Managing your finances as an international student can be challenging. You’ll also need to find out the best way for them to give you money if you rely on your parents without wasting a large chunk on bank charges and fees. Plus, to avoid getting scammed or robbed, keeping your money safe and stable, but still available, is a must. It can be daunting to think about how to manage finances, but we are sure you will soon be an independent person with a little experience and encouragement who can handle your personal expenses alongside big funds such as tuition fees and rental costs.
Follow these tips on how to manage finances and you will not only have enough money for electricity and other expenditures with some simple preparation and comprehension but also reward yourself once in a while.
Set up a local bank account
Start by opening a bank account in your new country to escape international bank charges. Since account fees and benefits vary from bank to bank, make sure that you carefully read the fine print. Ask for advice from locals on leading bank accounts. Ensure that a trustworthy and cost-effective alternative is set up that enables you to easily send and receive money internationally.
Establish a budget
Start by looking at your current financial condition and creating an expenditure list accordingly. Include variables such as:
- Monthly rent
- Food and groceries
- Credit card bills
- Phone bills
- Electricity bills
- Internet consumption
- Transportation Services
- Insurance payments
- Study material
- Recreation and commute
- Personal Expenses
Do not forget to keep the room in your account for emergencies or unforeseen expenses. For the end of the month, including how much you plan to spend and save.
Be smart with your money.
Saving money and trying not to spend excessively is one of the top struggles of students (especially international students). As a student who lives and studies away from home, you should try to save as much money as possible, as it can be a costly process to study abroad. Understand the contrast between your desires and needs. Create a goal list if you are unsure, and invest accordingly. You can reduce your expenses by
- Sharing your living space
- Restraining the use of credit cards
- Going for books or digital versions of second hand
- Having local passes on transport
- Shopping during holiday sales
- Buying from small retailers rather than high-end chains
In most countries, foreign students are allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours per week and full-time during semester breaks. If it permits you to work, check your student visa. You can handle your expenses well with an extra income and also learn skills that will look good on your resume. Bear in mind that with what you receive, you will still have to pay a little tax. So, prepare accordingly.
Take advantage of your status as a student.
You are eligible for several discounts, such as transportation, restaurants, stores, movie tickets and tourist activities, using your student ID. Only plan to collect your student card as early as possible so that from the very beginning of your semester you can start using it. Transportation discounts help you save hundreds of dollars annually as well! There are several websites dedicated to providing coupons and discounts for students, so make sure you check those out. They even point you towards birthday incentives occasionally!
Choose social activities wisely.
This means that you should be vigilant about doing stuff that in the long run, might add up to a lot of money. For example, you might end up blowing your budget way faster than expected if you still hang around friends who absolutely love to go out, eat and go shopping frequently. Don’t feel afraid to say no, or suggest a more accessible alternative to such social activities. They will generally understand that you will not always spend a lot of money if you clarify to your mates that you are on a travel budget. By having friends over or going to their house, is a nice and cheap way to socialize. Establish an evening budget and everyone should contribute to it.
You would not have to worry about how to manage finances and graduating with massive debts if you set down your ground rules while saving money and stick to your schedule as much as possible. Plus, in addition to knowing how to deal with obligations, it will also make you money wise ahead of time.