Advice for Students, Global Opportunities, Money, Studying, Travelling

Student Budgeting While Abroad

Cardiff offers a variety of opportunities to go abroad through its Global Opportunities department. Anything from volunteering in rural Nepal, sports coaching on a remote Fijian island or studying halfway across the world – any of this can become a reality during your time at University. Check out the Global Opps page to find out more.

As I write this, I am sitting in the library of my host university in Adelaide, Australia, in the midst of my semester abroad. I am only a week away from finishing and I have absolutely loved every second of it!

However, with any overseas opportunity, there comes the issue of money. Unfortunately, money in fact doesn’t grow on trees and we have to find some way of financing these once in a lifetime trips. Below I will outline a few of the ways that you can save up money to undertake a global experience and how to budget once you have jetted away. I hope this will be helpful and allow you to see that it is possible for you, and everyone to go away during their time at uni.

There are plenty of websites and apps that can help you budget. Determining where you are going and how long for are key in establishing your daily costs and will outline approximately how much you will need to save.

Pre-Travel Saving

  1. Track your spending

Getting a travel debit card such as Monzo is ideal as the app notifies you of your purchases as soon as they happen. It also keeps tabs on the money you are spending in categories such as groceries, eating out and transport just to name a few. Moreover, they do not charge transaction fees abroad and provide a good daily conversion rate.

  • Stop spending on material and unnecessary things

I always say it is our life experiences that are the things we are going to remember. Although that pretty dress was important to you at the time, it will be soon be irrelevant compared to the experiences you could be having abroad. Weigh it up – a dress or a once in a lifetime trip that will stay with you forever.

  • Charity shops are your new best friend

Not only cheap but better for the environment too.

  • Skip the daily coffee on the morning run
  • Get selling

Have a clear out and start listing on websites such as eBay, Gumtree and Facebook. It is surprising what you can sell for a bit of extra cash; it all adds up!

  • Walk

Ditch the car and walk to work. If it is a bit too far, consider investing in a bike or taking public transport.

Budgeting whilst away

  1. Public transport
  2. Eating in and cooking

Uber Eats is deadly. Easy but deadly. Cooking at home is always the best way to save money however definitely make sure to treat yourself to a meal out once in a while!

  • Use cash

That contactless payment habit may be convenient but it often leads us to making unnecessary spends. Keeping cash so you can see exactly how much you have. This will encourage you to consider everything that you’re buying.


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