I budgeted around $4000 of my own money, my youth allowance and the $4000 QUT scholarship. However NUCB required prepayment of rent for one semester students before I received the scholarship. I had to actually borrow money from my parents to cover the shortfall as it was $4000 and I had already purchased my airfare.
Generally about Y15,000 easily covered my weekly expenses and left me a little to go out with. I was lucky and received a Y25,000 monthly scholarship which covered the shortfall from my youth allowance for my weekly expenses. I found it sometimes difficult to stick to my budget as there were always things to do, places to visit or new foods to try. So I often broke my budget a little when I was sightseeing outside of Nagoya.
I think the cost of living is lower than Brisbane, excluding rent (I don’t know what Brisbane’s rent is since I still live with my parents), as you can eat and travel cheaper. There were lots of relatively cheap restaurants near the dorm and the convenience stores sold cheap bento. I got a prepaid travel card that saved my money for my uni travel but also let me ride for free between certain stations. NUCB also had half price bus tickets which was brilliant.
I generally used a travel money card and net banking instead of using an Australian card as it tend to charge extra overseas. Getting a bank account in Japan was fairly difficult and NUCB did not recommend getting one unless you were working while studying or staying there for a year. However it was annoying that I could only withdraw money at 7-11 and post office. ATMs and many businesses would not accept a foreign card. You are required to pay Japanese health insurance but it’s not expensive at about $20 per month and worth it if you visit the dentist or need to visit a doctor.