15 ways expats can save money in UAE
How to live a financially fit life in the emirate.
PHOTO BY EXPAT MEDIA
15 ways expats can save money in UAE and live a financially fit life in the emirates
DUBAI – Tax-free commodities, a plethora of entertainment options and frequent sale seasons can be distracting to anyone who might want to save money in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE.
However, it is possible to live a financially fit life in the emirate, and save extra cash for your security. Here are top 15 tips:
15. Plan your yearly holidays in advance so you can buy your airline tickets in advance. Airline tickets are usually cheaper when bought at least six months ahead of your travel date. Also, try booking online at around midnight when some airlines offer “midnight sale” on seats.
14. When sending a considerable sum of money home, don’t go with the flow. Exchange rates are usually high at mid-month or end of the month because this is when people receive their salaries and are likely to remit money. If possible, wait when the exchange rate dips (which means you get more for your dirham) before you send remit money home.
13. Prefer to buy quality, used items that you need. You don’t have to spend a fortune on new furniture, unless you want to. There’s plenty advertised on online classifieds, or in second-hand stores in Dubai. Another favourite is the bi-monthly flea market in Safa Park.
12. If you don’t have accommodation or transportation paid for by your company, rent a place that is closer to your workplace. You can save time and money if you are spared a long commute.
11. Plan your trips using public buses or the Dubai Metro. The fares are a fraction of what you would spend compared to riding a taxi. If you must have a car, it is more economical to buy one in good condition (to spare you from maintenance woes) than lease one. However, make sure you have free parking space, and factor in yearly costs like vehicle registration renewal, vehicle insurance and toll fees.
10. Look for free entertainment. Beaches or parks are great places to unwind and entertain yourself with friends or family. You can also check out free shows and events at the malls, particularly during the shopping festivals.
9. If you are living alone or renting a shared apartment, it might be a good idea to buy cooked food in small portions from supermarkets and hypermarkets like Carrefour, Spinneys or New WestZone. You can ask for servings within your budget. This way you are saving time and effort from preparing your food.
8. If you must cook, include more vegetables on the menu. They’re cheaper, quicker to prepare and healthier, too.
7. Regularly check supermarkets and hypermarkets for special offers or deeply discounted prices on stocks for clearance. Most bargain-conscious shoppers head to Baqer Mohebi for discounted prices on boxes of chocolates to ship home. You can also check out the clearance aisles at Carrefour, Lulu, Geant or HyperPanda.
6. Shop, dine or get service from establishments that offer loyalty points or rewards. Also check out offers on deal websites. There is usually a buy one get one offer on leisure trips, restaurant meals and other deals.
5. Get a pre-paid internet subscription on your smartphone that will allow you to use software like WhatsApp, Skype or Viber so you can call or message folks back home for free anytime, or when you are feeling homesick.
4. Try not to eat out frequently, but when you do, don’t be embarrassed to have your leftover food packed so you can eat it at home later.
3. If you can’t wait to do your shopping during sale season, shop at outlet stores instead (ask the store staff for the location). A more popular destination is the Outlet Mall, which houses all the outlet stores in one mall.
2. Don’t use a credit card, unless you can pay what you owe in full before interest accrues at the end of the month. But remember: It is always better to spend only what you have.
1. Save a portion of your salary. Always. The money you save now is not just for your retirement, but it can also be a much-needed fund for emergencies. ICA/Expat Media