How to stay in budget as an international student in The Netherlands

Being notorious for being one of the most expensive countries to live in Europe, trying to make ends meet in The Netherland can be challenging for students, especially those coming from a non-EU country. Therefore, this blog gives some helping hand for you to make your student life in The Netherlands as most enjoyable as possible without financial burdens.

1.”Aanbiedingen”, “Kortings”, “Gratis”

I bet these words sound appealing to me as much as they are to the Dutch people (aanbiedingen = deals, kortings = discount, gratis = free). Pay an eye to these words whenever you go shopping can save you a fair amount of money. As a student myself, I rely on when supermarkets offer good deals on food or household appliances. This way, sometimes, I can buy the same item but with halved price and have a bit of savings for later.

2. Know where to do your shopping

Traditional markets (Vismarkt as it is often called in Dutch) is a great alternative to supermarkets when you buy grocery as food, fruits, and vegetable in Vismarkt can be much cheaper. Besides, freshly-made seafood can also be purchased at a discount if you are a student. Or at the end of the day, some farmers decide to make a final sale to their product, which sounds great right? Besides, if you decide to buy something new, I highly recommend try looking in such stores as SoLow, Action or Flying tiger, Primark, etc. At these stores, you can find items at incredibly cheap price or you may pay even much less than other more expensive stores. Sounds attractive enough? Or when you want to buy some cheap interior decorations, consider having a look on Marktplaats. This trading platform also have offers at amazing prices. And most importantly, the payment is often secured and trusted by many generations of Dutchies.

Vismarkt in Groningen – Netherlands where you can find affordable grocery

3. Healthy home-cooking

Another tip to save your pennies is to have home-made meals more often. Why paying for a plate of salad that may cost 3 times higher in restaurant and cafe? Instead, you can absolutely create your own dish using some more “affordable” ingredients that can be bought in any supermarkets/ markets, of course even better with “kortings” or “aanbiedingen“. Furthermore, making meals yourself can help you to control the amount of fat, sugar and thus lead a healthier lifestyle.

4. Buy what only matters!

I’m sure I am not the only one who may stuff my room with unnecessary things. So the tip is is to buy what you only need. Do not even think about things that you “may” use in the future because that things may end up not being used. Only purchase essentials that you frequently are in need of (e.g. toothpaste, shampoo, etc). Trust me, buying things just because they are cute or “I may need this” might end up a waste of money.

5. Keep an eye on special websites for students in Netherlands

Websites such as UNiDAYS or Studentenkorting offer discounts from different famous brands. So all you need to do is just BE a student and enjoy the DEALS available.

6. Apply for benefits and allowances (only if you are eligible)

One of things that I really appreciate when living in The Netherlands as an international student is that sometimes, I receive financial support from the Dutch government, which makes my life here way easier. There are a few benefits/ allowances that you can apply for such as huurtoeslag (housing allowance), healthcare benefits, etc. All you need to do is to check whether you are eligible for the “toeslagen” (benefits) on the tax and customs administration official website Belastingdiesnt

Hope the mentioned tips can help you make the most of your journey as an international student in The Netherlands!

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