How to Counter the Cost of Living in One of the Most Expensive Countries in the World

It’s a new world. A new economy. Or a burning pile of ashes left to us by our parents and grandparents to turn into a Metropolis. You decide.

Australia has one of the highest cost of living in the developed world.

Trying to figure out how to survive as a Young Person in Australia is a bit like a Choose Your Own Adventure game.

For those of us weighted with the burden of not being born to wealthy parents who can subsidise our entry into the property or investment markets with down payments and other incentives will have to come up with ever more ingenious ways of supporting themselves in the present while simultaneously building a nest-egg so as not to spend the second half of our lives fighting to make ends meet.

Now, as a journalist, I am an expert in how to make your dollar go further. But now that I am on the other side of thirty, I have the perspective and maturity to recognise some of my youthful missteps have led to some pretty poor decisions on my part, which forgivable, still could have been avoided, had someone like me had come along and pointed out the – now glaringly obvious – red flags in regards to which direction this economy was headed. Perhaps I would have shifted my behaviour. Maybe.

Below is some sound financial advice I wish I had when I was young.


#1 If you can DIY, You should


Pretty straight forward, no?


#2 While you’re young enough to work in retail…


Work in a clothing, underwear or shoe store. Most reputable companies provide employees a stipend to deck them out in the brand’s gear. You will save countless of dollars clothing yourself which will almost make up for the paltry wages.


#3 Don’t catch taxis if you can walk or take public transport


Don’t be lazy. A 20-minute cab-ride in Sydney can cost upwards of $35. Ubers cost more in surge periods. Just don’t do it. You can take care of your cardiovascular health while saving yourself lots of money.


#4 Become an industry tart


Get yourself on as many invite lists as possible. Particularly in Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide, PR company’s are looking to ensure their clients’ events are well attended. There isn’t a night in Sydney’s calendar that isn’t booked out by a mobile phone launch, a video game debut or FinTech panel event. The food and drink is free and you’ll make great contacts which will inevitably aid in the development of your career.


#5 Save on movies, befriend movie distributors and start an entertainment blog


Not only do you get to see newly released films before everyone else, you save on the cost of a cinema ticket. Plus, you get to write and talk about films and entertainment. Everybody wins.


#6 Build a network of close professional friends and job-share your skills


Save yourself a fortune in therapy, hair & skin care, video games, plumbing, car maintenance etc. This means you will need to pull your weight and figure out a way to be professionally and or financially useful to them or else this situation won’t work out.


#7 Say it with me: Multiple revenue streams


The age of the salary is dead. Think that paycheck is going to support you in the long term? Think again, friends. Find passive income streams. Sell t-shirts, or b2b WordPress templates, find something that is in high demand and low supply and sell the shit out of it. I’ll be writing a lot more about how you can do this over the coming weeks and months. So stay tuned!