If you are thinking about going abroad, then you should also be thinking about money. Properly planning and budgeting for your time abroad is as equally important as preparing for you classes. Why? Because money can always be an unnecessary stressor that, if properly planned for, is totally avoidable. So plan for an amazing time abroad using these money tips!
- Make a budget before you get on the airplane. It’s not necessary to plan down to the last penny, but having a daily allotted amount to spend will keep you on track. Decide how much you can comfortably spend each day and stick to it. The great thing about this method is that you can start fresh every day and you don’t have to keep a detailed spreadsheet or do complicated math in your head to know if you are spending within your means.
- Plan on a reserve for adventures. You don’t want to miss out on an experience abroad because of poor financial planning. Set aside “adventure money” that can be used at any time and will allow you to bungee jump or sky dive without crushing your budget.
- Limit the purchase of gifts and souvenirs. It’s no surprise that you want to take a piece of every moment home with you to share with family and friends. But setting the expectation that you will not bring home something for everyone, including the neighbors, is the easiest way to save money! Take a lot of photos and make a calendar using them upon your return- they’re useful, personal, and usually impressive! Plus, photos won’t take up space in your suitcase!
- Eat a meal in or experience a local café. If you have a refrigerator or kitchen in your home abroad, use it for one meal per day! This not only saves money, but allows you to experience the local market or grocer like a local. If you don’t have access to cook in your room, then visit a local sandwich shop or café which usually offers delicious local delicacies suitable for money-conscious eaters.
- Search and apply for scholarships early. If you already know that you will need financial aid or scholarship money to make your experience a reality, don’t wait to start searching and applying for aid and scholarship. Because studying abroad is something that you plan for months in advance, scholarships and aid are often awarded and given months in advance. The earlier that you can apply, the more options you will have to offset your cost. Happy searching!