Volunteer Capital Centre (VCC)

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Saving money while volunteering abroad

"If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting."- Benjamin Franklin. Many volunteers do not go abroad with an aim of over spending their hard earned cash, for many it is a chance to give back to society and many a case to those less fortunate than themselves. As much as one would like to enjoy their experience while in a foreign country, a situation may arise where you may need to save and budgeted as such. A number of tips are provided here to help you curb your spending to a minimum, during your volunteer tour.

First place where you can make some savings is on accommodation. You do not have to stay in a hotel or an expensive resort when volunteering abroad. One sure way to make some savings is to get in touch with volunteer organisations that will help you to get cheaper accommodation from local families living in the area where you are carrying out your volunteer work. Alternatively you can make friends with the locals in the area and ask them to accommodate you for a small fee, either way it beats most hotel rates, and you might get to learn about the cultures of the people you are working with better.

Another tip to avoid over spending is to avoid eating out in hotels and restaurants, though one may get homesick and crave some of their home countries cuisine. It may work to your benefit if you try and get used to some of the local foods which are cheaper than imported foods. Once you are used to the local meals, then you can have your meals with the local family you are living with. This guarantees you homemade meals and in general may work to your favour in terms of health.

When in a country that is not very well developed most foreigners tend to feel like they have to use taxis to get around, most of these countries do not have very good public transport industries, they may not have subways or good bus systems. But it will be to an advantage to you if you get to learn how to use the public transport in such countries, because they tend to be much cheaper, and are not likely to over charge you just because you are a tourist, which is common with a number of taxi drivers in such regions.

Lastly when in a volunteer tour in a foreign country, try to reduce your spending by limiting your shopping sprees. A souvenir here and there may not be out of place but going on an all-out shopping spree on artistic memorabilia of the country or countries you are visiting, may cause a permanent dent in your pocket. As is the case with everything when you are abroad these items are more likely to be expensive to foreigners, so one should spend on a limited number of artefacts, to keep within your budget.

Therefore mentioned areas can act as a start to you, aiding you in making some savings when you are abroad doing volunteer work. You never know if at the end of your visit you have made some good savings then you may be able to treat yourself before you depart for home, knowing that you still have some savings that will assist you back home