Managing your money
Services and support to assist people who need financial information and advice.
In Australia, people keep their money in a bank. Most income, including wages and government benefits, is paid directly into an account in your name. Australians use debit cards to withdraw money from their bank accounts and for many purchases.
Open a bank account
If possible, open a bank account within six weeks of your arrival in Australia. You will need your passport as identification and after six weeks you will need to provide additional identification.
Give the bank your tax file number to avoid higher rates of taxation on interest earned.
A financial counsellor can provide advice on creating a budget, help with credit cards and fines and mediation with utility companies. It is a good idea to contact a financial counsellor early, so they can help you before you experience too much financial difficulty.
For financial counselling, contact one of the following organisations:
- Moneycare Maroochydore Salvation Army phone (07) 5443 8248
- Uniting Care Financial Counselling phone 1800 007 007
If you are experiencing severe financial difficulty such as being unable to pay for food or rent you can get immediate help from:
- Salvation Army phone 1300 36 36 22
- St Vincent de Paul phone (07) 5443 19
If you need legal financial advice contact Financial Rights Legal Centre phone 1800 007 007.
Sending money to someone in another country
Money can be sent through a variety of services. Always keep your receipt in case of any problems and check fees and the exchange rate before sending. The most commonly used services are:
- Western Union online or in person at Australia Post
- Moneygram online or in person at 7-Eleven stores