- Australia has many things to recommend to immigrants. Students enjoy cities with a great cultural offer such as Melbourne and Sydney. Those who go to work will find a country that has many job opportunities and a high standard of living.
However, such a level can also bring with it higher costs of living compared to other parts of the world. For that reason, depending on your circumstances, you may need to pay attention to your budget when you settle in Australia. Here are some practical tips to make your money go further in Australia.
1.Use public transport if you can
Nobody can deny that having your own vehicle will allow you to enjoy more freedom and flexibility. However, this also comes with a cost. In addition to having to spend money on the car, you should also consider the cost of insurance and fuel. Only the second can accumulate until it becomes a quite considerable expense.
The good news is that Australia has great public transport networks, which are a cheap and convenient alternative to cars. Let’s take Sydney as an example. The city’s public transportation encompasses subway trains, buses, light rail services, and ferries. Switching from one means of transport to another is easy, since it is enough for you to simply swipe your contactless bank card. In addition, there are also price ceilings that limit how much you are expected to pay on certain days.
What’s more, you won’t have to go through the hassle of learning routes and schedules. We recommend downloading the Moovit app, which is available for a wide variety of locations including Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Perth. The app collects the latest real-time data to give you the fastest routes to wherever you need to go. It also tells you which are the next trains, buses and other important services.
2. Always look for discounts
You will discover that many services and attractions have discounts for some clients. Let’s return to public transport in Sydney, where certain categories of passengers can enjoy trips at a discounted price. For example, customers over 60 years of age, who have been issued a card for the elderly, are eligible for concessions. International students whose courses have been financed by specific government scholarships can also obtain concessions.
Popular attractions often provide similar concessions. To take her as an example, the National Gallery of Victoria, which is Australia’s most visited art museum, offers discounts for children, seniors and students. Before visiting any attraction that requires tickets to enter, it’s always worth checking online to see if you have those discounts.
3. Download money saving apps
There are many apps available in Australia that can make a real difference when it comes to how much you spend on everyday things. A great example is Shping, who promotes herself as a ‘shopping buddy’. The app allows you to collect cash back and other rewards by scanning products in supermarkets and other stores. You can also use it to compare prices from different stores, and store your loyalty cards in one place. The app rewards you for leaving product reviews and contributing to its product database.
More than 1.7 million customers in Australia regularly use another app called ShopBack. This app rewards you with up to 30% cash back when you shop online at participating stores. In addition, there is also the Half Price app, which does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s pretty straightforward, it lists half-price items available at Coles and Woolworths, two widely used supermarkets in Australia. Information is updated every Wednesday, so you can dive into great deals every week.
4. Sign up for loyalty programs
Many businesses in Australia offer loyalty programs as an incentive to attract customers. An example of this is the Flybuys program. By registering, you can collect points whenever you shop at partner stores. These include major chains like Coles, Target, and Kmart. As an example let’s say that at Coles you receive 1 point for every $1 you spend. Then you can redeem your points to get discounts at supermarkets or to buy gift cards.
Woolworths also has a program called Everyday Rewards, which awards at least 1 point for every $1 spent. Points can be used to reduce your shopping bill or even converted into Qantas points. The latter can be used to earn free flights and upgrades to higher class levels on your flights.
5. Check out the free attractions
Australia is a huge country with a wide variety of places to see. The various attractions mean that you really don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great time. Take for example the inhospitable regions of Australia, where there are endless trails and paths to discover. You may need to compare options, as some tours may be more expensive than others when you factor in accommodation and guides. However, as long as you’ve purchased the right gear, like hiking boots, hiking can give your pocket just what it needs.
You can also look for many free attractions like Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens. This has fascinated visitors for almost two centuries and is rich in colorful and exotic flowers.
One of the great benefits of living in Australia is its coastline. Indeed, the nation is world famous for its sun-kissed beaches. Whether you’re into surfing or lounging on the sand, places like Bondi Beach and Byron Bay are must-sees, and you can enjoy them for free.
6. Open a savings account
It may be tempting to stay with the bank you already have when you move to Australia. After all, it has probably served you well so far. However, we recommend opening an Australian bank account for a few reasons. First, having a local account could make it easier to carry out official transactions. For example, paying bills or receiving a salary. Second, you will eliminate any risk of having to pay potentially expensive international banking fees.
Another tip is to see what savings accounts might be on sale. Major banks may offer different rates. Some accounts won’t allow withdrawals, but will reward you with higher interest rates, so you can really grow your money. Others will allow you to spend your savings when you need to. As always, it’s a good idea to explore online before making a decision.
7. Send money home cheaply
We know that many people move to Australia to work hard and send money home to their loved ones. You may have family members who depend on your support for their education or daily bills. Maybe you only want to send occasional gifts. Regardless of your reasons for remitting, you want your family and friends to receive as much money as possible.
It is for this reason that you should look for money transfer companies that deduct the least amount in the form of fees. Companies that are purely online can often offer cheaper transfer fees and competitive exchange rates. That’s because they don’t have to cover the costs of having stores on high streets, and they can pass those savings on to customers.