I moved from Ireland to Sydney – I’ve noticed a seriously worrying trend here and I’ve never been more stressed

A young expat has claimed Aussies make far less money than she expected when she moved Down Under in January.

Keely McGrath left her hometown in Ireland to travel Down Under before settling in Sydney. 

The 26-year-old, who works in social media management, questioned how people make a living and claimed 9-5 workers earn less compared to what they would back home. 

‘Where are the people in Australia that are making money? Where are you? Because I’m in Sydney and there’s no money to be made,’ she said in a now-viral TikTok video. 

‘You’re paycheck to paycheck here and I don’t care what anyone says because everyone I know is paycheck to paycheck. Very minimal savings. What’s the story?’ 

Keely McGrath, from Ireland, was shocked by the cost of living in Australia and questioned how locals manage to save any money at all

Keely McGrath, from Ireland, was shocked by the cost of living in Australia and questioned how locals manage to save any money at all

Keely said she’s aware FIFO workers in rural areas or traffic control employees earn a decent income compared to most corporate workers.  

‘I know lots of my friends do traffic control and they’re making bank because they go to the mines and do two weeks on, one week off, and get their food and accommodation paid for,’ she said. 

‘But normal people? People who aren’t doing that, if people are just working 9-5. Is there money to be made here? Cause I don’t see it. 

‘I ain’t seeing it, I ain’t hearing about it, I ain’t accumulating money. I’m probably more broke and more stressed than I’ve ever been in my entire life.’  

In the comments of the video Keely added that she and her partner are ‘living the life’ and are ‘spending all their money doing so’. 

According to population and migration numbers from Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ireland’s current housing crisis is often cited as a key reason why thousands are moving abroad, including to Australia. 

The CSO also estimated that 4,700 people left Ireland for Australia from April 2022 to April 2023. 

But this year in particular Australians have seen increasing inflation and interest rates. 

'Where are the people in Australia that are making money? Where are you? Because I'm in Sydney and there's no money to be made,' she said in a now-viral TikTok video

‘Where are the people in Australia that are making money? Where are you? Because I’m in Sydney and there’s no money to be made,’ she said in a now-viral TikTok video

The video has since been viewed more than half a million times and others weighed in on the topic.  

‘If you’re good with kids I made decent money with a nannying agency in Sydney. Sydney is so expensive though it’s ridiculous,’ one commented. 

‘I literally earn less in Sydney than I did in London,’ another said.   

‘How much are you expecting girlie – there’s lots of money here? Just some of the hugest rent prices in the world!’ a third added.  

Another said: ‘I’m from the UK and I’m working FIFO on the mines and I can confirm it’s the best way to save money 

‘Unless you have a trade or proper career path with an Honours degree then no money to be made,’ someone else said.

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