How backpacker saved $30k in four months working a FIFO job in Australian mines

A backpacker working in Australia has shared how he saved $30,000 in just four months.

The expat, known as PaulOnSite on social media, works a mining fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) role in WA and posts content promoting his lifestyle.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Backpacker in Australia boast about saving $30k while working in the Western Australian mines.

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His video on “how to save $30,000 in four months as a backpacker in Australia” has almost one million views, while his video about earning up to $5000 a week has 1.1 million views.

He said he enjoys “free accommodation and good food” in the role.

Some users warned this may be the amount earned before tax, while others said that backpackers should consider the exchange rate between the Australian dollar and their home country’s currency.

Others said it is possible to make similar money living in the city, with one user saying they earned that working on the tunnels in Sydney.

Copy of Copy of solomons Credit: Maria Kefalas

FIFO workers make an average salary of $108,858 or $55.82 per hour, according to

Entry-level positions start at $89,741 per year, while most experienced workers earn up to $160,052 per year.

However, Maria Kefalas previously lifted the lid on the grim reality of a job boasted about on social media.

Kefalas works as a traffic controller in Melbourne, a job she started after many said on social media they were earning upwards of $3000 a week.

The then-21-year-old shared a video in late 2021 listing the downsides of controlling traffic at construction sites – including having to stand in the rain during her shifts and not having any work for up to four weeks.

‘Inconsistent job’

She admitted she applied for the job after she “fell” for all the promising videos of young women – including high school dropouts – raving about their enviable pay cheques.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of videos in regards to traffic control and they’re all positive, they’re all good. They tell you how much money they make and how many hours they work and what not,” Maria said in the video.

“What they don’t tell you is… You can have a whole month with no work and then a whole month straight with work.

“Traffic control has got to be the most inconsistent job I’ve ever done in my life.”

‘Do your research’

Maria admitted she signed up to the job assuming she was “going to be so rich” after watching all the videos on social media.

But it was far from what she expected.

By speaking out, she warned “please do not fall for these … TikToks”.

“Honestly if you want to (work as a traffic controller) and you’re fine with inconsistency, do it,” she said.

“But if you want something consistent and you think you are going to be working Monday to Friday and making over $2000 a week – no.

“So please if you’re thinking about doing traffic control, try your absolute best and do your research.”


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