The Netherlands relies heavily on cards and many places do not accept cash. Do open up a Dutch bank account as soon as you can.
How do I open a bank account?
Most banks offer a student account, and what is necessary to open one depends on the bank.
1. Start by looking at the big three: ABN Amro, ING, and Rabobank.
Online banks which are also useful: BUNQ, and Revolut.
2. Regardless of the bank, you need a BSN to apply, so do it after you register.
3. Different banks have different requirement. Look at what each want.
4. You can also take out Liability Insurance (Aansprakelijkheidsverzekering) via your banks. This is requested by a lot of rentals and jobs, so it's good to have and not very expensive.
But why do I need a Dutch account?
Many things online are paid through iDeal which is a pay link through which you can pay directly from your bank account, however, the only banks listed are Dutch, however, Revolut also exists. Additionally, some other things, like bills, do not allow a foreign account.
Transferring each other money after purchasing something for one another is very common. The most common way is through Tikkie, an app which allows you to send each other pay links via messaging apps. For this, a Dutch bank account (or Revolut) works.