Many families choose to migrate to Australia for a myriad of reasons – perhaps they are looking for job opportunities or simply want a better life for themselves and their children. But a move to Australia could be a costly affair if you do not take the time to plan it out carefully. Making yourself aware of the local market nuances when it comes to travel, grocery shopping and accommodation will help you plan better. This guide looks deeper and offers some tips to help you budget smartly for your first few months in Australia.
1. PREPAY YOUR INITIAL TRIPS
Since the international exchange rates fluctuate often, it is advisable to prepay for most of your expenses like hotels, airfare and tour packages. Booking online and in advance usually gets you better deals than you would if you were to purchase something at the counter. You could refer to discount websites like Skyscanner.com, Hotels.com and Hostels for your airfare and accommodation needs. These (and other) comparison websites typically allow you to choose between a raft of competitors, allowing you to drill down to the best price you can find.
2. TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORT WHEREVER POSSIBLE
When you first come to Australia, you may think of taking cabs to eliminate the worry of getting lost or perhaps you were used to taking cabs in your original home country. But this could empty out your pockets faster than you think in Australia. Take the time to study the public transport network of the city you will be moving to so that you can plan your routes smartly. Trains and buses typically work out significantly cheaper than taxis, so make sure you incorporate them into your travel plans when you first move here. Remember there’s no shame in using public transport in Australia – even the CEO’s use it!
3. COMPARE BETWEEN SUPERMARKETS
Did you know that supermarkets in Australia can be priced differently from each other? While many of them claim comparative prices, you’re bound to find a few dollar discrepancies, so make sure you research the products you’re buying before you decide where to go. For example, a 1kg packet of home brand salt in Woolworths costs $0.90, while a similar home brand version in Coles costs $0.99. The price difference may not seem like much, but can really add up when you buy in bulk. Always look for best deals, discounts and specials and take the time to understand the price structure in the different supermarkets in Australia – Coles, Woolworths, IGA and Aldi, and choose between products based on who offers the best price deal.
4. COOK YOUR MEALS AT HOME, RATHER THAN EATING OUT
As tempting as it is with the numerous restaurants available to you, remember that you’re on a tight budget until you’re able to find a job when you first migrate to Australia. Your best option is to cook at home and budget your weekly groceries based on your family size. For an average family household, food and household related grocery spends should ideally not be more than $159 per week based on data from Sydney, the most expensive city when it comes to grocery spends.
5. OP-SHOPPING AND GUMTREE
When you first arrive in the country the most effective way for keeping expenses down is to go “op-shopping” and buying seconds on Gumtree!
Op-shop is a retail establishment run by charitable organisations to raise money. In Australia, major national opportunity shop chains include the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores (trading as Vinnies), the Salvation Army (trading as Salvos), Lifeline and Endeavour.
Clothes, Furniture, Bicycles, Bedding, Crockery and utensils, white goods for your kitchen. You will find it all here. Although the goods are all second hand but they will serve your purpose when you have just moved in and are just setting up your new rental. With a bit of looking around, you could easily furnish a two bedroom rental unit, including electronics for around AUD4,000-5,000/- The load on your budget when buying first hand goods as soon as you arrive could be quite demanding and this alternative could be a good solution to ease the financial strain at the onset.
Another great option when looking for good bargains or seconds is Gumtree. Look to buy second hand goods on GumTree. This is the biggest websites for local community classifieds including Stuff for sale, Cars, flat share, flat rentals and jobs.
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