Course Information

Money and Finances

Banking in Victoria

Victorians usually keep their money in a bank, building society or credit union, and use bank cards and credit cards for financial purposes.

If you would like to set up a bank account in Victoria before you move, your existing bank may be able to help you. Many international banks can work with Australian banks to set up an account for you.

If you would prefer to set up a bank account once you have arrived in Victoria, it is recommended that you do so within six weeks of arriving as during this period you only need your passport for identification. After six weeks further identification is required.

Banks are usually open Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, with some offering different opening and closing times on certain days. Some banks are also open on Saturday from around 9.00 am to 1.00 pm.

Some of the main banks in Victoria are:


If you have a dispute or complaint about a bank, building society or credit union, you can lodge your complaint with the Banking and Financial Services Ombudsman. This service is free to all consumers and the website can also be read in the following languages: Chinese, Greek, Serbian, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian and Turkish. 

In addition, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission consumer website, FIDO, can offer you financial tips and safety checks.


Australia's Currency

Australia's currency is decimal, with the dollar as the basic unit.

There are 100 cents in one dollar ($1).

Notes come in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations and coins in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2.

All major credit cards, EFTPOS and traveller's cheques are widely accepted in Victoria.

Banks can exchange foreign currency. In smaller regional centres you can use a post office or a newsagent for your banking.


Goods and Services Tax (GST)

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Australia is a Value Added Tax (VAT) on the supply of goods and services in Australia. It is levied at a flat rate of 10% on most goods and services, apart from GST exempt items, and input taxed goods and services. GST does not apply to your education, nor on the cost of international airfares. 


Cost of Living

The Goods and Services Price List offers a price comparison of standard shopping items between Australia and the United States of America (USA). 



The following website provides information on how to budget in Australia: 


Tipping in Australia

Tipping is not a general custom in Australia.

Tipping in restaurants is not necessary. As such, waiters and waitresses do not rely on tips for their income, however it certainly is appreciated, and seems to be becoming more common. If dining in large groups, or when restaurant service has been particularly good, it is not uncommon for Australians to leave tips of around 10%. It is more common to leave a tip when dining in an exclusive or expensive restaurant.  Tips are often shared out amongst all staff.

In bars tipping is also not expected, although many people simply leave some of their coin change on the bar after picking up their drink.

Taxi drivers also do not expect tips, but it is usual to `round-up' the fare to the nearest dollar or two or to tell the taxi drive to keep the change.

Tipping in hotels and other service industries (such as hair salons) is still uncommon and strongly discouraged by most Australians. 



"Accommodation is on the whole very good and relatively cheap compared to the UK."

Learn more about Ed's experience