How to not spend all your money while living abroad
Our top money saving tips
Cook your meals
Even though it can be tempting to eat out all the time while living in a new city, better to save that money for day trips or other fun activities. Figure out how to make some cheap, easy staple meals and stick to eating out on special occasions.
Go to museums on free days
Many public museums will specify days when you can see exhibits for free or at discounted rates. Make a note of when those discount or free days occur on your calendar so you never have to pay full price. Just a little planning ahead of time will allow you to see more of the city for less.
Make a budget
Giving yourself a weekly spending limit is a great way to make sure you don’t spend too much money at any one time. It will make your money last for your entire internship if you make and stick to weekly budgets. Having a spending limit especially helps prevent frivolous purchases.
Invite people over instead of going out
Going out to bars and restaurants to hang out with coworkers or friends is fun, but it can be a lot more costly than hosting an event at your own place. Tell everyone to bring something to eat and drink and make it a house gathering. It will be more comfortable and intimate anyway.
Use Skype and WhatsApp instead of international phone plans
There are so many ways to use the internet to contact people around the world, it might be a waste of money to buy an international phone plan. All housing accommodations come with Wifi, so family and friends are just a Skype call or WhatsApp message away. Viber and Facebook also are effective and free communication tools that just rely on an internet connection.
Look for free cultural events
Many cities host neighborhood or city cultural events that are free, especially in the spring and summer months. Keep an eye out for these on city events calendars or cultural center websites. Usually these events involve an element of local culture, so it’s a great way to better understand local traditions and save a little cash.
Find a good international credit or debit card
Shopping around for a debit or credit card that offers good exchange rate and lets you withdraw internationally for free can really help an intern abroad slash their expenses. Charles Schwab, for example, offers free withdrawals at ATMs internationally for their investor checking clients.
Walk or take public transportation
Taking a cab if there is public transportation available is a huge waste of money. It may not be as pleasant of an experience, but it’s part of living abroad and can be a great opportunity for people watching. Walking to your destination is also a good option. It’s healthy and completely free!
Photo 1. based on Cooking adobo., by Nicole Abalde, CC-by-2.0
Photo 3. based on Debit, by Ciaran McGuiggan, CC-by-2.0