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Lauren

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Hi, I’m Lauren, and I LOVE being an expat in Sydney but am fed up with all the misinformed and useless expat guides out there, not only giving bad advice but also charging for it! So I created Sydney Moving Guide written by expats, for expats. Click here to read my story.

Enrolment Areas for Primary Schools in Sydney

Interactive map of catchment zones for all government primary schools in Sydney with contact information, location of school, and if the school offers preschool too.

Cost of Living in Sydney: Breakdown of Rents by Suburb

Are you wondering what your cost of living in Sydney will be? Here is a Guide to Rents in Sydney by Neighborhood that will help with your monthly budget.

Sorting Out the Cost Of Living in Sydney Before You Move

How expensive it is to living in Sydney? To help you estimate your cost of living in Sydney, here is a breakdown of daily and monthly expenses.

Over 60 of the Best BYO Restaurants in Sydney

Sixty-five of the best BYO restaurants in Sydney listed by suburb with corkage fees and recommendations on what to order. This is the most complete list of BYO restaurants in Sydney you will find online.

Bank Accounts for Expats Moving to Australia

Part of moving to Australia is opening your bank accounts. Here are the top five Australian banks that allow you to do open an account before arriving in Australia.

How to Open Your Australian Bank Account Before You Leave Home

Open your Australian Bank account before you arrive in Sydney will be one of the easiest parts of your relocation. You don't even need an approved visa! It will take you no more than three minutes.

Understanding US Expatriate Taxes

As a US expat, your taxes just got more complicated. Not filing your taxes correctly can result in some very large fines. Here's what you need to know plus I clear up several misconceptions.

What is an FBAR? Who Must File an FBAR? And Other...

All US expats living abroad need to know what an FBAR is and if they are required to file one. Chances are, if you have any financial accounts overseas like a bank account, you will have to file an FBAR depending on the maximum value of your accounts during the year. Here's what you need to know.

What US Expats Living in Australia Need to Know About FATCA

What is FATCA and how does it affect taxes of US expats living in Australia. This post covers Form 8938 Filing Thresholds Values, the Physical Presence Test, How to Figure the 12-month Period for the Physical Presence Test and the Bona Fide Residence Test.

Australian Medicare Levy Exemption: Get 2% of Your Income Back

If you do not qualify for Medicare in Australia, and are a taxpayer, you can claim a Medicare Levy Exemption at the end of the year and get any tax you paid back. The percentage of tax back ranges from 1% to 2% of your income tax. Here's how to get that tax back.

An Expat’s Guide to Taxes in Australia

Here's what you need to know about filing a tax return in Australia plus Australian income tax tables and how to file your taxes online. I also list all the due dates you need to know.

Free Money Transfers for SMG Readers

Are you transferring money to Australia?Fantastic Promotion Offer from OFX just for SMG readers Get Free Money Transfers for LIFE! No promo code needed,...

Do You Owe Tax When Transferring Money to Australia?

Many expats transfer large sums of money to Australia when they move. Is that money going to be taxed after it's transferred? What about money you bring with you on the plane to Australia?

Australian Superannuations and Filing a US Tax Return While Living Abroad

How to report your Australian Superannuation when you file your US tax return is very confusing. Here are the basics to what you need to know.

How to Get Your Australian Tax File Number

Getting an Australian Tax File Number (TFN) is something that everyone moving to Australia needs to do. If you are moving to Australia, and plan on working, you will need a TFN. If you don't have a TFN, you cannot file a tax return. Here's how to get your TFN without having a permanent address in Sydney.

Your Australian Tax Questions Answered

SMG readers wrote in with their questions about paying tax in Australia as an expat. Questions range from transferring money to tax deductions and more. Answers provided by H&R Block Australia.

Expat’s Guide to Currency Exchange and Transferring Money Overseas

What every expat needs to know when transferring money internationally.Be sure to check out my post on how to open your Australian bank account...

Getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for Shipping from the USA...

When shipping a container from the USA to Australia, you will need to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Here is a step-by-step tutorial for how to get your EIN for your shipment to Australia.

