Manage your money in Australia



  • Open a bank account in Australia
  • International money transfer from/to Australia
  • Some prices

1.Open a bank account in Australia

This topic is particularly important since you won’t be able to do anything without money. Moreover, opening a bank account is not that easy in an unfamiliar country. All the financial and banking information about Australia you need to know can be found here.

Opening a bank account in Australia is often a compulsory step in your expatriation, especially if you are intending to work there. It can also be useful when you stay for a long time, in order to avoid exchange rate fare for each purchase or withdrawal.

The most convenient solution tested by the Australiance Team, is opening an online bank account before your departure. Indeed, this solution will save you time because you can transfer your financial resources on your Australian account before you leave. We have chosen Commonwealth Bank of Australia for our bank account in Australia.

Why Commonwealth Bank?

  • That is Australia’s largest bank.
  • They provide banking on the go with the CommBank app.
  • They have an extensive branch and ATM network available across Australia.
  • Their multi-lingual staff as well as their ATMs with foreign language capabilities will be much more convenient for you
  • They developed a range of special offers, available for students.
  • You’ll find tips and guidance about moving to Australia available on their Moving to Australia website.

Opening your bank account online:

Commonwealth Bank offers you to open simultaneously:


    Open a CommBank account up to three months before you arrive in Australia, or up to three months after you arrive. Once your account is opened online, you’ll be able to transfer money into it immediately.

    Features & benefits

    • No Australian address needed to set up the account
    • Track your everyday spending with Spend Tracker in the CommBank app
    • Use Cardless Cash in the CommBank app to get money out of any CommBank ATM, fee-free
    • Lock and block your Debit Mastercard in the CommBank app

    Rates & fees

    Apply via this page and we will waive the monthly account fee for the first year.  After this, a monthly fee applies unless you’re eligible for a further waiver.


    Open your student account up to three months before you arrive in Australia, or up to three months after you arrive. Once your account is opened online, you’ll be able to transfer money into it immediately.

    Features & benefits

    • Opt-in to Student options in branch for banking benefits and discounts
    • Track your everyday spending with Spend Tracker in the CommBank app
    • Use Cardless Cash in the CommBank app to get money out of any CommBank ATM, fee-free

    Rates & fees

    Apply via this page and we’ll waive the monthly account fee for the first year.  Show your student ID or enrolment letter when you’re identified in branch and we’ll waive the monthly account fee while you study with Student Options.

1. Complete the short application form

We recommend:

  • You have your passport with you when completing this form
  • You know the city you will be staying in when you arrive
  • You know your entry visa information

2. Visit a branch

Once you get to Australia, visit your chosen branch to collect your Debit Mastercard. Make sure you bring:

  • Your current passport (original document required)
  • Your Tax Identification Number (TIN) for each country of foreign tax residency
  • Your student ID or letter of enrolment (students only)

3. Download the CommBank app or log on to NetBank

Start banking straight away after your identification check. Download the CommBank app or log on to NetBank to:

  • Withdraw money from CommBank ATMs using Cardless Cash
  • Shop using the CommBank app to tap and pay, or choose from our range of digital wallets – like Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay.
  • Pay friends using just their Australian mobile number

Caution :

  • You should complete the application form with your Australian details if you know them ahead of your move. For example, if you know your new Australian address, apply using that. If not, use your overseas address
  • Once you have completed the application form you will be able to transfer money into your account immediately.1 However, you will need to have an ID check in branch to take money out of the account and have full access to NetBank and the CommBank app
  • If any of your documents are in a foreign language you’ll need to get them translated into English by a professional translator accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI), or an equivalent accreditation.


2. International money transfer from/to Australia


When you open your bank account in Australia, you may wish to transfer funds from your account back home. You can organise a transfer between banks, however, costs vary from bank to bank and include a fixed conversion fee and a variable commission fee for the transferring institution.

