As I am due to begin my semester studying abroad in the next couple of months I’ve been researching how I’m going to make my money stretch that bit further. From creating a weekly budget, to learning to cook for yourself, there are plenty of ways to save during your study abroad experience. So now I would like to share with you what I have come up with so far. Keep reading for 5 tips for studying abroad on a budget!
1. Save before you go!!
I can’t stress this enough! You need to start saving at least six months before you are due to leave as once you arrive there will be a lot of expenses that you’ll have to see to – rent, books, transport, food shops, day trips. As you won’t be just down the road from home it will be much harder to get money off your parents if it is necessary, so going with some money put away will make the first few transitional weeks that bit easier.
2. Do your research.
Spend a few hours going through Google looking up the living costs in your chosen country. You can check out online supermarkets to give you a rough idea of how much you will need to budget for groceries each week, walking tours to explore your new home for free, the cost of an average night out compared to home. Spending this time researching will save you a lot of money in the long run.
3. Pack properly.
When you are beginning to pack for your few months abroad make a list of everything you think you might need. Bringing it with you from home will save you the cost of purchasing it when you get there. Be sure to check out what the weather is usually like so you pack the right clothing and do not have to buy more when you arrive.
4. Cook for yourself.
While studying abroad may sometimes feel like you’re on an extended holiday, you pocket will be drained within a few weeks if you treat it that way for too long. So instead of going out for lunch or dinner, cook for yourself like you always did at your home university. It’s great to try out local cuisines that are new to you but that can be done on a budget – look up recipes online and head to your local supermarket to pick up what you need. Studying abroad on a budget can be a great way to learn new skills.
5. Budget weekly!
Give yourself a weekly budget and stick to it! If you decide on €50 or €60 per week try not to exceed that unless there is an emergency. You need to be careful with your spending when you are away from home, you never know when you might need that extra bit of cash on a ‘rainy day’. Take the money out of the ATM at the start of the week and you’ll be able to keep track of your spending much easier.