We will help you make smarter budget decisions and make sure you save money when studying abroad. You just have to follow these eight simple tips!
If you are a student doing Erasmus or any other exchange programme, an internship, then you are probably living on a budget. There are a lot of smart ways to spend your funds in order to never run out of them. Here’s how:
- Account for every penny you use or receive: Either you made some savings on your own, your family are giving you an allowance or you are entitled to a scholarship. Before you leave your country, organize a spreadsheet where you will record any transaction you make. The most important thing is to be aware of how much money you have at all times and thanks to all mobile banking apps, it’s easy.
If you have trouble saving when you own a lot of money, make a big expense in advance. This is probably the first time in your life that you control your finances and that will tempt you to make additional spendings whenever a big deposit is made or your scholarship funds just cleared. The best way to trick the temptation is to pay your landlord the next rent in advance, or your university fees if you have any. Perhaps you can go grocery shopping and buy stuff for a few more days than usual. Everybody loves receiving money in advance, so there will always be a possibility for you to spend on something useful that sooner or later becomes mandatory.
On the subject of groceries, always check for promotions, but be careful! Most supermarkets will have lots of promotions, sometimes at the end of the day, or at the end of the week, and you should take advantage of them. You must also remember that fresh products on sale often mean soon to expire. Picking the right supermarket to go to is also a good idea. Have a chat with locals to know which is the cheapest. They often are situated on the outskirts.
- Related to groceries there’s cooking. Guess what? You save a bunch of money if you regularly cook so learn the basics before you travel. Take a cooking book with you if it fits in your bag. Instagram is loaded with fun posts on how to make delicious meals. Organize group dinners to test your skills and learn other cooking cultures. Restaurants and fast food chains love it when you get lazy, your wallet doesn't!
- Avoid using taxis. With Uber and Lyft spreading this issue is getting deluded, however there are still some major student cities throughout Europe where they aren’t available and many others are fighting to have them banned. When you arrive and when you’re about to head back to your country, those are acceptable uses. If you don’t feel safe walking back home at night, try doing it in a larger group and share a cab if completely necessary.
Evaluate how much you will need to spend on public transports during your stay. Take into account your address and how long it takes to travel to school or work. Consider any long term offer if you are sure you will need them on a daily basis. Remember you’re young and you have fresh legs. Keeping a healthy lifestyle compared to back home isn’t as easy as it may seem and walking to commute will help.
In case you aren’t aware, being under 25 has an outrageous amount of financial benefits. You can get discounts for movies, plays, bars, restaurants, museums, sightseeing attractions, even at grocery stores. You obviously will pay less in trains and buses. Do some research, get fliers, read infos posted at your schools, and soon you will realize how much you were actually overspending.
Don’t spend money at Duty Free outlets in the airport. This almost goes without saying but who doesn’t like buying gifts to their close ones when they’re about to travel back to their country?