Traveling, earning money and actually saving that money is not something you usually hear. But, I managed to save over $10k AUD while working and traveling in Australia. How? I entered Australia on a Working Holiday Visa that gave me the right to work for one year. The best part is that I only worked about 6 months.
The Working Holiday Visa in Australia is what makes this possible. Entering on a Working Holiday Visa, I was allowed to legally work in the country for one year. I was also taxed as a resident which was $0 up to the first $18,000 and then 19% after that. (The tax program is changing at the moment so check the ATO and Immigration sites to check current regulations.)
Arriving In Australia
When I first arrived in Australia, coming from Vietnam, I about lost my mind trying to justify the cost of everything in Sydney. The hostel was 5x the price, the food was 10x and a beer at the pub was 18x more! $9 for a beer!? I quickly had to figure out a plan before my bank account became empty!
Within two days of being in Australia, I found a job working construction for a small company. The $21/hr cash job quickly made me relax and realize that I could save some serious money to fund another trip after my Australian visa ended. The cash job lasted about 3 weeks, then I went to an agency which hired me for about $27/hr. Nights and weekends paid $34/hr. Got to love the penalty rate system (overtime).
After a month and a half of working, I had enough saved to fund an east coast trip. I bought a touring bike for $1300 and cycled from Sydney to Brisbane stopping in small towns and parks along the way. Then continued north in a campervan, checking out the sights in-between Brisbane and Cairns such as sailing the Whitsundays. I also snorkeled the most southern island of The Great Barrier reef and went SCUBA diving at the northern end.
Two and a half months on the road, I was broke.
So, I caught a flight back to Sydney and went back to work. With 19 weeks till Christmas, I set a goal to save 10k, including tax return of about 20%. Then I simply followed a loose budget, cooked all of my own meals and tried to stay out of the pub.
By Christmas, I had just about hit my goal from working and with the sale of my bike, I was there.
How to get a Working Holiday Visa for Australia:
Apply for a Working Holiday Visa for Australia
Buy a one-way flight (read how I get free flights!)
Get your Tax File Number and set up a local bank account
Search for jobs on Gumtree or go to an agency
Get to work!
Quit and go traveling.