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100k a year enough to live on in Melbourne initally with stay at home mum and baby?

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Dear all,

In the new year, my wife, my one year old son and myself are planning on moving to Australia. Our initial plan was to possibly move to Sydney,  where my wife's brother lives, however, it seems like Sydney is out of our price range. So I am curious as the Melbourne may work?

My wife wants to stay home and look after our baby for a while longer, probably another six months, so until June 2023, and I will be working as either a primary school teacher or a German and Spanish high school teacher. My salary is likely to be around 100k, and although we lived in Melbourne in late 2019 before our baby was born,  we are not sure if we will be able to get by on my salary alone. Is 100k going to be enough for the first six months? We have savings of approx $100K.

We would also eventually be looking to buy a small place to live, but our budget will be about 600k. Are there any areas in Melbourne you would recommend for a small family, with a price range of up to say 600k, which is say no more than a 30 min drive to Fitzroy North (due to possible job offer)? We don't mind the type of property (unit, flat, townhouse etc) but we do not want to have a balcony but rather some kind of garden/communal area, as we want our son to be able to run around somewhat.

We are in our mid 30s, do not want to be renting forever and would like to have something we can call home. We are currently in the UK, but I cannot bring myself to consider raising our son here, the country is so broken.

Any advice welcome.

Cheers!

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4 hours ago, AdrianAdrian said:

Dear all,

In the new year, my wife, my one year old son and myself are planning on moving to Australia. Our initial plan was to possibly move to Sydney,  where my wife's brother lives, however, it seems like Sydney is out of our price range. So I am curious as the Melbourne may work?

My wife wants to stay home and look after our baby for a while longer, probably another six months, so until June 2023, and I will be working as either a primary school teacher or a German and Spanish high school teacher. My salary is likely to be around 100k, and although we lived in Melbourne in late 2019 before our baby was born,  we are not sure if we will be able to get by on my salary alone. Is 100k going to be enough for the first six months? We have savings of approx $100K.

We would also eventually be looking to buy a small place to live, but our budget will be about 600k. Are there any areas in Melbourne you would recommend for a small family, with a price range of up to say 600k, which is say no more than a 30 min drive to Fitzroy North (due to possible job offer)? We don't mind the type of property (unit, flat, townhouse etc) but we do not want to have a balcony but rather some kind of garden/communal area, as we want our son to be able to run around somewhat.

We are in our mid 30s, do not want to be renting forever and would like to have something we can call home. We are currently in the UK, but I cannot bring myself to consider raising our son here, the country is so broken.

Any advice welcome.

Cheers!

On that income you will be able to borrow more. A bank will likely lend you around $650K if you have a $100K annual income.

Try and save $100K for a deposit and your budget could stretch to $750K to $800K.

Really $600K is not enough these days to buy any decent home in a capital city.

Can your wife work in future years?

Renting on $100K should be doable though in most places.

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Buy a man eat fish. The Day, Teach Man, to lifetime.      - Joe Biden.

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6 hours ago, AdrianAdrian said:

We would also eventually be looking to buy a small place to live, but our budget will be about 600k. Are there any areas in Melbourne you would recommend for a small family, with a price range of up to say 600k, which is say no more than a 30 min drive to Fitzroy North (due to possible job offer)? 

We live in Brunswick East (renting), so very familiar with Fitzroy North.  Within 30 minutes drive, you'll get an old, small 2 bedroom flat for 600K (bear in mind you're talking about a 30 minute drive in peak hour traffic in the morning, so you're not talking about a great distance).  We've been looking at 2-bed units recently and can't find anything we'd want to live in for less than $800k, and we've been looking as far out as Heidelberg. We're a retired couple so don't need a lot of space, either.

