5 Money Management Tips for Students Studying Abroad
by Mashum Mollah Job & Career 03 August 2017
When you think of studying abroad, you need to realize that it is not just a dream but a reality when it comes to finances. Studying abroad is an investment you will never regret in life. It will help make the employer rate you highly. However, studying abroad is more than just money for the air ticket. You require money for tuition, program fees, and other daily expenditures. If you do not have a clue of the starting point, you can start with the few tips below.
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Buy food, fresh veggies and fruits from the farmers market or local ethnic market depending on where you live. Shop like a local. Keep your items in the refrigerator for longer storage life. I’m a sensitive person who almost cannot function if hungry. Hence, I cook extra food in advance, as later it is just a matter of reheating and eating. This way you can also avoid eating outside during the week. Non-perishable items like pasta, noodles etc. are easy to cook and store, not only it saves money but your time as well.
Grocery budgeting is another important aspect that we overlook quite often. Make a plan and stick to it, it is an essential step to save money.
The best way to save money on your everyday commute is to find an accommodation near your institution. You can simply use a bicycle to commute between places. It is perhaps the best way to save money by keeping yourself and the environment healthy. Since I couldn’t find a place near my university, I started to carpool with a buddy, we even took turns to drive the car.
Try to use public transportation as often as you can, this way you can utilise your time to listen to music, podcasts, read emails and even start to learn a new language (Ich meine es Ernst!).
If you find a washing machine at your place, consider yourself lucky as you can save a lot of bucks and time. Well, I wasn’t lucky enough so I fixed a laundry day because I had no option but to do it myself. I preferred to simply wash my clothes every Wednesday or Thursday, either early morning or late night. I managed it quite well also because I found my sacred haven for meditation in it. Plus a rule that I learned when I was travelling “If it doesn’t smell or look dirty, don’t wash it”. Try to use less detergent and buy only store brands as they are less expensive than popular brands.
Undeniably there were times when I couldn’t really find time to do it myself so I found a local laundry shop under shoestring budget. Fortunately, there is a long list of startups out there throwing free first services.
4. Social Network
Well, everybody is aware of how drinks are expensive in the bars. The best way to save money is by not going to such places for drinks. Here are few approaches that my seniors taught me. Hit the bar early for happy hours, never go for specials, stick to your budget, know your food before you start, if possible pre-game and most importantly make friends with bar staff (go regular or go home!). You can still have lots of fun by not going to popular clubs/pubs every week. I was blessed to find a group of like-minded people. We went to bars only to catch a drink or two, but majorly because of events like Karaoke, Stand-ups etc. On other days we partied back at a friend’s place. I even learnt to make cocktails!
P.S – By no means, I intend to promote alcohol consumption.
5. Money Transfer
My friends, even my own brother calls me cheap but I like to call myself “Thrifty”. It is useful to save money that you already have as it is to earn, like the idiom suggests “Penny saved is a penny earned.” by Franklin Benjamin, he knew what he was talking about since he was able to save enough to retire early.
Students studying abroad need to optimise their expenses. I mean it’s a new currency altogether. The best way to avoid extra expenses is by keeping a track of exchange rates, understand conversion/service fees, withdraw more at once than less and often etc. It is helpful to have an account in an international bank, this can prevent money withdrawal fee. For more information, I would suggest you get in touch with www.raagit.co.uk or drop an email email@example.com