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How to Treat Yourself in Melbourne Without Blowing Your Cash Straight After Payday

Treating yourself and hitting those savings goals? It definitely can be done.
By Hudson Brown
November 02, 2021
By Hudson Brown
November 02, 2021

in partnership with

It's never a good idea to blast through your paycheque when it's just landed in your account. However, there's no need to stay cooped up inside when there's plenty of affordable ways to get out and enjoy Melbourne.

With the help of Great Southern Bank and its clever banking tools, you can have a fun budget while still putting aside some funds to help you hit your savings goals. Take advantage of The Boost, a feature that transfers a small amount of money (between $0.01 and $5) straight into your savings account each time you use your debit card. And, you can hide your savings from sight with The Vault, helping you resist the temptation to dip in.

Whether you're on a shoestring or have a bit saved you'll want to have a few fun activities up your sleeve for your next self-care moment. So, here are a few great Melbourne experiences that meet different spending criteria, so you can do the things you love without spending all your hard-earned dollars.


Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria


Public spaces don't come much more serene than the Royal Botanic Gardens. If you're itching for an open green space where you don't have to spend a dime to sit down, there are few better places to hang out on a sunny day than the South Yarra park. It recently added an impressive arid garden that features over 3000 cacti and succulents, too. For a first-rate day out, pack a picnic basket and roll out your rug on one of the site's many expanses of lush lawn — with the gardens spanning over 38 hectares, you won't be short of places to park yourself.

Heide Museum of Modern Art

The grounds of Heide Museum of Modern Art is another striking outdoor destination primed for a day in the sun. Although entry to the museum costs $20 for adults and is well worth a visit, the surrounding gardens and sculpture park can be roamed for free. There are over 30 sculptures situated across the 15-acre parkland, with each vantage point as impressive as the next.




A day sailing down the Yarra doesn't have to involve expensive tickets and even pricier food. Instead, grab seven of your mates, head to Southbank's Sandridge Wharf and pile into a Danish-designed GoBoat for an hour on the water for as little as $16 per person. You don't have to worry about boating licenses or sailing lessons, either, as these streamlined vessels are designed to be super easy to operate. Plus, you're welcome to BYO food, drinks and even pets — because, yes, your pooch deserves a treat, too.

Brook James

Or, swap the boat for a car and head to the Coburg Drive-In. As one of Australia's few remaining drive-in cinemas, this much-loved venue has stood the test of time for a reason. For one thing, it's more cost-effective than a trip to a traditional cinema — entry is priced at $35 per car with a maximum of five people, so make sure every one of your seats is loaded with a film buff and, to cut costs even more, bring your own snacks. If you do feel like spending a little extra though, there's an on-site retro American-style diner serving hamburgers, onion rings, sundaes and shakes. With screenings of both blockbusters and classic films, the Coburg Drive-In is a great low-cost way to treat yourself.


Melbourne Zoo


At $40 for a standard adult ticket, visiting the adorable animals at Melbourne Zoo is a budget-friendly way to disconnect for a day — and get a serotonin kick. The park is home to a number of incredible enclosures and up-close experiences that offer a glimpse at wildlife from around the world. If you'd prefer to see what lies beneath the waves, tickets to Sea Life Melbourne start at $36.80. Here, you'll discover 12 enchanting zones that showcase life under the sea, ranging from the Penguin Playground to the vibrant tropical fish of Coral Atoll.

Smash Splash

If you're looking to let off steam, a visit to Oakleigh's Smash Splash might just be the ticket. As the first venue of its kind in Melbourne, it offers paint-filled balloons, cups of paint and paintbrushes to unleash your creativity on its unwitting white walls. Each 30-minute session costs $100 for you and a friend, although you can spend a little extra for a canvas to decorate and take home.


Sense of Self


Payday might have only just arrived, but you don't have to feel bad about pampering yourself every once in a while. After all, self care is important. If you've squirrelled away some spare coin (that is not in your savings account) and want to treat yourself with a mind, body and soul experience, look no further than Collingwood's Sense of Self. There are rejuvenating massage treatments for virtually every sore spot, with guests also welcome to customise their own rubdowns. This converted Easey Street warehouse also features a calming communal bathhouse which boasts sleek modern fit-outs and plush furnishings.

Estelle, Gareth Sobey

Now that you're suitably revitalised, a heavenly meal is a superb way to take your day to even greater heights. While there's no shortage of renowned fine-dining establishments in Melbourne, you don't have to break the bank to partake in a world-class dining experience. Lucy Liu's innovative pan-Asian cuisine can be enjoyed via a sumptuous vegan set menu for $55 per person. Elsewhere, Northcote bistro Estelle offers one of the best midweek deals in town — a dry-aged steak, side of chips and a top-shelf glass of wine will set you back just $35 on its popular Tuesday steak night.


Great Southern Bank is empowering Aussies to get clever with their banking. Whether you want to stick to your savings goals with The Boost or hide your house deposit fund from yourself with The Vault, Great Southern Bank helps you get there. For more information on savings tools and home loan options, head to the Great Southern Bank website.

Top image: GoBoat, Lean Timms

Published on November 02, 2021 by Hudson Brown
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