5 Practical Tips to Save Money as an Expat in Dubai

Published May 13th, 2018 - 07:43 GMT
5 simple tips that can help you limit your expenses and increase your savings in Dubai. (Shutterstock)
5 simple tips that can help you limit your expenses and increase your savings in Dubai. (Shutterstock)

One of the reasons that attract talented skillful employees from all over the world to work in Dubai is the tax-free income.

Despite the value-added tax (VAT) that was  introduced to the UAE in January 2018, Dubai is still considered one of the most desirable cities to live in.

Nonetheless, the majority of expats still face challenges in saving money because of all the various temptations this mesmerizing city has to offer.

If you’re nodding your head already, then we believe that the 5 simple tips below can help you limit your expenses and increase your savings.

1. Befriend the environment

Being environmental friendly doesn’t only help us in saving our environment, but it also helps in shrinking our bills. For example, switching off and unplugging the appliances when not in use reflects positively on electricity usage which results in lowering the amount of the electricity bill. And since you’re living in Dubai, it is worth knowing that DEWA’s electricity charges tend to get higher between 12pm and 6pm every day. So start minimizing your usage of appliances during that period.

2. Needs vs. Wants

Whether you’re shopping in a mall or online, ask yourself this simple question before purchasing any item: Do I NEED this or do I WANT it?

 If you need the item, then don’t hesitate to get it. Otherwise, you need to reconsider.

3. Experiment more in your kitchen 

Dubai is known for its various restaurants and the cuisines they offer. Due to the busy lifestyle of expats, the majority tend to depend on take-outs and/or dining-out.

Although it’s not a bad idea to indulge yourself every now and then with a delicious meal prepared by a professional chef, we advise you to start testing your cooking skills at home. If you start relying on homemade prepared meals more than the take-outs, we assure you that you’ll notice a major drop in your expenses, and you might even witness a smaller number on your weighing scale!


4. “SALE” should be one of your favorite words 

SALE, OFFER, BUY TWO AND GET ONE FREE, and all these catchy words should be the words you focus on when you are on a shopping mission.

Another thing you can do when shopping is avoiding items that are “New Collection,” and check the ones that are on sale first.

5. The credit card trap! 

Once you open a bank account, the bank will start tempting you with loans and credit cards. Be aware and don’t fall into that trap. One credit card is more than enough to cover your expenses in Dubai!

Pick the credit card that provides you with the benefits that you prefer, and always aim to pay your credit card bill in full by your statement due date.

Last but not least, we advise you to consider Elizabeth Warren’s 50/30/20 rule as your guide to money; where 50% of your income should be spent on your needs, 30% on your “wants”, and save the remaining 20%.

Written by Rim ElChami

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