10 Ways To Save Money In University While Living Abroad

Living abroad and studying is hard. I can’t even call it studying abroad because you don’t study the whole time abroad, you live. It’s hard to live overseas because you are all alone and you are meant to be an adult all of a sudden. It’s a strange concept our society has created where you get teens straight out of their parent’s houses and throw them in a foreign country and tell them to be adults and get a degree. My first year in university was challenging financially. I was excited because I was away from my parents and I had no authority figures except the police. I wasted money shopping, going out for lunches, dinners and parties and throwing parties. Until I racked up enough debt with different people that it properly financially bruised me. Finally, I am out of debt, and I have learnt a lot about handling my money.

Open a bank account.

This occurred to me when I first landed on the island, but I pushed it to the back of my mind various times and ended up keeping my money in my house. Which, of course, gave me easy access to it and allowed me to squander it. I would always pick up notes with the illusion that there is more because I saw a stack of money. This still led to me getting broke so fast.

Prioritise Payments

Pay your rent, pay your bills and your fees first. It sounds like common sense doesn’t it. But it doesn’t seem logical, especially when you love spending money. I remember picking out bits of my rent because I had this mentality that I will pay half this month then the rest the next month—presenting the start of my problems.

Make A Budget

A budget is so important, and I learnt that recently. I put my rent, bills and shopping budget on my excel budget sheet hence giving me the ability to automatically cancel out those expenses and see the remaining money. And anytime I spend money, I record it. Seems like hard work but it helps you understand where all your money is going.

Save half of your allowance.

This sounds barbaric, I know. That’s what I thought, but it helps a lot. By the time you have bought food for the month and paid the bills, you are only left with spending money and with the workload of the university, you don’t have time to spend large amounts of money.

Student discounts and coupons

This helps you save money, end of the story and who doesn’t want to save money. Sites and apps like Unidays and Student Beans have great details, and College Info Geek has a great list of student discounts and ways to get them. However public transport discounts are standard for students in many countries.

In Mauritius, we have student bus passes, discounts on tattoos and a few restaurants give us discounts. So if you’re in the UK, USA and Canada, you’re lucky as hell.

Eat at home

Remember when your parents would tell you there is food at home when you ask to eat out sometimes? Apply that to your life because it will help you save money. It’s easier, especially when you buy all the groceries you need and start learning different recipes because you will crave something. You will be able to make it at home.

Go for sales

Sales are hectic, but they are needed. Collect the glossy magazines the supermarkets distribute for free which are full of deals and discounts. And try to be updated with what’s going on at your favourite stores. This is how you can be updated with sales and discounts.

Buy fresh food

Hit the market! Yes, go to the market to buy fruits and vegetables, not the supermarket because it’s cheaper and the produce is better and fresher.

Try to DIY some things.

You can do certain things yourself like instead of hiring a maid to clean your apartment or room, clean it yourself. Instead of buying some decorations, make it yourself—there are certain expenses which are genuinely not necessary.

Leave your card and money at home when necessary.

This is a lifesaver, especially when you go to parties and to clubs. Just carry the amount you need and leave the rest at home because do you don’t want to be that person buying drinks for the whole club. You don’t want to be seduced by the scent of food or clothes and end up spending recklessly.

Handling money in university is hard because we are tempted to spend money in different ways. Still, we got to be sharp about this. Would you rather be broke and in debt before the month is over or have money until the next time you receive money.

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