While studying in a foreign country can be very expensive thanks to the high cost of tuition, food, travel, and entertainment. With a little bit of prior planning, along with quite a bit of effort on your part, you can lower your spending by a large amount. While some of the tips given may result in small savings only if repeated diligently throughout your duration of studies, the results will add up fast, you will end up saving quite a bit of money.
Knowledge is power, so first step in lowering your spending is to understand the different areas where your money will be spent.
MONEY DEMANDING ACTIVITIES:
- Tuition fees and college expenses.
- Housing and transportation.
- Food and basic amenities.
- Fun and shopping.
The exact amount spent in the above categories will differ according to the student. The key is to write down all of your expenses during a month in a journal, once this is done you will be able to clearly see how much you are spending on which category. The next step is to lower your spending with the following tips:
- Hard work which provided the opportunity to study abroad will also land you scholarships and grants that will not only take care of your college tuition fees. So keep searching for scholarships which you are eligible for, if you get one, you need not worry about your other spending.
- Apply for assistantships. It not only brings in extra money but also a valuable experience that will take you heights in terms of your career.
- Part-time jobs are available round the clock. Make use of the opportunity to have some extra money at hand.
- Textbooks can be very expensive and a major drawback in a tight budget. Go for used textbooks that you can rent from the campus library, online sites or from seniors. Another option is to get your friends back home to get second hand versions of the textbooks, to mail it to you.
- Make a budget chart and stick to it. Whenever you exceed it you can pinpoint the extra expenses and take measures to cut them down.
- If you are going to live outside the college campus, look for apartments in affordable areas.
- Sharing apartments and car-pooling can dramatically reduce the cost of living.
- Cut down electricity and water bills. While electricity charges are quite cheap, every little bit will count!
- Go easy on the booze and parties. They are usually very high in terms of cost, are just a waste of time. There are a number of cheap alternatives for entertainment.
- Avoid eating out at expensive places in a large scale. Home-cooked food is not only cheaper but also good for health.
- Don't invest in dry-cleaning. Go for clothes that can be easily washed.
- Downplay impulsive shopping sprees. Buy only what is absolutely required.
- Don't give in to the temptation of swiping your card because you will be faced with a huge bill at the end of the month.
- Don't go in for branded, hi-fi things. Buy what is affordable and within the budget.
- Use calling cards over mobile phones especially for overseas calls. Choose the plan that suits your needs.
- Every place offers student discounts so go ahead, show off your student ID card and make the best use of these discounts.
- Opt for free entertainment and services in the form of DVDs and books available from the campus library, free gym memberships in your University and free sport activities. Make maximum use of these advantages.
- Buy all the necessities in bulk. This will save money in the longer run. Also look for discount coupons, they will make grocery purchases a lot more cheaper.
- Always keep aside some money to manage surprise attacks in the form of emergencies and health issues.
- Always try to put in a minimum of 5$ a day in to your personal piggy bank. The saved money might serve an urgent purpose some day.
With a little awareness and skill, your student life can be enjoyed to the maximum with least expenses.