Emigrating to Australia is an exciting experience, but failing to do adequate research could prove costly. Below, we’ve put together five simple tips to help you get your finances in order both before and after your move to Australia – some of which might surprise you.
Ensuring that you have a bank account set up before moving to Australia is crucial as it will allow you to send funds to the nation before the move, meaning there’s is no waiting around for an international transfer to clear.
When it comes to using an Australian bank, it’s best to be aware of the charges that can be involved in daily transactions, as well as more long-term interactions.
Unlike in the UK, there can be fees for cashing in cheques depending on which bank or type of account you use, while holding a credit card can also incur an annual cost – in addition to any interest added should you miss making a repayment.
When making credit transfers overseas a percentage may be charged, so it’s really best to read all the small print when choosing your bank provider to make sure that you save rather than spend when storing your money with one of Australia’s many different banks.
The best advice we can offer in this area is to look into not only Australia’s main banks but also some of the smaller, regional providers and do a comparison of the different accounts available to you.
When shipping your possessions to Australia, there are two options – by air or by sea.
Depending on how rapidly you want to make the move, both methods have their benefits, but generally speaking, by sea is the cheaper of the two options.
In brief, air freight is much quicker than a sea voyage for your belongings, but this also costs significantly more. If you are into planning far ahead of time, however, then having your possessions shipped out potentially 2 months in advance can lead to significant savings.
If you don’t have enough to fill a whole shipping container and don’t want to pay the whole cost, shared shipping is available, which involves only paying for the space you use while other people take up the remaining container capacity and pay for their portion.
The Australian tax system is, like most tax systems, a complex piece of legislation to understand, though there are a few simple rules to ensure that you don’t end up on the wrong side of the rulebook.
When entering the country, money that you take with you is not taxed, though income entering an Australian bank account from overseas is. Regardless of whether you earn money in Australia or transfer a lump sum in from the UK, interest earned is usually taxed, and unlike in the UK, ISA-type savings accounts are generally only available in the form of pension accounts that are locked until the holder is of sufficient age, usually around 55.
Making sure that you’re up to speed on how much tax is taken based on how much you earn in Australia is key to ensuring you don’t end up with less-than-expected when it comes to paying bills or looking to splash out on something nice.
As of the 2016/17 period, any income up to AU$18,200 is untaxed, while at the opposite end of the scale, earning AU$181,001 or more will result in a hefty cut of 45%, as well as AU$54,547 and 45 cents for every Dollar over AU$180,000.
When it comes to transferring your funds from a UK bank account to an Australian one, it’s best to shop around for the best provider of transfer services – and you may quickly find that a currency broker has more to offer in this area than a bank.
In addition to providing a fee-free way of transferring your money into Australian Dollars, some currency brokers will provide you with a dedicated account manager, who’s always on hand to help you get the best exchange rate possible. Avoiding fees and securing a more competitive exchange rate could leave you thousands better off.
Additionally, forward contracts can be taken out with currency brokers – if you’re still looking for the perfect Australian property but don’t want to commit yet, a forward contract can be used to ‘lock in’ an exchange rate for up to 2 years. Fixing a rate in this way means you can budget effectively and protect your currency transfer from negative shifts in the currency market.
While you might not make use of health insurance or medical coverage in the UK, there is a very specific type of medical subscription that you’ll want to make use of in Australia to save on spending, especially if you are in a dangerous profession or have long-term health conditions.
This is an ambulance membership, which can dramatically cut down on costs if you happen to require the services of an emergency vehicle. In Australia, with the exception of Tasmania and the mainland state of Queensland, you have to pay for every ambulance trip, which can cost hundreds of Australian Dollars, depending on which state you choose to live in.
Ambulance memberships are a great way to avoid adding extra pain to an injury, as they cost a far smaller annual amount than an uncovered ambulance trip would, saving you hassle and in some cases lowering or waiving ambulance services in other Australian states as well.
So there you have it, five handy tips to help you cut the costs of your Australian emigration. Good luck with your move!