Student Mobility / Money / 5 Budgeting Tips for International Students 

5 Budgeting Tips for International Students 

Moving to a new country for studies is an exciting adventure, but it can also bring financial challenges. As an international student in the Netherlands, managing your finances wisely is crucial to ensure you make the most of your time abroad without breaking the bank. Here are five essential budgeting tips to help you get started on the right foot in the Netherlands, and make the best out of your experience.  

1 Create a monthly budget

Start by listing all your income sources, such as scholarships, part-time jobs, or financial support from home. Next, track your expenses, including rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and entertainment, using budgeting apps like Monarch or YNAB (You Need a Budget) to help you monitor and manage your finances effectively. 

2 Save money on food 

Grocery shopping can be expensive, depending on what you buy and where you shop it is around €200 per month. If you also add the costs of delivery and eating out, your expenses on food can easily double, which can quickly drain your budget. Save money by cooking at home and plan your meals in advance. Buy groceries from affordable supermarkets like Lidl, Aldi, or Dirk, and don’t forget to use your discount cards at Albert Heijn and Jumbo to maximize your savings. You can also download apps like, toogoodtogo, where you can order soon to be expired food at a low price. This way, you not only shop affordably but also help reduce food waste for a greener planet.

3 Lease a bike 

Cycling is the easiest way to get around in the Netherlands. Buying a new bike however is never cheap: it can range from €200-500. Also, if you are an exchange student or not planning to stay in the Netherlands for long, we have a more affordable solution for you: leasing. The Student Mobility Bike program offers leasing a bike for €25 per month. Unlike other companies, our minimum rental period is 3 month and you can cancel any time after, offering flexibility and budget friendly option to discover the Netherlands like a Dutchie.  

4 Minimize travel costs 

The Netherlands has an excellent public transportation system, but the rates are often high. If you are an international student, the best option is to get our Student Mobility Card that can immediately be used upon arrival in the Netherlands and gets you a 15% discount on trains during weekends and off-peak hours. This way you can discover the country without breaking the bank. 

5 Take advantage of student discounts 

Many businesses in the Netherlands offer discounts to students. Our Student Mobility Card does not only help you to get discount on public transport, but it also doubles as an ISIC card that guarantees you discounted rates at 30,000+ service providers worldwide. Always carry your ISIC card and ask for student rates at museums, cinemas, and even some restaurants and shops.  

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