Money Monday: The Cost of Living: UK Vs Australia

One of the differences we have noticed is earning power. Collectively our income has increased by more than 24% since moving to Canberra.


Hey Beautiful people, welcome back to the Jalloh family blog. Today, we will do a city by city cost of living comparison. Canberra or London, which is more cost-effective. If you enjoy our family blog, don’t forget to leave a comment and follow us for more Jalloh family content.

By far the most popular requests for a blog is one that focuses on comparing the cost of living between the UK and Australia. This was difficult to do because we needed at least a year of living in Oz to do a comparison. The show “Wanted Down Under” was super popular in the UK, which most people mentioned when we told them we were immigrating, hence the request about the cost of living. They wanted to know how true the show was.

While different parts of Oz and UK will have a varied cost of living, we have focused on London and ACT because that’s where we have lived for significant amounts of time. We have been living in Canberra now for just over a year and made the decision not to blog about the cost of living, until we had settled into life and our usual expenses were clear and transparent enough for us to talk about, accurately.

Ahmed and I spent a lot of time researching the cost of living in Australia for a number of reasons. It played a big part in our decision to move here; there was no point to move somewhere that was going to be more expensive than London and not help us reach one of our goals of becoming home owners. Also, would cost of living mean a better work life balance? The research helped us consider where in Canberra we were going to live, which incidentally was determined by where Ahmed ended up getting a job. All this was balanced against earning power.

In this blog, I will share with you our expenditure to give you an idea of the cost of living. Of course every family has different incomings and outgoings; so this is just our experience and perspective.

I think at this stage it is important to highlight that how much you can earn and the time commitment required for that money, also pay a factor in answering this question.

Getting into the mindset of dollars and not pounds took some adjustment

Ruth Jalloh

The Breakdown

Canberra London 
Rent £1,362.00Rent £800.00
Electric£53.00Electric £130.00
Gas £213.00Gas£0.00
Shopping £213.00Shopping£300.00
Saving £2,124.00Saving£1,000
Emergency savings £213.00Emergency savings£0.00
Petrol x 2 cars£106.00Petrol x 1 car £160.00
Kids savings£22.00Kids saving accounts – savings£20.00
Phone bill x 4 people£95.00Phone bill x 3 people £150
Water rates£27.00Water rates£63.00
Car£423.00Car £151.00
Car Insurance x 2 cars£75.00Car insurance £50.00
Life Insurance£47.00Life Insurance £60.00
Council Tax £0.00Council Tax£160
TV Licence £0.00TV licence£12.12
Kids pocket money – for chores £22.00Kids pocket money – for Chores £40.00
Daughters course £64.00Daughters course £0.00
Gymnastics – our son £54.00Gymnastics – our son £91.00
Gym – x 4 people  £186.00Gym x 2 people  £40
Internet£38.00Internet £100.00
Private Health £160.00Private Health £0.00
Personal allowance £850.00Personal allowance £700.00
Daughters lunch £0.00Daughters lunch £40.00
Sons breakfast club£0.00Sons breakfast club£70.00
Sons lunch £0.00Sons lunch £50.00
Sons afterschool club £0.00Sons afterschool club £100.00
Travel card £0.00Travel card £124.00
Parking £139.00Parking£35
Family activities £107.00Family activities £200
Total: £6,593.00£2,780.12

There are some variations in our expenditure, which includes;

  • Rent: when living in the UK, we were living in ‘social housing’ so the rent was a lot cheaper than private renting; which we are now doing in Canberra until we buy our forever home. We are also renting a four bedroom house, whilst back in the UK we were living in a three bedroom flat
  • Gas: Our property in the UK did not have gas, everything operated through electricity
  • Daughters course costs: our daughter was attending 6th form in the UK for which there was no costs. She is now studying Business Studies online which has a cost
  • Emergency saving: we decided that we wanted to have an extra ‘slush fund’ so opened another savings account. We save into this account each fortnight and covers expenditure such as our flights to see family in Brisbane during the school holidays, weekends away etc.
  • Gym: In the UK, we were members of the 24/7 gyms, the one with super low membership that are open 24/7. We decided we needed a different approach to our workout routine, so opted for Orange Theory. Orange theory Fitness is the latest high intensity workout that’s scientifically proven to spike your metabolism and boost energy
  • Private health insurance: is an additional expenditure. In the UK, we are fortunate enough to have the NHS. The health care system in Australia works differently. Whilst Medicare covers a lot, private health care is a must.
  • Breakfast and After-school clubs: our son attends the school that Ahmed teaches at, so this is no longer an expenditure (whoop, whoop)
  • Cars: this expense has increased as we have two cars now and in London, we only needed one car; as I would walk or get the underground to work and Ahmed would drive. Australia is a massive country and we really do need two cars
How big is it compared to others?

Savings: we have always been pretty good at saving. In previous financial blogs, we have spoke about the fact that neither of us have come from money and that everything we have; we have built ourselves. Moving to Canberra has not changed that! The increase in our earnings has allowed us to up our game in this area and have been able to more than double what we save each month. The better salaries means that we have more disposable income too…

As you can probably gather, the way of life in Australia is different to life in the UK, so it has been quite hard to compare the cost of living like for like. We have had a variance in our income, or expenditure types and amounts have also changed.

I hope this has given you an insight into what the cost of living is like.

Thank you for your generous and thoughtful gift of time. You could be anywhere else at this moment but you chose to be here reading our blog and for that, you get to click on this secret link and enjoy turning your fear into fuel.

Peace, Love and Happiness

The Jalloh Family

2 thoughts on “Money Monday: The Cost of Living: UK Vs Australia

  1. Hi Ruth, so good to hear from you again, we fell in love with New Zealand while we were there in Jan/Feb this year, would love to retire there, just feel we’re too old and cronky to do so…. never mind!
    Love and hugs, God bless you all,


    1. Hi Stevie, I hope you are well. Glad you liked NZ, I’ve not been yet, but have heard amazing things. It is on our bucket list for sure. Sending positive vibes your way
      Ruth x x


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