8 Easy Ways to Save Money In College As An International Student

Written by David on October 2, 2022

9 min read


The pursuit of a post-secondary education is a highly gratifying endeavor; but, the financial investment required to do so is substantial. You can find a way out of the predicaments that life throws at you and find an opportunity to live a decent life if you are knowledgeable about how to spend and save money. The deliberate setting away of a certain amount of money can be an effective strategy for overcoming a variety of life’s challenges and roadblocks.

The majority of the time, educational costs such as tuition, lab fees, library fees, and other similar costs are covered by either an education loan or a scholarship. But you also need to make a plan for your day-to-day expenses, which include things like lodging, food, entertainment, transport, and unexpected medical costs, among other things. On the other hand, there is a financially savvy approach to spend money when you are studying abroad. Even while the price of a college education continues to rise, there are still many various things students may do to reduce their financial burdens while they are enrolled in college. By putting these very 8 straightforward suggestions for saving money into practice in your life, you may spare yourself the stress and inconvenience of existing from paycheck to paycheck.

1. Buy Used Books

College textbooks are one of the more surprising expenses that crop up at the start of each semester. The most practical strategy to cut costs here is to acquire used books and then resale them after you’ve read them. The exact same logic may be applied to the acquisition of apparel and home decor. Everything you’ve planned to read. The library is a great place to get access to required reading materials anytime you need them. You may get cheap used versions of books online or through your school, so only buy the most essential ones. When you’re done with them, sell them to recuperate some of your investment. Buying used is a great way to save money compared to purchasing anything brand new. If you’re careful and patient, you can save a lot of money.

Fortunately, there is no need to go into debt by buying pricey textbooks. The cost of books isn’t the only necessity that may be reduced. It could be more cost-effective to purchase your own printer than to pay the high printing costs at your university. First, you should verify how much printing will be required. Since you won’t need a textbook after the end of the semester, there’s no point in buying it at full price.

Many courses employ the same curriculum and study materials from year to year, so you may consider buying old textbooks from your seniors.

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2. Find Part-Time Work

Working is a fantastic opportunity to get some more cash and to make new acquaintances. Another advantage is that you won’t have to spend time or money getting to and from the location of the work to be done.  Students are permitted to hold full-time jobs outside of school hours, up to a maximum of forty hours each week. During the academic year, there will be employment possibilities available both on and off campus. Finding a job for the summer is another choice because you won’t have to worry about juggling your work schedule with your academic obligations. This is an excellent opportunity to put in long hours at work and build up your savings for the forthcoming academic year

You are not permitted to hold a job off campus if you are an international student on an F1 Visa during the first academic year of your program. Even though you will most likely spend the majority of your time with your head buried in a textbook, you should be able to manage your time well enough to work 15–20 hours per week in order to bring in a little more revenue.

You are permitted to work on campus, provided that you adhere to the many rules and regulations that govern campus employment. It is important to keep in mind that you cannot work more than 20 hours per week in order to maintain your position as a student receiving a visa.

3. Live off-campus or Live With Friends For Cheaper Rent 

After tuition, housing costs are likely to be the largest item on your budget. The convenience of living in a dorm, with all of your needs within easy reach, can make it tempting to uproot your life and make the shift. Sharing a house or apartment with other students is a great method to reduce college living expenses. When you divide the rent among several people instead of paying it all at once, you can save a lot of money each month. You can save even more money each month by sharing the cost of utilities and any shared furniture. If you’re looking for a place to live, a homestay program is something to think about.

 There is strong evidence that homestay programs improve the academic performance of international students. International students can save money while improving their language skills, interacting with the local culture through guided excursions with host families, and enjoying the comforts of a home-like environment. The cost of living is reduced when one moves off campus. While living off-campus has its advantages, such as more space and solitude, it also means less chances to make friends and less convenience when it comes to getting to and from class. If you opt to live in a house or apartment off campus, you’ll still have to cook for yourself, but you can buy whatever groceries you like. Many students choose to live on campus because it is convenient, however living off-campus can be more cost-effective

If you do your research and find an affordable apartment within walking distance of your school, living off-campus can save you a ton of money.

4. Make Your Own MealS

The convenience of purchasing already cooked food can be alluring, but the overall cost will be much more than if you were to create your own meals at home. The price of food that is sold in restaurants and places that offer takeout can often have a significant markup added to it. On the other hand, if you really feel the need to reward yourself after a tough experience at college, there are numerous restaurants that provide student discounts and exceptional service, so you might want to think about doing so. By carrying out this uncomplicated task, you might save as much as 15%. Make your plans in advance to save yourself the burden of everyday meal preparation. When you buy food in quantity, you are eligible for price reductions. On the weekends, devote some of your time to cooking in large quantities so that you may plan out your dinners for the following week.

