Lifestyle | Budgeting Tips for International Students in the U.S.
Studying abroad brings with it a world of opportunity and a bevy of new responsibilities. Navigating your way through housing, transportation and education costs takes a lot of energy -- and it can get expensive, too. Fortunately, there are ways to spend smartly and maximize your budget. Here are some tips for saving money as an international student in the U.S.
Find Scholarships for International Students
Finding scholarships for international students is the natural place to begin when your goal is to be more financially savvy. You can start by checking with your school; applications for school-specific awards are usually available right on campus. You can also use reliable search engines like International Student to find scholarships that are right for you.
Use Social to Track Down Discount Books
Paying full price for textbooks is an easy way to spend hundreds of dollars in just a few minutes. Textbooks can blow your monthly budget at the start of a semester. Use Facebook sale groups to find the books you need in used condition from other students on campus. You'll pay less than at the bookstore and the seller can get more than they would if reselling their text to the school; it's a win-win.
Book Activities Using Groupon
Do you want to take a surfing lesson on the weekend or join a local kickboxing club? Get great discounts for students using the Groupon Student Program. Groupon deals are always cheaper than paying full price, and student deals offer an additional 15 percent off (or sometimes more). Don't sign up for a massage, rock climbing class or even house cleaning service before you check Groupon for a special.
Set Up Flight Price Alerts
To save money on travel, choose your travel dates early and then track the price of your route using Google or other flight tools. You'll get an email alert when the price goes down and can snag your ticket at an affordable price. If you have a flexible schedule, choose a few travel itineraries to track and book the best one. Remember: last minute travel can be expensive, so make travel reservations at least six weeks in advance.
Download a Money Management App
Creating a budget and sticking to it will help you maximize your money. It's easier to track where your money is going if you download an app that's made to handle money matters. Add Mint or a similar app to your phone, then create a budget for yourself in the areas of entertainment, living expenses, school and other categories. You can link many apps to your bank account, making it easier to see exactly where your money is going.
Get a Car Loan with Reasonable Payments
If you need transportation as an international student, traditional lenders are likely to charge you a high interest rate because you don't have aanSSN or credit score. Get a car loan with Boro, and you can get a fair interest rate with an affordable payment. Even better, having a car loan builds your credit and may help you get a better deal on rent or be approved for a credit card to use in emergencies.
Eating healthy is great, but so is eating smart. Buy groceries at discount stores and cook at home. Buy the Sunday paper and take advantage of the coupon offers for local grocery stores. You can save hundreds of dollars a month as an international student in the U.S. using coupons!
Are you an international student on a budget? You're not alone and there are lots of ways to live frugally so you don't waste any of your precious resources. Between scholarships, savvy finance apps, and loans designed for international students, soon you'll have a handle on your budget.