Singapore

It's time for that Australian holiday

If you're looking for a year-end vacation, Australia is looking pretty good at the moment for many Singaporeans.

On Monday morning (July 27), the Australian dollar went further down and it is now below parity against the Singapore dollar for the first time since March 2009.

The Australian dollar has been steadily falling because the Chinese economy, a major contributor to the Australian economy, has "significantly slowed down", said an economist with CIMB Private Banking, Mr Song Seng Wun.

Australia's major exports to China are commodities such as coal and iron ore. And the slow down of the Chinese economy has led to fall in demand for those commodities,

Mr Song also added that it was unlikely that the Chinese economy will rebound in the near future. This means that the Australian dollar is likely to stay weak.

But he also warned that in the medium to long-term future, it is possible for the Singapore currency to depreciate. 

"We are also an export-oriented economy, and the Singapore dollar may weaken against the stronger US dollar given the sluggish global economy," said Mr Song.

So what exactly is he saying?

Act now.

If you are thinking of going on a vacation, book your holiday down under now - and head to the money changer.

Here are some ways to take advantage of the weak Australian dollar.

1. A holiday down under

It is probably the best time to book a holiday to Australia - given the falling dollar.

With the weakening currency, you are likely to get more bang for your buck.

Mr Song said: "If you are gainfully employed with a steady income, there is no better time than now to book your vacation."

2. Education

Parents thinking of sending their children overseas for their university education can rethink Australia, which has always been on the pricey side, as an option.

According to the Study in Australia website, the cost of an undergraduate bachelor degree can range from A$15,000 to A$33,000 per year.

However, this does not include typically more expensive courses such as medicine and veterinary sciences.

A look at the renowned University of Melbourne's (below) total tuition costs showed that a Bachelor of Arts degree costs at least A$85,096.

In 2013, when the currency was about A$1.35 to a Singapore dollar, the tuition fees would have cost S$114,879.

However, with the Singapore dollar now almost on par with the Australian dollar, it would cost about $84,947.

According to XE.com, A$1 could buy $0.9984 Singapore dollars as at 4.50pm on Tuesday (July 28). 

3. Online shopping

There is no better time than now to do some online shopping on Australian retail sites.

Australian websites such as The Iconic and Hunters & Gatherers are just two examples of great websites that sell apparel and accessories from cult brands.

A Cheap Monday dress, for example, costs A$42 (S$41.92) on The Iconic.

Just a tip: When you are shopping on these sites, make sure you choose to shop in Australian Dollars instead.

Choosing to shop in your local currency means you still have to pay a higher price.

 

AustraliaSingapore DollarCurrenciesEconomyholidayUncategorisededucationOnline Shopping