A life of an international student is known to be exciting, adventurous and fun. But even though most of us later refer to this period as “the time of our lives”, there are some struggles that must be faced along with all the pleasant experiences. Considering that Germany has a lot to offer to young internationals, the money issue is known to be most common. And whilst most of you can successfully come up with different creative ways of spending money, some hints on how one can save it appear to be highly relevant. Thus, as most of us here are either current or former students, we have put our heads together and came up with a list of ways to save money when studying in Germany:
First, check out the website of your local transportation provider. In most of the cases there are special fares for students that are much more affordable than regular ones. Honestly speaking, the semester ticket itself is sometimes a reason people in Germany wish to study forever…
If you are planning to often use the services of Deutsche Bahn, consider purchasing the DB MyBahncCard 25/50. This card allows you to buy tickets with discounts all year long and there is a special price for those under 27 years old. Apart from that, you might want to download the DB Mitfahrer App. It allows you to quickly and easily find the right passengers to travel with – and save a lot of money by getting a group ticket.
Using a bicycle is also a common and comfortable solution to travel short to medium distances in Germany. If you are not planning to bring a bike of your own, consider using some of the bike sharing apps like Byke or DB Call a Bike. They have many reusable bikes spread around the cities which can be booked by a mobile phone, unlocked and used for a fixed rate fee.
Having a membership at a nearby gym is something that often comes at a high cost. We recommend finding outdoor sports groups – there are plenty of apps for it like sportyapp or spontacts. It is a great way to meet new people, stay fit and save some money 😉
There is a simple reason why almost every German has a liability insurance (Privathaftpflichtversicherung): in case of trouble, it saves you a whole lot of money! According to German law, everyone can be held liable comprehensively for damages caused negligently or carelessly. Imagine, if you accidentally dropped someone’s iPhone or spilled red wine on a very expensive carpet – a personal liability insurance is a voluntary insurance that covers exactly those damages. Usually, they cost around 50€ per year for a single person.
Cheapest way to buy food is at local discounters (Lidl, Penny, Aldi, Netto, etc). It is also sometimes a good idea to search for seasonal food offers at local markets and then cook a nice dinner out of it. In general, meal preparation at home could save you a lot of money – eating out every day, even though appealing, harms your budget a lot.
Some people find it useful to download special budgeting apps to keep track on their finances. There you can set budget restrictions on certain categories, control your costs and see if you have overspent this month. We suggest you check out Spender and other apps in this category.
Apart from that, make sure you open your current account at a bank with no monthly costs. We have prepared an overview of the best existing options in your personal Fintiba account.
It is well known that finding a place to live in Germany can turn out to be a major challenge for international students. On top of that, the landlord may also require you to provide a high rental deposit before you move in. With the Fintiba Rent Deposit Insurance, you can keep your money at your own disposal and don’t have to pay any deposit. Read more about it here https://www.fintiba.com/rent-deposit-insurance/
When moving in, you would most likely need to find providers for such services as electricity, internet, mobile communications and so on. Make sure you make a research and compare the prices before signing a contract at a special price portal (i.e. https://www.verivox.de/, https://www.check24.de/).
If you are a book lover, consider exchanging / buying and selling books on such websites as tauschticket.de; booklooker.de, or amazon books. Also, when enrolling at the Bürgeramt you would receive a book with vouchers including a 1-year free membership at the City Library (Stadtbücherei).
- Amazon Prime has a special student offer: free membership for one year! Unlimited streaming of TV Shows and Movies with Prime Video along with a Premium access to Amazon deals. We also suggest checking out student offers at Spotify, Apple Music and similar platforms.
- Consider getting a Payback Card. It is a multi-brand loyalty program that lets you earn and redeem points on every shopping. With a wide range of in-store and online partners, you can earn points on groceries, fuel, entertainment, travel, apparel and more. Members can stack up points and redeem these points for free shopping.
- Try eBay Kleinanzeigen when you would need to purchase stuff for university like books and calculators. It is also quite useful to search for kitchen utilities and small pieces of furniture for your apartment.
The most obvious way to make extra money is to find a part-time job. For instance, consider teaching your own language or other subjects where you have expertise. Baby-sitting could also be an option. Keep in mind that in Germany there is a nationwide minimum wage for mini-jobbers of at least € 8.84 gross per hour.
All in all, we believe that there are many ways to save money here in Germany, especially for students. Don’t hesitate to ask around for special offers and always carry your student id around.
We hope that you have enjoyed the read and found this article useful. If you would like to know more about the peculiarities of living in Germany, check out the Study Guide section in your personal Fintiba account 😊