- It is quite testing to save money in Dubai.
- The city’s abundance of temptations often means more money spent.
- You can still afford luxuries while being aware of your financial means.
- We have provided savvy money-saving tips to help you better manage your finances while living and working in the city.
As expats living in Dubai, we’ve all heard casual comments along the lines of “you might end up with less than what you came here with,” or “you’ll live from pay cheque to pay cheque.”
While unplanned and uncontrolled spending can affect anyone at any given time regardless of where they’re based in the world, bank balance “imbalances” particularly stand true for those living in Dubai.
And in the city of glitz and high living, when it hits, it hits hard. It can be difficult to save money if you haven’t put an effective game plan in place. In addition to the basic cost of living general attractions and the culture of spending are temptations that Dubaians tend to give into.
Dubai residents or those who do frequent business in Dubai face situations that retards their money saving efforts. Friday brunch, the plethora of fine-dining options, fancy supermarkets and school fees on the rise: these are only a handful of temptations that stand between those who live and work here and their bank balance goals. And since this problem is fairly common, we’ve come up with precise money saving tips to help you get your finances in order.
Payday doesn’t mean “spend-day”
The start of the month always sets the tone for your financial situation (and sanity) going forward. Make smart choices that will help you better understand what you are/will be spending day-to-day, and don’t go too bonkers with the cash that you earn. Open a separate bank account where it would take a few days to obtain the money, so that the money you need to save (no matter how small the amount) stays relatively far out of reach for the time being. Alternatively, you can always send that money home. You may feel tempted to use it, but once the numbers in your savings account start to soar, you will be proud of what you have achieved, and thus become addicted to making a habit out of putting some precious pesos on the side.
Ways that’ll help you manage your money:
- Various apps such as Mint: Money Manager
- A traditional Excel Spreadsheet
Toss away your credit cards
“I’ll purchase whatever my heart desires and deal with it later,” we hear you say. That’s exactly why too many people living in Dubai deal with minor or major debt issues. And there’s no such thing as good debt. Debt is debt, and on judgment day, it’ll be no fun. Make it a healthy habit to only spend the money you possess by using a debit card or an ATM whenever you need cash. Also, do pay your bills on time. And if you DO happen to have debt, it’s essential to get rid of it before you start saving.
Live within your means
You’ll always have friends who earn more than you do, and that’s okay. But what’s not okay is for you to feel obliged to follow some of their plans that do not fit your current lifestyle and what you can afford right now. Be vocal and transparent, and let everyone know whether a particular plan would fit your budget or not.
How to make cost-cutting easier:
- Do allow yourself some luxuries while still sticking to your budget. An expensive brunch is fine once-in-a-while, but not every weekend.
- Cancel your subscription to those extra TV channels.
- Eat at home now and then.
- Cultivate your effortless ability to say “no” when you feel like it’s mandatory to do so.
- Let your close friends know that you wouldn’t enjoy spending the money.
- It’s perfectly okay to make excuses to avoid getting carried away with spending.
- Before purchasing something, ask yourself, “do I really need this?”
Have a proper goal
If you’re saving for the heck of it, then forget it. It won’t work. For instance, saving money for a financial goal keeps you motivated. You need to know exactly why you’re saving, and what for. Set yourself some precise objectives, otherwise, you won’t get the best out of it.
Here are some things you can choose to save for:
- Emergency fund
- Down payment for a car/on a home
- The pursuit of your education
- Your child’s education
Money worries are never easy to tackle, but don’t let them get in the way of your happiness and wellbeing. There’s nothing that you need to give up, as long as you make sure you know when’s the right time to shell money on a specific outing, trip, gift, product, etc. The most important thing to remember not to lose sight of your long-term goals, despite the temptations Dubai will keep throwing at you!