Do you often find yourself tempted to buy every single trinket and bizaar souvenir that catches your eye? Or maybe you like to dine in at the restaurants you’re sure to never find in your home country?
Ah yes, you’re not alone.
The struggle to budget well is real when you’re in an incredible place for such a short time; the consequences, however, are just as real and can even get you into tight situations. Here are 5 ways to stretch your stipend when living in a land far, far away from home.
- Set aside an emergency fund
The last thing you want to happen when you’re in a foreign place is to end up lost and without cash. With no guarantee of a stranger or friend helping you out, the wisest thing to do at such a time would be to hail a cab. Another equally sticky situation you wouldn’t want to happen is to end up without food because your stock of groceries ran out.
If you think about it, these are both avoidable if you plan ahead and set aside a reasonable amount (maybe 10-15% of your monthly allowance) for those instances. If you survive with enough to spare, well, then hooray! You’ve got yourself some extra cash for those souvenirs you’ve been eyeing.
- Learn to cook
Not every exchange student has the luxury of eating at a restaurant every single day or getting an unlimited meal plan, so consider learning this practical skill to save up for something more worthwhile. Some university cafeterias actually provide areas where you can cook your own meals, so don’t be shy to use them if you can.
(Plus, you might even make a couple of new friends by sharing native dishes or desserts that you manage to come up with.)
- Go for public transit
Traveling through public transportation not only helps you save up a little extra money, but it also helps you have a glimpse into the daily lives of the residents in your host country. If you have relatives living nearby, then they might even offer to give you a ride and tour you to places you’ve been planning to visit on your own.
Or, you can even consider carpooling with friends on campus. There’s nothing like hitching a ride with your most trusted companions and taking an unforgettable road trip!
- Ditch the unnecessary subscriptions
Surprised by the sudden deductions in your bank account? Maybe it’s time to double check what monthly subscriptions you’ve made over the past months and say goodbye to the ones that aren’t really worth it. These could be anything from podcast or even pricey newsletters to apps that you didn’t realize had been downloaded for a price.
- Shop at thrift stores
It makes sense if you arrived at your host country with a limited amount of clothing out of fear that you’ll have excess weight to pay for. When trying to fill in your closet, be careful not to fall for the trap of endless online “discounts” that seem harmless. They’ll cause a serious dent in your budget if you aren’t careful, and another risk is that they won’t even look as good as they did online. In countries like the U.S. and Canada, there are bound to be thrift stores where you can shop for the thermal clothes or extra shirts you needed.
Looking for study abroad opportunities to pursue later on? Your search begins here at Edukasyon.ph, where you can find numerous campuses to apply to all over the world.