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Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Old Aug 18th 2015, 7:14 pm
  #1  
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Default Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Hi guys

Back to this good old forum - haven't posted in ages, and it feels like I've almost come full circle in a way. (PistolPete, are you out there? )

I live in South Africa and am looking to make a new career move that until recently I hoped would take me to the UK, but then thought for practical reasons would take me to Aus, but I've now seriously started to think about looking at the UK as a prospect again.

All the cultural/experience considerations aside, from a financial point of view, and all things being equal (single guy renting a bachelor/studio flat not far from work, with no pets) which of these would allow me to save more of my monthly salary:

- GBP 70k living in London city
- AUD 150k living in Melbourne CBD

I'd be looking to send a good portion of savings back to SA every month, so:

The Pound is currently R20.23.
The Australia Dollar is currently R9.45

After tax, I've worked out that I'd have:

- GBP 3900 per month
- AUD 8000 per month

Depending on how far I can stretch this income, I'd like to be saving a minimum of:

- GBP 2000 per month
- Or, to have the same value in Aus terms, AUD 4000 per month

The questions then are:

- Is GBP 1900 going to do more/less for me in living costs than AUD 4000 (covering rent, basics, tel/electricity/bus, groceries etc)
- Which would allow me the better opportunity to save even more. In other words, if unexpected things crop up like a burst geyser or doctor's visit, would I be in a better position to cover it with GBP 1900 or AUD 4000?

P.S. There are some extra benefits to choosing the UK over and above the 20:1 exchange rate, starting with timezone similar to South Africa, the quick(er) trips to SA and family to visit me, and the fact that I love the UK more with every return visit. On the other hand, my mom has a PR Aus visa with me, so would be able to join me in Aus and we wouldn't have to send any money back home (but would still need to take care of some debt), however she doesn't really want to move at all, but would if it meant us being better off financially, though it would cost us about R250k to make the move to include belongings, travel and pets. On the UK side of things, I'd want to work towards citizenship in the next 5 years and then evaluate whether it makes sense to move back to SA or bring mom over to Ireland so that she could get EU citizenship and then move back to UK -- if the UK ends up relaxing parental visa requirements by then, I'd be thrilled to just have her join me in the UK, of course. So there are swings and roundabouts to consider, but I'm trying to evaluate this from a financial perspective first and take things from there.

P.P.S. Thanks to whoever gets this far down in the post and decides to respond. I really appreciate it.
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Old Aug 19th 2015, 1:42 am
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Default Re: Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Man, that's a Wall 'O Text!!

Let's strip it back to basics: you mention you have a PR visa for OZ, did I understand that right? What visa do you have/do you plan on getting for the UK, or are you a British citizen?

eta: scrub the "are you a British citizen" question, I reread.

Do you actually have 2 job offers (UK & AUS) to choose between, or are you projecting?

What, exactly, is your question?

Last edited by Shirtback; Aug 19th 2015 at 1:49 am.
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Old Aug 19th 2015, 3:56 am
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Default Re: Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Hw long have you and your mum had your Aus PR visas? I assume they are still valid?
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Old Aug 19th 2015, 12:54 pm
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Default Re: Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Originally Posted by Shirtback View Post
Man, that's a Wall 'O Text!!

Let's strip it back to basics: you mention you have a PR visa for OZ, did I understand that right? What visa do you have/do you plan on getting for the UK, or are you a British citizen?

eta: scrub the "are you a British citizen" question, I reread.

Do you actually have 2 job offers (UK & AUS) to choose between, or are you projecting?

What, exactly, is your question?
I told you it was a long post - but thanks for getting through it, and for the response!

Yeah, I currently have Aus PR. If I had to choose the UK, it would need Tier 2 visa sponsorship. At this point I'm applying for jobs to both, one requiring sponsorship and one not.

My question, in a nutshell, is which would give me a higher standard of living: a disposable income of GBP 1900 per month in London or AUD 4000 per month in Melbourne?

