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 typical living costs that you are likely to have as a student at ANU to help you plan ahead for your studies in 2024.

To live on your own in Canberra, you will need approximately AU$33,000 a year to cover basic costs such as accommodation, food, utilities and clothing (approximately AU$640 per week). 

This equates to approximately AU$26,000 for the academic year (February to November 2024). In Canberra, the additional living cost for a partner is about $8,400 per year. 

The additional living cost for each child is about $5,400 per year. These estimates do not include the cost of: 

  1. childcare or schooling, 
  2. large household items such as a car or furniture.

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

Childcare cost

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 $770 per week ($154 per day) as of November 2023. It is important to organise a childcare place early as facilities are often booked up well in advance of the semester's start.

Estimated cost

Initial establishment cost

Initial establishment cost

Australian Dollars 

Rental bond

$1,104- $2,124

2 weeks rent in advance

$552- $1,062

Electricity, gas & telephone

$290 - $590

Household items (furniture, linen etc.)

$720 - $1,300

Approximate total cost

$2,666 - $5,076

Average weekly living expenses in Canberra

Average weekly living expenses in Canberra

 Australian Dollars 

Accommodation (per week) 

$312 (share accommodation)

$530 (not sharing)


$123 - $223



Phone and internet


Electricity & gas


Stationery, postage


Average Expenditure

$549 - $857 per week

Other costs

Other costs

 Australian Dollars 

Text books

$1,473 per annum


$214 - $303 per 6 months


$17 - $82 per month


$60 - $100 per 6 months

Doctor's (GP) consultation fee

$55 - $85 per month (1 visit per month)

Infant childcare

$148 - $162 per day

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

Useful webpages: 

  • The Australian government website MoneySmart has a section specifically for students on how to live on a student budget.
  • The Australian government website Study in Australia estimates general living costs for students. 
  • ANU childcare centre information is available on the Childcare centres at ANU webpage.
  • Information about fees and financial assistance are available on the ANU Fees & Paymentswebpage.