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  1. How much money do I need in Sydney (Also relevant to other cities) There have been quite a few comments about “What is the minimum I need to live in Sydney”. The average salary in NSW is $80,132 and this would have been dragged up by the super wealthy so it should be lower, add that at least 50% of the people earn less than this number if we ignore the distortion, that sets the average wage amount, so if you are earning this you are smack bang in the middle of the bunch. So what is the minimum number…. The problem is that it depends on what you consider to be a minimum, I am pretty sure there are peeps on this forum that would consider anything less than a mansion to be slumming it: While I was getting my business up and running here in Australia, my wife and I with a 1 year old managed just fine on $1k per month for about 4 months, living in national parks @ $12 per day or sometimes free if we headed far out into the sticks, we still bought good quality food with a serious plan, kept petrol usage to an absolute minimum...etc, even once the finances started recovering we lived on a serious budget for over a year. Now that the business is doing well (7 staff here in Australia) I still cannot bring myself to hand over packs of unnecessary cash. Here is our budget with me working in Sydney: We live in a 3-bedroom house with a sealed garage and a garden, 26 min drive to the beach, a 10 minute walk to a train station, in a nice area on the central coast (Narara – got a Durban / Margate feel to the place), it takes me 1 hour 15 min to the city by train, so I sit and work or read a book in the morning and evening. Rent = $1680 per month Food = $800 pm – we really spend more than we need to here, but like lots of fresh fruit, meat, fish etc. Power = $100 approx per month - fans not aircon, don't run the heater all winter just when needed, then keep it in one room, I swapped every light for LED so we don’t care if they get left on, no tumble dryer (Clothes line works just fine) Medium Hospital plan for the family = $200 pm (extras are a rip so skip those) Train Fare = $290 Per month Home Internet = $100 – lots with extras Mobile = $ 40 – I have a contract, but 40 bucks with Telstra gets you unlimited calling in Auz & 5gigs of data (Times 2 for your partner to get one as well) So $3 210 a month will keep a family of 2 adults and a toddler happy and healthy long term, that is $38 520 per year, even adding spending money you will be able to manage just fine on a salary of $60k for a family, and if you are earning more you can save really nicely by keeping your costs down, and if the going gets tough you could make do with $12k per year, we have done it, not fun but you roll with the punches. It is all about what you consider to be good enough, I am perfectly happy with what we have and living debt free with the ability to have my wife stay at home and look after the little one (and one on the way) plus still be able to save, sure i travel to work and back, but even living in the city you will still need to travel, so the difference is not as high, living the dream in my books, others feel that they have to buy a place, it must be close to the city, they have to keep up with the Jones’s and that makes them happy, but needs a heck of a lot more money to make it work. (Required Australian disclaimer) Note this is not financial advice, I just really like the subject, have done a lot of reading up and number crunching on spreadsheets, this is my personal opinion that I find interesting to discuss, don’t get me started abut if buying a house is a good investment….
  2. Andpatt

    Credit card

    We are emigrating to Sydney in the next month or two. I have signed an employment contract and will need cash when I arrive for rental deposit and the like. Is it possible to get a credit card from any of the banks before arriving in Sydney? Or do any of the banks at least pre- approve you for a credit card? The most I can give a bank at this stage is a signed employment contract. Which banks should I approach? thanks!
  3. Hi all, We decided last night to immigrate to Australia. My partner and I are both chartered accountants and I will move within my firm (i.e. TSS visa). I received an offer from my company for AUD 137,000 p.a. My partner will resign from his current job and will have to look for something when we arrive (expected April/May 2019 depending on visa process). Looking to the folk in Sydney, how comfortable would a life in Sydney be compared to SA? I know this is subjective, but if we spent AUD4,000 to 6,000 p/m on rent (want to cut back on travel time), it does not really leave a lot of room for other necessities if your monthly salary is about AUD 7,000 for the first few months until my partner finds something in Sydney. Compared to SA, the offer in Sydney is about 1,7 times my current salary and I have read that to maintain the same quality of life, you require about double your current salary. Is this a good rule of thumb? We are happy to dip into savings, but obviously do not want to be worse off in Sydney compared to Jozi. Any thoughts from anyone out there?
  4. Hi, Just in case any of you are in the same boat as I am: You're subject to an assurance audit after submitting your tax return (which can take up to one year!!!) , are due a refund, and you are planning on leaving SA and closing down all bank accounts before the SARS audit will be completed, you CAN apply to have your money paid into an overseas account once the audit is finalized. You need to email a written request for the refund to be made into a foreign account to one of the following people - jmentz@sars.gov.za or hsmitvantonder@sars.gov.za, and need to attach to that email the following: One page of your Australian bank statement - bank stamped, indicating movement etcCertified copy of your passport detail pageLetter from your Australian bank confirming bank name, account number, branch name, branch sorting code, SWIFT number, name account inCertified copy of proof of Australian residential address NB - each attachment cannot exceed 2MB in size and must be in .doc or .pdf format
  5. Spaceman

