The AUS $ system is much like the US $ system.
Here are the few differences:
- AUS has no bill under $5. There is a $2 and $1 coin. You don't want to lose those.
- AUS has no penny. They round everything up or down. So, if it says SALE $1.99. Really, it's $2. Or, if your total at the store is $42.62 really you only owe $42.60. I think it goes back to my favorite Australian statement, "I can't be bothered." If you were to ask the Prime Minister of Australia why they don't have $0.01 coins he would answer with "I can't be bothered." He might have a point.
- AUS money is plastic so you don't need to put everything in baggies when you ride. Your money won't get wet and tear. It also doesn't matter if you forget your money in your pocket when you do the laundry. The money will still be there when the wash is done and since nobody uses clothes dryers you won't melt it in the dryer.
- AUS $ is worth a lot less then the US $ right now. $1 US = $0.63 AUS right now. :) Of course when I exchanged most my money at the beginning of the trip it was $0.74. Bad timing!
- Even though the dollar is still a good value here, this place is expensive. I think house prices and rent are similar to what you would find on average in America but groceries, petrol (I am so Australian now!), and everyday items are expensive. But, I don't think I have paid any sales tax. So, with the exchange rate, no sales taxes, and the cost of goods... I think it all comes out about even and I still 'aint rich.