Go for Geelong.  Very popular with young families, and you can even have a beach lifestyle

Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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A handy rule of thumb is to go where you find a job. You make the assumption that you will get work as a teacher - may not be quite so simple - you may find that the jobs you are offered are in place like Echuca or Bairnsdale, quite a way from Melbourne. First get your job then work out where you could live. The further out you go, the better your cash will stretch when it comes to buying a home.

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11 hours ago, Parley said:

On that income you will be able to borrow more. A bank will likely lend you around $650K if you have a $100K annual income.

Try and save $100K for a deposit and your budget could stretch to $750K to $800K.

Really $600K is not enough these days to buy any decent home in a capital city.

Can your wife work in future years?

Renting on $100K should be doable though in most places.

We have just over $100k saved up and will try to ring-fence this so that we can use it for a property in July or so, when we hope to buy.

My wife can work, yes, we just want that she spends another six months or so at home with our baby son whilst we all get used to being there. Then he will go to nursery say three or four days a week and we will both be working. So basically it is about surviving on the 100k salary for six months as a three piece without having to eat into our savings for the deposit.

Thanks for the info!

 

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9 hours ago, Marisawright said:

We live in Brunswick East (renting), so very familiar with Fitzroy North.  Within 30 minutes drive, you'll get an old, small 2 bedroom flat for 600K (bear in mind you're talking about a 30 minute drive in peak hour traffic in the morning, so you're not talking about a great distance).  We've been looking at 2-bed units recently and can't find anything we'd want to live in for less than $800k, and we've been looking as far out as Heidelberg. We're a retired couple so don't need a lot of space, either.

Go for Geelong.  Very popular with young families, and you can even have a beach lifestyle

We know Brunswick East very well, lived there in 2019, but we didn't like the place that much. The trams to the CBD were always rammed, and we just didn't like the neighbourhood too much. We would be looking for somewhere with a train station and good motorway connection, like Oak Park way perhaps, where families also live.

We looked at Geelong too, seemed a nice place, but a job that has come up might be in Fitzroy North, and the 1hr+ commute each way from Geelong would not worth the beach style trade-off in our opinion. As a teacher it is impossible to do any work from home, so location still matters for us unfortunately.

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13 hours ago, AdrianAdrian said:

We know Brunswick East very well, lived there in 2019, but we didn't like the place that much. ....
We looked at Geelong too, seemed a nice place, but a job that has come up might be in Fitzroy North, and the 1hr+ commute each way from Geelong would not worth the beach style trade-off in our opinion. As a teacher it is impossible to do any work from home, so location still matters for us unfortunately.

I wasn't suggesting you live in Brunswick East, just letting you know that we live in Melbourne.   

Of course it wouldn't make sense to live in Geelong if you take the Fitzroy North job, i wasn't suggesting that either.   The commute would be a lot longer than an hour!   However if that job doesn't eventuate, then Geelong would be a good option to consider because you then have all the schools in Geelong plus all of the Western side of Melbourne within commutable reach, plus you will have much cheaper rent, and you'll be able to settle knowing you'll be able to afford a nice home there once you're ready to buy.  

You will find homes in the outer ring of Melbourne which are comparable in prices to Geelong, but they will be further from city amenities.  


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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I am living in Melbourne and was looking at apartment options for a family of 3. You will find a 2 bed apartment within that price range the issue for me is that the living areas are usually very small, especially in the newer apartments. I have been looking around Kensington, Ascot Vale, Moonee Ponds, Brunswick, Carlton, Abbotsford basically all around the inner north.

I am now looking at townhouses which you will get for around $900k, which once your wife is working should be achievable for you. I was shocked at how much money the bank was prepared to lend us, when I spoke to them a couple of months ago. 

If you are prepared to live in an apartment then I don't think there will be any issue with you managing on one salary for 6 months. Depending on your wife's profession it could take a while to find a job so best to start look early once you arrive. 

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To the OP

here's a question - Do you really want to live in an apartment as a family?

I just struggle to believe anyone would consider apartment living a lifestyle improvement over the UK. We love it in Australia but I think its becoming less and less attractive to start over here.

