Let’s talk about money. How much do things cost in Australia? How much will you get paid when you work in Australia? How much money should you take with you?
Ok, so much depends on where in Australia and on your own circumstances, but to give you a guide the following is intended to help you plan and get you thinking about the money.
A higher cost of life…
Firstly, Australia is not a cheap country. Any country with a strong economy and very low levels of unemployment is sure to be quite expensive. Most Australians have money in their pocket and that drives up prices. Accommodation, transport, food, entertainment…it’s all expensive. But, the great thing is that when you work you make good money in Australia.
…but the highest salaries
Australia has the highest minimum salaries in the world. The minimum hourly rate is now $17.70 per hour. This means that even when doing a casual, unskilled job you will earn quite good money. Some students (especially those with skills) earn considerably more.
If you are successful at finding a sponsor in Australia and work full time then you will earn a minimum salary of about $4,300 per month and in many cases much more.
As an international student, you are likely to start by having a casual job. Many students work in the hospitality sector (cafes, restaurants, hotels) and the salaries are usually enough to pay your basic living expenses, even if you are only working part time.
The everyday cost of life
Students normally pay between $150 and $300 per week in rent, depending on what they are looking for. Food can be expensive, but there are also many cheap places to eat (including many Asian restaurants in all the major Australian cities).
Most students need at least $1,500 per month to live. The bigger cities tend to be more expensive, but they also benefit from having more job opportunities.
When considering how much money you will need to have when you travel to Australia it really depends on how quickly you will find a job. On average students need about one month to find a job. However, if your level of English is low it may take you longer. But with enough determination 4 to 6 weeks should be enough to find a job for most students.
Prepare the first expenses in Australia
When you first arrive in Australia you will have expenses that you will not have later on. For example, you will have to pay a bond for an apartment, buy some things for the accommodation and other ‘set-up costs’. Therefore students tend to spend more in the first month than they will after.
We advise that you take as much money with you as you can. You should consider taking enough money to cover you for the first 3 months assuming you will not work. You probably will, but to be safe you should assume no work (work is, of course, not guaranteed). So, a minimum of about $6,000 (4 300€) is advisable.
So don’t forget…
Remember this simple rule: you will spend more and earn more in Australia. The sooner you start working and earning money the better.