By Varan, Computer Science
College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Birmingham
As an international student, there are many challenging and confusing situations that we must face. One of these very common situations is finance. Like most other students, finance is an issue that we all face, but coming from another country we then have the challenges of coming to terms with new and unfamiliar systems, currencies and prices. This article will try to aid you in helping with your finances and easing some of your stress.
Having been in the country for some time, I too faced these struggles yet I have now come to terms with it just as you will too. There are two ways to look after your money: limiting your outgoings and maximising your income.
In order to minimise your outgoings, you will have to budget your money. Once you know how much to pay for rent, give yourself a certain amount of money to pay for food. From the money that you have left, then you can budget for things like going out, hanging out with friends and buying stuff online.
Other means to minimise your outgoings is to make the most of what you have, which will not only help you with your finances, but also the planet. In addition to all of this, one thing that has helped me the most throughout my time here is knowing how to cook. Creating meal plans, shopping lists and not buying “big brand” has meant that I was able to save lots of money as take out and frozen food is more expensive than making your own food.
Finally, I would also recommend that you look for discounts for students. In the UK, there are plenty of schemes that means that students can pay less for their shopping. These can include apps for discounts on clothing and even public transport.
Doing all of this will mean that you will always have money for the things you need, whilst making sure that you have enough money left over to spend on the fun things too!
Furthermore, one way to make sure that you have enough money to spend on fun trips out or simply start saving, is to try to maximise your income via finding a job. As a student ambassador, I recommend trying to find a job at the university – whether that be working at Joe’s bar or being a student representative. Finding work will also enable you to add to your CV, make friends and have fun!