Living in a new country can be entirely frightening and happening at the same time, especially if you want to pursue your higher education. However, managing finances is one of the hardest things while you are studying abroad. You are in a new financial system, with new currency and different pricing methods. Moreover, the prices of products may differ considerably from the country that you belong to.
However, it is best to go for financial management in order to make the best out of every situation. Some of the tips to manage your finances in a foreign country are:
In order to successfully manage your expenditure, it is better to understand the financial system of the country. For example, it will be wise of you to know about the conversion rates to ascertain if the thing that you ought to buy is expensive or not, which might be difficult to judge. Also, know about the best payment methods in the country!
would be less expensive to open a local bank account and have your funds transferred to it. Using online banking can help you keep an account of your transactions and the balance in your account.
If you are using a debit card, try to withdraw more money but at less intervals. Use hard cash more often as it is easier to track your sending. If you are using a credit card, it is important to enquire about the additional fees applicable with the bank.
At the start of every month, make a budget of your expenses. You should know how much money you have over what period of time. Include everything that you could think of as this will reduce the chances of unexpected spending. Prioritize your expenses and keep a difference between what you need and what you want – First, you should pay your rent and utilities. After that, other expenses may include food and meals, health insurance, books, transportation, clothes, personal expenses, recreation and travel.
Acquaint yourself with a local person and ask him/her about preferred local shops and services located outside of big malls and shopping centres. Check for any open markets for fruits and vegetables. It is wise to spend as less as possible in the first months of your stay, so you could see with how much money you could get by. It’s also a good idea to apply some self-observation in order to gain perspective on your spending habits.
In the first few months, it will be difficult to ascertain your spending on the social activities that you would be undertaking. Most of the situations are totally unpredictable and you will need to deal with a lot of new information, unexpected adventures and random interactions with friends, moreover, going to a new country would also mean spending a fortune on exploring. Therefore, in the beginning try to reduce going to restaurants, expensive bars and cafes as much as possible.
As an international student, it is always ideal to find a part-time job to fund your living expenses. Universities often have established programs for international students where you could get a part time job within the university’s body (library, campus, administrative task etc.) It won’t pay much but the best thing is that it is coordinated with your studies.Another option is to take a freelance project!
Many cafes, restaurants, public services often offer student discounts by showing your ID card. Use these student discounts to the full potentialand always keep your College Identity Card handy!
The cheapest way to travel in any country is to use Public Transport. Research monthly and annual passes, and the cost of one means of transport versus another.Moreover, some countries such as Germany, travelling is free for all students, including international students, whereas in other countries (such as Amsterdam), only national students receive travel passes. Check with your university if you’re eligible for a travel pass.
It is highly expensive to eat outside every single time. Therefore, it is ideal to learn how to cook and to use local produce of the particular region to your maximum benefit. Not only would you cut cost upon cooking, you would also be able to buy cheaper raw vegetables and fruits, since they will be locally produced. Moreover, you can organize parties at home and can cook something up, rather than spending a bomb on partying outside.
A lot of apps have emerged which easily help you in tracking your expenses as per the budget that you have assigned for the month. Make use of such apps to keep unwanted expenditures at bay!
Lastly, it is smart to save up some money for vacations and adventure trips that you might want to undertake in the country. In addition, it is wise to save money for unforeseeable circumstances such as medical care, etc.
Therefore, following a proper regime of financial management can help you save money along with having the time of your life in a new country!
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