Saving for the future is as important as eating and taking care of your personal health. No one has seen tomorrow but we need to have a positive attitude that tomorrow will be better and bigger. For that to happen, we need to take action today and start somewhere. Life is to be lived and money plays a major role. Money is not everything but it secures our future, brings peace of mind and also opens up more options to us.
The UAE is a place where one can live lavishly without giving much thought to tomorrow. Such is the charm of Dubai and the other Emirates. Having said that, we need to plan our future, save for our kids’ education and also save for our retirement.
Below are 19 General Money saving tips
Coins and currencies of lower denominations collected over a period of time can accumulate into a small fortune. So, don’t ignore the power of this simple tip. Get a small piggy bank and start putting your lose change in it. Keep the piggy bank where you would see it every day.
Track your spending by saving receipts
The receipts that you get from retailers and other stores can be good reminders of the money that you spend. Rack up those receipts for purchases made during the month and go through them at the end of the month. These receipts will help you understand and control your spending on unwanted and unnecessary items.
Buy groceries for a week
You can enjoy the economies of scale only when volume is high. So rather than waiting for the last minute and buying from your local grocery, plan in advance and prepare a list. This way you can save every week, which can make a huge difference when you compare them annually.
Saving goal on a daily basis
Small targets are always achievable. Rather than saying, ‘I will save AED 30,000 dirhams this year’, set a small target of saving AED 80 per day. This looks achievable.
If you are an expat, ultimately you might have plans to leave this country and settle down in your own country. So, don’t hoard unwanted things. If you ask me, I would say, don’t buy them in the first place!
Big refrigerator with a deep freezer
A bigger fridge helps you to store more food and as such you can buy in bulk. In the UAE, households waste a lot of food. If you have a fridge, which can accommodate remains of the day, you can store them and utilize them on other days. Also, when you purchase groceries, buy them in bulk.
Stick to basic beverages like tea and coffee. Fancy juices and carbonated beverages are slight deviations from your basic drinks. A huge premium is added for consuming these beverages. So save by sticking to basic beverages.
Nothing is better than home lunch. It tastes better and it is healthier too. In the uAE, there are a lot of options to eat out and once you start eating out, it becomes an addiction. Try and pack your lunch from home. It does save a great deal of money and also helps you to stay healthy.
When you are shopping, it is always better to have a list. It keeps you from forgetting anything and also helps you to stick to the budget. If you do not have a list, you tend to wander, deviate and end up buying something that you don’t need.
Allow water to take the place of juices and carbonated drinks. Water is cheaper and healthier.
On some days, just eat the stored food in the fridge. This will ensure that the food is not wasted and money is also saved.
If you have to make a frugal living in the UAE, you need to compare grocery prices and buy from the supermarkets that offer great deals and discounts.
Avoid junk food
No doubt, some junk food tastes great but they offer very low nutritional value. Depending on junk and packaged food can have dire health affects, which in turn escalate your medical bills.
I am not a smoker, so this maybe easier said than done, but try to quit smoking. It affects your health and also steals money from your pocket.
The UAE now offers all modes of public transport. Now that petrol prices have increased, public transport makes more sense. The metro in Dubai is well connected and even the buses are frequent and cheap. Opt for public transport at least thrice in a week. If your colleague and you live in the same locality, think about car sharing.
Switch off electrical appliances
When not in use, switch off the electrical appliances. When you are working in the kitchen, you don’t need the TV in the living room on. If you are living in an apartment with a window AC unit, switch it off when not home.
Cook at home
Eating out daily is costly and also unhealthy. Try and cook at home every day. With one hour of concentrated effort in the kitchen, you can cook a great meal at home. With practice you can reduce that time and also try new recipes.
Going to a gym can be costly in the UAE. You can substitute it with long walks, jogging in a park or doing ground exercises at home.
Always look for ways to save money
When you want to save money, no other strategy works better than consciously making an effort to looking for ways to save. Whenever you want to purchase something or use something, think about how you can do it more efficiently and effectively. Ideas strike from nowhere and some ideas will keep saving you money for a long time to come.
By implementing these tips, you will be surprised to find just how much you can save in a week, let alone a year. Go ahead. Give them a try.
By Aaron Crotty
Aaron is a certified Senior Financial Planner with over seven (7) years experience in the financial industry. He is based in Dubai where he utilises his expertise representing Arlo Associates. To contact Aaron for financial advice, please email him at aaron.crotty@arloassociates. com