If you think the UK is broken just think:

- Until recently In most capital cities the highest earners were piles and bricks and colourbond. My house has increased in value by more than my annual salary every year for the past 5 - that's broken

- The last prime minister appointed himself to pretty much all of the top jobs in the country just like Hitler did and Putin is doing - That's broken too 

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We lived in Europe for the last ten years, and apartment living is the norm in most cities there, so we have no qualms about doing so. Of course, having our own house would be a dream, but as long as we have a roof over our head in a safe area, house, townhouse or apartment are all fine with us. Once my wife starts to work come July 2023, then we can see how her salary allows us to broaden our search. Even if the bank would give us a 900k loan, we wouldn't take it. That kind of money is just absurd, particularly with the mortgage repayments. We have no inheritance nor a bank of mum or dad to go to, so it is all about starting at the bottom of the property ladder for us.

We will give living in Melbourne a go, and if it doesn't work, there are other places to try. Anywhere is better than the UK right now, so we won't give up.

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On 15/09/2022 at 04:20, can1983 said:

To the OP

here's a question - Do you really want to live in an apartment as a family?

I just struggle to believe anyone would consider apartment living a lifestyle improvement over the UK. We love it in Australia but I think its becoming less and less attractive to start over here.

If you think the UK is broken just think:

- Until recently In most capital cities the highest earners were piles and bricks and colourbond. My house has increased in value by more than my annual salary every year for the past 5 - that's broken

- The last prime minister appointed himself to pretty much all of the top jobs in the country just like Hitler did and Putin is doing - That's broken too 

Come back to the UK and live here for a while - you will realise how dire the place has become. We last lived here in 2014. It was a completely different place back then, upbeat, optimistic and a United Kingdom. It is almost unrecognisable now. You might think Scomo was bad, but seriously, the last fella here utterly gutted the place, in addition to misleading parliament and he lied to the Queen. The new PM is trying to sink the currency and enrich her mates. We can't wait to leave the sinking ship.

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39 minutes ago, AdrianAdrian said:

Come back to the UK and live here for a while - you will realise how dire the place has become. We last lived here in 2014. It was a completely different place back then, upbeat, optimistic and a United Kingdom. It is almost unrecognisable now. You might think Scomo was bad, but seriously, the last fella here utterly gutted the place, in addition to misleading parliament and he lied to the Queen. The new PM is trying to sink the currency and enrich her mates. We can't wait to leave the sinking ship.

I can only assume you live in a seriously bad area.  The UK has some problems that’s for sure but so does everywhere.  I live in the Home Counties and those I know seem upbeat and happy.  I’ve seen so much happiness and fun over the last few glorious summer months it’s been a pleasure.   You describe the UK as utterly gutted, dire and unrecognisable.  That is not a description of the beautiful area I live in.  Sure many across the UK seem worried about the economy and with good reason but I speak to hundreds of people every week and in conversation some will perhaps say I’m not putting the heating on yet or when it goes on it will be on lower than usual but few if any would share your ‘apocalypse’ description.  I appreciate there will be big differences in different  parts of the UK and different people have different incomes but I wanted to balance it out so that everyone reading this isn’t terrified to ever set foot in the UK again.  
 

In answer to your question of is $100k enough to live on in Melbourne I’d say no.  It will certainly be a real stretch.  I know someone who returned to the UK a few weeks ago having lived in Australia for many years.  They cannot stop saying about how cheap food is here.  The first thing they mentioned was a packet of beef mince was only £2.  That was only the cheap stuff as it was for their dog but they said it’s $8 in Australia.  They said they got 4 bags of shopping in Tescos and it was only £80.  That to me seems a fair bit but they said it would be at least twice that in Australia.  They weren’t putting Australia down in any way, they love Australia but was just saying it all in surprise.  On that basis and on what I’ve seen when I’ve been in Australia you need to earn more to get the same.  Salaries are higher there so it balances out but you need to be aware that things like your grocery shop will be a fair bit more than what you pay in the UK.  

