Money matters most. Once you have leapt to study abroad, one thing that worries most students is managing finances during their stay there. Here are some great tips that will help you stay in budget and enjoy your stay while at university.
- Open a local bank account
Setting up a bank account in the country is the first step. Most universities help students with the same during their orientation. Choose a bank, which is closer to the university, offers good exchange rates and has various student offers. Make sure the international transfer charges are low and they give free debit credit cards (as most banks have special student accounts and do the same.)
- Make Smart Choices
Planning is vital for any activity and can help in survival. You must be smart in planning and prioritize your choices. You can reduce daily expenses by resorting to simple methods like
- Sharing accommodation
- Student discount cards
- Second-hand books off amazon
- Local transport pass
- Purchase during sales or from community stores
- Explore local places in a budget
- Grab a bike for closer distances – also helps to stay fit
- Budget it out
It is time to make mature choices, plan your finances with a practical approach. Account for all factors like monthly rent, utility bills, grocery, transportation, recreation, study material etc. while also saving for unseen situations or emergencies.
- Learn to cook, eat well
Why not? Use your ‘eating-out’ budget and buy fresh ingredients to cook at home. Trust me, you will save a lot! If you have less time, cook in large portions and save it in the fridge; reheat and have later so you don’t have to cook daily. Have cereals for breakfast, pack a sandwich to college, these options not only help you save money but also save you from adding the extra kilos.
- Work to support your lifestyle
In most of the countries, you can work up to 20 hours per week during term time and 40 hours per week during term breaks. Just check if your student visa permits you to work and find a job accordingly. This additional income can help you manage your expenses well besides adding to your workforce skills. Just remember that you might have to pay some amount of tax on your earnings, so check the rules of your new country for international students in advance. But don’t forget you are there to study only do it if you can manage your studies alongside, don’t overburden yourself.
- Use your student status
Get yourself a student card as earliest as you can. This card will help you avail discounts on restaurants, shops, movie tickets, transportation and various cultural events. In fact, there are many websites, in all countries that offer great student discounts on events and shopping, do check them out!