Budget Jones’s Diary
Budgeting abroad: it’s one of those things that everybody needs to (but nobody wants to) think about. As a student, it can be daunting to plan away large chunks of your lovely bank account – but it’s more likely going to trickle away faster if you wing it completely.
Having lived in America for six months now, I’ve picked up a few tips that I’d like to share with you… and because you’re budgeting, I’ll let you have this advice for free!
Plan ahead – work out as early as possible where you want to travel whilst abroad. Use websites like Skyscanner and STA Travel to find cheaper flights, and plan together with your friends to see if you can lower car rental or accommodation costs.
Have a backup – inevitably, there will be some expenditures that you don’t see coming. Keep a bit of cash on the side as a way to pay for illnesses or one-off fees.
Get a local account – it can end up being cheaper than all those extra charges on your UK card.
Transport – learn about the cheapest ways to get around. Is it worth your money investing in a bike over using buses or taxis everyday?
Insurance – find out if your Uni has mandatory medical insurance costs, and factor them into your decisions. Mine cost over $2,000, so it was well worth me thinking ahead!
Food – eating healthily in the states is expensive, so it can be tempting just to splash your cash on fast food. Cumulatively speaking however, this can lead to huge issues with both your belly and your pocket!
If you take my suggestions and apply a little of your own common sense, you’ll feel like the grass – and your wallet – is so much greener!
Joe – Arizona State University