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Money saving tips for international students

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Travelling and living in Malaysia is quite affordable but if you are a student, most likely, you will always be thinking of ways to save some money for more travelling, activities, and why not -- more books. Here we present some money saving tips to enjoy a comfortable student life in Malaysia. 

Student Discount Card

Malaysian Student Discount Card is free of charge and available to all Malaysian students in the country. The card will enable you to enjoy discounts on food, apparel, entertainment, books, health and recreation services, restaurants, transportation, and flight tickets. It saves from 5% to maximum 60% of your spendings at more than 2,600 different outlets. So don’t delay your application for it.

Resources within the university

Every university in Malaysia provides its students with different educational resources and portals, which can be used for free. Also, instead of visiting public libraries and paying membership fees, come at your university and use the Internet to research as much and as long as you need to. Don't forget to make the most of your institution's free additional lectures, training, and events.

Online surveys

Taking part in online surveys is an easy way to earn some money as well as fill your free time with a different activity that might help other people in the future. There are many online platforms that offer nice compensation for your collaboration. Why not use them at your spare time? As a result, you will get rewards from cash to coupons and vouchers for different brands and stores.

Mystery shopping

As a mystery shopper, you will be paid for reviewing and evaluating products and services of different industries. So, you are assigned to try a product or service and evaluate its quality. It might be anything -- a visit to a retail store, a cup of coffee, a movie in a cinema, a dining out in a restaurant and so on. Of course, you are always reimbursed for the money spent for purchasing necessary things for reviewing. In the same time, you are paid for the actual work you have done. Usually, you can earn cash and vouchers. In such a way, besides financial compensation, you can enjoy the benefits of free entertainment.

Shopping in the city

First of all, it is worth going shopping to local street markets. There are plenty of them in Kuala Lumpur: Petaling Street, Kasturi Walk, Chow Kit Market are the biggest among them. You will find a variety of fresh groceries, apparel, accessories, jewellery, and many more for a much lower price than you will in the malls and supermarkets. To top it all off, local street markets demonstrate the authentic Malaysian culture and serve as an attractive destination for tourists. You can also download a mobile application called the Smart Shopper for grocery shopping in supermarkets. It helps you to compare prices of groceries across various supermarkets and provides you with the cheapest price in a second. Last, benefit from sales during certain periods of time. There are several big shopping seasons in Malaysia in 2017. Enjoy shopping during the Malaysia Super Sale (March 1, 2017 – March 31, 2017), mid-year Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival (June 16, 2017 - Aug 31, 2017) and Malaysia Year End Sale (November 1, 2017 - Dec 31, 2017). These shopping festivals offer great discounts up to 75%.

Online shopping

Online shopping in Malaysia is growing and has become very popular. There are plenty online stores with an extensive range of products offered at discounted prices. Keep in mind that some retailers offer more appealing conditions and online offers such as free delivery, benefits from a membership card and so on. Also, you can find online platforms, which provide people with free coupons, voucher codes, and discounts on products and services of different brands. Don’t forget to spend a minute and check if you can get one on the Internet before making a purchase in an online store. Also, remember to read the terms and conditions very carefully to be aware what you agree to.

Cashback

If you are not aware of the cashback concept, this tip is for you. First of all, there are many Malaysians credit cards, which have cashback for particular products and services. Check where you can utilise yours and purchase to get some of your spendings back. Also, you can quickly earn back some cash while shopping through the specific website, which offers such cashback conditions. Usually, it is a percentage from 4% to 10% of your spending on apparel, food, travel tickets, and services that you get back. They cover different big and well-known online stores such as ZALORA Malaysia, ASOS, Sephora, Hermes Malaysia and Lazada.

Cash vs. credit Card

The Department of Statistics in Malaysia states that around half of the Malaysian population under 30 years old are declared bankrupt. It is usual for students to have a difficulty with controlling their money and spending wisely on useful things. The best solution for this is to use cash instead. Use a credit card only when it is crucial. Otherwise, such habit may lead you to big debts. When financial resources are abstract, it is hard to realise how much a person has spent in real. Plan your budget and take as much cash as you need.

Free entertainment

Having a rich cultural heritage, influenced by Asia and Europe, Malaysia offers many entertainments. Good news everyone -- the best things in life are free. First, join free guided walking tours organised by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall. They highlight the local heritage of architecture, food, shops, and the history of Malaysia. There are many galleries, which you can come and visit free of cost. The most popular ones in Kuala Lumpur are Bank Negara Museum and Gallery, Galeri Petronas, and Wei-Ling Gallery. Enjoy peaceful spots at Lake Perdana at tropical Perdana Botanical Garden and KLCC Park. Also, every Monday at The Stage in Publika Square a free open-air film screening takes place. It is bound to be memorable. Many theatres, cinemas, and clubs provide students with discounts. Even if it is not stated anywhere, it never hurts to ask.

Dining out

In Malaysia, a dinner menu is more expensive than a lunch time menu. Also, it would be useful to check dining phone applications for deals. You can read reviews there as well as score discounts and deals for some restaurants. Such apps are Burpple and Eat Drink KL. You can also check online deal websites to get some dining vouchers and food deals.

Traveling

GoKL city bus service is very useful if you travel within the Central Business District of Kuala Lumpur. They are free and quite convenient because the bus stops are located near shopping malls and entertainments. Also, they provide the passengers with free WIFI network inside. There are many other choices of public transport: buses, trains, ferries, taxis. Cycling is the cheapest, but buses, in general, is a very cheap transport as well. If you are going to use the transport on a regular basis, buy a monthly ticket, which costs only RM149 in Kuala Lumpur. It may be pretty troublesome to find a decent taxi in Kuala Lumpur. So when you need to take a cab, use the Uber service instead -- besides lower prices for a ride, it has many other quality benefits compared to regular taxis, which often don't use the meter. Furthermore, when you are planning a round-trip journey to some neighbourhood countries, Singapore, for instance, buy both tickets in Malaysia. Otherwise, you will be disappointed to find out that the same tickets outside Malaysia cost much higher.

 Useful links:

Online Surveys Platform my.yougov.com
Mystery Shopping Platform www.ilovemysteryshopping.com
Online Saving Platform www.cuponation.com.my
Cashback Platform www.shopback.my

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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See also

International students in Malaysia can choose from public or private universities. You can also work in Malaysia following your graduation.
If you wish to travel to Malaysia with your pet, whether it is a cat or a dog, conditions will vary according to your home country. No birds are permitted.
Malaysia is a cultural melting pot, and the lifestyle reflects this. Expats can expect to experience a wide range of food and festivities.
Malaysia has a highly developed telecommunications network. Though fibre broadband is limited, internet speeds are quite good. There is also 4G.
No matter how you like to spend your leisure time, expats are sure to be kept busy in Kuala Lumpur from activities from kids activities to dining out.

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