Nina in Melbourne, Australia standing in front of a graffitied wall.
Home » Oceania » Australia » What I’m Doing, Where I’m Going Next, and How I’ve Saved Thousands in a Few Months…

What I’m Doing, Where I’m Going Next, and How I’ve Saved Thousands in a Few Months…

Hi, my fellow intrepid souls…

I’ve missed you. I’ve missed my blog. I’m really missing being on the road…

What’s happening to me? Where have I been?

Well, friends, things have changed over here at Where in the World is Nina? Here’s a bit of a taste of what’s happening over here, there will be more updates soon!

I’m taking a bit of a break from traveling… I’m working.

“But Nina, you’ve always worked while on the road…”

Yes, but not this time. This time, I’m in one place. I’m working in Australia at a beer garden.


Yep, I’m working in hospitality again right here in Melbourne, Australia. I have a regular job that I actually have to show up to and I have a schedule to follow.

This is opposite of what my life has been for the last 3-4 years. I’ve worked when I wanted and made my own hours, but not anymore. Not for now. (Don’t take this as I didn’t work, I worked tons, over 40+ hours a week, but it was at home, wherever home was at the time!)


Before I answer that question, let me tell you first how much I miss being on the road. I miss being spontaneous, being able to hop over to the beach then back to the mountains, eating cheap food in the streets, having something new in my face anytime I wanted…

Don’t get me wrong, this city is freaking awesome. But my life is constricted again by work. I have to stay in one place. This is NOT easy after years of doing and going wherever you wanted anytime you wanted.

I really miss my travels. I miss living my life my way with nobody there to tell me what to do.

I’m spoiled.

BUT. I’m grateful that my life brings me opportunities. Even the ones that don’t seem that great can be the best things for me. I needed this. I needed to stay in one place and work a regular job again.


Because I wanted some real money.

living in melbourne australia living in melbourne australia

I loved my life before and my work, but making quick cash to save wasn’t that easy with my freelance work and teaching. I made OK money and I was able to travel around cheaper countries, but in reality, I didn’t make enough to put away money for my future AND my future travels.

I needed to grow up and put away for future savings, beyond my travel savings.

I simply didn’t make enough before. While my goal is to make money doing what I love, and I know I will get there, I needed to be saving a bit now as well. Not mention I really wanted a cushion and I didn’t really have one…

So here I am. Working in Australia to get me there.

How Am I Working Here?

I’m living and working in Australia with my working holiday visa. Here’s the site to see if you’re eligible for this visa. In short: The visa allows you to legally work and travel the country for a whole year.

Another reason why I’m doing this now is because the opportunity ends at 30 years of age for American’s. I’m 30 now, but I was granted the visa before my 30th birthday. This was my opportunity- now or never! I chose now.

How Am I Saving and How Much?

I’ll write a more detailed post on this another time, but here’s a rundown of what’s happening financially over here:

I’m working around 40 hours per week. I get paid a bit above what a regular waitress/bartender makes here in Melbourne. (Usually $21-23, I get $25. Quite lucky! My second job is only $20.)

My goal is to spend nothing more than $1,000 per month.

  • Rent: $680 ($1,360 split with my boyfriend. We have a tiny studio just outside the city)
  • Food: $200-300 per month (includes cheeky beers throughout the week)
  • Misc: Aiming at $0, but usually spend a few extra bucks on something here and there.

My end goal is to save about $20,000 by the end of my visa.

  • Not really spending any money on doing fun things at this point so it’s pretty easy. Fun time will come after the $20k is reached.

After 3 months of working hard, I’ve saved $7,000 of my earnings.

  • Not too shabby, huh?

So that’s what I’m doing. That’s why I’m here working in Australia.  To save for everything that’s coming in the near future and further down the line.

What Am I Doing Next and What Can You Expect From Me in the Future?

Don’t go anywhere, because I’ve certainly not stopped traveling. That’s what’s fueling me right now to get through this working visa. I’m working so hard now and there will be a huge reward for myself at the end.

