Posted in Living Overseas.

A Money Transfer Guide for Expat Aussies Living and Working in Ireland

City at night

Gloomy weather, no beach culture, expensive tech equipment and appliances and limited work opportunities – making the decision to relocate from Australia to Ireland is one that requires a special kind of commitment.

Culture shock can hit hard and with the Irish used to living like a ‘tribal’ community network, expats can find it hard to make friends easily in a short period of time. If you think life will be similar to Australia, but with a different accent, think again – Irish culture is unique and nuanced.

If you’re not a fan of wet weather, consider another destination – in Ireland, raincoats are a wardrobe staple.
But if your love for the Emerald Isle is strong enough for you to keep the faith and try the Irish life, knowing the best ways to send money back home is handy.


What are the cheapest ways to send money home, or from home?

The answer to this question depends on a lot of factors – including one important thing:

How much do you need to send?

Some transfer services, such as Western Union, are perfect for international money transfers or small amounts (think sending that birthday money home to your nephew or niece), while others will offer to waive transfer fees only if the amount is a large one.

That’s why it is critical to shop around and discuss your individual needs with a currency exchange and money transfer specialist.

How often should I send my savings home?

Again, this depends on so many variables. What is the size of the amount you need to send home? It may be more cost-effective to send it home in lots of several thousand and attract just one fee for service and transfer…or you may find providers who waive fees when money is less than a certain amount. Just balance the fees against the rate of exchange on offer and do the maths to work out your best deal.

Are there other places I could park my money?

To open a bank account in Ireland, you need to provide a utility bill or some other proof of your Ireland-based address, as well as your passport and any details of any previous bank accounts that you may hold.

It is quite common for banks in Ireland to charge annual or quarterly fees, as well as transaction charges on current accounts. There is also a 15% government tax payable on cheque transactions although some banks may waive their own additional charges, based on a minimum amount being kept in the account.

ATMs are easily available across the country, except in some smaller rural villages.

What’s the best way to schedule payments?

Even though you are living and working in Ireland, you may still have regular debts to service back home in Australia. With the convenience of online banking, managing your Australian bills is relatively easy – and BPAY payments can be set up for up to 18 months ahead of schedule to streamline the process.