The salary you need to live comfortably in each capital city.

Prices are high, wages are low. It's a reality that countless Australians are grappling with right now. Interestingly, new data has revealed which salaries we think equate to living a nice, comfy existence, dependent on each capital city.

The new survey from Finder dished the details, the vast majority of Aussies feeling they need far, far more than what they're currently earning to feel comfortably wealthy. The survey found that the average Australian said feeling rich required an annual pay of $345,819. For context, the average annual income among the population is $72,753.

Watch: 4 money hacks that don't cut out your daily cup of coffee! Post continues below. 

Video via Mamamia.

Finder's senior writer for money, Rebecca Pike, says the current cost of living is playing a part in people's earnings expectations rising.

"With everything from soaring property prices to expensive energy bills, the average person now feels they need to earn a whole lot more to be wealthy," she tells Mamamia.

"For most of us, this just isn't attainable; but I think it really showcases the financial stress people are under. Wage growth hasn't kept up with inflation and so people feel that money isn't going as far as it once did."


Comparing among the generations on this topic brought interesting results.

Baby Boomers felt they needed to earn $273,812 to be living rich, and Gen X said their number would be $307,257 per year. These earnings expectations only increased in the younger demographics. Millennials had the highest expectations at $418,325, followed by Gen Z who believe they need $392,077 per year to be affluent. 

Aside from the generational difference in views, separate studies have looked into what a person from each capital city would need to earn to feel rich as well.

The salary you need to live comfortably in each capital city.

First, let's look at the average salaries across capital cities in the states and territories, according to ABS/Pay Scale and Forbes.

Sydney - $80,000.

Melbourne - $75,000.

Canberra - $71,000.

Brisbane - $73,000.

Adelaide - $70,000.

Darwin - $72,000.

Perth - $77,000.

Hobart - $65,000.

Now let's look at the median dwelling property price in each of these cities, as per CoreLogic. This median involves both apartment and home prices.

Sydney - $1,128,322.

Melbourne - $780,457.

Canberra - $843,171.


Brisbane - $787,217.

Adelaide - $711,604.

Darwin - $496,309.

Perth - $660,754 

Hobart - $656,947.

Now consider these median property prices, lifestyle factors, travel, household bills, rising cost of living, taxes, mortgages, inflation and more... our salary expectations for living a comfortable life are definitely far greater than the average of what each capital city person is earning.

Daniel Albanes is the Head of Wealth at Liston Newton Advisory. Speaking with Mamamia, he notes that being rich means different things for different people.

But where we can make an educated assumption is that a salary that takes into account all of these factors - and a salary that is well over the various capital city averages - would lead to someone living a far more comfortable existence.

"In an ideal world, you would like to be earning a Western Australian wage, purchasing your home in Darwin whilst shopping for groceries and paying bills in Tasmania. This goes to show that being rich in different states may mean different things," he says.

"Take NSW as an example. Based on the survey respondents' desired income of $345,000 pa, it would take you 2.9 years to save for a median house deposit, and you would be able to spend 72 per cent more than the average NSW household. 

"Considering the national average household expenditure in Australia is circa $110,000 pa, earning $345,819 pa ($200,000 after tax) would allow you to save $90,000 pa, or spend 90 per cent more than the average household spends every year. This seems pretty comfortable to me."


Realistically, these sorts of earnings aren't going to happen for the majority of us. Not great news, we know.

As a senior financial adviser with over 10 years in the industry though, Albanes wants you to know this - a middle-ground perspective is far more attainable. And another hot tip is to focus on investment, rather than salary.

"I would define being rich as being able to generate enough passive income to live life on your own terms. This involves building up your asset base to the point that it's generating enough income for you to live and do the things you really want to do. I think the key here is building your asset base, not necessarily increasing your income."

As Finder's Rebecca Pike says: "Before people start worrying that they need to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars, it's important to take a look at your current expenses and financial situation. Being financially comfortable and stable is often more achievable and worthwhile than being 'wealthy'."

4 small but handy money tips from the experts. 

Groceries. Look at weekly specials online to plan meals and snacks... and plan, plan, plan before going grocery shopping to avoid impulse purchasing. Consider going vegetarian for a stack of meals throughout the week, given the rising cost of certain meat products. Also scope out in-store price reductions. If you happen to work outside the home, packing your own lunch if feasible can save you a tonne of money. Those cafe meals and coffees add up over time. 


Shopping. It can be a killjoy, but creating a monthly shopping budget (and sticking to it) can save in the long run. It makes for more considered purchases. Plus, look towards op-shops, Facebook Marketplace and clothes swaps with friends for second-hand bargains. 

Compare. It's an age-old saying from the money experts, but there's validity to it. As Finder's Rebecca Pike notes, it's time to take stock of where your money is going.

"Don't pay too much for what you do need. From energy to insurance to your mobile provider, compare your options to ensure you're getting the best bang for your buck. If you haven't switched any of these in the past six to 12 months, you're probably paying too much."

Invest. If you're someone who doesn't feel overly confident about investing, you're not alone. But there are experts that can help. Investing is a great money habit to get accustomed to. You can read more here and here

Ultimately, no two money circumstances are the same - so speaking with an expert who can help you define your own financial goals and how to achieve them is always the best tip.

Feature Image: Canva/Mamamia.

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