Save money now with these 8 quick tips for UAE residents
Whatever your goal, these money-saving strategies will help you save money and build a net egg for uncertain times
Strapped for cash? In the current economic climate, that’s pretty much a normal state of being for UAE residents. But there’s no need to make big life changes to improve your financial situation. In fact, with some clever thinking and quick financial management, you can reap the benefits of a more frugal lifestyle immediately.
Consider adopting some or all these eight quick hacks to start saving money immediately.
Create a budget
The most important saving tip of all, sticking to a budget puts you in control of your finances right away. Start by tracking your expenses over a month and categorizing them into fixed costs (rent, utility bills, etc.) and variable costs (groceries, eating out, entertainment). Then compare those to your income and try to identify which variables you can cut back on – these will become apparent almost immediately. Start with a few small cuts because old habits can die hard, and the stress of making too many changes at once can sabotage your efforts. As the adage goes, those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
Automate your savings
Everything else is being computerized in the UAE, so why aren’t your savings being automated too? Paying yourself first is the easiest way to start saving. Simply set aside a small sum of money (even as little as Dh500) into an e-saver account or systematic investment plan. You won’t miss the cash, and by the end of the year, you’ll have Dh6,000 saved – plus any profits.
Automate your bills
If you haven’t set up direct debits for your bills, call your major utility providers and do so right now. How does paying out money regularly help? When payments are made on or before the due date, you save money on potential late fees and any interest or profit rates thereon – and it’s also one less thing to worry about.
Open a savings account
When there’s money in your account and the balance flashed up every time you go to the ATM, just the thought can unleash a round of impulse purchases. Bypass temptation by opening a savings account with your bank and setting up an online savings account. You don’t spend what you don’t see, and the money accumulates nicely for later use.
Track your spending
If you thought big-ticket items are where you spend the most, you’re probably wrong – it’s usually the small, everyday indulgences that add up to a bigger amount. Tracking your spending every day offers an overview of your finances, so you always know whether you’re on budget. Better yet, it holds you accountable to yourself. Download a tracking app and start right now.
Put all your expenses on one card
In the UAE, payment cards can save you money by way of rewards such as cashback and travel points. But when you spend small amounts on several different cards, you may not qualify for the really big rewards on any of them. Additionally, it can be hard to track many different statements, raising the possibility of late fees when you forget to make a payment. Consolidate everything into one card and watch the rewards pile up.
Look closely at your credit card statement
Got a credit card statement that runs into several pages? Print it off and take a close look back on all your expenses. Not only will you see areas where you can cut back expenses, but you may also spot unusual items, such as double billing on subscriptions. That’s money saved right there.
Declutter your home
For some instant cash, look around the house and take an inventory of all the items that you’ve accumulated that you aren’t using. Now photograph them and put them up for sale on a secondhand website or community group. While each item individually may not be worth a lot, selling a few items at once can easily add up to a few thousand dirhams.