A nice cushion of money, and my next epic adventure… Road tripping through Australia!

I’ll be possibly hiring a campervan, but more likely buying one with my boyfriend to live in and explore Australia with. We can’t wait. Oh, and there’s surely going to be a jaunt over to New Zealand as well!

Future plans aren’t set in stone, though, there’s also talk about Europe, so who knows. Anything can happen! All I know is that I’ve got money being put away and another legendary journey, wherever it may be, ahead of me!

So what questions do you have about what I’m doing? How I’m saving? Working in Australia?

I’ll certainly be writing more detailed posts on this for you all, but comment with some questions to make sure I’ve answered everything I can!


Moving to Australia: The Price of Living Down Under (11 Cities)

How I Saved $17k USD in 10 Months Living in Australia

An American Expat: Working and Living in Darwin, Australia

10 Tips for Moving to Melbourne After Your Travels

A Legendary 7-Day Outback Road Trip Itinerary (Australia)

7 Days in Sydney Itinerary- for Those Who Want a Bit of Everything!

How to Do a Campervan Relocation in Australia for $1

Cheap Things to Do in Melbourne When You’re Broke AF

Pin this post for later!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for some time and this is the first time leaving a comment here. OMG, I couldn’t leave the page without any comments, omg I totally agree for working holiday visa. Now or Never. I haven’t travelled like you but it’s been more than 10 years living abroad, and I’m working in one place. But I’m quitting this year (again) because i can’t just let go of my last chance for working holiday visa. – Thank God my birthday is bit in October so that i can take more time. I miss Europe a lot, I lived there for 3 years, so I’m going back.

  2. Nina, let me just say that I love your blog!
    I´m considering going to Australia with my boyfriend to work and save money quickly as soon as I finish my studies. How easy is it to find a job there? How much time did you take to find a job? How did you find it? Did you need to have previous experience in the hospitality field to find a work like yours? The price you pay for rent is the average around there or it was lucky of you to find it? How easy it was to find it? Before your arrival in Australia did you have everything planned? Like the place to rent and the place to work or did you find it when you moved?
    Thank you so much for sharing with us your experiences.

    1. Hi Lara! So happy you find my blog helpful! It means a lot to hear. I do plan on writing more detailed posts on all these things, but I’ll answer the best I can here and you can email me if you need more explanation 🙂
      – it’s not too hard but I will say Melbourne is competitive. I hear it’s easier to find jobs elsewhere. But overall, still not that bad!
      – we came at a terrible time, beginning of Dec. don’t come then! It took me a month bc of the holidays.
      -I went around the good old fashion way and handed in resumes. I also followed up and made notes. The place I ended up getting hired at- I applied at three times!!! Finally got a manager the third time on the phone and got hired the next day. My cafe- I was looking for a second job and found one very easy, a few days. I just called around to ask who was hiring and got leads that way, I was being lazy but it worked! (Around April)
      – experience helps esp when the competition is high. I have ten years exp. many still find work without exp though!
      – I say it’s pretty average for my area. (Carlton)
      -we shopped around and took our time bc we had friends to stay with. It took two weeks but there were plenty of options, we just had the choice to be picky bc we weren’t paying for a hostel or anything.
      – absolutely zero things planned!!!
      We came and winged everything! 🙂

  3. I know how hard it is going from a full time travel lifestyle back into a boring 9-5 – although if you’re working hospitality it’s probably a lot more fun! and if you’re working nights you’ll save even more money by not going out!
    I too ‘settled’ in Melbourne after 5 years on the road, and when we got here we socked away money for the first year and saved enough for a deposit on a house – so I have no doubt that you will not only make the $20k target – but you’ll exceed it too! Enjoy the stability for a while and watch that bank balance grow!

    1. Thanks so much Vicki!!! You get it- it’s so hard! But so sooo worth it. I’m watching it grow. Knowing that all of this is temporary is helping me big time.