Let’s Talk Money: 3 Tips for Budgeting During a Semester in Sydney

Jun 18, 2019 10:32:00 AM / by Elizabeth Westermeyer

If you want to study abroad but are worried on how to get your finances in shape, then this post is for you. Lizzy shares three principles she followed before and during her experience abroad. She also tells us why budgeting is good preparation for life in the real world!

World MapWhere are you from? Where do you want to go? The world map is your guide!

How are all the travel adventures and foodie pictures possible? Tenners, Lobsters, Pineapples! Or in common terms—$ Money Money Money! $$$ Aussies call their 10 dollar bill a “tenner,” 20 dollar bill a “lobster” for its red color, and the 50 dollar bill a “pineapple” for its yellow color.

Money is the key to traveling because without it, it’s probably not going to happen (as much as we would like to think otherwise). Although, you don’t need heaps of it to fill your itinerary. It’s a matter of delegating what you have to work with to make the most of it.

I followed the next three principles before and during my trip overseas to stretch my bank account as far as it could go. It looks easier than it seems but it will be worth it to have as much as possible to work with when the time comes.

OutbackAn Outback Adventure at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

1. Save

Once you commit yourself to months of spending money, it’s important to commit yourself to months of saving it. This can mean working more at your on- or off-campus job, staying home to eat your meals even if it’s more convenient to eat out (and that’s coming from a foodie), or applying to scholarships. After you finally get to your home away from home, that’s when you can also save money while being there. A smart way to do this is just like something you would do at home which is using discounts from websites like Groupon. Researching discounts can also give you ideas for places you wouldn’t think of visiting like new restaurants or museums. Also, don’t forget it can’t hurt to mention you’re a student for some extra money off.

Byron BayA Byron Bay Adventure at the Byron Bay Lighthouse.

2. Plan

When you want to take those weekend excursions to new places, you can spend less by planning ahead for transportation, accommodation, and excursions. Sometimes booking online for things or flying on certain dates costs less. For day-to-day savings by planning, you can plan to take public transportation that may take more time but still gets you to where you want to go. If you have an internship or know you’re going to have a long day of classes, you can bring lunch with you to save some money. Or you can carry a reusable water bottle with you so you don’t have to buy water when you are out. It’s the little things that add up…

You can also budget. I didn’t personally do this but I know people that did, and it worked for them. If you set bounds for yourself and stick to it, it’s more likely you’re going to plan where you’re going to spend. For example, if I want to hit some new foodie spots, I can limit myself to one to two places to eat out that week and plan my other meals accordingly by putting a certain amount of money toward groceries and some for my eating out expenditures.

BaliA Bali Adventure: Tegalalang Rice Terrace.

3. Prioritize

Decide what you want to spend your money on instead of trying to do everything and ending up running out before you leave. It’s okay to not to do everything your friends are doing if it’s not something you are interested in. It’s easy to blow money on nights out, but don’t forget to think about what else that money could be going toward. You can shop until you drop, but for me, when you’re abroad it’s the experiences that will stick with you forever rather than the material things.

FootprintsStepping into your journey abroad won't be as daunting once you have a plan in hand.

Study abroad does cost money, but for experiences you can’t put a price on. Studying abroad is good practice for the real world when you need to finance your own fun.

Thanks, Lizzy!

Lizzy Westermeyer

Lizzy Westermeyer is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2019, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Business Management major at Providence College, she is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.

Lizzy's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Sydney Program

Topics: Sydney, Australia, Scholarships & Financing