Saving Money in Australia

Saving money in Australia is not a different task than saving money in your home country. This article has been presented to you in order to understand the financial system of Australia so that you can plan your budget as long as you stay in the country.

It is not easy to earn in a foreign land, especially for students. In Australia, as a student, you cannot work for more than 20 hours a week. So, it is clear that your earning is not going to be very much. After you have spent the money on your need, you might want to save your money for an emergency or other purposes. You need to develop the habit of saving if you don’t have one.

Here we have prepared a guide to help you understand how to save money in Australia.

Your bank

There are a few different banking options for international students in Australia. While some might prefer to stick with their home bank (and simply let them know that they will be studying overseas), it is usually considerably simpler to open an account once you arrive in Australia – just make sure you have access to enough money in the short-term before you can get to a bank (we recommend traveling with about AUS$700 on you, though this amount might depend on your circumstances).

National Australia Bank (NAB) give you the opportunity to open an account before you leave home so everything is ready once you arrive in Australia. Meanwhile, under the Global Alliance arrangement, Westpac Bank have partner banks around the world with which they have a working relationship to make it easier for their customers to manage their finances, no matter what country they’re in. You can also try Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) or Citibank, the latter of which have branches overseas too. In addition to the major four banks in Australia, there are a number of smaller banks throughout the country too.

When selecting and applying for an account, you should always read the fine terms of the account and try not to be too distracted by the added incentives like discounts on entertainment. Also, you should know that withdrawing cash from an ATM machine which does not belong to your bank will incur a small charge on top of whatever cash you withdraw.

Keeping in touch

When you’re studying away from home, it is important to keep in touch with family and friends. While it is always advantageous to have a mobile phone, there are many other ways to keep in touch that doesn’t involve spending a lot of money on phone bills.

Skype is the most popular way to talk to friends and family via audio or video call. It’s free to install though you may have to pay for credit to call different countries. It’s simple to use too! We don’t know how international students survived before Skype!

Thanks to the advancement of smartphones, tablets, and apps, staying in touch with loved ones at home has never been easier. As well as Skyping from a mobile device, you can also use apps like Whatsapp, Facetime as well as Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts to continue long messages.

If you’re going to purchase a mobile phone, it is advisable that you do so in Australia once you arrive, as charges from foreign networks will be considerably higher if purchased in your own country. Similarly, if you’re living in private residential accommodation with other people, then you may be able to get a broadband deal that includes landline rental (though most students find it easier to just have their mobile phone).

What are you entitled to?

International students are allowed to work while studying in Australia though there are strict terms and conditions under which they work. In short international students can work for 40 hours per fortnight during the academic term. The minimum working wage in Australia is AUS$640.90 a week or $16.87 an hour.

Make sure you have read the terms of your student visa before commencing any paid employment; if you break the rules of your visa, you can jeopardize your status to remain in the country as a student (and you may be deported).

Everyday savings

When doing your weekly grocery shop, try Aldi and Coles instead of Woolworths and Safeway. Find meat wholesalers instead of buying meat from a supermarket – they’re closer than you think! You should also try smaller markets and stores which are a bit more “off the grid”. If you can try to befriend those who own and work in smaller stores; they might be able to offer you discounts if you become a regular customer!


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