How to create the right budget

You’re planning an internship in a foreign country, but you don’t know how to create the right budget for your stay? Don’t worry! We’ll tell you some tricks to make it easier for you – it’s not rocket science!


It’s not difficult. Basically you just need to grab a piece of paper and write down all your sources of income and expenses. A spreadsheet will do too. For the income as well as expenses, budget everything, even items that don’t seem important.

Start with the rent, bills (electricity, internet), food, phone (look for the most valuable mobile plan), commute or longer trips, household supplies and toiletries. Then, list things that are a little less important but you feel you need. For this step it’s important that you differentiate “want” and “need”:  we’re thinking films, music, computer games, eating / going out, cigarettes – we’re not encouraging you to smoke, but it’s so expensive it needs to be included in your budget- buying clothes, etc. Anything that is important to your personal routine. You’ll find a non-exhaustive but very well-stocked list of expenses on this page, that can help you think about items to add to your own.
Our infographic shows you a few things you should keep in mind when you setup your budget:


Keep track of all your expenses on a regular basis, and run a review at the end of the first week or month to see if there are adjustments needed to match the whole plan you made. There are mobile apps that can help you track your expenses, you’ll find some examples here.


Once your budget is set up, you can start working on minimising your expenses. The first things you want to look for are student discounts and deals, they’re usually available in a lot of stores and restaurants, especially chains. For travel, enquire about the different types of subscriptions available with your local or national transport company. See if there are special offers for students, or for the 16 – 25 year olds, both for your commuting trips and longer travels.
Depending on your location, you might also find services such as Groupon, that can give you access to products and services at very competitive rates, for example, for a new haircut or new clothes. For clothing you can also go to second hand shops, where you can find decent and original clothes for a very affordable price.


In order to save food money, you can learn how to cook. It’s usually cheaper to buy the products you need and put together a dish rather than to buy ready-to-eat processed food. It’s healthier too! If you’re living with other people, a solution is to share the food expenses and the meals together in order to reduce the costs even more. Here is a bunch of cheap and easy recipes for you to try. When shopping in store, choose the value products and supermarket own brand, and buy in bulk whenever you can, especially for household products such as toilet paper and kitchen towels, as well as pasta, rice and other products that have a long shelf life.

If you follow at least part of these tips, you shouldn’t have to worry too much over money during your internship or study abroad period. And of course, feel free to question your colleagues and other interns if they have ideas and advice to help you enjoy your foreign experience without spending a fortune!

Not sure yet where to do your internship? Check out Partnership International’s website for Internships, Au Pair and Languages courses programs in Ireland.


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