Moving to Melbourne: Fancy Finances

The topic of Money is either met with enthusiasm or disgust. Both of which explains the situation you’d be in if you don’t get off on the right foot before you make the move.

The Big Four Banks

There are four major banks in Australia in descending order (of market share):
What comes with this order is both cost and quality of service.
Full disclosure: I previously worked at NAB. These are my opinions and mine alone and do not reflect that of the bank. I am also in no way authorised to give specific advice based on your circumstances and discuss this in the most general of sense.
Having said that there are commonalities amongst all lending institutions which can include some costs if you’re not careful in setting up your accounts.
All the banks have an everyday account that can be used with zero admin fees. If not, check out each of the individual tertiary student packages that they have. This will have an everyday account and a savings account though they may decide to bundle in a credit card. Depending on how good you are with your money, I highly recommend staying away from credit cards so that you avoid paying the ridiculous interest rates (as of writing this, interest on credit cards starts at 21% and goes all the way up to 27%). The other item I would highly recommend opening is an online saving account with institutions like the ING or UBank. They offer better interest rates than the traditional physical banks because they don’t have a physical presence. If you are willing to live with this type of service, then go for it.


There are a few items you will need to open an account. In Australia, we have the 100 points of identification system consisting of primary and secondary sources of identification. If you don’t have 2 secondary documents, they have a list of level 3 secondary that you would need to bring along. The majority of these need to be originals too.

Primary: 70 points [choose 1]

You Must Provide either:
• one primary document or at least one secondary document that includes a photograph.
Eg of 70 points:
Australian birth certificate(not an extract) or birth card
Australian citizenship certificate
Australian Passport (current or expired within the last two years)
International Passport (current)

Secondary: 40 points [choose 1]

Your initial document from this group will be awarded 40 points
Eg of 40 points for one of these documents:
Australian driver licence or learners permit (current)
Australian photo firearms licence
State or federal government employee identity
Centerlink or social security card (current)
Department of veterans affairs card
Tertiary education institution photo identity

Secondary continued (1): 25 points [choose 3]

All documents in this group will attach 25 points. Only one card from each institution may be counted.
Australian driver licence or learners permit (current)
Australian photo firearms licence
State or federal government employee photo identity
Centerlink or social security card (current)
Department of veterans affairs card
Tertiary education institution photo identity
Proof of age card

Secondary continued (2): 25 points [choose 4]

All documents in this group will attach 25 points. Only one card from each institution may be counted.
Medicare card
Property lease / rental agreement
Council rate notice
Property insurance papers
A utility bill
Motor vehicle registration / insurance
Professional or trade association card
A financial institution debit / credit card
A financial institution passbook / statement
In any case, you always need to have one primary document. There is no way, anyone would ever accept 20 level 3 documents. Would you? Heck, if I saw a guy trying to open an account with 20 pieces of paper, I would bring the Rock/spock eyebrow out.


Look, the majority of students that come into Australia tend to get fast food type roles and most of the time, the pay isn’t that good. If you had to do this, then you can survive but are you here to survive or thrive? Right now, there is nothing stopping you from starting your own online business. Have you considered doing something in your line of work? Could you be a research assistant or a tutor? Could you do photography for local bands? There are so many things you can do. I highly recommend you read Chris Guillibeau’s book, “The $100 startup” to give you a better idea of all the things you can do, including a template on how to set up your business from scratch.
Key Takeaways here are:
Passion/Skill + usefulness = success
Learn how to sell
Test and re-test
Roll in the money
Then Upsell
Franchise? Maybe…
How to keep going at it for the long term.
Dealing with Failure
I don’t want to give too much away here, and would highly recommend that you read the book for yourself. Having read it thrice, I have picked up new ideas each and every single time. If there is one book that I would recommend, then this is it. Make your break into your career and this will talk about all those hidden skills. (Perhaps I do need to do a book review section).
As of writing this article, I found another great blog post from a favourite author of mine, James Altucher about the 15 skills you need to learn about that they don’t necessarily teach you in university. I don’t blame you if you click this link and never come back. I will cry tears, salty, salty tears. You’ve been warned!

Automate and forget (except for once a year)

So you have got all your documents sorted and have an account open! That’s awesome. Now comes the other fun part. Automating it.
The best book I have read on this is by Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You To Be Rich with the book titled of the same name.
The key takeaways in here are:
1. How to use credit cards strategically to build your credit. (DO NOT USE THIS method if you cannot pay the credit card back in full)
2. Pay yourself first – set up automatic payments to different accounts for different purposes
3. Learn about investing – in Australia, this is the Super Fund. The strategies mentioned in the book apply here too.
4. Why you shouldn’t listen to financial “experts” – personally found this to be true!
5. Review your automatic situation and current plans on an annual basis to ensure you are maximising your efforts.
6. Learn about conscious spending to enjoy guilt free spending!
No other book has even come close to dispensing practical and valuable advice than the one I found in this book. Do yourself a favour – get a copy and find yourself in the best financial position possible. As the quote goes, The best time to start was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.
Then you will need to work out the tax implications. Now, as this is not legal advice, I shall point you in the right direction and let you do the needful. As always, make sure you do your due diligence on any suggestions I have made as I cannot be held responsible for any loss you incur from trying this thing on for yourself.
TLDR – there are risks in everything. Make sure you are willing to live with the consequences.
I know I have covered a lot of ground for most people as the above items will take a few reads to digest. I recommend that you grab yourself a cup of coffee (or beverage of your choosing) and prepare yourself with notes and expanding your library. Also, if you cannot buy the above books (please do if you can, as they will be worth it), check out your local library and you should be able to get your hands on them.
Next in the series will be about Food. Yes, glorious, glorious food. And you know for a fact that you’re in the right hands!
The first post in the series is all about transportation. If you want to know whether it’s worthwhile moving to Melbourne, then check out my thoughts on this exact topic.
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