    Transferring Annuities To Australia

    Does anybody know the procedure that needs to be followed when you want to withdraw the proceeds of a RA fund. I have been advised to apply for a Certificate of Residence from ATO, to confirm that I am a resident of OZ. I must provide a blocked bank account to finalise the transfer. I was advised to stay away from banks and use specialist companies to handle the process. Please advise. Stephen
  6. nanettedv

    Loyalty Programmes

    Hello there! Are there a lot of loyalty/ rewards programmes in AUS? Just about every shop in SA has a loyalty programme. Think FNB eBucks, Pick 'n Pay Smart Shopper, Clicks, Dis-Chem, Stodels, Woolworths, Ackermans, The Body Shop, Vida e Cafè, TFG, Cape Union Mart, etc. Which ones are available in AUS and which offers the best rewards?
  7. Please can I have some advice... Don't laugh, some of these questions are pretty blond... 1. Can we open an Australian bank account whiles we are still here in SA? If we can, how do we go about doing it? What are the rules and regulations for transferring money into this Aus account whiles still here? If we can't how do we move our savings (working hard on this) across to Aus? Surely we can't just take it on the flight? 2. For those already in Aus, have you kept your SA account open? Once in Aus how difficult is it to eft money into an SA account (I mean with rules and regulations etc, not the physical doing of it)? So for those not falling off their chairs with laughter , thanks in advance for the advice.
  8. FingersCrossed

    Bank account and Sending money - Advice

    Hello everyone - how are you all doing? Need to get some advice please on my plans and to help me with some concerns that I have. You guys have always been awesome with advice so I know I am in good hands here. I am opening a bank account (Commbank) which I plan to activate in July this year when I go with my family to activate our visa's. I currently dont have tons of cash to send over since I need to still sell my properties and get my provident fund payout. We are only officially moving over to Australia in the second half of next year (2018). So, my plan is that I would open a bank account with commbank this week and since the first years fee's are waived I could then just send over cash when I have it. This will be small amounts until I can sell my properties, provident fund etc. I am going to use my mother in laws address in Australia with the bank in case they need to send anything to me via post - however from what I have read everything is sent electronically to you. There is NO mention on the banks website (that I can find) where they state you have to deposit a certain amount of dollars each month. They just say that after 12 months, the $4 monthly fee will be applied UNLESS you deposit $2000 or more a month. The way I see it, if if comes to that, paying $4 a month is alot less than what they are expecting to happen to our currency in the next year or two. With my bank account activated and me sending over some money every few months until I sell everything, I am hoping that I will build up some good savings in Australia that are protected from our presidents comments and actions. How does the above sound? Does anyone see any problems? Am I missing something in my plan? I do apologize if this all sounds stupid - just want to make sure that I dont mess up somewhere and end up loosing money due to something I am not aware of. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks FingersCrossed
  9. Hello all. I have been in Aus almost 2 years now. June will be 2 years on a PR visa. I cashed out my pension and brought that over. No problem. Paid my tax in SA and paid into my AUS bank (what was left anyway after the Zuma conversion rate). Question is, at what point will I be taxed in Australia by ATO? Is there a concessionary amount one can bring over when emigrating and for how long will that apply? Thanks all. Not talking huge money here by the way, maybe $ 40 K (over and above what I brought previously).
  10. Geelslang