I wish you the very best of luck with your move.   

Edited by Tulip1
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2 minutes ago, Tulip1 said:

I can only assume you live in a seriously bad area.  The UK has some problems that’s for sure but so does everywhere.  I live in the Home Counties and those I know seem upbeat and happy.  I’ve seen so much happiness and fun over the last few glorious summer months it’s been a pleasure.   You describe the UK as utterly gutted, dire and unrecognisable.  That is not a description of the beautiful area I live in.  Sure many across the UK seem worried about the economy and with good reason but I speak to hundreds of people every week and in conversation some will perhaps say I’m not putting the heating on yet or when it goes on it will be on lower than usual but few if any would share your ‘apocalypse’ description.  I appreciate there will be big differences in different  parts of the UK and different people have different incomes but I wanted to balance it out so that everyone reading this isn’t terrified to ever set foot in the UK again.  

We are in the North West, which has always been much poorer than the Home Counties, and before 2014 the place around here was great to be in. After nine years in Europe, we came back and were shocked to see how things have changed. Of course, there are different areas in the UK, but the poverty and amount of food banks that many now have to rely on in the North West is rather shocking. I also don't remember it being a gauntlet trying to get a doctor's appointment in 2014. I understand the pandemic took its toll on many places, but even abroad it was nowhere near as bad as it seems to be here. I am just struggling to understand how things have become so different, and I don't see much opportunity for our son here in the future.

We arrived back here at the start of summer, and it was also great to spend time outdoors with our family, but the place is not the UK we remember before 2014. Sorry for sounding so apocalyptic, and you are right, there probably are more affluent areas, but we just don't recognise (our part of the) UK anymore.

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3 minutes ago, AdrianAdrian said:

We are in the North West, which has always been much poorer than the Home Counties, and before 2014 the place around here was great to be in. After nine years in Europe, we came back and were shocked to see how things have changed. Of course, there are different areas in the UK, but the poverty and amount of food banks that many now have to rely on in the North West is rather shocking. I also don't remember it being a gauntlet trying to get a doctor's appointment in 2014. I understand the pandemic took its toll on many places, but even abroad it was nowhere near as bad as it seems to be here. I am just struggling to understand how things have become so different, and I don't see much opportunity for our son here in the future.

We arrived back here at the start of summer, and it was also great to spend time outdoors with our family, but the place is not the UK we remember before 2014. Sorry for sounding so apocalyptic, and you are right, there probably are more affluent areas, but we just don't recognise (our part of the) UK anymore.

No need to be sorry.  You see what you see and feel what you feel.  I’ve added some more on my last comment re your question of will $100k be enough.  Just a thought on that - I understand your wife wanting to stay at home a little longer but if you are struggling it’s not going to be the best start.  For a few years when mine were little I stayed at home because it just wasn’t financially viable to pay for childcare.  To make things easier I had a part time job in a local restaurant.  I did two evenings a week and every other Saturday lunchtime.  It really did make a difference to the bank balance which made a difference to our quality of lives.  

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2 hours ago, AdrianAdrian said:

We lived in Europe for the last ten years, and apartment living is the norm in most cities there, so we have no qualms about doing so. Of course, having our own house would be a dream, but as long as we have a roof over our head in a safe area, house, townhouse or apartment are all fine with us. Once my wife starts to work come July 2023, then we can see how her salary allows us to broaden our search. Even if the bank would give us a 900k loan, we wouldn't take it. That kind of money is just absurd, particularly with the mortgage repayments. We have no inheritance nor a bank of mum or dad to go to, so it is all about starting at the bottom of the property ladder for us.

We will give living in Melbourne a go, and if it doesn't work, there are other places to try. Anywhere is better than the UK right now, so we won't give up.

