Anyone who has ever been a university student probably remembers trying to scrape together the equivalent of a dollar or two for a bus fare or some instant noodles while ruing a heavy night on the town and the huge hole it left in their monthly budget. For all but the wealthiest, student life can be a constant battle to balance that you-only-live-once spirit with the need to economize and save.

For international students, saying no to the temptation to spend can be especially difficult, particularly when you factor in the lure of the new and exotic, not to mention language difficulties that may make tracking down bargains more of a challenge. Indeed, the vibrant city life and endless entertainment options in Japan’s major urban centers make these big cities some of the least helpful places on Earth for students to save.

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