    Kruger Rands

    Hello all. Just curious. Has anyone ever brought over Kruger Rands in place of cash and sold them here in Aus? Either bringing them in on their person in a wallet for example or importing them as a coin collection for example. Any thoughts?
  11. Groover

    Money limits

    Hi there, What is the limit that can be moved from SA to Australia? I assume the best way would be via a Forex company. Tks
  12. RedPanda

    Big Four and banking comparison tool

    Hi guys, I've just been given this link https://www.finder.com.au/savings-accounts/big-four-banks by @Frandri. It gives you access to a comparison tool if you are dithering between banks and want to know what the differences are ito rates, features and options. It appears to be impartial (I did not do an in-depth search to see what motivates the site, I just looked at the recommendations they give) I think it's a great tool for newbies who just want to know the basics to make up their own minds. Thanks Frandri!
  13. Hi all, I was hoping to get some guidance. I have created a commonwealth account in Aus. I am planning to head over on the 13th. I have a fair bit of money that I want to transfer there. Do I transfer now or do I transfer the money only once I have landed and activated. I am naively scared I move all my money across and cannot activate or something. Thanks
  14. Hi everyone, We emigrate to Melbourne on the 15th of September 2016 and just wanted to enquire from those who are already in Aus what are my best options: 1) leave all our money in our south African accounts and withdraw it in Aus or 2) withdraw everything and convert to Dollars in S.A. We are just trying to compare options and obviously would like the option where we get " the most money out" Thanks in advance Jodie Barker
  15. Hi all, I need some more advice. I recently relocated to Australia, Melbourne. I am looking for a tax specialist/accountant that could assist me with my taxes and general money matters. If anyone can recommend or suggest a person/people/organisation it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jaco *Edited to include more information
  16. JJDLmoving

    Sales Manager Salary

    Hi Everyone, I am new to this forum and i must say i love it - Such a wonderful source of information. This is my 1st post so i hope it is in the right place! Maybe someone that is in this industry or recruitment could help answer my questions. We are in the very early stages of applying for our 189 Visa. My wife is a kindergarten teacher and i am a sales and marketing manager. I was wandering what type of salaries we could expect to earn once we touch down, either in Sydney or Melbourne. We have been told that she can earn between $70k-$80k per year and i can expect $100k+. Does this sound right? Also could i expect to apply for a sales manager job as a new arrival or would i have to work as a sales rep and work my way up??? Thanks for any advise in advance!
  17. RosFam

