A lot of interns/trainees in the US under J1 visa have a hard time with expenses and budgets all the time. Comparing to international students who have to follow the strict rules about employment, J1 interns or trainees can work legally and receive stipend regularly; therefore, they will find it easier when it comes to budgeting. However, either you study or intern overseas, you always need to save some money in case of emergencies. Let review these helpful tips to save some money during your internship or training in the US.
You need to define between “Need” and “Want” clearly
If you buy everything you like, then you will end up with a big empty pocket. Therefore, you need to shop wisely. Be careful with a series of attractive advertisements and endless promotion events around you. Instead of buying what you “want”, you have to stop for a beat, think twice and then make a final decision. Only buying something if you really “need” it.
Having a clear and smart spending plan
If you don’t want to eat only instant noodles for a straight 15 days, what you need to do right away is having a plan to control your wallet. In addition to planning, you should also know how you spent your money. There are many trusted apps, like “Mint”, that help you keep tracking your expenses. You can easily create your weekly, monthly, yearly reports to see where your money goes. You are likely to decrease your spending if you know how you have spent.
Using public transportation
To save money on gas, using public transportation such as buses and subways will save you a lot. Monthly tickets are available, which is also a good plan to help you save more. Using public transportation is a way to reduce environmental pollution. You kill two birds with one stone, why not?
Sharing your rent
Renting costs always account for a large part of the expenditure of overseas students and trainees. Why don’t you find a shared room or apartment to lower your rent? Also, living with friends is one of the most ideal ways to avoid homesickly, or at least, make you feel better. Besides, you and your roommate(s) can buy household appliances and electronic devices together, which is a great way to control your wallet. However, the point is you will share your room, maybe your personal space too, with that person, so you must choose a trusted person, who can live along with you.
Traveling with a group
While interning or training in the US, you should use your free time to travel and explore with friends; this will help you build relationships and explore America at the same time. Instead of booking a tour like what you used to do back home, you should plan a road trip with your friends where you decide your way of traveling. Believe me, these road trips will be the unforgettable memories that you will keep for the rest of your life. Traveling with a group of friends will definitely reduce your expenses for each trip. Creating your memories and saving your pocket, isn’t great?
Throw away the burden of spending by applying the above tips during your internship or training in the US. You come to the US to explore America, to experience the diverse culture, and to train in one of the most dynamic countries on Earth. That’s all you have to remember.
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