Originally Posted by Pollyana View Post
Hw long have you and your mum had your Aus PR visas? I assume they are still valid?
They are still valid, yes. We received them in July 2015, and have to make first entry before Feb 2016, and have until July 2019 to move over.
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Old Aug 19th 2015, 3:12 pm
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Default Re: Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Something to consider long term down the road: where are all your friends and family based? I am also SA citizen and 15 years ago moved to Canada from UK with OH, the distance away was just too much for me plus the time difference really got to us too. We are much older obviously than you are but if you read all these forums it is when you settle down and have family scattered when issues pop up. I would go to UK if you can,1900/month if flat sharing is doable and pound strong against the rand and will always be so you score there. Are your parents living in Australia at moment. Where do you also think you will have the most fun and adventures? Also looking at visiting back to SA from UK it is only 12 hours overnight but half away around the world from Australia and that with me being in Canada also got to me because hardly anyone came over to visit us as it was just not affordable from SA but most people go through London to get somewhere, after all it is the centre of the world. Just one opinion. Good luck
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Old Aug 19th 2015, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Just a few random thoughts from me, in no particular order

I think you may have miscalculated your Oz tax - on an annual salary of AU$150,000 you'd get around AU$8,600 per calendar month after tax. This calculation includes your tax free threshold, and your 2% Medicare levy payment.

Health costs - if you're supporting your Mum, does she have access to good, affordable health care in SA? That might be a point of difference, the cost and quality of healthcare for your Mum in SA vs in Australia.

You'd both have access to Medicare as PR in Oz, but Medicare is nothing like the NHS. Here, unless you're lucky enough to find a GP that bulk bills, you'd be out of pocket anywhere between AU$30 - 45 for each GP visit. You also need to pay out of pocket expenses to see a medical specialist - hard to give an amount because their charges vary so much but you could probably count on being out of pocket around AU$100 for the first visit, and around $60 for subsequent visits.

Medicare does not cover ANY dental treatment in Oz (with a few exceptions such as school kids). Dental treatment is hellishly expensive over here.

You can get private health cover in Oz, which pays a bit towards dental costs. It works ok if you just need the odd filling, but for more complex work like crowns, implants, bridges etc all private health insurers have a cap on the amount you can claim each year. It's tiny, around $1,000 per year. To put that in perspective, a single crown could cost up to $2,500 and a single dental implant $5,000.

Most private health insurers here will cover you for some (not all) pre-existing conditions, but there's a 12 month waiting period before you can claim anything for these.

Private health insurers in Oz don't pay anything towards the cost of GP visits, specialist visits, or any investigations such as MRI, CT scans etc.

Prescription medicines in Australia are around $35 - 40 per item, unless you're on some forms of government income support payments.

I don't know much about the costs of health care for yourself on a Tier 2 visa, would you be eligible for full access to the NHS?

Re the visa - how difficult would it be for you to get a Tier 2 sponsorship?

You've said that your Mum doesn't really want to move. To me, this is a really important point. I don't know how old she is, but I'm guessing at least over 50? It's really hard to uproot yourself from family, friends, familiar surroundings etc. We do it if we have to, and with a positive attitude we usually make out ok. But I think you need to ask yourself (or more correctly, you Mum needs to ask herself), what the true price of a higher income is. Money buys 'stuff', but it can't replace what your Mum would leave behind.

That's about it I think! As I said, just a few random thoughts to add to the mix. Best of luck!
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Old Aug 19th 2015, 3:46 pm
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Default Re: Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Originally Posted by jasey View Post
Hi guys

<snip>

P.P.S. Thanks to whoever gets this far down in the post and decides to respond. I really appreciate it.
Doesn't this all boil down to whether you can actually get a job (offer) which allows you to go to to the UK?

I'd think that should be your priority before stressing out on the financial details.
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Old Aug 19th 2015, 6:20 pm
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Default Re: Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
Just a few random thoughts from me, in no particular order.

<...>
Re the visa - how difficult would it be for you to get a Tier 2 sponsorship?

You've said that your Mum doesn't really want to move. To me, this is a really important point. I don't know how old she is, but I'm guessing at least over 50? It's really hard to uproot yourself from family, friends, familiar surroundings etc. We do it if we have to, and with a positive attitude we usually make out ok. But I think you need to ask yourself (or more correctly, you Mum needs to ask herself), what the true price of a higher income is. Money buys 'stuff', but it can't replace what your Mum would leave behind.

That's about it I think! As I said, just a few random thoughts to add to the mix. Best of luck!
^^^ This


Originally Posted by Novocastrian View Post
Doesn't this all boil down to whether you can actually get a job (offer) which allows you to go to to the UK?

