As is commonly known, many students have trouble financing their activities. Thanks to a combination of the fact that they’re spending most of their time studying, plus having the added expenses of living away from home creates a problem. That is doubly true for international students, who often have a multitude of new costs at the beginning. Whichever way you slice it, as conventional wisdom has it, college students are always broke. Here’s how to save money, so you can not only scrape by but also flourish in a new and challenging environment.
When you get down to it, there are only two real ways of dealing with this problem. Either cut expenses or increase income. Ideally, a combination of these two would give you more freedom of choice in the long run. It sounds simple, but the devil is always in the details.
Firstly, if you are planning to study in the Netherlands, look into its public financial aid program. It covers both your day-to-day expenses, as well as bigger ones like healthcare for students and housing benefits. Of course, as with any government program, this is meant for people that would most benefit from it – so there will be individual requirements to meet. But there are levels to it, from a loan to a grant, so it’s an excellent opportunity to see what could benefit you most.
Scholarships are a perfect opportunity for students looking for finances, since unlike loans, usually, you don’t have to pay them back. Keep in mind that the preparation for applying to one has to be thorough and will take a while, so start early. Additionally, while it’s true that historically scholarships have been granted based on academic performance, today’s criteria tend to be more fine-grained and nuanced. With enough searching, you will most certainly find one that fits you just right.
There are also other ways to save money as a college student. If you’re aiming for a higher grade of living, or need money to finance, say, your summer vacation plans – look for a part-time job. The Netherlands is a famously student-friendly country, where there are always opportunities for a flexible source of income. However, don’t forget that your studies here are the focus of your stay and not your job. Usually, it’s not worth prioritizing work during your university experience. Giving your all to your college studies and projects will teach you valuable skills you will use in the future to secure better jobs.
Finally, when it comes to ways on how to spend less money, there’s no better alternative to preparing and sticking yourself to a budget. Analyze your monthly costs, and you’ll be surprised how impulse buys, and unimportant purchases tend to add up. Take care not to overuse your utilities and go out to eat less. Textbooks can cost a lot of money, so a smart investment is to get used copies from your older peers. Look into the ways you can benefit from your status of being a student, and what perks your university offers. Depending on where you live, rent can also be costly. If that’s the case, you should get a roommate – not only will you effectively halve the costs, but also create an opportunity for a new friendship to blossom.
Most of all – research is vital. Get experience from your peers or alumni, or use your online resources to the fullest to find out more ways on how to save money as a student. Be on the lookout for opportunities and be wise about your decisions. Best of luck!