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!
Stretching Your Dollar
- Eat food at local Chinese restaurants instead of foreign ones. Local ones are much cheaper!
- Watch how much you buy—small amounts do add up fast!
- Many museums are free or less than $2 US.