Money Management Tips While Studying Abroad

Once you get into your dream college, managing your money could be the next mountain to climb when studying abroad. With everything from traveling and accommodation to daily meals and entertainment costing money, taking control of your spending practices should naturally be in perspective.

Check out these ways to prevent going broke overseas and literally see your savings stack up.

Live in Smaller Cities Where Cost of Living is Low

Choose to live in a city where you will be able to stretch your dollar the farthest. For this reason, avoid large cities and find accommodation in smaller towns instead as they can facilitate a more cost-effective lifestyle. 

Consider Homestays

Several locations allow you to do a homestay as you study abroad. Living with a host family can be very rewarding as you experience cultural and language immersion while saving a lot on your accommodation spendings. Plus, you get to enjoy local tastes and have lesser bouts of feeling homesick. However, some students might feel the homestay situation isn’t their cup of tea or may even find it scary. In this case, you can go for dormitory living quarters and opt for an on-campus meal plan.

Beware of Withdrawal Fees

Since you will be pinching pennies while studying abroad, it’s wise to think ahead and avoid unnecessary expenses. When withdrawing funds abroad through your current debit card, ask your bank about any charges that such transactions might attract. You will be in luck if your bank is partnered with other banks in foreign countries, as this way, you can find out the foreign branches where you can make ATM withdrawals without worrying about additional fees.

Create a Spending Budget

When studying abroad, budget it out beforehand, and you’ll be glad you did. Plan out your major expenses and accordingly craft a weekly budget. You can set aside the money for each week in separate envelopes. This way, you will be cautious of overspending and keep track of where your money goes. As your needs change, continue to adjust your weekly budget amount and even cut down on unnecessary expenditure.

Use Public Transport

As long as it is safe, choose buses and subways over private cabs or taxis. Public transportation can not only prove to be cheaper but faster too. However, ensure that your travel location and time are safe and also carefully watch your belongings during the journey to keep your guard up against pickpocketing.

Make Use of Student Discounts

As you study abroad, there will be several situations where you can avail yourself of discounts via your student card. Whether you are out for some entertainment or simply traveling across, your student card will help you get tickets and services for a lower price. This would mean that you pay less at locations like museums, shopping centers, and entertainment locations as well as for flights and public transports. So don’t hesitate to research such opportunities and ask about the availability of student discounts.

Get a Gig to Earn More

Wonder if you can support your lifestyle with an additional income? You can easily find several employment opportunities that would sit well with your student status. You can work for up to 20 hours per week during semesters or take up a full-time job during term breaks. However, ensure that your student visa doesn’t restrict you from working while studying abroad and also if your income will be taxable.

Learn to Cook

Acquiring cooking skills before moving abroad can help you shrink your meals budget. However, this might require you to break a few old habits and get used to buying groceries and preparing the food yourself. Although this might feel like quite a task, you will be able to cut down on your ‘eat-out’ budget by about 30% – 50%, which is pretty great, right?

Make Smart Choices

No matter which country you go to, studying abroad can cost you more than you thought. But with smart planning, you can avoid facing a financial crunch and sustain your lifestyle easily. Start by thinking about your needs and wants, and maybe put them down in their order of priority. Now that you have sorted the major areas of expenditure, you can contemplate how to allocate money to each and, at the same time, save money. Some of the simple decisions that will bring you significant savings include:

  • Getting student discount cards
  • Shared accommodation
  • Library membership
  • Second-hand books or digital copies
  • Passes for local transport
  • Shopping from clearance sale or a warehouse sale
  • Buying from community stores

Making career, educational, and related life decisions can be overwhelming. That’s why we help students chart a rewarding career path through our career counseling at Career2Life. Our professional counselors help students consider their options, visualize goals, and support them through application and visa formalities. Call us for a counseling session today.

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