Studying abroad is already an expensive affair, and on top of that, the cost of living can break your bank. And that’s where one of the essential life skills comes in handy: money management. If you plan to migrate to the UK, it is time that you learn or polish this skill. And to teach you that, we have compiled a list of simple yet effective tips you can follow to manage your expenses easily in the state!
Open a Local Bank Account
Setting up a local bank account is the best way to manage your money when you plan to live more than six months in the UK.
- To open a bank account, you need to wait until you arrive and have an address in the country, which means you might have to wait a few weeks or months.
- Choose a bank that does not charge high fees for international bank transfers and offer maximum benefits for students.
- Some banks have branches in other countries, such as HSBC or Barclays. So it is advisable to check with your bank in your home country whether they provide services in the UK or not.
Break Down your Expenses and Create a Budget Plan
The first and foremost thing is to estimate your fixed costs (such as rent, tuition fee), variable costs (such as food, transport, and shopping items), and unforeseen expenses (like medical emergencies). Now that you have an outline of your expenditure, you can make a budget plan accordingly.
It is firmly advisable to make a separate budget for daily, weekly and monthly expenditures. For that purpose, you can do it manually by writing it down in a journal or making a spreadsheet, or you can download various apps on your smartphone. Well, sticking to a budget will be difficult as we have unseen expenses now and then; nevertheless, try to follow it as much as you can.
Live in a Shared Accommodation
Living in shared accommodation has many benefits, especially in the UK. It not only cuts down your rent cost but also helps you make new friends with whom you can divide house duties and split other expenses.
Whether you shift into student housing in Birmingham or student apartments in London, many accommodations nowadays are set up with roommates in mind. If you have difficulty finding a shared space, you can view forums on Facebook and connect with the right people who might be interested in sharing the abode with you.
Living with others helps you adapt to your new life better and quickly overcome your homesickness and cultural shock.
Know about Everyday Life Hacks!
- Students can avail of discounts from many places, such as shopping stores, restaurants, travel and trips, grocery shops, cinema halls, transportation, cultural events, and more. Get your student card at the earliest to get that 10% off or even more!
- You can maintain a penny jar and put all your extra coins into that. It is an innovative way to save money for special occasions like birthdays, trips or casually treating yourself with a surprise gift.
- You can sell off your extra stuff online on websites like Amazon, eBay, etc. That way, you can get rid of things that you don’t require anymore and have a chance to increase your bank balance.
- Learn to cook and avoid eating outside. You can save a decent amount on your food budget by doing this. So while coming back to your student accommodation in Nottingham or Cardiff, don’t forget to shop for fresh grocery items to cook a delicious meal. If you have a time constraint, you can cook in bulk and store it well in the refrigerator. That way, you don’t have to cook multiple times in a day.
Take Up a Part-Time Job
In the UK, international students are permitted to work 20 hours per week and full-time during term breaks. This is an excellent way to earn extra money and some work skills to list on your resume.
You can take various part-time jobs and internships with the help of your University Student Union or your university professors. They can refer you to the concerned authorities. Alternatively, you can search on your own too on the internet as many remote jobs are available for students.
Some universities even hire students for special events where they pay them on an hourly basis. You can check for such opportunities with your respective universities once you get there.
Studying in a different country is a phenomenal experience. Not everyone gets the opportunity to live it, and that’s why you must make every decision wisely, especially where money is involved. The entire purpose of money management is to help you make conscious and careful choices in your study abroad journey. After all, a new country is like a new adventure where you must learn, explore, and most importantly, enjoy!
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Harshita Anand is a postgraduate in English Journalism and a graduate in Hotel Management. She has worked in a varied range of industries and with people from all walks of life. Her enriching experience ignited her interest in constantly learning new things about the world and writing passionately about them.