Student Budget: Top 5 Financial Tips to Help Optimize Your Experience Abroad

Being a student is enough work, but being broke and in debt as a student can be one of the worst experiences one can ever have, especially when you’re in a foreign land.

Let’s not even mention the far-reaching psychological effects it could have on your life and grades.

Everyone tells you that you need a budget. However, we both know that having a budget is not as easy as it sounds.

I mean, if it was as easy as eating popcorn or watching your favorite movie, you wouldn’t be reading this blog post right now.

To avoid facing financial hardships, you should take time to choose a city that is not expensive to live in. In fact, if you are looking to travel for academic purposes, it’s important to know the best cities to live in the world.

Beyond that, if you’re in need of financial tips as a student, you’re in the right place. You’re about to read the top five tested and trusted tips to optimize your experience as a student abroad.

Have a Budget Spreadsheet

You need to be aware of how much you have and how much you spend, so you’ll have a high level of financial consciousness. 

You should know how much comes to you each month, either from your student loans, money sent by your parents or what you’re able to gather from a part-time job. 

Keep tabs on all your expenses. Then, subtract your expenses from your income and divide it by the number of weeks you’ve got in a semester. This way, you have an idea of what is reasonable for you to spend every week. Ensure you don’t spend more than that.

You can also use applications like Yolt, Cleo, Money Dashboard, Poriti and spending trackers to track your expenses.

Make sure you buy only things that are important.

Read also: How to Budget and Take Care of Your Financial Life

Don’t Buy New Books or Furniture

You can save yourself loads of money by buying used textbooks for a cheaper price or even collecting them from senior colleagues.

You could also make effective use of the library or rent some of these books online. Same goes for some other things like furniture. There is always someone who is willing to give them away at a cheaper price.

Attend yard sales and get yourself a good bargain. Taking advantage of this opportunity is a good way to save some valuable cash.

Make The Most of Technology

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Do you know that your smartphone and laptop can help you save money and stick to your budget? 

You can save the money of an alarm clock, sticky notes or reminders and even notebooks by using your laptop or smartphones instead.

Gain mastery of your gadgets. You don’t have to pay for what your smartphone can do for you.

Save on Food

When shopping for groceries, avoid buying on impulse. Plan ahead. Have a shopping list and stick to it.

Cook your own meals, pack your lunch if possible. Eating out every day might soon dig a hole in your pocket. You could also utilize bulk discounts by buying in bulk, probably with your Housemates.

If your housemates don’t mind, you can even cook together. This is also an effective way to save some money.

Take Advantage of Your Student Status

Lots of supermarkets, grocery stores, cinemas and clubs offer student discounts. You don’t have to buy like a graduate when you can take advantage of your studentship.

You can also save money by checking for discounts and collecting coupons as a student. You would be really surprised at the amount of money this will save you on the long run.

I hope these tips have been helpful. It is really important for you to understand yourself and buy only what you can afford, without comparing yourself with richer friends or anybody, as this might soon land you into debt. 

If you’re having issues with buying within your budget, I suggest that you buy with cash as you can be easily tempted by using your credit card.

Remember to buy only what you need and want you can afford. You don’t have to buy an item in a particular place if you can get it cheaper somewhere else.

A bank account in the reds coupled with the rigors of studentship is just like adding salt to injury. Spend wisely, save well, and you’re bound to have a smooth ride as a student.