You'll probably agree living in Europe was preferable on many measurements than UK. I guess it depends on which country you were in and if spoke the language or not. Britain, no doubt has changed. I was shocked to hear of waiting times for an ambulance as an example. The present politics is very disheartening. I can fully understand with all that doom and gloom being reported why people would want to leave.

But Australia is not the country it was in late nineties when I arrived back. We are a few steps behind UK. Our medical system experiences similar problems. We are I read yesterday, the highest in the world at being discontented with our work. We are close to the top of highest personal indebts in the world due to over inflated housing. Wages are not keeping up with inflation (costs going up here considerably)  in many areas and living standards are in decline. On top of that we experience a massive problem with the drug Ice which has become increasingly mainstream in its manufacture. 

But we still have the sunshine, warmer climes can in instances make problems seem less. a chore perhaps. It certainly helps not having the same heating costs. It's not that it is worse than UK. That is subjective and on many measurements is not. It is just that there are far fewer clear cut advantages than years past to upheaving to the other side of the world. One should examine all costs involved both financially and emotionally and added difficulties outside of cost like finding suitable rental 

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5 hours ago, AdrianAdrian said:

Come back to the UK and live here for a while - you will realise how dire the place has become. We last lived here in 2014. It was a completely different place back then, upbeat, optimistic and a United Kingdom. It is almost unrecognisable now. You might think Scomo was bad, but seriously, the last fella here utterly gutted the place, in addition to misleading parliament and he lied to the Queen. The new PM is trying to sink the currency and enrich her mates. We can't wait to leave the sinking ship.

Ok, just don't expect too much here that's what I'm saying. I first moved to Sydney in 2008 you could virtually hear me ranting from the plane about how awful the UK was and how I wasn't ever coming back. I lasted 3 months before I crawled home and faced up to all my family and friends!

I was overwhelmed by how big a disappointment it all was: rubbish place to live, 3 hour a day commute. I had this expectation that Australia would solve all my problems and it didn't it was even worse.

Just please don't expect it to be better than the UK it isn't

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41 minutes ago, can1983 said:

Ok, just don't expect too much here that's what I'm saying. I first moved to Sydney in 2008 you could virtually hear me ranting from the plane about how awful the UK was and how I wasn't ever coming back. I lasted 3 months before I crawled home and faced up to all my family and friends!

I was overwhelmed by how big a disappointment it all was: rubbish place to live, 3 hour a day commute. I had this expectation that Australia would solve all my problems and it didn't it was even worse.

Just please don't expect it to be better than the UK it isn't

I would agree with this. There's no better or worse, just different, even with the difficulties that the UK is currently going through.  

I prefer living in Australia but that's my personal preference.  It also depends SO much on location, in both countries.  I've been lucky that I've been able to live in the most vibrant inner-city suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney. One of the reasons I'm now in Melbourne is that I knew living in the distant suburbs of Sydney would be my equivalent of Hell.  But that's me. We had someone posting recently who said they loved living in Camden.  That's them.

However, the OP has lived in Australia already as well as in Europe.  I'm sure there's an element of rose-coloured glasses, it happens to everyone, but at least they have been here before. 

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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2 hours ago, can1983 said:

Ok, just don't expect too much here that's what I'm saying. I first moved to Sydney in 2008 you could virtually hear me ranting from the plane about how awful the UK was and how I wasn't ever coming back. I lasted 3 months before I crawled home and faced up to all my family and friends!

I was overwhelmed by how big a disappointment it all was: rubbish place to live, 3 hour a day commute. I had this expectation that Australia would solve all my problems and it didn't it was even worse.

Just please don't expect it to be better than the UK it isn't

The OP's question is relevant here: for me, the most surprising downside of moving to Aus has been the poor salary-to-cost of everything ratio. I thought if a £x salary in London was quite comfortable, $x in Sydney would be just as comfortable. (In my case the same jobs happened to have about the same figure in salary - just different currencies.) It isn't - it's much more of a struggle in Aus. A big part of this is the inflated cost of housing: locals who bought property astutely won't feel it, because they've been riding the rising tide of property prices.

