Hey Big Spender
So... Let’s talk money.
We have been saving up to come away for a good two years. If you’re a keen traveller, you know the time and effort it takes to save up that key amount to take you to far away places. No stop hours, plus over time, lack of sleep, lack of social life, constant complaining customers. All for £7.38 an hour, of which only a few of those pounds makes it to the savings account. We’ve all been there!
Jumping ahead now... we’re here, in the land of Oz! To be totally honest with you, money is a big problem. It is a lot more expensive than we originally thought. What’s more, this is peak season, summer holidays for Australians, so the prices of absolutely everything has almost doubled! Just to add to the extra expenses, all restaurants and bars add a 10-25% surcharge on all public holidays and Sundays throughout summer holidays. That’s a lot more money to account for! If you’re think of heading out to Australia for this time of year, you need to have more money saved up just for the November - February months alone.
It’s not all doom and gloom. With public holidays come tourists. You may see this as a positive or a negative. This has definitely been a positive for us. We’ve been able to meet other backpackers along our travels, hear their stories, learn the best locations to visit, or places to stay. We met a great group during our stay at Mojo Surf Camp (but that’s a story for another blog).
Back to the money money money. The best way to make sure you are not over spending is to budget, common sense right? If you’re anything like us, we are terrible at budgeting, but that’s not always a bad thing. We like to go out, have a meal have a beer, and have a few rounds of mini golf, who doesn’t enjoy all of those things?
If being on a super strict budget is making you miserable, then treat yourself, you’re on holiday! Don’t go crazy and over the top else you’ll find yourself on the next plane home by tomorrow. However, if you want cookies on offer, even though it does go over the budget by $3. Or if you want a go on that jet ski, even if it is $80 for half an hour... When else will you do it? This is a decision to make with whoever you are traveling with, either stick to that budget, you’ll get to travel for a longer but miss out on those little things along the way. Or spend that extra do everything you want to do, this will result in loosing travel time. We have found that by not spending any money and sticking to our budget, leaves us feeling very bored and regretful for the things we didn’t do, very quickly.
We are current en route up to Cairns from Sydney. Once we get to Cairns, we will have to find jobs to give the money a boost back up again. But we’ve been happy and had fun along the way!
The next little tip we want to give is, if you’re planning on staying in a certain location for a long period of time, like we are with Australia. Apply for a local bank card. If you reply on using your home bank card, you will quickly find that all of those international transfer and purchase fees add up quick! Save yourselves from loosing all that hard-earned money and get a local bank card as soon as possible!! This is the biggest tip we can possibly give you!
If like us you are travelling to Australia, the best banks to use are Westpac, ANZ or Commonwealth. We went with Westpac as they offered everything we needed; Joint account, low transfer fees, joint savings account, super annuation (this is like a pension in the UK, everyone has to have one here so that employers can pay into it. When we leave and head back to the UK, we can claim this money back for ourselves, bonus!) We also found that Westpac explained, and went through everything with us stage by stage and made the whole process of apply for an Australian Bank, so easy, unlike other banks.
I think that is all the advice we can give for now. If you do have any questions, please feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to answer for you.
Remember to always have fun!