Keller Family Blog

Cheaper in Australia

While most things in Australia tend to have price tags of 2-3 times what we see in the USA, I have found 4 things that are definitely cheaper in Australia.

1. Ice Cream Cones at McDonald’s – Australia $0.50 USA $1.19 last I remember from 2007. Others note it too such as here.
2. Emergency Healthcare – 1 trip to the Emergency Department here is about $200 and in the USA to the ER about $500 minimum in my experience. My daughter went to the doctor $70  and then had x-rays for $40 for her broken finger. The doctor was more than in the USA but the x-ray seemed like a down right bargain.
3. Mobile / Cell phone plans. This is the one that is most amazing. For a plan that allows me to call for about 400 minutes on each of 2 used iPhones and 1.5GB of data that can be tethered on each costs me $40 per month. (via iinet which uses the optus network ) In the USA with AT&T for 1 phone that can tether and 1 with only 300MB per month and 500 minutes to share between the phones, comes to $150 per month and that is without the SMS included that we get now too, to add that would be something like $170 or more per month. OUCH!  Ok so comparing iinet to AT&T isn’t a fare comparison. So for Telstra to AT&T the equivalent Telstra plan to my iinet plan would be $140 per month. Still cheaper than AT&T and with more than enough data on either phone.
4. Basic Private Christian School. OK this varies widely as some private schools in Australia can be $40,000 per child per year, the basic Christian Private School here tends to be anywhere to the same or half of the price as in the USA. For my comparison I choose Maranatha Christian Schools and Eastland Christian school in Orlando. In this case for 1 child the school in Australia is a little more expensive, but for 2 children the school in Australia drops below the US price and for 4 kids the price is well below the US price. Primarily this is due to the fact that the government pays around $6500 per kid to the private school instead of the $14,000 per year to the public school for the same kid. This is similar to the voucher system that Florida had proposed and that some other states have adopted. It makes sense here and it working quite effectively. Also the government gives grants to ALL schools for construction as long as the construction is for the educational part of the campus. This would reduce the tuition fee to not have construction costs factored in as much. Again this makes sense the way they have done it here.

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4 thoughts on “Cheaper in Australia

  1. Tim Anderson

    With regard to the mobile plans, my understanding is that in the US, you pay for incoming calls whereas in Australia, incoming calls are free.

  2. admin

    Well they are not free, they are paid for by the caller, which would mean that any outgoing calls on a mobile phone to another mobile phone would cost twice per minute what they would be in the US and thus the need for the similar cost of mobile phone plans. The only way this comes down a little would be that calls into the mobile network from the landline network would be paid for by the landline subscriber. That could account for the difference between the AT&T price and the Telstra price, however the biggest difference is in the data prices and SMS prices on the plans. In the USA, SMS is usually only in an add-on $10 per month kind of thing and that is for both incoming and outgoing SMSs. If I was to compare Optus to say Verizon in the states so that I wasn’t comparing the highest price ones, the Optus one would still come out to a better value I am positive of that. Also the AT&T plan in the states was $20 per month for 300MB, $30 for 3GB of data or $50 per month for 5GB. With 3 (my first provider in Australia) it was $20 for 1GB and $5 for 100MB, which was much more reasonable and that was in 2007 with the same technology that AT&T is calling 4G in the USA today.

  3. Geoff Shaw

    Kent, this is interesting information although I still didn’t quite get the charging for incoming mobile calls… YOU pay when someone calls you?

    I’ve now taken up a plan with (an Optus reseller) with UNLIMITED calls for $39 pm (calls to mobiles and landlines and ‘toll free’ numbers which AU mobiles are often have to pay!! and free voicemail retrieval too.. thats also a huge trap) and includes all SMS and has 4GB of data per month included.

    I tethered it to receive internet radio (ZRadio was one of them) in the car when we went to Queensland 2 weeks ago and had Optus coverage all the way with only a couple of 10 sec glitches when coverage got a bit patchy with changes in the terrain.

    This was a big change for me…. I’m usually a $20 a month mobile user!! I’ve still got Christine on $10 a month on 3.

  4. Geoff Shaw

    ..oh and my tethered iPod said it was nearly 500MB of music I listened to in that trip!.. oh well, 3.5GB to go!

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