Obtaining a working holiday visa and moving abroad is expensive. For us to move to Australia, it’d cost us about $5,500 AUD which is more or less the same converted to Canadian currencies. The $500-and-something is for the visa application alone. The $5,000 AUD is what the Australian government requires all holiday visa holders to have when they pass through immigration because that 5 grand is supposed to be a safety net for when things go south and don’t work out.
So, that’s expensive. Not to mention the airline ticket to get there!
But, we’re serious about moving to Australia. We’re not renewing our rental lease next year. We’re not looking at adopting a pet. We even skipped out on Black Friday/Cyber Monday TV deals because it wouldn’t make sense to drop $600 on a new TV and not see it for another 2 years or so.
So what else are we doing to further our savings for Australia?
- Buying Starbucks only 1-2 times a week and substituting coffee with other caffeine filled drinks such as green tea. Dan even makes instant coffee to reduce our spending at Starbucks. I’m trying my best to eventually cut out Startbucks entirely (save for maybe a weekend treat) and have coffee at work instead.
- We’re only watching movies with promo codes and not whenever we’re just “bored”. My dad’s cellphone provider offers discounted goods and movie tickets is one of them. We get 2-for-1 deals every two weeks! Alternatively, I think we’ll just wait for the movie to be on rental or available on Netflix.
- We joined Costco to buy bulk and reduce our trips to our local supermarket. Things at Costco are definitely cheaper than our supermarket and we’re so happy to join Costco. We live about ten minutes away to our nearest Costco as well.
- We always meal prep. I had a bad habit of buying lunches because I was too lazy to cook. Earlier this year, I learned how to cook proper meals and developed the habit of prepping every Sunday. Dan is always on top of his meals since he requires specific calories and foods to maintain his physique and weight.
- We only order out twice a week (or less) and always below $50. You can still save while indulging and not giving up on everything in life. We had a habit of pretty much ordering every week, and on some weeks, even more than once. We decided that we’re only going to order every second Sunday and our entire meal has to come under $50 (including tips and/or delivery fees).
- We buy what we need. Long gone are the days where we threw out money on useless crap “just because”. We now stop and critically think whether we need something or not. Most of the time, it’s just another item we could do without and wait until it comes on sale, or when we’re not trying to save for such a big moment of our lives.
- We seek cheaper alternatives and discounts. This makes us so uber cheap but we’re slowly switching to no-name brands. We look at Groupon and essentially let Groupon decide what to do (if we can’t find anything free to do). I make the time to visit student salons instead of being lazy and visiting the closest salon to me. Did you know I managed to get a $5 student haircut? IT’S JUST HAIR FOR CRYING OUT LOUD – WHY AM I PAYING $20+?!
- I’m using my credit card more. I shy away from my credit card because of the way I abused it when I was younger but I’ve slowly started using my CCs a lot more and still within budget. I use it so I can rack up points and redeem as a cashback or a flight. Just the other day, I used my points to pay for half my ticket to San Francisco!
- I’m limiting my nights out. I’ve told all my friends that I’m saving for Australia and it’s up to them if they want to hang out on the cheap. It’s not to say that I say no to every invite I get but if I do go out, I limit myself to a cheap appie, and no drinks (or one drink).
- We’re selling our crap. Decluttering has helped me curb my excessive shopping habits and now, we’re selling anything of value that we no longer need/use. We chose not to sell everything because my mom is able to keep some of our stuff in her garage and we believe that some of our stuff has no value but could cost us more to buy them back when we move back to Vancouver.
- Downgrading and cancelling services. We’re not crazy – we’re still keeping Netflix and Spotify but I’ve downgraded my cell phone bill to $15/month; I’ll be cancelling my monthly waxes and switching back to trimming (or maybe I’d take a look at some waxing Groupons); I’ve cancelled my monthly subscription to Pixel Scrapper (digital scrapbooking); shit, I’m evening keeping a free WordPress domain until I’m good to spend again!