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5 Tips to Manage Your Money While Being a Student Abroad

Posted on Nov 14, 2017

Manage Money While Studying Abroad

It’s not just the money, honey! The whole gamut of handling the finances, budgeting, saving, and securing yourself against a financial crisis can break any student’s resolve to study abroad. Thankfully, with a bundle of financial packages, loans, credit facilities, that are available, students can heave a sigh of relief and go ahead with their study abroad aspirations.

Be penny wise. While abroad, make sure that every penny counts. Here are top 5 tips on how to manage your finances while pursuing your higher studies abroad.

1. Find Out Everything You Need to Know About the Foreign Currency.

Most of the time, people wrongly compare the price of a product in India, and convert the value in foreign currency. Prices don’t work across borders like that! You can’t compare the price of apples in India and those in New York, and expect parity. Sure, some products may be cheaper here than abroad, while the reverse is also true. Inflation works differently in every economy, hence it is important to understand basic economic and financial indicators of the country you will study in.

2. Learn How Currency Mobility Works Abroad, and the Best Ways to Transact.

Where you plan to study will determine what kind of money you can use there. In some countries, cash is highly fluid, and you may need to use actual currency to go about your business. However, in other countries, you may be able to work with credit or debit cards. Many banks in your home country may have agreements with banks in foreign countries and that may mean you pay little or no fees to access your money in foreign ATMs.

3. Use Student Credit Cards That Have Little or No Foreign Transaction Fees

Work with a student credit card. Avail of exciting offers that credit cards give you along with the card. Many of these cards don’t have foreign transaction fees and when you use them during your time abroad.

Before you sign up for a student credit card, make sure to employ due diligence. Check whether your cards will be accepted in the country you’re planning to study in and find out what foreign transaction and foreign ATM fees cost.

4. Budget Your Way Through Everything While Studying Abroad:

A budget is your safety net to ensure that you smooth-sail your way through the study abroad phase. When budgeting, make sure to plan the following:

  • Fixed expenses such as accommodation, utilities, food, transport, and study material.
  • Variable expenses such as socializing, entertainment, gifting, or vacationing
  • Variable expenses such as emergencies.

It is important to clear all your fixed expenses first, as that will leave you with the amount you have to allocate between the variable expenses.

While budgeting, go granular to get down to actual numbers. Things like money spent on food, travel, and the like should be clearly written down. In doing so, be realistic and practical.

5. Live Within Your Means, Even if It Means Sacrificing Some Privileges.

It’s easy to get swayed by the glitzy and fancy shopping that is available in foreign locations. Steer clear from mindless buying. Make sure to spend reasonably. Always compare prices. Unlike here in India, the concept of Maximum Retail Price system (MRP) does not exist in most countries abroad. You may have to check the price of products and services in various outlets before you narrow down your choice.

Get in touch with a local to find out where to get the best deals. Large shopping centers and malls are usually more expensive than the local market. Lots of places organize flea markets which have locally produced goods, these are relatively cheap and you will be able to find good deals.

In many countries, you can avail of student discounts for public transport and other public utilities. To find out more about these discounts you should contact your university.

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