Thinking of studying in India? Apart from India being an exciting country with a lot of beautiful cities, it has, even more, to offer in terms of higher education. Once you identify the university you would like to enroll in, the tuition fees are quite a clear cut. However, there are other essential expenses that you can only estimate; this is why it is imperative to have a budget. Even though the budgeting does not seem fun or interesting for many students, it is necessary.

You will need to be fully aware of what you spend on things like accommodation, food, and books (these are the high priority expenses). Additionally, there are many fun activities in college that can dig deep into your pockets if not budgeted for. What a budget does for you is ensuring that all your spending is kept in check so that you can easily focus on your studies. Here some of the best tips to budgeting while studying in India:

Visit the school prior to enrolling

If you have already identified the university you wish to study in, it is important to take a trip there and learn more about the area.  On this trip, focus on figuring out what your average day to day expenses may amount to. Check whether an in-house accommodation will suit you better or you would rather live outside the school. If you go for the latter, research on the cost of a student’s hostel in a nice safe area. Also, if you will have to commute to school daily, it is important to know how much transport would cost you.

After doing that, you will be armed with ample information to draft your budget. Allocate the available funds to different expenses and set some aside for unexpected costs.

Consider shared accommodation

If you decide to live outside the school, a good student’s apartment is likely to cost between 5000 to 10000 Indian rupees. If you would like to exercise frugality on this for any reason whatsoever, consider a shared accommodation. Splitting rent into two will go easy on your budget. For your comfort, it is prudent to pick a roommate wisely. Apart from saving on the rent, shared accommodation has other benefits such as having some company.

Eat in the student's mess for starters

While starting out in college, it may take some time to harmonize your daily routine. Preparing meals daily basis and at the right time takes a toll on you, especially if you have a busy schedule. Joining a mess will free up your time and resources.

Meals in most Indian universities are subsidized, which makes eating in a mess quite budget-friendly. This can also help you save up on utility bills such as water and cooking gas back at your apartment. Furthermore, paying upfront for your meals is a good budget control measure; if unexpected expenditures arise, you will not have to starve as your meals will be already guaranteed.

Cut your expenses where necessary

There are many opportunities to curb your expenses as a student. If your hostel is near the school, you can walk for two days a week to save up on transport. On matters of entertainment, check out the student-friendly spots as they are likely to be cheaper. Taking advantage of entertainment within the school is also a brilliant way to have fun for free or pay a small fee.

When buying textbooks, you can ask your lecturer if the previous edition will do. In most cases, the changes between the previous edition and the new one is usually minimal and the prices vary.

Studying in India is interesting but challenging for any student, be it international or local if they can't manage their money well. The worst thing that can happen is running out of money halfway through the semester. Failure to cater to essential expenses is stressful and constantly borrowing friends is embarrassing. No matter how much budgeting may look unimportant or unhelpful, it is important to know and stick within your spending limits. Moreover, budgeting is a skill worth cultivating as you will use it for the rest of your life despite where you decide to live or what you decide to do.