When taking the plunge and moving to study abroad, you’ll open yourself up to a host of new experiences; people, food, activities and rituals that will be completely new to you. To ensure you make the most of this unique and influential period of your life, you need to budget effectively. Edward Hardy puts together a quick checklist on what you can do to save money while studying abroad.
- Open a local bank account
If you’re relocating for a significant period of time, you can avoid the pitfalls and the costs of managing your money overseas by simply opening a local account. Most retail banks offer a variety of different accounts that are either free or come with a very minor monthly charge, either of which will help you manage your outgoings more easily.
- Avoid transaction fees where possible
What you may find when moving to study abroad, particularly in mainland Europe, is that cash points, ATMs and even merchants themselves will charge you a fee to withdraw cash or make a purchase from their store. Avoid these frequent and unnecessary charges by asking about transaction fees ahead of purchase, or by withdrawing cash from the bank with which you hold an account.
- Make a realistic budget and stick to it
Are you a night owl, a shopaholic or an outdoor sports enthusiast? Whatever your hobbies and tastes, you’ll have a specific set of costs that you’ll have to adhere to in order to make the most of your time studying abroad. Calculate the price tag of your lifestyle and try to economise elsewhere. Most importantly, once you’ve set out your budget: stick to it.
- Fewer, larger transfers are more cost effective than frequent smaller ones
If you already have a savings pot that you’re hoping to use to fund your studies abroad, you’ll need to establish a method of getting you money from one account to another. Using an international payments provider is one way to keep costs down but still receive a consistent and high level of customer service. Another money saving tip is to make as few transfers as possible and transfer funds in bulk as this will keep transaction costs low. In short, the fewer transactions you make, the fewer costs you’ll face.
- Make sure your bank knows your plans
As is the case with all reputable banks, compliance and account security departments will be on full alert to detect suspicious transactions and activity that’s out of the ordinary. Should your account statement show a few trips to the shops and a train ticket to London followed by a car rental payment in Peru, it’ll likely trigger some alarms at your home branch! Make sure you inform your bank well ahead of your departure to avoid embarrassing card blocks and cancellations!
For more information on studying abroad, check out our ‘Back To School’ special of Transfer magazine. Otherwise, if you’re already made the leap and need to transfer your school fees, get in touch. We’d be happy to help and could help save you money whilst doing so.