Shakeera Hooker: Money Advice

This post will be about advice that is of at least some importance to future students that want to study abroad in ~China~. The first bit of advice will be about money, of course. The last time I checked, the US dollar was equal to about 6.34 yuan, which is good because you can spend less while living here.

  1. First, although you are able to spend a little more it is important to spread out your shopping days. You will want to go shopping more than once in a month, and you will most definitely see many things that you’d like to buy at different times. Unless you have lots of self-control and like to do your “fun” shopping all at once, I would recommend not spending lots of money in one trip. It’s very easy to do since when we try to see the actual cost of an item we convert it back to US dollars, because we view the money in our account in terms of US dollars (especially if you get a scholarship and you are not accustomed to thinking of it in terms of yuan) and end up saying “Wow! That’s only like 5 dollars.” And then we buy tons of things.
  2. The second tip concerning money handling is to try not to spend so much money on food. The staff here usually warns the students of this pretty adamantly, but I say try not to spend too much money on American style food AND local food. There is a cafeteria on campus – usually better if you are not so picky about your food – that has food for much cheaper. You put money on your cafeteria card and use until you have to refill. It is obviously a good idea not to try and spend your money on food all the time because we all want to save money. However, I also mean this in terms of outings with friends or colleagues, not just yourself. Going out to eat, whether it be cheap food or more upscale, is always nice and a good time for everyone. That being said, if all of your outings throughout the month have been spent figuring out where to get food, then you may be limiting yourself to only a few of the different things Chengdu (or any place) offer.  You may want to take a trip somewhere, go hiking, do KTV, visit a monastery and maybe get souvenirs, go to an indoor waterpark, or so many other things.

Unless you come here with plenty of money, then I would suggest maybe writing your “allowance”, and then maybe noting how much you spend each time you go out. Or just count your money at the end of the day. I can be very frugal sometimes, but that is only because I am afraid of my shopping habits sometimes. You can manage your money how you see fit, but these are somethings I think may be useful for many kinds of people.

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