As international students, adjusting to a new everyday life in a foreign country, coping with a new currency and getting used to a different cost of living are things that are going to be your first challenges. Many international students, suddenly far from home, will need to learn how to learn finance management such as paying bills for the first time. Here are some smart budgeting hacks which will help you make sure that you do not blow your budget when you go to study abroad.
With a bit of basic planning and forward thinking, you will be able to handle your finances and live comfortably without additional stress and still have the chance to splash out once in a while. First of all, it is really important that you distinguish between what you want and what you really need. Get into this mindset habit before leaving because prices and living costs will probably be different to what you are used to and another aspect to keep in mind is that outgoings in different countries in the European Union vary from place to place as well.
1. CREATE A BUDGET PLAN:
Make a basic budget plan to cover costs further to your tuition fees. Establish a plan based on how much you aim to spend and save by the end of each month. Think of the following:
- food and toiletries
- travel and transport
- utility bills
- phone and Internet bills
- sport and leisure
Try to leave ten to fifteen percent in case of unexpected emergencies. In that way, if something unplanned should come up, you are still comfortably covered.
2. SET UP A LOCAL BANK ACCOUNT:
So as to avoid international charges when you take out, send or receive funds, it is vital that you get a local bank on your arrival. Do your homework before leaving and check if your chosen bank has a special account for international students. You may be entitled to special privileges such as interest free overdrafts, which could be useful in cases of extreme need. Before your arrival in your chosen country of study, make sure that you have all the necessary documents which will be requested such as proof of income, an acceptance letter from your future education establishment and proof of address at home and abroad.
3. TAKE ACCOMMODATION COSTS INTO ACCOUNT:
Forking out for accommodation usually represents the highest monthly cost for anybody in any case. As international students, you may have several options open to you such as living with a local family where you will not need to cook your own meals, living in student halls of residence, or living in the private sector. If you want to be independent and rent a