I'd think that should be your priority before stressing out on the financial details.
And ^^^ this.

What do you currently do (job) in SA? What percentage of your current income are you able to save? Why do you want to leave SA?

Do you/your mother have any UK/European ancestry, and if so, how far back?
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 6:49 am
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Default Re: Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Originally Posted by feelbritish View Post
Something to consider long term down the road: where are all your friends and family based? I am also SA citizen and 15 years ago moved to Canada from UK with OH, the distance away was just too much for me plus the time difference really got to us too. We are much older obviously than you are but if you read all these forums it is when you settle down and have family scattered when issues pop up. I would go to UK if you can,1900/month if flat sharing is doable and pound strong against the rand and will always be so you score there. Are your parents living in Australia at moment. Where do you also think you will have the most fun and adventures? Also looking at visiting back to SA from UK it is only 12 hours overnight but half away around the world from Australia and that with me being in Canada also got to me because hardly anyone came over to visit us as it was just not affordable from SA but most people go through London to get somewhere, after all it is the centre of the world. Just one opinion. Good luck
We South Africans really are everywhere! Thanks for sharing your perspective - it's very helpful, especially with you having lived in Canada and London.

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
Just a few random thoughts from me, in no particular order

I think you may have miscalculated your Oz tax - on an annual salary of AU$150,000 you'd get around AU$8,600 per calendar month after tax. This calculation includes your tax free threshold, and your 2% Medicare levy payment.

Health costs - if you're supporting your Mum, does she have access to good, affordable health care in SA? That might be a point of difference, the cost and quality of healthcare for your Mum in SA vs in Australia.

You'd both have access to Medicare as PR in Oz, but Medicare is nothing like the NHS. Here, unless you're lucky enough to find a GP that bulk bills, you'd be out of pocket anywhere between AU$30 - 45 for each GP visit. You also need to pay out of pocket expenses to see a medical specialist - hard to give an amount because their charges vary so much but you could probably count on being out of pocket around AU$100 for the first visit, and around $60 for subsequent visits.

Medicare does not cover ANY dental treatment in Oz (with a few exceptions such as school kids). Dental treatment is hellishly expensive over here.

You can get private health cover in Oz, which pays a bit towards dental costs. It works ok if you just need the odd filling, but for more complex work like crowns, implants, bridges etc all private health insurers have a cap on the amount you can claim each year. It's tiny, around $1,000 per year. To put that in perspective, a single crown could cost up to $2,500 and a single dental implant $5,000.

Most private health insurers here will cover you for some (not all) pre-existing conditions, but there's a 12 month waiting period before you can claim anything for these.

Private health insurers in Oz don't pay anything towards the cost of GP visits, specialist visits, or any investigations such as MRI, CT scans etc.

Prescription medicines in Australia are around $35 - 40 per item, unless you're on some forms of government income support payments.

I don't know much about the costs of health care for yourself on a Tier 2 visa, would you be eligible for full access to the NHS?

Re the visa - how difficult would it be for you to get a Tier 2 sponsorship?

You've said that your Mum doesn't really want to move. To me, this is a really important point. I don't know how old she is, but I'm guessing at least over 50? It's really hard to uproot yourself from family, friends, familiar surroundings etc. We do it if we have to, and with a positive attitude we usually make out ok. But I think you need to ask yourself (or more correctly, you Mum needs to ask herself), what the true price of a higher income is. Money buys 'stuff', but it can't replace what your Mum would leave behind.

That's about it I think! As I said, just a few random thoughts to add to the mix. Best of luck!
Not random at all! Thank you for all the details and costs. These specifics make calculating the move a little simpler ... though there's no easy part in choosing to move overseas. We currently aren't covered for dental, and doctor's visits come out of what our private medical insurance calls 'medical savings'. Once X amount is used up in the year, you have to pay for everything else yourself, bar hospitals or emergencies. Also, we pay a ridiculous amount for medical insurance here: almost R5000 per month (which is 16% of my disposable income after tax, just to that one expense.

