While studying abroad is exciting, it is also a money-consuming venture that piles up a lot of bills to be paid, thus sometimes making it impossible to study abroad. By implementing basic strategies and cutting certain unnecessary expenses for money management, international students should be able to reduce the cost of studying overseas
Money management helps you cut down on unnecessary expenses and maximizing opportunities of financial assistance like scholarships reduces your financial burden. Let’s get into the meat of the matter as we learn about international students and money management.
1. Create a Budget
Prioritize your expenses and keep a difference between what you need and what you want. First, you should pay your rent and utilities. This way, no matter what happens, you know you have a roof over your head. Other expenses may include food and meals, health insurance, books, transportation, clothes, personal expenses, recreation, and travel.
Knowing what you need will help you anticipate how much money will be necessary for the following month. This way you’ll even be able to save some amount for the next month.
2. Use Online Services
Use social media services to make contact with friends, family, and possibly lecturers to minimize your need for airtime. Don’t overspend on your phone plan — use Skype or WhatsApp to call home. You should also use online banking. It will help you follow money transactions and know your balance at any given time. You will also be able to transfer money without any additional fees as may obtain using ATMs.
3. Maximise your Income
Universities often have established programs for international students where you could get a part-time job within the university. It won’t pay much but the best thing is that it is coordinated with your studies. Another option is to take a freelance project. There are lots of great sites, such as upwork.com, offering numerous possibilities in various categories. They include Web & Software Development, IT & Networking, Writing & Translating, Sales & Marketing, Legal, Accounting, etc. Usually, after the second year of university, you will also be able to enrol in paid internships and traineeships.
4. Look for Student Discounts
Some countries have a discount offer for students, take advantage of such opportunities to cut down your expenses. University students should become masters at exploring ways their educational status can save them money. Vendors, local venues, restaurants, and services near campuses often offer student discounts. These could save freshman a lot of money during the first year. Additionally, students learn the value of hunting down great deals by looking for discounts.
5. Limit spending on Alcohol
It might interest you to know that university students spend $5.5 billion on alcohol each year. If you’re an international student who enjoys drinking responsibly, find out when happy hours take place around campus. You can also consider arranging a house party or game night so you don’t spend tons of money at a bar. As international students, money management in this area is key.
6. Be Strategic at the Grocery Store.
It may seem silly, but there’s truth to the advice about never going to the grocery store while hungry. It’s easy to throw random things into a cart, but those little splurges can easily add up. In addition to shopping the sales, try to buy store-brand items when possible, don’t forget to check the clearance bins.
7. Learn to Cook
Expectedly, the college canteen will charge for something you can make yourself in a matter of minutes. Make your own sandwiches, refill your water or juice bottle, nick your granny’s flask and make your own coffee for lectures. Buy cheap vegetables and fruits, buy own-brand labels in the big stores, buy a decent cookbook in the sale, or at a secondhand shop, and get staples like rice in bulk and you can eat well for £25 a week.
8. Avoid Full-Price Textbooks
There is no need to purchase a new textbook if you can find a used one for a much-reduced price. If you have to buy new, remember that campus prices are almost always higher than online retailers like Amazon. These days, you may also be able to order e-books for an e-reader or laptop and pocket the difference between the virtual and actual text. Second-hand stores often sell ladies’, men’s and children’s clothing, books, toys, ornaments, kitchenware, videos, music, computer games, furnishings and other assorted goods at a far discounted rate.
9. Protect Personal Information
It is very important to protect your personal identity because you may not know the next person close to you. Do not trust friends by disclosing your personal details like giving out passwords, providing Social Security numbers where unnecessary, or leaving personal documents lying around; all these can lead to identity theft.
10. Sell items you don’t need.
Aside from selling old textbooks on sites like Amazon, eBay and AbeBooks, websites such as Poshmark and ThredUp also allow students to clean out their closets and make a profit. When getting rid of old furniture, technology, automobiles or household items, consider using sites such as Craigslist.
Proper budgeting is essential when you go abroad so make learning how to use money intelligently a part of your education abroad. As international students, money management will make your study abroad experience less stressful.