If you are going to eat by alone, you might as well do it the way you like. Consider the long term, and don’t give in to the pressure of the fast-food industry. Find some time during the day to prepare your own meals using the food that is already in your refrigerator’s pantry and refrigerator. In this way, you are able to exercise control over your consumerist mentality and make a conscious decision to eat. You’ll be able to enjoy quite a bit more savings per month if you can begin purchasing in a more strategic manner. If you have roommates, you can take advantage of the option to buy some things in larger quantities and save money as a result, as this is typically more cost-effective.

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5. Get a Credit Card

Building your credit while you’re still in school might be accomplished with the help of a credit card. If you have good credit, you have a better chance of getting approved for loans with the lowest possible interest rates. This means that you’ll spend less money on interest over the course of the loan’s lifetime. You can also improve your financial management skills by using credit cards. One further advantage of having a student credit card is that it can instruct you in how to properly handle money and how to make responsible use of credit. When you have a student credit card, you have the opportunity to understand the importance of paying off your balance in full every month, maintaining a low credit utilization ratio, and making sure that you do not spend more money than you can afford to pay back.

You will not only be able to avoid being charged with high foreign currency rates by the banks of your host nation, but you will also be able to collect reward points if you use the local credit card of the country in which you are staying. These reward points can then be cashed in for cash, rebates, and other special offers after they have been accumulated.

6. Utilize Student Discounts

Always remember to bring your student ID with you so that you can take advantage of the numerous privileges and savings opportunities that come with your status as a student. Although at first glance the sum might not appear to be very significant, by the end of the year it will have accumulated to a sizeable sum. Some companies offer discount cards that are recognised by universities the world over. These can save you money on a variety of different tourist destinations and activities, including museums, public transit (such trains and metros), traveling by bus and airplane, and more. The discounts may even be guaranteed in some situations and even pay your insurance deductibles. Check with the appropriate administration at your university for further information about the availability of such services. Carry your student ID everywhere and do not be embarrassed to ask for a discount from retailers and cashiers

There are a variety of establishments, including movie theaters, shopping centers, restaurants, and even insurance providers and technology businesses like Apple, where you can be eligible for a student discount. If you look carefully, you should be able to find aircraft tickets that are on sale for a lower price and may even come with some sort of discount. You probably already knew this, but did you know that college students can get discounts on things like clothing, laptops, streaming services, and more? Check to see if there is a student discount available before making a purchase while you are attending college; doing so might potentially save you hundreds of dollars.

Read also; Complete Guide on How to Get Student Loans for International Students in USA 2023

7. Utilize The Public Transportation Network 

Persons are required to pay charges such as registration, license, maintenance, insurance, gas, and parking in addition to the financial burden of the expense of acquiring a car. This last type can be very pricy, particularly on college campuses, which typically have a scarcity of parking spots and hence command a higher fee. Students frequently have to enter a lottery in order to have a chance at getting a spot because there are so few available. Spending some time getting acquainted with the public transportation systems in the area is an intimidating but essential step that will pay off in the long term. It goes without saying that the costs of cab rides are simply too taxing and unsustainable on a person’s financial situation.

The advantages of taking public transit are not limited to reducing expenses associated with driving a car, such as those for gas and parking. A significant amount of time can be saved by taking public transportation, particularly in regions where rail travel or surface transit lanes reduce the amount of time needed for commutes. Even though taking public transportation may take slightly longer than commuting by car, students who delegate their driving responsibilities to someone else have the opportunity to complete homework assignments or catch up on reading while riding the bus or train. This can free up time in the students’ schedules, allowing them to complete assignments that they may have had trouble getting to otherwise.

8. Tracking your Finances by Drawing a Budget

Learning how to create and stick to a budget is one of the greatest ways to save costs while attending college, and it’s also one of the best ways to improve your overall financial health. Make sure you account for all of your costs, including your food, rent, and transportation costs. You will wind up saving money in this manner, which you will then be able to utilize for any unanticipated costs or unexpected medical situations that may arise.

This requires you to have a comprehensive understanding of your monthly revenue streams and expenditures, as well as the ability to optimize your spending in order to begin putting some money toward achieving your savings objectives.

Spending less money while you’re in school can teach you to be more selective and value-oriented in the long run, as well as save you some cash in the short term. There is no shame in living within your means, and if you are frugal with your expenditures, you will be able to travel and have fun without spending a fortune. You can start to see good improvements in your life if you put some of these money saving strategies for college students, often known as money hacks, into action in your day-to-day activities. You will have more money to pay for the costs associated with attending college, and there may even be some money left over after that for you to put toward your savings objectives.

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