average Expenditure $501 - $784 per week

Other costs


Text books

$1,320 per annum


$200 - $280 per 6 months

Haircut $15 - $75 per month
Shoes $60 - $100 per 6 months
Doctor's (GP) consultation fee $50 - $80 per month (1 visit per month)
Infant childcare $133 - $147 per day

Please note that the costs indicated above are not fixed and may vary based on student's lifestyle and accommodation arrangement.

Useful webpages:

  • The Australian government website MoneySmart has a section specifically for students on how to live on student budget.
  • The Australian government website Study in Australia estimates general living costs for students.