The transfer generally takes two to five working days. Here is a great piece of Australiance’s advice: a good alternative to consider would be to open an account with OzForex.
OzForex is a secure website where you don’t pay any bank fees and you typically save an additional 3% over your banks or cards exchange rate. OzForex also offers the advantage of on-line payments. OzForex payments are accepted at all major retailers online, therefore it can be used to purchase from e-commerce websites.

3. Some prices

Your main expenses will probably be the rent, the food and phone bills.  The clothing should be almost the same price as in Europe, and the electronic devices are a little cheaper. The imported products are of course much more expensive because of the taxes.

Below you will find some Australian prices* to compare with those in your home country, and get an idea of your budget down under. Remember that for example, according to a UBS research named “Prices and Earnings” (April 2016), the prices in Sydney not including housing are 6,6% higher than in Paris.

Food prices


Average AUD$ price                  Average  € price
Loaf of bread AU$3.00 to AU$4.00 2,00 to 2,70 €
1 litre of milk AU$0.90 to AU$2.00 0,50 to 1,30 €
Box of breakfast cereal AU$3.00 to AU$4.00 2 to 2,80 €
Jar of instant coffee AU$3.00 to AU$4.00 2 to 2,70 €
Bottle of soft drink AU$1.50 to AU$3.00 1 to 2 €
an apple AU$0.50 to AU$0.80 30 to 60 cents
a banana AU$0.60 to AU$0.90 40 to 60 cents
Beef (500 grammes) AU$4.50 to AU$8.00 3 to 5,60 €
Chicken (600 grammes) AU$7.00 to AU$8.00 5 to 5,60 €
Cadbury Ice-cream 2L AU$6.90 5,85 €
Butter 250g AU$1.40 1 €
Parmesan 250g AU$5.00 3,70 €
Eggs x12 AU$2.50 1,60 €
Zucchini 1kg AU$3.50 2,45 €
Green Beans 1kg AU$5.00 3,50 €
Mushrooms 1kg AU$9.50 6,70 €
Potatoes 1kg AU$2.70 1,90 €
Oignons 1kg AU$3.00 2 €
Carrots 1kg AU$1.20 0,80 €
Tomatoes 1kg AU$4.80 3,20 €
Pork Sausages 1kg AU$7.90 5,55 €
Lamb chops 1kg AU$11.00 7,70 €
Juice 1L AU$4.00 2,80 €


Health and Beauty prices in Australia

Bottle of shampoo

AU$2.50 to AU$7.50            1,75 to 5,15 €
Bar of soap AU$1.50 to AU$2.50 1 to 1,75 €
Toothbrush AU$3.25 2,30 €
Toothpaste 120g AU$2.70 1,90 €
Roll-on Deodorant 50mL AU$4.35 3 €
Face Wash 150g AU$14.15 9,95 €
Tampons x16 AU$4.80 3,40 €
Sunscreen 200mL AU$14.95 10,60 €


Alcohol and cigarettes

Rhum 700mL                         AU$40 to AU$41.5                28 to 29 €
Malibu 700mL AU$40.35 28,35 €
Tequila 700mL AU$36.20 25,45 €
Vodka 700mL AU$38.20 26,85 €
Whisky 700mL AU$50.00 35 €
Bourbon 700mL AU$38.70 27,20 €
Baileys 700mL AU$39.55 27,80 €
Marlboro 25 Pack AU$22.60 15,20 €


Newspaper AU$1.50 to AU$3.00     1 to 2 €
Phone AU$60 minimum Min. 40 €
Prepaid card: 1.5 Go internet, calls, sms et MMS illimited           AU$30 20 €


Shared-room in Sydney                AU$170280 per week                    120 to 185 €
Own room in Sydney AU$270400 per week 160 to 240 €

The cost of living in Australia is estimated at approximately AU$20,000 per year including accommodation, food, textbooks, health cover, phone/internet, transport and excluding tuition fees, buying clothing, medicines etc. However, the cost of living in Tasmania, for example, is estimated at between AU$12,000 – AU$14,500 a year.

* All prices are approximate and may vary.

You may also be interested in : 

Open your bank account in Australia
Visas in Australia
Checklist before your departure