What Our Shipping Quote for Australia Did NOT Include

There are several charges you will be responsible for in Australia when your shipping container arrives. In this post, I list the charges and fees, and include our final invoice for our shipment from Seattle to Sydney.

Breakdown of What Our Australia Shipping Quote Included

A detailed breakdown of what was included in our shipping quote from Seattle to Sydney, Australia. I also discuss the different packing options, the difference between LCL shipments and FCL shipments and list out everything included in our Australia shipping quote.

Our Shipping Quote From When We Moved to Australia From the...

Are you wondering what the cost of shipping a container from USA to Australia is going to be? Here is our shipping quote for Sydney from Seattle. I also go through what you need to be sure to get in writing when you get your shipping quote for Australia.

What You Need to Know About International Shipping Insurance

It is essential you understand what insurance your shipment qualifies for and how the cost is determined for replacing or repairing any damaged items. The type of insurance is dependent on who is doing the packing. In this post, I'll break down the difference in insurance and what each covers.

How to Determine Your Salary in Sydney Before You Move

What are Salaries like in Sydney?The cost of living in Sydney is always a shock to anyone considering moving. The only way to offset...

Commuting by Ferry in Sydney is the Best Way to Start...

One of my favourite things about living in Australia as an expat is my morning commute. I know it sounds crazy, but you just can't beat it. Here's our commute in Sydney by ferry from the Lower North Shore with photos each step of the way.

This One Tip Will Help You Find an Apartment in Sydney...

Finding an Apartment in Sydney Without Knowing the CityWhen we arrived in Sydney we had no idea where to begin looking for an apartment....

Every Expat Living in Sydney Remembers Their First Huntsman Spider

I use to send this story in an email to my newsletter subscribers but I got so many replies saying that the photo alone gave...

The Best Tip for Finding an Apartment in Sydney

Once you are familiar with the different suburbs of Sydney and have given your budget some thought, do a few searches on Domain.com.au to...

Four Reasons Why Most People Do Not Move to Australia

Should you move to Sydney?I think it is safe to assume that you are visiting SMG because you are either planning a move to...

Three Reasons Why You Should Move to Sydney

"Why did you move to Australia?"I get asked this question a lot when I go back home to Seattle for a visit.The easy...

Where to Live in Sydney with a One Year Old That...

Best Sydney suburbs for expats with small children that are close to Central Station."What neighbourhood in Sydney should we live?" has to be the...

What’s the Best Neighborhood in Sydney for Dogs?

Dog-Friendly Budget Rental in SydneyToday's post is a question for a SMG email subscriber. Hi Lauren, I too, am moving to Sydney in September from...

Private Primary Schools in Parramatta: Cost, Age Cutoff and Resources

Do private schools in Sydney also have an age cutoff? How much does tuition cost at a private school? Click here for the answer plus resources for parents.

Tips from a Recruiter for Finding Sponsorship for Australia

Expert advice on what you need to know to find job sponsorship in Australia plus access to over 1500+ jobs that offer visa sponsorship hiring now. 

Pet Friendly Rentals in Sydney

Are You Moving to Sydney with Your Cat or Dog?This week's Mailbox Monday post is about finding Pet-Friendly Rentals in Sydney.Today's Question:My husband...

Free Sydney City Walking Tour That Everyone Should Do

This Sydney Walking Tour will take you from the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park down to the Opera House then on to the Royal Botanic Gardens to enjoy a lazy afternoon picnic in the park. After exploring the gardens, we’ll continue through the gardens on to Woolloomooloo followed by the NSW Art Gallery in The Domain. The walking tour is not meant to be done in a hurry. Instead, take it slow and enjoy all the different views of the harbor and city. Throughout the tour, I’ll point out places to eat and other facilities plus spots to stop for a photo or two.

Moving to Australia for Work: What Does the Company Usually Pay...

Temporary visa holders moving to Sydney for work need to think about other expenses besides the cost of shipping and flights.Today's EmailIf everything goes...

Excuse Me, Do You Have A Rubber? An Australian Slang Misunderstanding

They speak English in Australia, right? So why is it so hard to understand what the heck everyone is saying?When we were making our...