Edited by Tychen
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28 minutes ago, Tychen said:

The OP's question is relevant here: for me, the most surprising downside of moving to Aus has been the poor salary-to-cost of everything ratio. I thought if a £x salary in London was quite comfortable, $x in Sydney would be just as comfortable. (In my case the same jobs happened to have about the same figure in salary - just different currencies.) It isn't - it's much more of a struggle in Aus. A big part of this is the inflated cost of housing: locals who bought property astutely won't feel it, because they've been riding the rising tide of property prices.

I don't believe housing in Aus is any more over inflated than in the south of the UK. They are both crazy

If your Australian salary isn't between 2 to 2.5 times the numerical amount of your UK one you will be worse off

My UK earnings would be about GBP50k my current Aus one is $120k. I think we are about quits cost of living wise

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1 hour ago, can1983 said:

I don't believe housing in Aus is any more over inflated than in the south of the UK. They are both crazy

If your Australian salary isn't between 2 to 2.5 times the numerical amount of your UK one you will be worse off

My UK earnings would be about GBP50k my current Aus one is $120k. I think we are about quits cost of living wise

So no problem then.


Buy a man eat fish. The Day, Teach Man, to lifetime.      - Joe Biden.

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52 minutes ago, Parley said:

So no problem then.

Unless you’re really struggling in the UK on a certain amount and think moving to Australia and getting double the income you currently have will make comfortable and happy.  In reality it will put you in the same position. 

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8 hours ago, Blue Flu said:

I was shocked to hear of waiting times for an ambulance as an example

You will always hear of the horror stories in everything,  We never get to hear of the quick ambulances as that’s dull news.  My friend at works dad had a sudden terrible headache and vision loss three weeks ago.  He felt really unwell and his wife decided to call for an ambulance.  It arrived in under ten minutes and he was blue lighted to hospital.  He’d had a stroke, a bleed on the brain.   He came home after 10 days and is slowly recovering at home.  From the 999 call to everything done for him in hospital to the continued therapies he’s getting (speach/physio) at home, everything has been first class.  The family cannot imagine it would be possible to receive better care.   It’s not all ten hour waits.  They are the ones hitting the headlines in all countries.   

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All of the comments have been really helpful, and as we have lived in Melbourne before, albeit only shortly in 2019, we kind of know the deal there. I was just curious as to how costs, aside from real estate had, had increased since then. Globally, costs have increased in most sectors, so it won't be a surprise for us to see food etc costing more. Real estate, however, has exploded everywhere. After looking at our old budgets from 2019, I believe we can get by for six months with the one salary of 100k. We don't drink, smoke and rarely eat meat. We just want a change of scenery and after four years, hopefully get AUS citizenship.

My original question was whether 100k would cover our family of three for an initial six months. I remember the higher cost of living in Melbs, but this is a compromise we are now willing to take for half a year. We have savings, and although we hope to ring-fence these so that we can hopefully buy a property once my wife has returned to work in July 2023, we have no qualms dipping into the to get us through the first six months.

We considered moving to another country in Europe, but dealing with all the red tape in a foreign language is something we have just left behind anyway after living there since 2014, and we want to be able to operate in English again for a few years due to our our baby's needs.

I know some will say it will be tough for six months and others may say give it a go, but to be honest, staying here isn't an option, even if it costs more to live in Australia. My UK teacher salary would be 30k GBP a year working approx 65 hours a week, whereas in Vic it would be just shy of 100k AUS, and less hours. However, one thing I have learnt over the years from living abroad is that more money doesn't necessarily lead to more happiness, even if it does help to make life more convenient.

Anyway, here's wishing you all luck wherever you may be.

 

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