For the past 50 years or more, Australia has been one of the dream expat destinations for people looking for a fresh start. A great climate, low crime rates, fabulous standard of living and the famous relaxed attitude to life are all major attractions. However, there are two sides to every coin. The main negatives are the stringent immigration rules, especially in these uncertain times, and the cost of living – Australia’s is the 12th highest out of almost 200 countries in the world.
There is little we can do about the former apart from fill out the forms and wait for the world to return to some sort of normality. But where the latter is concerned, there are measures you can take that will definitely help your bank balance. Here’s our magnificent seven top tips.
1) Start afresh
A new start should mean just that. Free yourself of all but the essentials and approach life in Australia with a clean sheet. Of course, you should hang on to items that are genuinely special or have sentimental significance, but sell your furniture and other household items. Trying to pack everything into a container and getting it shipped is stressful, expensive and time-consuming. Instead of inflicting that on yourself, enjoy the liberating feeling of decluttering – as well as the benefit of money in the bank.
2) Consider furnished accommodation
You’ll have plenty of acclimatization to do when you arrive, and if you’ve followed the first tip, you’ll need furniture and basic essentials like crockery and kitchenware when you arrive. Heading straight to unfamiliar stores in an unfamiliar country is a recipe for disaster, and you’ll simply end up spending over the odds for the wrong things bought in haste. Find a furnished rental, at least for the first six months, so that you can take the time to work out what you need and where best to get it.
3) Gamble with someone else’s money
Placing a wager is part of the Aussie way of life, and you are sure to get drawn in, whether it’s to the famous pokies or to betting on sports like cricket and Aussie rules football. It’s all good fun, but it can get expensive, especially if you only have half an idea what you are doing. You can eliminate that risk by using free money from the casino instead. You will find a list of the best no deposit bonuses available in Australia by visiting CasinoShortlist. They also fill you in on important considerations like wagering requirements.
4) Don’t let your old life haunt you
It’s not just the old furniture that you need to get rid of. It’s also important to ensure loose ends like bills and subscriptions are all tied up. Chances are you’ll be keeping your old bank account open in your native country, at least for a few months, so set aside an hour to go through all your regular payments, standing orders and so on. It is so easy to forget something, and if you’re on the other side of the world, you might not hear about it till it’s been placed in the hands of a collections agency.
5) Figure out your ready cash
If you arrive in Australia with nothing but your bank card from your native country, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise. For sure, you’ll almost certainly be able to use it, but you are likely to find yourself hit by fees and unfavorable exchange rate calculations every time you make a purchase or withdraw cash. The ideal solution is to open an Australian bank account, but you might not be able to do so straight away. In the meantime, it’s worth looking into a borderless multi currency account – there are plenty of options out there.
6) Think hard about your four legged friends
Pets are part of the family, but bringing a dog or cat with you to Australia isn’t just expensive. It’s also stressful for you and your pet. The nation has very strict quarantine rules, and the length of time depends on your country of origin. You’ll need to pay for transportation costs, an import license, boarding and any necessary inoculations. Aside from the cost, though, think hard about the trauma of the journey and the quarantine. If you can rehome your pet with a friend or family member, it is probably the kindest thing to do – and these days, you can always stay in touch by Skype or Zoom!
7) Book early
Finally, a rule that is just as important even if you are only visiting Australia for a week or two. The nation is a long way from anywhere, and flights are seriously expensive. Book them well in advance, and then make your other plans accordingly. If you do it the other way around and find yourself having to buy tickets on a specific date, you could easily end up spending hundreds more.
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