Managing Your Personal Finance While Studying Abroad

Making a budget is one way to manage your personal finance while abroad.

Flickr user KT

Studying abroad has its own advantages and disadvantages. It sure is a delightful opportunity for a student to make the most use of studying in a reputed college in a foreign country. Amidst all this excitement comes the question of a mammoth financial investment which takes a huge toll on your pocket. It is an exciting yet very expensive affair. While studying abroad, managing your personal finance is one of the most challenging experiences. You will find yourself in a new country with a new financial system, different currency, and dissimilar pricing methods.

Studying and living abroad will definitely help you grow as a person and get a step closer to being an adult. But for this, you will have to absorb the art of personal finance management, which involves a great deal of patience, maturity, persistence, and self-awareness.

Here is a list of tips on how to manage your personal finance in the best possible way while studying abroad and avoid distressful situations like having to borrow money or being broke:

Craft a budget

This is one of the most crucial steps in money management. Make a daily and weekly budget for yourself. Include everything that you can think of so there are no likelihoods of any unanticipated spending. It is imperative that you make these calculations keeping the new currency in mind. You should prioritize your expenses, giving more importance to what you need than to what you want. Knowing what you need will help you plan the budget and knowing what you want will help you include fun and leisure activities into your budget.

Try to bank smartly

The first thing you need to check is if your bank has a local branch. If it doesn’t then you would have to depend on ATMs where in most cases you would be charged a certain percentage of the sum you withdrew along with a withdrawal fee. In these cases, the intelligent thing to do would be to open an account in your local bank account. Online banking is another option than you can resort to.

Spend money like a local

Get to know the local’s way of doing things. Try not to get ripped off of your money by local vendors. Different countries have different trading cultures. You would be benefiting if you understand and get to know about them as soon as possible. Befriend a local and acquaint yourself with the cheapest grocery and stationery shops. Try and spend as less as possible in the first few months so you could understand how much it takes for you to just get by. It would do you good to gain some perspective on your spending practices.

Smartly manage your social activities

When you are studying abroad, it is essential to balance your social and academic life. It is imperative that you have a life outside of college. This will be the scourge of your life abroad. Avoid visiting expensive restaurants and bars in the first few months. Cook for yourself instead of eating out. That way you can save money to go out and socialize when invited by friends and acquaintances.

Look for an extra income

For students, opting for part-time jobs such as freelance assignments and joining paid survey website will help you have a side income which they can put to good use, like paying for tuition and buying academic materials. Earning an income can also boost your confidence and allow you to have some fun within the limits of their paycheck. You can also utilize the money for paying back student loans.

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