Guaranteed hacks to manage your expenses as an international student
Little did we all know why our parents are so strict about giving their kids money. Managing expenditure for the house can be a tricky thing, and it is entirely different if you live alone. The responsibilities are more and only you have control of it.
So, here are some of the specific ways to help you manage your expenses as an international student.
Make a budget plan
After you get your salary, of course, it is for the expenses that you have to do. You will use the money for your rent, bills and other essential utilities. You need planning. If you divide and calculate your budget, it will help you know about where to spend more on, and the calculation of how much you need to pay, which will help you in your savings later.
“Economy is idealism in its most practical form.”
- Calvin Coolidge
You will also know what you can afford and what you cannot. Sharing a roof with your friends saves up as well and dividing the expenses will help you to manage the budget with your roommates as well.
Moreover, you can decide to save by choosing cheaper alternatives. Second-hand furniture is a great way to save up money. There are many right furniture and other items that are in excellent condition which you can get for a good deal and will also help you know those essential things are worth investing in beginnings.
Save up on foods and groceries.
Not many people know this, but there are ways to save up on foods and groceries too. If meal planning is a new concept for you, then try making one. Not only money but think about it; this also contributes to your health. Make a weekly meal plan with variations in the diet, which will also make you eat at home rather than spending money on food outside.
One genius hack to spend less on groceries is buy them at the closing time or the end of the day. Fruits and vegetables, if not sold on the same day, will go to waste and no one would like to buy a day older produce. So, to sell them all and to avoid wastage, the vendors and shopkeepers will sell them cheaper at the end of the day.
Furthermore, a little but useful hack is, do not buy takeaway coffee. Instead, you can invest in your thermos mug or flask, make coffee at home and have it on the go. Or, sometimes it’s fine to go to a friend’s place and have dinner there. But don’t forget to treat him/her back as well.
Also, try using a coupon system to save up. Collect coupons and get something cheaper or for free. You can also buy items with offers and discounts, and there are many brands with many offers. But make sure you know the expiry dates while buying items in bulk or it will go to waste.
Use the ‘50/30/20 budget rule.’
Elizabeth Warren, a Senator from the United States, made the 50/30/20 budget rule popular in her book, ‘All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan’. This rule refers to managing your budget after knowing your after-tax income.
All you have to do is divide your income by 50%, 30% and 20%. 50% is for spending on your needs, 30% is spending on your wants, and 20% is the savings.
Spending on your needs includes rent, housing, food, bills and your tuition fees. Spending on your wants includes your hobbies and other additional desires like the pair of shoes that you were eyeing on, a gadget you want to buy or eating out and even for the entertainment purpose. And, savings can be emergency funds in your bank account, investment or others.
Smart spending, smarter saving
Let me focus this part only on how to decrease your expenses. Have you invested or spent money on something that you do not use now? Or there are somethings that you want but buying them would be a waste of money? Well, let me tell you, there are ways to manage them.
You need to find cheaper alternatives. Like I mentioned earlier, second-hand goods are genius. There are also subscriptions that you do not need. Think about it, cancelling unnecessary subscriptions will help you save some money.
“The habit of saving is itself an education; it fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind.”
- T.T. Munger
Moreover, if you want certain magazines or books, it is better to make the internet your best friend. Share ebook with your friends, borrow books from them or visit libraries. Trust me these are very effective to manage expenses.
Minimalism is not everybody’s cup of tea. So, this is optional and not the only way to manage expenses. Adapting to a minimalist lifestyle is all about choice and mentality. And it is okay if you do not use it, there are other ways.
“Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W’s you control in your life: what you do, when you do it, where you do it, and with whom you do it.”
Minimalism is living life with less clutter and only with the items that you need. Minimalism helps make life more organized. Minimalism makes you happy with what you have, and you will learn the difference between what you need in your life versus what you want.
Review your expense, income, and savings
Reviewing your expenses are keeping tracks of your budget. Knowing where you spent more on or what you are saving for helps you know about the further planning of your budget.
Reviewing will help you to have better control over your budget. According to your income, you can know if you need to spend more on foods, wants or for some future investment.