Student money-saving tips: How to not go broke!
Have you encountered a situation where you are tempted by the aroma of mouthwatering food after a long day, only to discover an empty wallet? Yeah, not a situation we want to return to either.
With great power comes great responsibility. And with the great experience of studying abroad comes greater worry about how to save money. If you follow business and international news, you will also be familiar with the rollercoaster updates of local and foreign currencies. Understandably, navigating the intricate US currency system and managing your finances can be anxiety-inducing. But fret not because you’ve arrived at the perfect destination for clarity and guidance.
Here are some savvy money-saving tips for students to satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank:
Look For Financial Aid:
Are the student expenses in the USA keeping you up at night? Why not explore the numerous scholarships and financial aid options for international students. Universities often offer scholarships specifically designed for international students, and there are also external scholarship programs that you can search for. Research thoroughly and apply for scholarships that match your field of study. If you manage to secure a scholarship or financial aid package, it could alleviate the financial burden of tuition fees and other educational expenses. Overseas education consultants like Sulekha or TC global can help you find the right scholarships if you don’t want to do the extensive research yourselves.
Stay Updated With The Us Currency System:
Fluctuations in forex is no less like a power-packed season of your favourite show! So why not watch the news, read some articles or just watch some videos to keep yourself updated with the constantly evolving currency system of the USA. Understand it better so you don’t accidentally end up parting ways with your hard-earned money.
Keep The Exchange Rates On Your Radar:
It would be wise to familiarise yourself with the exchange rates between the Indian Rupee (INR) and the U.S. Dollar (USD) if you are studying abroad. Monitor the rates regularly to make informed decisions about money conversions. Always use reputable foreign exchange providers like Book my forex or banks to get the best rates. This is an effective student money-saving tip since it also minimises transaction fees.
Dollars, Sense, And Savings:
Ah, the golden rule of money-saving! If you are in a new country, getting swayed by all the different offerings is possible. Making a budget can go a long way to saving money in the long run. And the process begins in your home country. Before you leave, make a comprehensive budget considering all your expenses, including tuition fees, accommodation, food, transportation, books, health insurance, and miscellaneous expenses. Research the cost of living in your chosen city or state too. Why is this important? Because socialising with peers and classmates is fun but if you aren’t careful, the expenses could easily stack up on you. Having this budgeted figure helps. Websites like Money Helper will be your best friend for situations like these.
Track And Thrive:
This is part two of effective budgeting! Keep a record of all the costs you are incurring. You must cut back if you find yourself splurging on unnecessary spends (yes, we mean those grocery runs where you go in without a pre-made list!). Use budgeting apps or spreadsheets to track your income and expenses. This is a crucial money-saving tip for students since it will help you stay on top of your finances, avoid overspending, and make adjustments when needed.
Get An Educational Loan:
You don’t have to finance the entire education or ask your parents. Luckily, you can avail several student loan programs to fund your education. Loans can be feasible since the repayment period can often be long, and you can pay the principal amount and interest in instalments. Banks like SBI, Bank Of India , HDFC and PNB offer attractive loans for students but each come with their own set of requirements, so read them carefully before you apply.
Dabble And Earn In Your Spare Time:
Take up kaam (work) to keep calm. Depending on your visa regulations, you may be eligible to work part-time on campus or obtain off-campus employment. This is another great way to save some money. Explore job opportunities that align with your skills and schedule. But even if you get a job that involves working in a cafe or restaurant, don’t be disheartened. It could actually be a humbling hustle mode experience. Also remember, you’re there to study, so ensure that working does not interfere with your academic progress. If you take up a part-time job, ensure you do not cross the permissible limit regarding wages and hours allowed. Reach out to your university’s job board or alumni to understand where you can find suitable work to apply to. If you aren’t able to take up in-person jobs and you have skills that can be marketable, freelance websites like Upwork and Fiverr can help you find work online.
Prepare For The Unexpected:
Forget about YOLO because you need to save an amount for a rainy day too. Unexpected expenses can occur, and if you plan, you can cover this from your emergency fund. The bonus? This teaches discipline, which is helpful in overall money management as well.
Once you arrive in the USA, opening a bank account there is recommended. After all, when in Rome, do as the Romans do, right? This will help you manage your finances efficiently and avoid international transaction fees. Research different banks and compare their offerings, such as student-friendly accounts, low or no fees, online banking facilities, etc. Look up ATM locations on or near your campus so you can quickly access funds whenever you need it!
Unleash The Benefits Of Your Student Card:
These are the best days of your life, so make the most of it! How? By getting a student card! This can avail you of many benefits and discounts. Businesses or cultural institutes sometimes offer concessions regarding fees/bills to students. Check with your university about the procedure to apply for a student card.
Get A Prepaid Travel Card:
How do you carry money from India to the US? We’ve got you covered. Carry some USD when you go for initial expenses, such as taking a cab or bus from the airport and so on. Research what the acceptable amount is. Additionally, prepaid travel cards are a great way to save money. These cards let you load money in various currencies, including US dollars. This can be used like a debit card for making purchases or withdrawing cash from ATMs. They offer the convenience of easy reload options and often provide competitive exchange rates. For starters, check out Niyo Global.
Whip Up Something On That Gas Stove:
Eating out may be convenient, but it can take a toll on your stomach and wallet! Cooking also does increase your heavy student workload but ask any past alumni, and they’d tell you the same: Cooking meals is a super effective money-saving tip as a student. And who knows, you might make a friend or two along the way once you cook up a good meal!
That’s all, folks!
In conclusion, know that saving some bucks in your wallet at the end of the day for the long term is always important. It brings stability and lets you handle unexpected issues like car breakdowns or surprise expenses. Plus, with a little dough tucked away, you’re one step closer to achieving your dreams and living your best life!