The reason this move is based on financials first is because we just aren't coming out on my salary, which is a senior management salary in SA and far higher than most people earn. And we aren't extravagant. And we can either go deeper and deeper into debt, or I need to earn more. There is a ceiling here for me, because jobs that pay more here are few and far between, and when they do crop up (2-3 a month that I could apply for), I've been told that they're looking for non-white candidates only (a process called Black Economic Empowerment here, or affirmative action). I don't have a problem with the concept, but it does practically mean that I can't earn more as an individual. The only way for me to earn more is to change the currency I'm earning in and move to an environment where I have many more opportunities (and future growth opportunities) based on experience and expertise.

Originally Posted by Novocastrian View Post
Doesn't this all boil down to whether you can actually get a job (offer) which allows you to go to to the UK?

I'd think that should be your priority before stressing out on the financial details.
Yes, you're absolutely right, it's all dependent on a job offer. Even with Aus PR, I may not get an offer. I've been applying to roles in Aus, UK and even Ireland and was hoping with this post to focus my search in a single direction, where it makes sense financially first. As it turns out, Aus or UK are pretty evenly split when it comes to finances, so it's just about getting an offer and then taking things from there.

Originally Posted by Shirtback View Post
What do you currently do (job) in SA? What percentage of your current income are you able to save? Why do you want to leave SA?

Do you/your mother have any UK/European ancestry, and if so, how far back?
I'm in digital marketing. Currently I'm not saving at all - in fact we're having to spend more than we earn. Medical insurance R5k/month, electricity R2k, water and rates another R2k. The list goes on and on. As exchange rates plummet (for us), food prices soar, petrol price soars, and everything else sky-rockets along with it.

I do have European ancestry, and actually spent two years trying to prove that my Lithuanian great-grandparents (and everyone before them on that side) were residents and citizens of Lithuania. Unfortunately, luck and fate have determined that although I have loads of paperwork from the country to prove that they lived there, the specific dates that they lived in/left the country aren't on documents that have 'citizen of Lithuania' printed on them. This is because records are kept in physical volumes in cities, and different cities have lost different records. So it's a very specific thing to get right - and we just couldn't. It was very disappointing.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 1:23 pm
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Default Re: Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Originally Posted by Novocastrian View Post
Doesn't this all boil down to whether you can actually get a job (offer) which allows you to go to to the UK?

I'd think that should be your priority before stressing out on the financial details.
Originally Posted by jasey View Post
I'm in digital marketing.
The UK is looking at tighening up it's work visas again and the government are awaiting a MAC report. One of the things they are looking at is whether to just allow work visas to those doing a job on the UK shortages list (added after this link below). Another is to raise the level they must be paid from the 25th percentile to the 50th or 75th percentile. There is another about not letting dependants (spouse and children) work, but that might not affect you?
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/p...sory-committee

If it's the UK you want and your job isn't on the UK shortages list, then it might have to be asap or your chance may be gone.

Last edited by formula; Aug 20th 2015 at 1:48 pm.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

To me, Melbourne makes more sense after reading your post in detail. Although UK may be more in your heart, you and your Mom already have permanent status in Australia. And as per formula's post above, UK work visas are never a sure thing, and getting somewhat iffy as UK tightens up immigration.

Melbourne, I hear, is a beautiful city with lots of activities and culture. I'd vote with the stability your status in Australia has already given you. That's an awfully hard country to get an immigration visa to, and many would give their their right arm for that. These decisions are more than pure financial, as other aspects are also significant.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 3:32 pm
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Default Re: Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

A couple of thoughts:

It's pretty widely reported across most BE forums that it is very hard to get a job in another country from abroad, unless one has highly in-demand skills/is near the top-of-the-ladder career wise (I don't think digital marketing is one of those skills).

If you are *desperate* to leave SA, & have Australian PR, try AUS. I don't think you'd easily get a UK visa based on what you've posted. Never mind that I also think you may be overestimating the salary you might get in the UK.

