OzTREKK Ambassadors: Transferring your money
In part one of my banking and finances blog, I talked about banking in Australia. Here, I’d like to chat about transferring your money!
My first little bit of advice would be before you even arrive in Australia, go to a foreign exchange place and take out probably $500–$600 for the first couple weeks you are in Australia just to get settled in. Once you have the bank account set up and are actually in Australia, then you can think about transferring some money over.
Don’t use your bank to transfer funds
Do not use your bank when transferring money to Australia. Why? First, you will pay their exchange rate from CAD to AUD, which is outrageous and close to 3–4 cents on the dollar, worse than what you get with other transfer companies. Second, it will take weeks for your money to come in, and sometimes it doesn’t even come in full installments. Third, they will also change you an extra amount to deposit it into your account along with a bunch of other fees—just awful altogether.
The way that I transfer my money is through a third-party app called “TransferWise.” Now, this app only lets you transfer amounts of up to $9,500 at one time and $25k per week. I don’t see why you would need any more than that so this app is perfect. Unless of course you want to transfer all of your money at once (which I would highly suggest against), then you would have to go the direct wire transfer through a bank.
The TransferWise app is very easy to use. All you do is register for an account. They ask for two-factor identification as well as a bank statement or rent cheque to make sure you are a Canadian citizen living there before coming to Australia. Then once your account is verified, it is easy to go on and see what they are offering for rates. As an example, $9,500 CAD got me $10,041.85 AUD.
Keep an eye on the exchange rate
When you are using this app it will always tell you the current rate that you are getting and the rates will vary each minute. So, in saying that, please be careful and make sure you check the forecast before changing money over. Wait until the dollar is on a rise before transferring your money over. Because I was watching the rates, I made more than $400 on the exact same dollar amount transfer than a friend did—just by waiting a day and a half! This may seem small to you, but over the course of a two-year program (or longer) and transferring money over in small amounts, you could net a total of an extra $10k based on current standards, which would really help! I would also suggest to download a Forex (foreign exchange) currency converter that converts currencies in real time just to keep up to date.
That is the major basics of finances for Australia and if you have any questions at all about physiotherapy, finances, UQ, and Brisbane life don’t be afraid to DM me on my Instagram! I will be uploading weekly content and be following the top professionals in my field come this mid-semester break so stay tuned!
Anthony C, first-year UQ physiotherapy student