    Tax Clearance Certificates in SA

    Hi all - i haven't been to the forum in some time but I am starting to get a little frustrated about the length of time it has taken to get tax clearance certificated sorted out so i can get the rest of our money out of Africa. I have been using a bank until this time but the service has become spotty and the result is that i have had huge delays in getting this money out. Can anyone recommend a company in SA that can get tax clearance certificates sorted quickly with the minimal of fuss. Any help is appreciated.. Thanks -Alan
  18. Has anyone had experience getting n inheritance paid to Australia from SA? I'm having difficulty with this as I didn't inform the reserve bank of my emigration & so the bank won't pay the money to my Aussie bank account. Does anyone know of a good consultant who could help me move the money out & guide me through this process?
  19. Firstly, many thanks to everyone who posts regularly on these pages - it's been a massive help so far. I have accepted an offer to transfer to Sydney with my current company. Signed the final contract yesterday, so early days in the process. I'll be heading over with my wife and two kids, both under 2 years old. I've done a lot of reading / research, but I would like to make doubly-sure I'm not missing any monthly expenses / hidden costs that we may incur living in Sydney. Some of the costs - especially for housing - are a bit scary... After deductions - Super, Health Insurance (for me), Life Insurance (for me), Taxes - we should have about AU$ 6,500 per month in our budget. Is this enough for a family of 4? We live a fairly modest lifestyle. My office is in the heart of the CBD and we're keen on the North Shore suburbs - Lindfield, Chatswood, St Ives, etc. Here are the items I have in budget - anything obvious that I'm missing? It would be great to get an idea of monthly expenditure from any families living in Sydney currently. Rent Mobile phones Internet Transport - Public Vehicle Petrol Vehicle Tax Insurance - Vehicle Insurance - Health (family) Insurance - House contents Electricity Gas Water & Council Tax Groceries Thanks!
  20. This question has been asked a few times in different ways - I've read the responses and I'm still a little confused. Hoping one of the resident experts here can guide me please. We will be heading over to Aus on a 457 visa. We are renting out our house so will be receiving some 'income' in SA. Question is - what do we do with our bank accounts in SA? I've read about 'blocked' accounts - does that apply to us on a 457? We will close all but one account and use that to receive rent and send funds to Aus. What about investments? Share accounts? Can I still trade equities online while in Aus on a 457? What declarations do I need to make to SARS, if any? In short, my question is really - what do we need to do in terms of our finances to prepare for moving to Aus? We are 99% certain that the move will be permanent, but until such time as we have PR we don't want to liquidate all our assets in SA. Many thanks!
  21. Hi all, My children's dad recently passed away, and left the children an inheritance each which I want to move over to Aus as soon as possible. We are only going to be arriving next Dec after my daughter has finished matric, and I don't want to keep the money here in SA with us with the exchange rate being so volatile. I currently have a Westpac e-saver account, but the interest rate on that is only 1.75%. They also have another account called a Westpac Reward saver, but that requires a monthly deposit, and zero withdrawals else the rate drops from 2.5% to 0.01% which seems almost criminal!! People have suggested investing in property, but I would think that that would be a longer term investment, and I am not sure what the returns would be like. Any suggestions of something that could be a minimum of a 1 year term, with the option to extend if necessary, but earning a reasonable rate of return? I am currently getting a rate of 6.20% here in SA, but can't seem to find anything similar in Aus. Thanks!
  22. Looking for any advice or experiences from people on moving money into Australia. Are there any restrictions on how much you can bring in? How are transfers taxed? I've read that transfers should be documented and declared to the ATO - is this correct? What about sources - can you receive money from multiple sources in your own name and account? Thanks in advance.
  23. Just want to find out. What is the maximum one can take out of SA. I seem to remember a quote of R 1,000,000 per person per year. Is this right and if so is it per person per calendar year (Jan to end Dec)? Need the money to buy a bicycle this side. LOL
  24. Hello again! I have a few questions about transferring my money from my Standard Bank account to my Netbank account that I opened online in Oz. Do I have to speak to SARS at all about this? (the money is less than R100 000 that I will be moving)What do I declare the money as at Standard Bank (ie. why am I sending it, etc) Travel or ?I am closing as many accounts as I can with the bank, but I was told to keep my Current account open for tax purposes in SA - but to keep it running I can change to Pay As You Transact and just make sure I do some transactions to keep the account open or they will close it in 6 months.Any help would be awesome Jo
  25. Hi all, I feel quite frustrated every time I see the ZAR losing strength against the dominant currencies and especially the AUD, since we have a 2 - 4 year plan of immigrating to Australia. When I observe the ZAR weakening I realise we will just have less down under the day we move our funds over. This contributes to pressure and stress when it comes down to our medium to long term financial planning. Are we wasting our time in SA trying to grow our assets before we eventually immigrate since by the time we make the move all that gained value will anyways be lost due to the ZAR depreciating? Any chance of the AUD depreciating against the ZAR? The ZAR has been in a long-term depreciating trend for a couple of years and it seems like this trend is only going to continue. The AUD has been quite stable against the major currencies the past few years it seems. Please share any views, opinions, research, links etc. Kind Regards, Petrus .
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