As I’ve promised earlier, I’m gonna write another post on how much budget you need to bring for working holiday in Australia. Since the living cost, especially rent fee, varies across cities, this is probably most suitable for people who want to land in Sydney as their first point of arrival. Although in the visa requirement we are all required to have AU$ 5,000 in our bank statement, many of working holiday visa makers, as far as I know, don’t actually bring that amount of money on their first arrival, including me!
So, how much do we actually need to bring when we first come here? Hmm, before giving you the answer to that question, I think it’s best that you answer this question yourself first:
What kind of accommodation do I want to stay and where?
This is a very crucial question since accommodation will contribute to a significant (if not most) part of your first expense. Some people want to live in the city and some others don’t mind living at outer CBD area. Some people need to have a private room while some others don’t mind sharing with a few friends. It all depends on your preference and of course, your budget. Now, here’s the budget you’re looking at when you make your choice.
- Private room, shared bathroom – CBD area –> min. approx. $300-400 pw
- Room share (2 person), shared bathroom – CBD –> min. approx. $200 pp/pw (per-person/per-week)
- Room share (3-5 person), shared bathroom – CBD –> approx. $125 – 150 pp/pw
- Private room, shared bathroom – suburb –> min.approx. $200-250 pw
- Room share (2 person), shared bathroom – suburb –> approx $120 – 150 pp/pw
List of CBD area: Ultimo, Darlinghurst, Central, Chippendale, Pyrmont, Surry Hills, Haymarket, Redfern, Newtown, Darlington, Glebe, Potts Point.
List of suburb areas preferred by backpackers: Mascot, Ashfield, Marrickville, Leichardt, Eastern Suburbs (Bondi, Maroubra, Coogee, Randwick, Kingsford, Kensington) .
So, have you made up your mind yet? Don’t forget to budget the deposit you need to give to your landlord upon moving in. It’s usually 2-4 week of rent and refundable when you move out, given you’re well-behaved, of course!
Now, when you arrive in Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, you can immediately get your prepaid SIM card on the way to the exit. There are Optus and Vodafone’s counters that sell and help you activate your SIM card. I bought the Optus one for $20 (which worth $40 recharge voucher). With $20, I get a new phone number, 6GB internet data, unlimited calls & SMS to Australian phone numbers, and 90 mins international calls to selected 20 countries (the sales assistant will explain to you everything on this) for 28 days use.
First transportation to your new house
Ok, you’ve got that SIM card and now you have these big and small luggage and bags. Are you sure you can take bus or train with all these luggages? I couldn’t! So, I decided to take Uber instead. In Australia, you can only pay Uber with card (debit/credit). You don’t have your debit card yet, so it’s best to keep your old credit card active and use it in such emergency. I took Uber from the airport to my rent house in Mascot (near Rosebery) for $17. If you think you can carry all your bags and take the bus, the bus stop is not far from the arrival gate. Just ask some officers in the airport where it is. They’re very helpful.
OK, how about transportation budget during your first exploration days in Sydney? The transportation in Sydney quite expensive. For detailed information on Sydney transportation, check out: http://www.transportnsw.info/ . They don’t charge you for the new card, just how much money you want to deposit in the card. I put $50 for my Opal card balance, which lasted for a bit less than 2 weeks. I don’t hang out everyday, so I don’t spend too much on this. But if you hang out everyday, you’re probably going to spend around $40 a week for transport.
After you put all your luggage in your room, you might want to to a little bit of groceries shopping. My first groceries shopping at Woolworths cost me about $40 for rice, veggies, fruits, Greek Yogurt, canned fish, etc. And I also did a little shopping at Daiso for some household tools. Daiso’s one price for everything in Australia is $2.80.
Here are some groceries’ price examples:
Rice (1kg) : start from AU$ 2
Sugar (1kg) : AU$ 1.00
Chicken egg (6pcs) : AU$ 2.99
Milk (2 Litres) – homebrand : AU$ 2.00
Pasta (500 gr.) : start from AU$ 1.00
To wrap up everything I’ve mentioned above, here’s the list of expenses on your first days in Sydney (with examples on value):
- Accommodation : $800 (2 week deposit + 2 week rent)
- SIM card : $ 40 (for 28 days)
- Uber : $ 17 – 30
- Opal card : $ 120-150 (for 4 weeks)
- Groceries : $ 100 (for 4 weeks)
- Home supplies & tools : $ 40
- Meals (when you eat out) : AU$12-15 per-meal
Those add up to around AU 1,500 for the first 4 weeks of your stay in Sydney. And I believe that’s the minimum amount you will spend in your first month, because many people spend more than that. That, of course, depends on your lifestyle and how long you want to relax without working.
So, I hope this helps you plan your budget to move to Sydney and don’t hesitate to drop a comment if you have anymore questions.