Moving away from home can be unsettling; new place, a different culture, and of course, figuring out the personal finance situation in a country whose currency you probably did not use prior to graduate school. One of the best ways to really settle down in school is being able to figure out your finances, how to not go broke, and yes even, how to enjoy the experience on whatever budget you have. Here are five key tips that can help you to not keep your head above water, but also help you actually save.
Saving on Food : Food is one of the major expenses you will have as a student, as a human being period. One way to save is making sure you balance your home and eat out meals according to the budget you have set for the week or month. When buying groceries, opt for supermarket value products which will help you save the extra you would have paid for products from renowned brands. Keep an eye out for grocery store discount flyers and compare them to select the places with the right prices for you. There is an app called Flipp which makes this whole process even easier.
Saving on Textbooks; You DO NOT have to buy all of the recommended texts. You also DO NOT HAVE to buy new books when you decide to buy recommended texts. There are books you can afford to not have in your personal library, especially when you cannot afford them. A good number of the texts you will need will be available in the school library and you can borrow them against the time when you will need to use them for your classes. For the texts you absolutely have, you can purchase used books online or through your school.
Saving on Communicating with loved ones abroad ; Being away from home means there are at least a few people who you start to miss; family, friends, significant others. Of course you would want to and should keep in touch with them. This often leads to long calls where you talk about your new experiences, updates from home, and maybe even romantic sentences. While you are catching up though, you are probably burning a lot of money on the cost of international calls. A more cost effective way of keeping in touch with family and friends is to use skype, messenger, whatsapp, and any other apps that allow you to make calls over data. These calls can be scheduled before hand, especially when you would like to talk to someone who isn’t known for being online most times.
Saving on Clothes and Furniture ;Three words; thrift, thrIFT, THRIFT! There are a lot of thrift stores that sell second hand clothes and furniture which are usually in good condition. There are stores that sell a variety of things, from ornaments, to furniture, to even books. There are also stores that specialise in selling one kind of item. It can help to check your city’s directory or ask locals about the best places to find what you need at the best prices.
Saving with student discounts, One of the perks of being a student is student discounts. A lot of businesses and services have special rates for customers who are also students. Notices about these discounts are usually displayed in the store or building and sometimes they are not. When they are not, it doesn't hurt to ask if they offer student discounts. Sometimes, the distance between you and paying less for something is presenting your student ID card.
While these aren't all the ways you can save money in grad school, these will set you on the right part. Asking other people who are in your shoes or have been for their own saving hacks can also be of tremendous help. Grad school is supposed to be an amazing journey for new experiences, lasting connections and great lessons. One way to ensure that you are not missing out is to stay on top of your financial situation. We hope that these tips help you in your grad school journey and that you pass them along to someone who needs them too.