All students need a bit of guidance every now and again when it comes to their finances, whether they study at a college down the road from their house, whether they relocate to a university within their country or whether they travel abroad for their education. It is the latter, however, that probably need the most assistance when it comes to handling their money.
It is fortunate, then, that such assistance and advice can be found below! If you are a study-abroad student and you feel that you need help when it comes to sorting out your finances, read on.
Save up as much as you can before you move
If you have the luxury of still having a bit of time to go before you jet off around the world to study, then make sure you use this time wisely by saving up as much money as you can. You should do so because, upon arrival at your destination, you will find yourself spending a lot of money. For the first month of being abroad, at least, everything is going to be new and fresh, and, as a result, you’re going to find yourself spending more than you probably should — there’s nothing wrong with doing this, as you’re there to have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. On top of this feeling of free spending, you’re going to be faced with module registration contributions, public transport tickets as well as all the expenses attached to accommodation and living in general.
As you settle in, you will become accustomed to what you can spend, as well as what you have to spend, meaning your spending will settle itself. To budget for your first month of turbulent expenditure, though, you should make sure you head to your destination with enough saved cash to cover it all. Well, you should be doing so if you don’t want to be calling up your parents and asking for them to send money over!
Get to grips with the new currency quickly
If you are moving outside of your country’s currency zone, then you need to get to grips with your new home’s currency quickly. Doing so will give you the best chance possible of never being ripped off by locals who prey on nomads and expats to make a quick buck.
First, this means that you should have a clear understanding of the exchange rate at the time your moving, just to ensure that you are paying fair prices when you touch down in regards to, say, any taxi rides you may have to take away from the airport. Second, this means sorting out a new bank card for yourself that isn’t going to incur you any extra payments.
Learn the financial lingo
Something else that you should be getting to grips with in your country of temporary residence is the financial lingo that is used there. Whether this means learning the language or just the slang used for money in that town, learn it! Doing so will protect you from agreeing to pay something you really don’t want to be paying, or can’t afford to be paying.
Also, you should make sure you know enough about the country’s language to stop yourself from handing over your personal details to just anybody. If they were to fall into the wrong hands, then you would put your finances at risk of being hacked into.
Don’t be afraid to ditch luxury
You’ve journeyed abroad to get the education you need to progress your career, to create long-lasting memories and to meet people you’ll never forget, you’ve not gone out there to live a life of luxury! So, instead of paying copious amounts of money on rent so that you can stay in 5-star accommodation, lower the stars and lower the money you spend. This doesn’t mean pitching up in a hostel for months on end, this just means taking the accommodation offered to you by your college or university. More often than not, the rooms on offer will provide you with everything you need to get by and continue a good standard of living, and you’ll be in the same boat as your classmates anyway, so it’ll be fine!
To circumvent the need to spend big on expensive nights out, try to entertain in your dorm room as best you can. Here, you’ll forge a far closer bond with your new class- and roommates than you would if you were to hit the local town with them, and you won’t have to pay extortionate prices, so it’s a win-win.
Take out a credit card
As a student, you’re not likely to be flush with money. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have the potential to be in the future, it just means that, right now, you’re probably not able to afford certain things, whether they be living expenses or discretionary purchases. To ensure that your lack of funds never lands you in a difficult repayment position, which could be made even tougher by you being in a different country and culture, consider taking out a credit card.
What such a card would offer you is the financial capabilities to pay for anything that you need to pay for at the time, and then the opportunity to pay the money you borrowed back at a later date. As a student, as noted on this useful page on the matter, the ability to do this can prove pivotal to your educational success, as it could prove to be the difference between you obtaining that research book that you so desperately need to do well on your course, and you missing out on it. So, no matter what others may say or think, don’t be afraid to take out a credit card.
Being a student abroad is a life-changing experience, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bank-draining one. You can jet off across the world to chase your education, and you need not spend loads on having to do so. Well, that’s if you follow the all of the advice above!