Julie's Working Holiday Diary: Budgeting and Savings Tips for Australian Travels

Diary Of A Working Holiday Maker: My Australian Budgeting & Savings Tips

Welcome to Julie’s Australian Holiday Diary: the travel tales of a 20-year-old from the Netherlands who’s flown to Sydney, Australia on a Working Holiday visa. In each episode, she’ll be sharing what life is like living, working and travelling in Australia. From how to meet new people, to what it’s like living in a backpacker hostel, to her favourite experiences… Julie will share it all! Let’s dive into Episode Five…

Money & Travel

Do you know that feeling when you want to do everything while travelling, but money doesn’t allow you to? I think I (and many more backpackers) have felt like this. When you start travelling, you will notice that you spend your savings on a lot more things than you originally planned. At least, that’s what I did. Back home I used to live with my parents and was lucky enough to save up a lot of money, without needing to spend it. Once I started solo travelling, I was shocked about the prices of products (like cheese, or even a simple bottle of shampoo!). Traveling teaches you a lot about money, and in this way I can share with you what I have learned!

Before I started my Australian adventure, I had some part-time jobs back home. However, I never planned on staying longer than 5 months in Australia. But now I’m here, I am loving everything that this country has to offer and preparing myself to backpack the East Coast. Because of this, I am so grateful that I always made sure to save some money when I was back home. I never really had a specific thing to spend my money on, but I knew I was going to need it one day in the future. And that day has come! So now I can tell you how important it is to always put money to one side for the unexpected. This adventure was so unexpected and I probably would not have been able to do it if I didn’t put my money to one side throughout the years.

Budgeting: Get The Best Out Of Your Money

Everyone has their own ways of saving money. Below, I will be giving you a little insight into my best tips and tricks to get the best out of your travels without spending all your savings. Let’s dive into money talk…

Timeless Tips & Tricks For Travel Budgeting

  • Create savings goals! If you have a certain expectation or estimation on how much you will be spending during your travels, you can connect it to a certain savings goal. It will give you the extra push if you almost feel like giving up or when you’re nearly there. And ultimately, your saving goals equals the actual goal, since it makes it possible.
  • Check out all of our budgeting hacks to gather all the insights that you will need to prepare yourself! These hacks will give you the best information on where to sleep, activities to do when you’re on a budget, what not to do, and additional tips & tricks.
  • Prioritise your spendings. For example, 10 coffees = 1 night in a hostel. So, if you know what kind of experience/product you prefer, you will be able to distinguish for yourself where you do and don’t want to spend your money. It could help to make a list for yourself. For example, counting from 1 to 20 to write out how each spending is (or is not) important to you in order to remove certain things from your normal expenses.
Wake Up! Hostels provides award winning backpacker accommodation in Sydney, Bondi Beach and Byron Bay. Australia's top hostel and affordable accommodation.

How To Eat Cheap & Cooking Together

  • One of the biggest perks of staying in a hostel is having the option to use the kitchen. Especially if you are staying a little bit longer in a hostel, I would definitely try to do some cooking. Even better, cook with other hostel guests. As well as cooking, you will also learn about their cooking cultures and styles. Split the bill = saving money!
  • Go on dates! Explore the city with someone else and in the mean while you get to save money by splitting the bill. And as an extra, it makes up the best travel stories for later when you’re back home!
  • Make use of discounts and good deals! Small things can make a difference, such as getting your fruit and vegetables at the market instead of the supermarket. Even the time of shopping makes a difference; doing grocery shopping in the evening is cheaper than doing grocery shopping in the morning, because of all the flash deals and fresh products that need to be sold. Keep your eye out for happy hours when you’re eating out.
Kicthen Byron Bay, Sharing, Cooking together, saving money, Hostel stay, budgeting tips

Earning Instead of Spending

  • If it suits your personality, try to get a job working at a hostel. Many hostels offer jobs in housekeeping, activities or other related shifts for a set amount of hours, in exchange for a stay in their hostel. It’s an amazing way to meet new people and be part of an international team. (These kind of jobs do require you to stay in a certain spot for a longer period of time!)

Open Up Your World

  • Stay in hostels during your travels. Hostels are the best place to meet people, open up your world and step out of your comfort zone in every way possible. Since you are paying for a bed in a shared (or private) room, the prices will be lower than a normal hotel. Through the 5 months I’ve spent in Wake Up! Sydney, I can say how special the memories are that I have made, which I would not have had if I would be staying by myself.
  • Whenever you find yourself struggling when you are out of ideas to do, you can always make use of the free events and attractions (in the city). Many museums in Sydney don’t charge you for entrance. But on top of that, you can also organise your own events, picnics, etc. (Biggest tip: watch the sunset at Observatory Hill with some cheap snacks!)
  • Consider buying a greyhound pass. Greyhound offers a bus pas, which gives you the option to travel unlimited by bus for a certain chosen time. Distances in Australia are pretty big, so traveling by bus could be extremely beneficial for your time, wallet and experiences.
  • Book all of your tours at the same time, and in advance. Group tours – especially along the East Coast – are easily sold out and extremely popular. Besides being able to save a spot on the tour, it is also cheaper to book your tours together to create bigger discounts.

At Wake Up! Sydney Central our travel agency Travel Up! can help you with this. At Wake Up! Byron Bay, the Happy Travels office is located directly next to the reception. They can also give you all the support you need.

Let’s Go

Next to all these money tips & tricks, I do want you to know that it is also really important to enjoy the money that you have. Money opens door and makes it possible to take on this adventure and it would be a shame if the fear of losing money holds you back from experiencing what Australia has to offer. Do it all; save money, spend money, work for money!

Hopefully see you soon and know that you’ve got this!


About Julie Eikelenboom
About Julie Eikelenboom

Hi fellow travellers! I am Julie Eikelenboom, a 20-year-old travel enthusiast, who is ready to explore all the ins -and outs of the Work Holiday Visa in Australia. I am currently doing my internship, while also creating plans to travel Australia. Next to travelling, I love dancing, meeting new people, chatting for hours, and checking off all items on my bucket list. Want to know more? Let’s keep in touch through @julieeikelenboom 

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