How Much Money To Bring Along For Migration?

How much spending money to budget for migration is a difficult question to answer as everyone has their own lifestyle and rate of spending. Some of us may prefer to reside within 5 km and take public transport to work, incurring higher housing mortgage or rental but lower transportation cost. Some prefer to eat out regularly whilst the rest don't mind whipping up their own dishes at home. For us, we rarely eat out. Some of us do not mind driving at used old car and some others insist on driving a new car within its first five years of age. I have been asked this question very often but I never figure out how to come out with a satisfactory post to project a figure for different sets of people.

After pondering for a year, there hasn't been any progress in this guide. I decided that if I don't start, I will never do it. So this post shall be an ongoing work-in-progress guide. I will add items along the way if any of you request for any data. In the long run, hopefully the data collected will be substantial enough to be of any help. I will start from sharing my own expenses, the major items that I can remember off hand at the moment and add stuff (that you request data of) in future.

Housing Rental

Type of house: Townhouse
Configuration: 2 x Bedrooms, 1 x Bath, 1 x Sheltered Car Port
Distance from City: 14km
Time from City (drive): 25mins
Rental: 300 per week


Model: 1998 Daihatsu Pyzar
Price: $2,250
Fuel Consumption: 15km/L or 6.6L/100km
Fuel cost: $30 per week (to take me to/fro work)
Insurance: $159.82 per year (Third Party)
Maintenance: $240/year, if no repairs (which is not predictable)
Rego (Road Tax): $400 per year

Internet Access

ISP: TPG Internet
Type: ADSL2+
Data: Unlimited
Speed: Up to 20mbps
Fees: $60 per month

Mobile Phone

Type: Woolworths Prepaid Cap
Value: $250 to any Optus mobile within Australia, $250 to any network
Data: 5GB
Expiry: 45 days
Cost: $29 per 45 days

Type: Skype
Value: Free unlimited calls to Singapore
Cost: $60 per year


Refer to Prices in Perth [link] for your own calculations
Groceries: $100 per week (2 adults + 1 child)
Toiletries: $5 per week
Eating out: From $8-15 and up per meal per person


Estimation of utilities breakdown per person per month (mileage will vary quite a lot from person to person though)

Electricity: $25
Gas: $20
Water: $30

Please tell me what items to add to the list.  For other aspects which didn't cross my mind today, note that I have a part of my brain dead at this moment and will add them after I restore it with holy water. 

I would suggest to migrant wannabes to focus mainly on rental. If you are projecting a one year buffer with a budget of $350 per week, then the minimum you have to bring over will be $18,200. A 6 months buffer will be $9,100. Bear in mind, that is only rental cost by itself, not inclusive of anything else. Please remember you need to eat some stuff once in a while. Who says migration is cheap? So you better work your ass out to find a source of income ASAP after you land instead of bumming around the beaches. If you can succeed within 3 months, you may not even need $10,000 for all your needs.

I hope this helps in some ways. Feel free to tell me how I can improve the list to spoon feed you mollycoddled Singaporeans better.


  1. Furniture - free from gumtree.

    1. free from gumtree ? why free ?

    2. @Vivian:

  2. Hi Bro,

    Excellent info!
    I truly appreciate your effort to prepare and share this money matter.

    *Thumbs up*

  3. Do you think a 1/2 yr working holiday (class 417 VISA) first followed by immigration is a great start? Well at least get to know the place first imho.

    1. Problem is not whether you can get a Visa, the real problem is whether you can get a employer that can accept you are a foreign work on a short term visa to give you a job that you would think is good enough to pay for a good life in Australia such that you want to stay forever (A grammatically poor sentence I know, Ms Khoo, my former form teacher would have rolled eyes but I dont care as she may be dead now)

      So to put it another way, you can try before you buy, but you can have problem finding someone to let you try, or you may end up trying the lousy model and not really experience the real thing, or you may end up buying after trying but no one may want to sell!

  4. Just a few notes on mobile and landline

    Often the Aussie telcos try to confuse and package things that look OK but often you end up using less than what you pay for, or more than what you realise.


    Telstra is originally Telcom Australia: like Singtel, owns most of the original Govt build network before privatising so has the best landline or mobile network coverage but very expensive if you buy services directly from them.

    Optus (half own by SIngtel but dont get too emotional here): abit like starhub, reasonable mobile cover but not as good as Telstra. Also buys capacity from Telstra both landline and mobile. Cheaper than Telstra but if you deal with resellers with Optus network it is even cheaper. In fact most cheap resellers use Optus network. Depending on where you live or work, sometimes (but rare) Optus reception is better than Telstra, need to try before committing.

    In Australia: for any phone the caller foots the bill for the call. So for mobile to mobile, mobile to landline, landline to mobile talk, the caller pay for the call. Landline calls are almost untimed (ie flat charge of any duration but often the call drops off after 2 hours) but mobile calls can be unlimited as well. See below

    If you download a lot of stuff at home (a lot meaning > 5Gb per month) then consider any brand landline ADSL2+

    If you are not sure and dont need alot of data in your mobile use and mobile reception OK in your area then you should not bother with connecting landline and just one of the mobile plan for use at work AND at home. There are alot of Aussie people who don't connect landline now since the line rentals can be quite expensive ($80 monthly with free calls but really who needs it if you have the option below)

    The mobile network resellers are:
    BOOST (own by Telstra and uses Telstra 3G network): $40 per month unlimited calls to landline or mobile (with reasonable use...... not for business... officially anyway but unless your customer call you every 1/2 hr from 9 am to 9 pm otherwise should not be a problem), 3Gb mobile boradband data

    AMAYSIM (run on Optus network 3G) $39.95 per month unlimited calls to landline or mobile , 4Gb mobile broadband data

    Both have no long term contract, you prepay for one month and thus a monthly contract. If you happy you dont need to sign on longer, just organise automatic monthly debit with company and it will still be cheaper and more flexible than some crap plan locked into 24 months by other Telcos

    If you want to change Telco but keep same mobile number you need to "port" the number by organising it with the new Telco who will need some detail and authorisation from you to show the original telco. Can take between 3 hours to 3 working days (and the Telco can't even tell you when it will happen) so never port numbers when you are expecting an important call within 7 days (like when you are looking for work).

    And seriously trust me: you really dont need a seperate landline if the mobile coverage is OK at home and you dont download from the net alot. It is still cheaper to organise a seperate mobile phone with above plan for people at home (ie 2 mobile in your familiy) than connect landline (ie. one landline and one mobile in your family).

    Cfficially you cannot use the phone you bought in Singapore to use in Australia and vice versa (as they need to tested and comply with local standards) , but unofficially the network are the same and the handsets are interchangeable.

  5. Oh BTW if you want the info anything about telco try; they have the bestest goodest coverage on most topic you can dream of!