Stressed about Saving Money for a Semester Abroad?

Today’s blog post comes to us from Regis College student & #APIabroad blogger Brittany Mcpherson. She’s starting her study abroad program in Madrid, Spain this week!

Brittany Mcpherson and dog

Stressed about saving money for a semester abroad? Here are some tips to budgeting and saving before your departure!

How long is your trip? The first thing to figure out is how long your study or intern abroad program will be. Are you going for a few weeks, one semester, or a whole school year Knowing how long you will be away will help you get an idea of how much you should save.

1. Budgeting

Once you know how long you are staying  in another country for, then you can set a goal for how much you need to save. This is where budgeting comes in and trust me…it is not the easiest but it is possible if you stick to a couple rules.

2. Making Sacrifices

The small things add up. You know that cup of coffee you buy every morning or going to chipotle to eat more than once a week? Well in order to budget you must make some sacrifices that you didn’t have to before. Instead of buying that coffee every morning, a good way to budget would be getting it only once or twice a week.

3. Tips

If you work at a job where you receive tips this is another great way to save/ budget. Try to use the tip money before you dive into the money you get in your paycheck. I personally use my tip money for gas, food and going out.

4. Divide

When you receive a paycheck divide it by two. One half of the paycheck goes to your savings for traveling abroad and the other half can be for whatever you want to do with it.

5. Going Out

Of course you can still go out and have fun while saving for abroad! But this is where budgeting comes in. Instead of going out and spending your whole paycheck at the mall, clubs, concerts etc. MAKE A BUDGET AND STICK WITH IT. Limit your money use for an example; if you want to treat yourself to a trip to the mall, make a budget for only spending $50-$100, but do NOT go over it. In order to save you must set limits.

6. Bank Account

Set up a bank account if you do not have one. If you do have a bank account sign up for online banking. Online banking is one of the easiest ways to budget. Apply for a savings account where you can put money into it specifically for going abroad. The tricky part is being able to have the self control to not go into the money you have put in the  That savings. This is why you divide your paychecks and set limits so you do not touch the abroad money!

Curious about other ways to save up for a study abroad program? Click here to check out API’s scholarships page!

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