Sorry to hear you wasted time on the Lithuanian connection

What is your mother's job/career?
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 4:50 pm
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Default Re: Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Originally Posted by formula View Post
The UK is looking at tighening up it's work visas again and the government are awaiting a MAC report. One of the things they are looking at is whether to just allow work visas to those doing a job on the UK shortages list (added after this link below). Another is to raise the level they must be paid from the 25th percentile to the 50th or 75th percentile. There is another about not letting dependants (spouse and children) work, but that might not affect you?
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/p...sory-committee

If it's the UK you want and your job isn't on the UK shortages list, then it might have to be asap or your chance may be gone.
I'm very aware of time running out. It's why I've made the decision to act now - the universe is pushing me to make it happen

Originally Posted by Richard8655 View Post
To me, Melbourne makes more sense after reading your post in detail. Although UK may be more in your heart, you and your Mom already have permanent status in Australia. And as per formula's post above, UK work visas are never a sure thing, and getting somewhat iffy as UK tightens up immigration.

Melbourne, I hear, is a beautiful city with lots of activities and culture. I'd vote with the stability your status in Australia has already given you. That's an awfully hard country to get an immigration visa to, and many would give their their right arm for that. These decisions are more than pure financial, as other aspects are also significant.
You're so right. Aus is the safest best. But UK let's mom stay here, where she wants to, and me live in the UK, where I want to. At the end of the day, both roads have potential to work out nicely. They just have different pros and cons. Let's see what comes our way Gotta get a job first ...

Originally Posted by Shirtback View Post
A couple of thoughts:

It's pretty widely reported across most BE forums that it is very hard to get a job in another country from abroad, unless one has highly in-demand skills/is near the top-of-the-ladder career wise (I don't think digital marketing is one of those skills).

If you are *desperate* to leave SA, & have Australian PR, try AUS. I don't think you'd easily get a UK visa based on what you've posted. Never mind that I also think you may be overestimating the salary you might get in the UK.

Sorry to hear you wasted time on the Lithuanian connection

What is your mother's job/career?
Yeah, I've also heard that it's almost impossible to get a job from overseas. I'm trying to line up interviews and will make a plan to Skype (one company was already keen to move forward on this basis, but were looking for something slightly different in skillset) or even fly over for the right position, at the right salary. Dig Marketing salaries can go pretty high, believe it or not. Have a look at this one: Head of Digital Marketing Job in London - OnlineInsuranceJobs.

Lithuania would've made this decision a lot easier! It would've meant we could try the UK, or try Aus, and move to the other if it didn't work out (funds allowing, of course). But that would've been too easy, I guess
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Old Aug 21st 2015, 9:59 am
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Default Re: Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Originally Posted by jasey View Post

Back to this good old forum - haven't posted in ages, and it feels like I've almost come full circle in a way. (PistolPete, are you out there? )
Hi jasey,

We've been in the UK for just over a year now and while we are in London right now, we are heading back to the West Country at the end of next week to spend the next year there. After that? - who knows?

Was thinking of you last week when checking out property in your old search area around (Isle of) Oxney/Wittersham/Romney Marsh/Ashford (Kent), but then four dogs were the (big) issue back then.
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Old Aug 21st 2015, 8:04 pm
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Default Re: Single guy in London or Melbourne - which would let me save more?

Originally Posted by jasey View Post
I'm very aware of time running out. It's why I've made the decision to act now - the universe is pushing me to make it happen



You're so right. Aus is the safest best. But UK let's mom stay here, where she wants to, and me live in the UK, where I want to. At the end of the day, both roads have potential to work out nicely. They just have different pros and cons. Let's see what comes our way Gotta get a job first ...



Yeah, I've also heard that it's almost impossible to get a job from overseas. I'm trying to line up interviews and will make a plan to Skype (one company was already keen to move forward on this basis, but were looking for something slightly different in skillset) or even fly over for the right position, at the right salary. Dig Marketing salaries can go pretty high, believe it or . Have a look at this one: Head of Digital Marketing Job in London - OnlineInsuranceJobs.

Lithuania would've made this decision a lot easier! It would've meant we could try the UK, or try Aus, and move to the other if it didn't work out (funds allowing, of course). But that would've been too easy, I guess
re bold: yes, of course. However, (and I have no idea about your qualifications/experience, so please don't take my comments personally), that example is not the norm. I did a quick search & the majority of job posts came up at <50% of the salary quoted on your example.

As you know from being in the business, there's a lot of "networking" involved. How would you/do you measure up to those already legally resident in the UK who are/will be candidates for those jobs?

Do you currently work for a company which might be able to transfer you to its UK branch?

I'm not trying to be harsh. Just realist.
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