USA is one of the prime destinations for Indian students to pursue higher education. The availability of the world’s top universities and a better standard of living make it highly appealing to students. Not only is USA home to some of the most prestigious institutes, but it is also the hub for everything new. From arts to science and technology, American universities offer a diverse number of courses for students to choose from. If you have managed to secure a seat in any college in USA you are bound to have a great experience ahead. While studying abroad has its own perks, managing the monetary cost associated with it should be the first task on your to-do list before you fly away. The financial aspect of your education abroad is not bound to tuition fees. Living in USA is bound to take a toll on your pocket. There are a number of things like accommodation, travel, groceries, electricity and so on which needs to be taken care of. To help you manage your accounts better we have a few tips which can help you save money in the long run and also ease through the costly process of living in America.
1. Make a budget: One of the easiest ways to save money, in the long run, is by making a budget and sticking to it. The budget should most importantly include accommodation expenses, cost of books, electricity and phone bills, and travel expenses. Some portion of the money should also be allotted to your personal entertainment and emergencies. The money you save after spending your monthly budget can be used to explore the city you are studying in. In initial month it might be difficult to get an accurate figure of all your expenses. The best way to tackle this problem is by making a simple excel sheet wherein you timely enter all your expenses from big to small. The sheet can be later used to get a fixed budget. Here is a quick view of what your monthly budget can look like:
2.Use apps to manage your budget: Foreign universities are well known for a hectic curriculum. To manage everything else like your bill payments and grocery shopping, you can make use of mobile-based applications like Mint, BillTracker and You Need A Budget. Besides helping you save money in the long run, they can help you concentrate on your education in a better way.
3.Apply for scholarships and grants: This step should be planned during the admission process. Research about the university or college you are heading to and check if you are eligible for scholarships and grants they offer. This can help you save a lot of money, especially in your academic fees. Here is a list of some scholarships especially for Indian students wanting to study abroad.
-Inlaks Study Abroad Scholarships
-Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowships for Indian Students
-Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship
-The Indian Trust Fellowship
-American University Emerging Global Leader Scholarship
4.Open a bank account: Once you have settled, opening a bank account should be a top priority. Take time to research if the local bank is more beneficial or if there are any branches of Indian banks in your city. Once you have chosen an apparoriate bank, you can manage your finances with more ease.
5.Plan your accommodation wisely: If you have a certain group of people to share an apartment, then an off-campus accommodation can be a great option. The apartment should be in close vicinity of your institue to avoid high travel costs. However with a jam-packed schedule, campus accommodation is the way – to – go since it saves time and travel money. The third option is that of a homestay, wherein you as a student can live with an American family near your institute. The option is great if you are there for your undergraduate studies since you get a better insight into the American lifestyle.
6.Eat out less: If you happen to live in an apartment then cooking your own food can help you save a lot of money. Similarly, in the case of campus accommodation try to eat the meals provided by the university. Campus accommodation offers fixed meal plans which can help plan your budget ahead of time.
7. Avail Student Discounts: Once you get your college ID made, try to avail the maximum number of student discounts especially on public transports, grocery shopping, apparel or even while visiting tourist spots. Apps like Groupon and LivingSocial can help you get access to better deals and discounts. The discounts can prove to be great savings.
8. Travel smartly: Walk as much as you can or make use of the USA subway system. Public means of transport is always cheaper than taking a cab or hiring a car. Also, the many perks of being a student are getting discounts on monthly or annual travel passes especially in buses and metros.
9.Use the free extra facilities at your institutes: Most colleges or universities have their own gyms, swimming pools, running tracks, recreation centers, and most importantly libraries. Being a student, you should make the best use of these facilities instead of going to places which might cost you extra money.
10.Use prepaid forex card: During your travel from India and the initial days of your stay in USA, the best option to save money is using a forex card. Not only do you avoid the 2-5% of transaction charges you incur while using international credit/debit card but you also surpass extra fees on exchange rates during transactions. BookMyForex offers prepaid travel cards which can be reloaded even by your family from India time and again at absolutely no extra cost. The card is accepted at ATMs and even by merchants. Not only is carrying the card better than carrying cash of the same value, but it is also safer. So while you settle in at your new college you won’t have to worry about your cash being lost. You can book your travel card through this link:
Studying abroad can prove to be expensive. However, taking time to plan your expenses can help you save a lot of money. Make the best use of your student status and try to explore the place you are living especially things which are for free.