In an ideal world, your living expenses abroad will be equivalent to the expenses you would have at home. However, this is not always the case. If you are going abroad for your first year, it is not easy to know what to expect, how much money you will need and create and manage a budget.
We have come up with a few tips and guidelines to help you better manage your expenses while studying in the U.S.
1. Consider currency exchange rates: You can save a lot of money by keeping an eye on the American Dollar vs your home currency. What the American dollar is worth today in relation to your home currency, may not, and most likely will not be the same amount in a week, month or even year or two. So if you think the rate is as good as it’s going to get, transfer more money over sooner.
2. Paying your tuition fees: Luckily, paying your tuition fees has gotten a lot easier to manage and handle with the help of Flywire. Not only does it provide a best rate guarantee when transferring your money, it also sends you reminders for upcoming bill do dates so you will never miss a deadline.
3. Create a budget: Write down all the fixed costs you have per month and split them up into weeks. Those expenses may include food, toiletries, books, study materials, internet, cell phone, etc. Factor in some of the fun stuff, like movie tickets, trips, and nights out. Stick to your allowance and soon you will get a hang of living on your budget and it will give you ease of mind, knowing where your limits are. For more information on student budgets, read our finance blogs!
4. Save on travel costs: Take advantage of your Student I.D. for discounts on transportation. Whether it is public transportation in the city, airfare or trains, try to book in advance, save money with off-peak travel, and compare prices online and use student travel sites.
5. Shop wisely: It is important to get all your vitamins and eat well. Check out your school’s cafeteria option plans, and try to cook at home instead of eating out. This can be a great opportunity to learn how to cook your favorite dishes! Shop at cheaper supermarkets and look for sales and discount coupons. You can also split bulks with your room mates and friends.
Do you have any other money-saving tips to share? Or do you have some questions about living expenses for international students in the U.S.? Let us know in the comments below!