Are you an international student studying in the UK? Embarking on your academic journey in a foreign country can be an exhilarating experience, but making sure your finances are in check is vital for a seamless and rewarding stay. Here are some helpful tips to save money and manage your finances effectively whilst studying at Teesside University.

  1. Budget your money

Creating a budget is the key to financial stability. You can start by calculating your monthly income which can include scholarships (if you are a recipient), part-time job earnings (if you have a part-time job), or any other financial assistance that you receive. Then calculate your outgoings including food, toiletries, bills, tuition fee payments, accommodation, occasional treats, and money aside for emergencies.

  1. Open a UK bank account

Opening a local bank account can eliminate international fees and provide a smooth financial transaction. Most UK banks offer student accounts which have low or no monthly fees and overdraft facilities, make sure you compare different backing options to find the best one that fits your needs.

  1. Be cautious with credit cards

Choosing a credit card can offer flexibility and convenience but they can carry the risk of accumulating debt if not used responsibly. If you choose to use a credit card, you need to be mindful of your purchasing habits and avoid charges by paying off the balance each month in full. If you are considering a credit card, then opt for a student credit card with lower credit limits tailored to your needs.

  1. Seek part-time employment (if permitted)

Check your visa regulations before exploring jobs and if you’re allowed to work, you can look for part-time opportunities, whether it is finding a job inside or outside the university. Remember to balance academic responsibilities with your work commitments to avoid burnout.

  1. Stay mindful of currency exchange rates

Keep an eye on currency exchange rates as they constantly fluctuate, impacting your finances. Through the right timing, you can convert your money during favourable periods to maximise your savings. Be prepared for the risks of the currency exchange rate to decrease by transferring more income to make sure you have enough living expenses.

  1. Track your expenses regularly

Use a budgeting app or spreadsheets to review your incomings and outgoing expenses to make sure you stay on track with your finances. Make sure you keep your receipts to ensure you are staying on budget.

  1. Explore student discounts

Did you know there are perks of being a student? You are entitled to student discounts from public transport, certain museums, entertainment venues and restaurants. Always ask if a student discount is available and show your student ID to get the discount, helping you stretch your money further.

  1. Utilise public transportation (TU)

Public transportation is often one of the cheapest ways to get around in the UK. You can get discounted train fares and bus travel for being a student as long as you provide your student ID with you. To save even more money, you can walk or cycle to your destinations.

  1. Cook your own meals

Eating out regularly can quickly drain your finances, so why not consider cooking your meals for a cost-effective alternative? You can shop for groceries strategically at local shops and supermarkets and take advantage of bulk buying discounts. Cooking with friends can also be a fun and budget-friendly way to socialize while enjoying home-cooked meals together.

  1. Seek financial guidance

You can contact our Finance team by emailing or search our FAQs (UNIverse) if you are either unsure about managing your finances or facing financial difficulties. The team can help you provide valuable resources and advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

By following these additional financial tips, you can effectively manage your finances as an international student in the UK and enjoy a fulfilling academic experience without financial stress.

By Jade.