Learn to Manage your Money Abroad
Easy tips to budget yourself when studying abroad
It can be difficult to manage your finances as an international student. However, with some basic planning and understanding, you will not only have enough money for utilities and other expenditure, but also to reward yourself once in a while.
- Get yourself a local bank account
First things first. Setting up a bank account in your new country is the primary step to your financial survival. Your MAC counselor can help you with information on the leading bank accounts in your destination so you can make a well-informed decision. Since services vary from bank to bank, ensure you choose the one with maximum benefits for students and do not levy heavy charges for international bank transfers.
2. Remember, budget it out
It is important to know your current financial status and create a practical budget plan. Make sure you include factors like monthly rent, utility bills, grocery, transportation, data charges, recreation, study material and travel in it. It is a wise idea to save some amount each month for unexpected situations or emergencies.
3. Time to get smart
Studying abroad is expensive, but smart planning can help you survive very easily. Understand what your need and what you want, and the best way to do that is by making a priority list. Find ways to save your money and use it smartly. You can also reduce your daily expenditure with simple ways like:
- Sharing accommodation
- Get student discount cards
- Buy used books or digital copies
- Join a library
- Get passes for local transport
- Shop during sales
- Purchase from community stores
4. Work to support your lifestyle
In most of the countries, you can work up to 20 hours per week and full-time 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 I advance.
5. 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 that offer great student discounts on events and shopping, do check them out!
6. Know what to do, and where to go
Understand which activities cost you more than you can leverage. If you are tight on your budget, limit your shopping sprees or eating at fancy restaurants. Why not call friends over for a game of monopoly instead?
7. Learn to cook
Why not? Use your ‘eating-out’ budget and buy fresh ingredients to cook at home. Trust us, you will save about 30% – 50% of your food budget with this! 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.
8. Explore the place
Every destination is loaded with amazing places to explore and have fun at, and believe it or not, most of them come free or at nominal costs. Look up for such places, make a group, and go exploring!
9. Grab your bike
If your campus is close enough, why not ride down to it? This saves on money set aside for commuting as well is a much healthier option.