Tips On How to Pinch Your Pennies While Studying Abroad

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tips On How to Pinch Your Pennies While Studying Abroad

You are bound to borrow money from your parents or an institution in order to join a university and complete your program on time. Whether you borrow the money or earn yourself and go slow, advanced education is expensive, especially when you’re in a different country.

When you go abroad to study, you can’t expect to study without a frown when it comes to managing your budget to pay the tuition fee, commuting expenses and living costs, etc. Hence, you have to learn how to handle your budget to survive the education abroad.

Here are some ways, for students in foreign countries, to keep their cash in check.

1)      Plan the Semester: A good idea would be to follow a budget plan for each semester and stick to it every time. You could set up a monthly budget, but a semester budget makes more sense for a student because significant financial transactions occur at every new semester interval. 

Grab a calculator and count your income from loans, parents, and part-time jobs, and then subtract the most BASIC expenses. By basic, I mean tuition fee, books, living expenses, clothes, etc.). You will be left with a surplus which can be used for leisure. However, saving some would also be a great idea in case any unexpected need arises in the future.

2)      Keep Track: Building a budget doesn’t mean you don’t observe or monitor it at all. The most important task that spend-thrift students forget to do is keeping track of their income and expense. Be a cheap-skate if you have to, because you’re not in high-school anymore. And, do whatever you do, but DON’T waste money.

3)      Ditch the Credit Card: When you’re finally in college and old enough to have a credit card, you can’t resist the temptation to spend away whenever your heart desires. This is exactly what contributes to “student-debts.” Newsflash! You’re NOT old enough for a credit card even at this stage, especially if you are little low on budget. My personal advice would be to use cash so that you know how much you are spending.

Using a credit is, without a doubt, convenient. If you are less inclined to ditch the card, make sure you use it wisely and pay it off every month.

4)      Don’t Compare Or Try to Impress: When you were in high school, most of you probably belonged to the same income bracket. However, things are different in college. Not everyone belongs to the same social class. Unlike high school, however, you should be mature enough (hopefully) to avoid the temptation of spending heaps of cash just to compete or show off in front of your friends.  Try to be happy with what you got, and if you could, avoid hanging out with such friends who are not a good influence for you.

5)      Grab a Student Discount Card: A student discount card may initially have a price. However, once bought, you can reap the benefits of this card wherever you go. You get discounts shopping online or in-store from a large number of retailers who offer that particular student card-holder the benefit. Restaurants, grocery stores, book stores, drug stores, you can find great deals on all of those shops.

6)      Rent, Borrow, or Buy Secondhand Books:  The heftiest of all expenses for a student is the original books he has to buy to read that one paragraph the teacher assigned for homework (we all hate that!). Why not borrow from an ex-college student? Keep track of seniors and make sure they promise you to give their books when they’re done. Or, try to find a secondhand version on Ebay. If all else fails, borrow from the library.

About the Author-

 Anais John is a passionate education (and career) consultant currently working at a well-established company leading a team of expert writers.

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