Here is our 2022 spending report for our family of four. I know it’s already the end of March – but better late than never, right?
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised when I calculated our family’s total expenses for the year. We live in one of the nicest (and most expensive) suburbs of Sydney with two kids in childcare and are definitely not very frugal. We eat out quite a bit, went on three holidays (including one to Europe) during the year, and our spending was …. lower than I expected – despite inflation!
I hope our annual cost of living breakdown helps other families with young kids or people looking to move to Sydney. I don’t usually share our numbers, but I make an exception when it comes to our family spending. I remember looking for info on the cost of living in Sydney when we relocated here from Europe and then again before we had our first baby. I was so grateful to find some first-hand reports online and want to pay it forward.
Notes and Context
We are a family of four living in a beachside suburb of Sydney. We are semi-retired, and our kids go to childcare three days a week. Baby Flamingo #1 was three years old for most of 2022, and Baby Flamingo #2 was one.
We are big advocates of intentional spending. This means we spend big on things that make us happy but try to minimise spending on things that don’t add value to our lives. Quality and sustainability are very important to us, so we won’t cut corners just to save a few bucks. We also shop local where possible (and reasonable).
As always, first, a few notes:
- Housing: We rent a 3-bedroom apartment in a great location close to the beach. Luckily our rent didn’t increase in 2022. Overall, the cost of the apartment is still pretty high compared to cheaper suburbs, but it is 100% worth it for us because we love where we live and make the most of what the location and lifestyle have to offer.
- Groceries / Supermarket: This is our catch-all supermarket category – groceries, household products, personal care items, nappies, etc. We mainly shop at Coles and Woolworths. We don’t eat that much meat and try to buy organic or free-range meat/eggs where possible.
- Eating out: We don’t have many restaurant meals out (fellow parents will understand!) but often buy breakfast or lunch and order pizza with the kids about once a week.
- Transport, mobile phones, private health insurance: These are subsidised by our employers, which is great, so the cost is probably lower than you’d expect.
- Taxes, donations, etc.: Investment-related costs, charitable donations, taxes, etc. are not included in this breakdown.
- The spending data below is in Australian Dollars (AUD).
Our 2022 Cost of Living Breakdown
|Category||2022 spending (AUD)||Comments|
|Groceries / Supermarket||$11,321.53|
|Household goods||$1,583.26||A new washing machine and things like cookware, dishes, etc.|
|Insurance||$1,979.37||Renters insurance, salary continuance, liability, etc.|
|Internet and mobile phones||$960.00|
|Kids||$4,053.47||Equipment, medical expenses, clothes, toys, swimming lessons, zoo passes, etc.|
|Misc. discretionary spending||$5,711.40||All discretionary spending, including clothes, haircuts, alcohol, going out, Netflix, etc.|
|Holidays||$12,322.00||One trip to Europe to see family and two domestic trips|
|Misc. expenses||$5,311.13||Tax return costs, repairs, gifts, passports, emergency travel, entertaining visitors and guests, etc.|
|Total excl. rent||$81,487.81|
|Total excl. rent and childcare||$57,316.19|
Our 2022 Expenses Compared to 2021
So how does our 2022 spending compare to our 2021 spending?
Our expenses went up a fair bit compared to 2021 – by $17,229.81, to be exact.
In 2021 we spent a lot less on childcare because Baby Flamingo #2 only started going in July (and only a day and later two per week at first). In 2022, we spent over $8,000 more on childcare than in 2022.
Also, in 2021 we didn’t go on any trips (except for a short break at a nearby family resort) because of Covid restrictions. In 2022, we went on two domestic trips (one week each in South Australia and Queensland) and spent six weeks in Europe. Luckily, Baby Flamingo #2 was under two when we travelled, so we saved on one full-price airfare. But still, the holiday total for the year was over $11,000 more than in 2021.
Why Our Higher Spending Is Good News
So why did I say in the intro that I was pleasantly surprised about the amount we spent in 2022? Because I thought it would be a lot higher!
We spent an extra $19,000 on childcare and holidays alone (compared to 2021), but our overall expenses only went up by $17,000. That means that our cost of living actually went down in other categories – despite inflation and the “cost of living crisis”. And I can assure you that we spend quite freely without counting every cent.
Overall, I’m really pleased with our spending total for 2022. I think our personal rate of inflation has definitely been lower than the CPI numbers reported in the news.
2022 was a great year with lots of family adventures. I definitely think we managed to make the most of our beautiful location and the time freedom our fabulous semi-retired lifestyle provides us. So overall, the money we spent to sustain this lifestyle was money very well spent.
What was your family’s spending like in 2022? Did you feel the effects of inflation?