Every student who are going to study overseas will invariably encounter countless issues out there. Examples would be trying to find a house, getting your way to university, getting along with the students etc. For some they are challenges to be conquered upon while the rest may just be as easy breezy. Yet the mother of all problems stems from that one darn thing: Money.

As students who spent over a decade living under the parent’s house, like the most of us, this can be quite a huge issue. Yesterday, you are living in a house where your parents do all your groceries, pay the rent, electricity bills etc and now you found out that you have to do all these things alone.

You have to literally have to scratch your way through the day to stabilize everything out. I call this the “Chaos Period”. It usually takes an average of 3 months to do so before anything goes smoothly. If your smart enough than it may be less than that. Failure to do so can incur you heavy losses in terms of your money. It can drain you into exhaustion. So in this case there are many factors to consider in organizing your life. One of which will be outlined in the preceding paragraph.

In the “Chaos Period” you have to really learn to how to do budgeting. Budgeting in the business definition is a short term business plan that contains data in monetary terms. In this case you have to plan your short term living in accordance to the money you will spend upon. It provides you an overview of your spendings and helps you adjust and control your expenses as you go along. Without it you do not know how much you have lost in spending on unnecessary things which otherwise should not be spent upon in the 1st place.

My money literally flew away as I traveled across UK. I only had a few hundred pounds borrowed to me by my mother. I did not receive the 3 months initial allowance yet so as a result I had to live on that few amount of money. I kept track of my expenses but I did not handle it wisely enough. As a result I was losing a lot of money. I was like “Where’s my money gone?!!!” It is not pretty at all as I look back at it. The countless expenses that are too long to mention and it is very hard to bear with.

As I faced the “Chaos Period”, my meals which was once extremely nice foods from Brunei Hall, changed to Pizza with Coke costing £2.00 from the Pakistani pizza shops into eating bread every single day. Given the additional expenses such as travel expenses, administration etc it makes it all the while to be patient in the journey.

Only about 2 weeks after did my allowance finally arrive, all thanks to my relentless and supportive brother Muhammad Alif Omar. However the allowance I got was only a portion of the original amount as I have to pay back my parents for their funding in the past.

Yet it was not all that smooth as the money again fleets away from me. Again the “Crisis Period” endured. Though I “lived properly” afterwards, somehow by the habit of spending did my money continue to escape me. So I finally drew a line where I made my budgeting. It was a super-drafty-chicken-scrolled-hand-written note along with some monetary figures that I finally input into my ledger account where I track all my expenses. Yet it served the purpose, after updating and re-updating it did I finally put a halt in my uncontrollable spendings. Now as Sainsbury’s slogan would say, I am able to “live well for less”.

To the students who are planning to study overseas, you will invariably face the “Chaos period” and one of the way on how you can minimize the impact is to learn how to do budgeting. Its a practical skill and if you want the writer to teach you then he is willing to offer you budgeting course for £30.00. Remember, knowledge is key in handling crisis and if you know what the author knows now you will save much more than the cost you pay for the budgeting course.

“My Journey” is a ten part series aimed at Bruneian hopeful scholars who wishes to study overseas. The stories written are real experiences from an undergraduate student, Abdul Malik Omar that contains anecdotes, mistakes and advice made in his journey in UK in as so far. The writer wishes students the best of luck in their own journey in studying overseas.