Make a budget before you leave. Then really try to stick to it.
Study abroad can be expensive. And if you travel a lot, it can be really expensive. Here's a simple plan for preparing for life abroad.
- Figure out how much money you will have. Consider that you may not work abroad because of time or visa restrictions. How much can you realistically save before going?
- Think carefully about what you plan to do while you're away. How much do you plan to travel? How do you plan to get there? Where do you plan to stay? Are you comfortable staying in hostels? You get the idea.
- Consider everyday expenses, like food, toiletries, etc. - they can add up very quickly when you're not used to your environment.
- Be realistic. You're going to be very tempted to spend lots of money during your first few weeks abroad - you may make new friends and want to go out a lot, especially at the beginning. If possible, allow for "splurges" (especially souvenirs!) when you consider your budget.
- Try to break down your budget by week or month, then make a solemn vow - or at least a quick promise to yourself - that you'll stick to it. Keep track of how you spend your money once there. If you write it down, you'll find places here and there where you may be able to save. Good luck!
[ local content from STS guide varies, may be some overlap here for European sites that could be referenced? ]
Make your money go further
Take local transport
Price-wise local public transportation is always the better option over taxis. If in Europe, remember to validate all train and bus tickets! You don't want to get fined by a ticket collector!
Look into transit passes. The city you are in might have these available so you can save on transportation. Also investigate if you can get a discount for being a student.
In most cases buying groceries is far cheaper than eating in restaurants. Try searching out cheaper vendors in your neighborhood.
Avoid shopping and eating in tourist areas
Food and souvenirs are less expensive and often better the farther away you are from tourist traps.