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Managing your money
  • Last updated:
  • 29 Aug 2019

In Australia, people keep their money in a bank, building society or credit union. Most income, including salary and 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, building society or credit union account within six weeks of your arrival in Australia. You will usually only need your passport as identification. After six weeks you will need additional identification. This may be difficult if you do not have many documents to identify yourself. Give the bank your tax file number (TFN) to avoid higher rates of taxation on interest earned.

Knowing the average living costs in Australia is an important part of your financial preparation. Immigration World have prepared an overview of some of the major factors that determine the cost of living in Australia.

Financial counselling

You can receive free financial counselling by contacting a financial counsellor. They 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:

Nambour Community Centre
Phone: 5441 4724
Web: www.nambourcc.org

Moneycare
Maroochydore Salvation Army
Phone: 5443 8248
Web: www.salvationarmy.org.au

UnitingCare Financial counselling
Phone: 1800 007 007
Web: www.unitingcareqld.com.au

Financial difficulty

If you are experiencing severe financial difficulty such as being unable to pay for food or rent you can contact:

Salvation Army
Phone: 1300 36 36 22
Web: www.salvationarmy.org.au

St Vincent’s de Paul
Phone: 5443 1946
Web: www.vinnies.org.au

Advice and advocacy for people in financial stress

Financial Rights Legal Centre
Phone: 1800 007 007
Web: www.financialrights.org.au

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. However, check all fees and the exchange rate before sending. The most commonly used services are:

Western Union at Australia Post
Web: www.auspost.com.au - search overseas money transfer

Moneygram at 7/11 stores or online
Web: www.moneygram.com.au