Pursuing studies outside of one’s home country is an exciting and fulfilling experience. You meet friends from around the world, experience the richness of different cultures, and receive education from prestigious schools. Many have embarked on this path, with the United States boasting more than a million international students enrolling for higher education every year. But things will be different than one is used to back home, especially on money. Keep your bank accounts happy by evading these four common financial slip-ups.
Lax budget planning
Planning out expenses and savings can be a chore, but it is a critical life skill whether you’re studying overseas or living in your own country. Creating budgets allow you to be mindful about spending habits and learn what is important enough to deserve money allocation based on current resources. Having saving goals and setting up an emergency fund are recommended practices to be more in control of your financial status.
The bird’s eye view budgeting gives also helps determine potential money problems, allowing you to make adjustments before things go wrong. Consider driving with a group for your next out of town trip in Salt Lake City or getting used phones instead of brand-new ones.
Going along with peer pressure
You might feel pressured in going along with whatever your new classmates are doing to fit in and gain their approval. The next thing you know, your savings account is empty from all the regular dining outs, shopping sprees, and other expensive activities. Dealing with peer pressure is challenging. Nevertheless, it’s vital to focus on your saving goals and remember your priorities. Choose a group of supportive friends and an understanding of your limitations without making you feel out of place.
Not keeping track of foreign exchange rates
Understanding how foreign exchange rates behave – fluctuating day by day – should be common knowledge given how it will impact your finances. Spending power is not the same when your home currency is weaker or stronger than the US dollar. Students coming from countries with weaker currencies must be extra careful they’re not overspending.
A few percentage points might seem negligible, but it can quickly add up to a few hundred dollars when taking out a considerable amount of money from the bank or making big purchases. Check news outlets and banks for their daily posting of foreign exchange rates to get the most value out of your dollar.
Paying tuition through international transfer
The majority of international students will most likely use international transfers to pay for school tuition. It is prudent to know the bank processes, rules, and intricacies that govern this method. It will be stressful when your transfer doesn’t reach the school in time due to small errors and missed details – bank cut-off times, misspelled names, or wrong account numbers. Additionally, banks charge for international transfers, which can add up substantially. Research available options to transfer money faster and with better rates.
Financial literacy is a life skill everyone should learn. It will spell the difference between continually worrying about making ends meet and being assured your next bill won’t drain your savings. Cash is king no matter where you’re living or studying – it pays to know how to manage it.
Meta Title: Avoid these 4 common financial slip-ups when studying abroad
Meta Description: Studying abroad? Improve your experience by being mindful of these 4 common money mistakes.