KEY 1: Make a Budget

Like everything in life, the first thing is to make a plan. In this case, the plan is called a budget and consists of making two lists. In the first list, you put all the income you have each month, and in the other all the expenses.

Spend less: If you have to reduce expenses, the leisure section is usually the first injured, but there are more options. For example, perhaps you can find cheaper accommodations. Did someone say shared apartment?

Enter more: To supplement the money your parents give you, one option is to take a part-time job. See also all scholarship and study aid options.

 

KEY 2: Meet your Budget

Making a budget is easy, but respecting it is something else. You will have to resist the temptation to spend money on things that go beyond your budget however much you want.

At the beginning it is likely that the forecasts – especially the expenses – vary from what was expected. The important thing is to be aware of how much money you are spending each day, and to ensure that you do not exceed your income. It’s better to prevent than to cure!

 

KEY 3: Protect your Money

You will need somewhere to keep the money you receive until you spend it. The best place is the bank. The ideal is to have branches both where your parents live and where you are going to study.

When you open an account, the most convenient way to access your money is to get a debit card. It is possible that you can also ask for a credit card. It is important to understand the difference between the two.

Debit card:  When you pay with a debit card, or when you use it to withdraw money from an ATM, the amount is deducted immediately from your account. When your account is at zero, you cannot use the debit card.

Credit card: Credit cards allow you to continue buying even if you do not have money. When you buy, your account balance does not change because it is the bank that pays for you. This generates a debt with your bank that is usually settled at the end of each month. If there is not enough money in your account, you will pay high interest on that debt as long as it exists.

 

KEY 4: Organize!

Especially when you go out to study abroad, you will have periodic payments that you will have to remember: rent, electricity, telephone, etc. Some, like the telephone, you can auto-pay. That is, they will be deducted automatically from your bank account without you having to do anything. Others you will have to pay for ordering a bank transfer or paying the receipt at a bank branch.

It is very important to always pay on time. If you pay late or if you do not pay, it can damage your credit and make it harder for you to obtain credit cards, loans or mortgages in the future.

Enter the due dates of the different invoices in your calendar. Put the bills to pay in a folder in your file cabinet, and mark the due dates in your calendar so you do not forget.

 

 

KEY 5: Minimize your Expenses When you Can

 

  1. See all the free activities offered by your city for young people (concerts at parties, visits to museums …) and organize your leisure time around them. Leisure activities is where you usually spend much of the budget.

 

  1. Take advantage of all the discounts offered by the Youth Card for students and all offers for leisure. For example, go to the cinema on “Spectator’s Day”.

 

  1. Buy at the cheapest supermarkets. Identical products usually have a very different price depending on the store where you buy it.

 

  1. Second hand things. Think about what you need and you could buy secondhand. Many times you can get a textbook that costs you $54, for only $11 if you buy it used. It’s the same book, but it’s not new. For the money you save, it’s worth it!

 

  1. Save on transportation. Spending on transportation is very important for students. One way to reduce it is to use the monthly subscription for students. You can also go buy a car and share your gas expenses with other students and many places walking or cycling!

 

  1. Pay cash. You can better control what you spend if you take out money once a week and pay for everything in cash. So you can see exactly how much money you have left each week, and if you spend and spend everything, you just have to put up a few days before taking it out again.

 

  1. Before buying something, ask yourself if you really need it. Many of the purchases we make are made on impulse. You see some super-cute glasses and they are at a 50% discount, they are a bargain! But you already have 5 sunglasses, do you really need them?

 

  1. Make a list of what money you spend and on what. This way you will know where you put each penny and where to reduce expenses if you need it.
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