When planning to study abroad, students tend to calculate how much they are going to pay for the fees, the tuition, housing, and everything in between. A good way to start learning about the costs of living in the new country you will be moving to is by reading different resources for international students, such as Studying in Switzerland (if by chance your destination university is located in this country).
However, despite these calculations, some students still find it hard to make ends meet when they move to a new country to get their degrees. Most of the time, this happens because foreign countries tend to be more expensive than the students initially thought, and they do not know how to plan their spendings. However, it does not have to be this way. Here are eight tips on how to get the most out of less money spent.
Budgeting may sound tedious, and it may feel like doing chores. However, it is a necessity for students. It would help a lot if you made a plan for the money you have and how much you can spend. In that way, you can see where your money is going. You should divide the money according to what their purpose is. First, make sure to pay housing and utility bills on time. Then comes food, and transportation. And whatever is left goes for personal care and entertainment. It’s also advisable to put something on the side for unexpected events.
Make sure to have your student ID card with you wherever you go. Usually, many businesses offer student discounts. You can get as much as a 20% discount on different food, clothes, and bathroom supplies. Also, you can use your student card in online buying. However much you manage to save, know that you can spend it somewhere else.
Living alone can be very comfortable and pleasant. Not having to see other people around your place, leaving dirty dishes on the sink, and a pile of clean laundry left waiting to be folded. However, that feeling of coziness and pleasantness fades when the bills are around the corner. Sharing an apartment with other people is an option to save as much money as you can. Everything from rent, to utility bills and the internet, is divided amongst you and your other roommates. How good does that sound!
Moreover, if you have an opportunity to live in a dormitory financed by the university you applied, do not hesitate. The less money you spend on housing, the better.
Whenever you have to travel a long distance, try to use modes of public transportation. Costs may vary from country to country and city to city. However, you can research and find out the cheapest form of transportation in the city you are residing. If you live near your university and the places you frequently visit, walk instead.
When in a new country, you may not feel the need to cook. You may want to eat the delicious food the restaurants there provide. However, excessive spending on the meals eaten outside may take a toll on your budget. It is five times more expensive to eat or to order delivery from a restaurant than to cook a meal at home. Try to attend the markets frequented by the locals and only buy what you need. Also, if you happen to find on sale products which could last for a long time, buy and store them.
Coming from a foreign place, you may have a bank account in one of the banks there. When relocating to a new country, you should open a bank account in one of the local banks, so that you will not be charged extra for every money withdrawal. In case you cannot open a bank account right away, it would be best for you to withdrawal less frequently to avoid charging. Another option would be for you to see if your current bank has bank partners in your city. There you could withdraw money for free.
It can be hard for some students to study and work at the same time. However, it does not have to be a full-time job. Based on your skills and previous experience, you can find a part-time job. Many countries offer abundant opportunities for students to work and study simultaneously. You can look out for jobs in different job portals, newspapers or you can ask local people there.
Why buy new and expensive items when you can find them in second-hand shops at a better price. This tip applies to everything you want to get at a lower price, books, clothes, and homeware. Also, you can find second-hand items on the internet. They are one search away.
Indeed, studying abroad can be very costly, especially when you are a compulsive spender. However, you can try to change your spending habits by using some of the tips provided above. Start with the ones that seem to be the easiest to apply.
Diana Bajraktari is a content writer for Studying in Switzerland. As a student herself, she knows what her fellow students want to know and is motivated to help and guide them through her writing.