Studying abroad can be expensive, especially considering the amount of money you have to spend in the initial stage itself. Apart, from the costly lifestyle in a new country, spending on study materials, travel, accommodation, food, and other necessary expenditures can dig a hole in your pocket. But fret not, many money-saving tips will help you sail through your student life abroad without having to struggle with your finances.
Why you need to save money while studying abroad
It is always a wise decision to save money, especially when you are studying abroad. It will give you a more robust financial foundation once you finish college and start your life as a professional. This transition can be challenging if you don’t immediately land your dream job. The waiting period is often when most students find themselves struggling financially. But if you save enough during your college years, you can easily sail through this transition.
Gaining financial independence early on in your life will prepare you for a better future. Most students avail of loans to study abroad, and if you have some savings, it will help you repay the installments.
Tips for saving money as a student while living abroad
1. Learn to budget your expenses
Money can quickly get out of hand if you don’t learn to budget your expenses. Make a monthly budget and stick to it. This is one of the best money-saving tips you will get. If you receive funds at the start of the term, it might seem like a lot of money at the beginning. What is challenging is to make it last the entire duration. This is where budgeting will help.
2. Find affordable accommodation
Accommodation is one aspect where students studying abroad end up spending the most. But, there are plenty of affordable accommodation options available to students. From student hostels and rented apartments to homestays and shared accommodation, there is something to suit every student’s needs and budget.
Living in affordable accommodation can help us to save money as students in a number of ways. For starters, it can help us to keep our living costs low. Additionally, it can give us access to facilities and amenities that we might not be able to afford if we were living in more expensive accommodations. And finally, it can help us to meet other students and make friends, which can lead to further savings down the road.
So if you’re looking to save money as a student, be sure to check out the affordable accommodation options that are available to you. You might be surprised at just how much you can save.
3. Avail of student discounts
Most universities the world over offer student discount cards. They offer savings on travel, accommodation, entertainment, food and drinks, cultural attractions, services, sports, etc. One of the first things you should do after reaching your study destination is order these university cards, as it takes 3-4 weeks for processing and delivery.
4. Choose your phone service smartly
Even though there are plenty of free apps that can be used for local and international calling, they require mobile data, which can drain your pocket if you don’t choose the right service provider or the right data plan. Opt for pre-paid plans as they work out cheaper than postpaid plans. Pre-paid connections also offer more flexibility and cost-cutting.
5. Cook your own meals
Eating out daily is an expensive proposition. Learn to cook essential food items, so you don’t have to depend on outside food daily. If you can master the art of utilizing the local veggies and other food items, it’s a real jackpot as these items will be much cheaper. Invest some time in learning about the local cuisine. It’s a skill that will surely take you far.
6. Scale down on extras
One of the most significant advantages of student life is that you don’t have to pretend to be someone or fit in. You can be who you are unabashed. So, scale down on the extras by buying second-hand goods. Look out for charity shops, garage sales, or Black Friday sales, and you will be surprised by the variety you can lay your hands on. From clothes, furniture, and vintage accessories, to other knick-knacks, these offer amazing products at throwaway prices.
7. Open a local bank account
Currency exchange and ATM fees can be excessive if you don’t have a local bank account. So, open one in your name so you can use the banking and ATM services smartly.
Apart, you can do many small things to save money while studying abroad. Cycle or walk to get around, utilize free wi-fi zones smartly, get a frequent flyer card, take travel insurance, find a part-time job to add to your savings, use public transport, etc. These are easy and effective ways to reduce expenses and increase your savings. The more you save, the better it is for your financial well-being.