Studying in Germany has been an amazing experience for me from the start, but also a challenge when it comes to managing my finances month by month. From living expenses to accommodation costs, it can be difficult to keep my finances under control as a student, especially when I also want to maintain a social life. However, I have learnt some tips and tricks that have helped me stay on track. Here are some personal tips on how to manage your finances as a student in Germany:
Creating a budget
I have learnt the hard way that creating a budget is essential for managing my finances. Every month I take the time to calculate my outgoings including rent, food, transport and leisure activities. I divide them into categories such as things I have to pay for, things that are necessary and things for leisure. This helps me realise where I spend too much money and re-establish what my priorities are.
Apply for Scholarships and Grants
Applying for scholarships and grants can be a great way to boost your income as an international student in Germany. Germany offers various possibilities and therefore do not hesitate to apply. Look for and apply for opportunities such as DAAD, Erasmus+ and Deutschlandstipendium as soon as possible. In addition, there are often concessions offered from time to time, so always keep your eyes open.
Take Advantage of Student Discounts
As a student, we have many concessions, so never forget your student ID. This allows me to save a good amount of money on museums, exhibitions, events and more. Don’t be shy to ask, the worst that can happen is that they tell you no.
Consider Part-Time Work
In order to have more income each month, many students decide to look for a part-time job. I myself have done this in the past and plan to do it again in the future. I find it a great way to be more financially secure and to get some work experience while studying. Germany, by the way, has specific job positions for students, so you can maintain a balance between study and work.
Cook at Home
Eating out in Germany can be expensive, especially for a student on a tight budget. Instead of dining out, I cook at home. Plan meals in advance and look for inexpensive recipes using seasonal ingredients. This has not only saved me money but also helped me improve my cooking skills. Moreover, University canteens offer decent prices and the meals are often very good, so find out how to use them.
By following these principles, I am trying to better manage my expenses as a student and make the most of my stay abroad. Remember to be careful with your spending, take advantage of student discounts and plan your expenses. With a little discipline, you can enjoy all that Germany has to offer without emptying your wallet.