Moving overseas is a mixed bag of emotions: you’ll feel excited, nervous, eager and emotional all at the same time. While you may not be able to control these emotions, you can control your stress levels.
There are a number of things that you can plan for before you depart to make the process as seamless as possible. The most important aspect of your trip will be organizing your finances. This guide will run through the best ways of managing your money whilst you’re living in the beautiful region of Australasia.
If you’ll be spending up to a year living abroad, it’s very likely you’ll be intending to find work. In Australia, your income and government benefits are paid directly into a bank account. Therefore, the quicker you get this set up, the quicker you can start earning money.
You will usually only need your passport as identification to create your account, and it’s recommended that you do this within the first six weeks of your arrival. However, an even better plan is to have it in place before you get there. This will allow you to transfer money before you arrive so that you don’t have to worry about it later. It will also allow you to start the job hunting a lot earlier because you’ll already have the account details to give to your employer.
Perhaps the best thing about setting up your bank account early is being able to take advantage of favorable exchange rates. In the time leading up to your departure, regularly check the current rate until you’re happy with the level of conversion. You can then call upon the services of a foreign exchange specialist like Travelex to do an international bank transfer. The company has an online transfer system that allows you to move your money quickly, easily and safely. You can also set up regular payments if you’d prefer to not transfer large sums in one go: it also saves the monthly hassle of moving your money over.
In Australia, you can apply for a working holiday visa if you’re between the ages of 18 and 30 for just £146. These are ideal for students going on gap years because they last for a full 12 months and can be activated on the day you arrive. For more information on the other types of Australian visas available, visit Immi.gov.au.
Track your spending
Once you arrive at your destination, it’s important that you don’t lose the good money habits you’ve already developed. Take charge of your money and track your spending during the first few months of your stay. If you’re on a gap year for instance, make a note of where your money is going each day and how you can cut your costs. Australia and New Zealand are both massive countries, so it can be very easy to rack up traveling costs if you intend to move around a lot.
Saving up before you go will be your financial safety blanket. Always have some money put aside for emergencies. Being the victim of a crime is something we never like thinking about, but having a contingency plan in place will, at the very least, give you peace of mind.
There are a number of other important things you’ll need to get set-up if you’re spending an extended period of time abroad. The Australia government has a very informative guide that you can use to tick off the essentials. Alternatively, if you’re planning to live in New Zealand, you can get lots of helpful advice here.