How Much Money Do You Needed Saved to Move to Sydney

Not only do you need to budget for the cost of shipping your household to Australia but you also need to think about how...

Enrolment Areas for High Schools in Sydney

Interactive map of catchment zones for all government secondary schools in Sydney with contact information, school specialty, if it's coed, and more.

Three Apps That Will Make Researching Your Move to Australia Easier

How many times have you entered “Sydney” or “Australia" into Google today? Be honest. Hmmm, I have a feeling that just might be the reason why...

Why We Go to Sydney Open Every Year and Why You...

Spring in Sydney is my absolute favourite time of year and it has nothing to do with the weather. Well, almost nothing.It all starts...

How to Conquer Sydney’s Good Food Month Night Noodle Markets (2018...

The red lanterns have been hung, the bamboo steam baskets are stacked ready for action, and the scent of lemongrass, cumin and fresh squeezed...

10 Tips for Optimising Your Resume for a Job that Offers...

Your resume is the first impression a potential employer has of you. This is why it’s so important to make sure your resume is optimised...

Top 10 Real-Time Public Transport Apps for Sydney

You'll never miss a public transport connection in Sydney again. Having the ability to know what’s going on with the buses, trains, and ferries...

10 Mistakes People Make When Applying for Job Sponsorship for Australia

For many, 457 visa sponsorship leads to a more permanent visa such as a 186 visa. But the trick is finding a job that...

10 Lessons Learned Moving to Manly from California

Today's reader question post is a little different.Instead, of me answering a question from my inbox, I'm going to post an email from an...

Top 10 Things To Do in Port Stephens

The team at Pacific Dunes provided Sydney Moving Guide the content for this post. Pacific Dunes is an 18-hole championship golf course and residential...

Five NSW Tenancy Rights You Need to Know When Renting in...

The team at Removalists Sydney provided Sydney Moving Guide the content for this post.Your rights as a tenant when renting in New South Wales.For...

Five Walking Trails Every Newcomer to Sydney Needs to Explore

This is a guest post from Sydney based blogger and expat AJ. AJ is the chief editor at Best Sydney Walks, an online guide...

How to Explore Asia, Africa and the Middle East Without Leaving...

This is a guest post from Sydney based blogger Travel with Joanne. Joanne is exploring suburban Sydney by visiting one suburb each fortnight. Three Sydney...

How to get an overall score of 90 on the Pearson...

This is a guest post from Steven Fernandes at ptepreparation.com.So, you’ve decided to move to Australia.You’re looking to start your exciting new life here.You...

House vs Apartment Living in Sydney

The team at Network Infinity provided Sydney Moving Guide the content for this post.Not too long ago, living in a house was the ultimate...

Why Moving to Australia is Different Than Other International Relocations

The main reason moving to Australia is different is the strict quarantine policy. Australia has a strict policy to protect its unique flora and fauna...

How to Check if Your International Relocation Company is Legit

Finding an International Moving Company You Can Trust with Your Move to AustraliaAlmost everyone is familiar with online review sites like Yelp or Tripadvisor....

What NOT to Pack When Moving to Sydney

Are you moving to Sydney? We moved from Seattle to Sydney in 2008 and packed way too much! Please learn from our mistakes. Tips for moving to Australia.

Should You Ship Your KitchenAid Mixer to Australia from the US?

Are you moving to Australia from the US? Are you considering getting rid of your small kitchen appliances instead of shipping them to Australia? This week's...

Can You Import Wicker and Wood Homewares to Australia?

This week's Mailbox Monday post is about what you can and cannot import into Australia.Laura has searched all over about shipping her wicker and...

31 Questions You Need to Ask Your International Movers

Choosing an International Shipping Company That is Not Qualified or Does Not Have Experience with Australian Relocations Will Be a Costly Mistake You Cannot...

What You Need to Know about Shipping Your Car to Australia

Are you thinking of shipping your car to Australia? Today's Monday Mailbox post is from someone thinking of shipping their car to Australia.They didn't say...

How Much Does It Cost to Ship Your Household to Australia?

The cost of shipping a 3 bedroom house to Australia from all major international cities such as London, New York, Cape Town, Singapore, Vancouver and more.