Living with a Budget
Because students are in an unfamiliar environment and confronted with an almost endless array of entertainment possibilities and attractions, the overall cost of living can be higher than when you are at Bryn Mawr. A go-slow approach to buying much makes sense. Try to live within a budget that will take care of all necessities for the entire duration of stay.
The following suggestions may be helpful:
- Make both daily and weekly budgets and stick to them.
- Be consistently on the lookout for special student rates and discounts, and know what is available through the use of the International Student Identity Card (e.g., travel, accommodations, entrance fees, etc.)
- Take advantage of less expensive alternatives when possible. Cook for yourself (especially breakfasts) if possible, or use student cafeteria meals rather than restaurants—saving even moderately priced restaurants for special occasions.
- Plan your entertainment and recreation around the availability of free, inexpensive, and discounted events—on campus or in the surrounding community.
- Shop when possible in street markets or major chain supermarkets. Avoid specialty shops and convenience stores (which tend to mark up the price). Put off making major purchases as long as you can, when you have learned the range of available selections and prices—or learned that you don’t really need that expensive item, after all.
- When you travel, stay in Youth or Student Hostels, or in modest bed-and-breakfast accommodations, as opposed to hotels that cater to tourists and business travelers and charge accordingly.
Take care of your belongings and safeguard your cash and credit card. Losses from carelessness are difficult at any time, but even more unpleasant while you are overseas. Pick-pocketing, unfortunately, is universally common.