Optimising your Expenses in Australia for Australian Parents
Is Australia an Expensive Place to Live in?
Since it is widely considered as one of the most developed countries, Australia has a relatively high GDP. This may create the perception that Australians live a high life, and its people have enough financial resources to purchase things that will improve their standard of living. As economic theory suggests, a large GDP per capita will likely also mean the cost of living in Australia is typically higher than in most neighbouring countries. If you compare this to the cost of living in other urban cities such as New York City, or London, Australia is still comparatively cheaper.
Living in Australia should be considered a cost-beneficial experience. You should also expect your savings to increase in size, however a large sum of your salary will go towards housing expenses. Looking at statistics, the average cost of living per month is almost $1,440 AUD. This number can look intimidating, especially when you realise that it does not include renting or mortgage expenses.
Food costs of every household in Australia vary from urban and rural settings. People living near or in the big cities may find themselves paying double the costs. Other than this, utility expenses can also go significantly high. These include basic utilities such as gas, electricity, water, and the internet. Australia has one of the best healthcare systems, and medical procedures are free or heavily discounted for you if you are a permanent resident in the country. Despite this, even if you acquire the best possible options for your stay in Australia, it will still be beneficial for you to save money. This can be made easier by getting access to financial management apps like Unhedged, which aid people in the proper way to invest their money. There is also a considerable payback opportunity.
In What Ways Can You Save Money While Living in Australia?
1. Grocery Expenses
Contrary to popular belief, your monthly grocery bill does not always have to go out of budget. It largely depends on your lifestyle, how many people you have to feed, and your personal preferences. One way to save up on grocery expenses is to check up on the weekly savings from Coles/Woolworths which typically comes out every Wednesday. You can also find many weekly bonuses with their specific loyalty programmes.
2. Airline Expenses
Depending on where you originally live, it can cost quite a bit to fly to Australia. If you are thinking to travel or move to Australia, look for the cheapest flight options available. This can be made easier by regularly browsing pages on Facebook such as Jetstar or Virgin Australia. (Unfortunately, Tiger Airways didn’t survive Coronavirus). Jetstar still has a price beat of 10% so you may be able to save a bit extra there. Ozbargain often has the latest flight deals as well if you’re more flexible with dates.
3. Saving on Electricity and Gas
It is surprisingly easy to save money on power once you figure out how to do so. The most obvious way to do this is to turn off all appliances when they are not in use. Aside from this, many Australians still don’t change their electricity/gas plans every 6-12 months which can amount to a considerable saving of over $250/year. The government offers an easy comparison website at https://energymadeeasy.gov.au which allows you to input your bill details and find the cheapest plan for your region and usage. Often there are additional incentives to change and the state governments also offer bonuses so it’s worth designating a good 20-30 minutes to explore this site.
4. Bonus Idea – Finance Apps
Many free apps help you to shed light on your finances as well as invest to compound your wealth. Pocketbook is a great app to help you manage your financial expenses and see exactly where you’re spending your money. A new Australian entrant in the space of investing is Unhedged which aims to automatically invest money into the stock market without the hassles of picking companies or funds. As well as offering a low fee structure Unhedged uses algorithmic investing which can offer superior returns to many other investments.