It can be difficult to manage your finances as an international student. However, with some basic planning and understanding, you can have enough money. These will cover utilities and other expenditure. Plus, if you are wise, you may also reward yourself once in a while.
Get yourself a local bank account
First things first. You must set up a bank account in your new country. This is the primary step to your financial survival. Your IDP counsellor can help you with information on the leading bank accounts in your destination. Like this, you can make a well-informed decision. Choose the one with maximum benefits for students.
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. Plus, add utility bills, grocery, transportation and data charges. You will also spend on recreation, study material and travel. It is a wise idea to save some amount each month for unexpected situations or emergencies.
Studying abroad is expensive, but smart planning can help you survive very easily. Understand what you need and what you want. 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:
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
Work to support your lifestyle
In most of the countries, you can work up to 20 hours per week. You could also work 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.
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.
Learn to cook
This skill will be very useful. Use your ‘eating-out’ budget and buy fresh ingredients to cook at home. 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. You may reheat and have later so you don’t have to cook daily.