New Year finance resolutions for expats in UAE

Published:  4 Jan at 6 PM
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Tagged: China, Dubai, UAE, Money, Euro
Everyone’s favourite New Year resolution is to get richer than in the previous year, but it’s essential to set in place rules and regulations to make it come true.

According to Gulf New’s Money page, personal debt via borrowing is at a high level in the UAE’s expat community. Consumer loan totals are soaring, making personal finance goals trickier than before. Expert advice from the page first concentrates on the discipline of regularly saving money as a start to building wealth, with Western expats well ahead of all others in this.

Saving money as expats can be much the same as in the home country, starting with shopping around for the best deal on every purchase from personal insurance to groceries, as well as using discount stores, vouchers and loyalty schemes. These measures are a simple, common sense way to practice frugality, but can be difficult in consumer-oriented hotspots such as the UAE.

A better idea is to put a certain amount monthly into a savings account, limiting immediate access to spending money even if a little more is occasionally needed for emergency expenses. Maxing the plastic on a monthly basis is not recommended unless funds are there to clear the balance before it accrues up to 30 per cent interest. In fact, credit cards can be useful as regards giving flexibility and helping with money management.

If escalating interest charges are causing problems, it’s possible to move outstanding balances to an interest-free balance transfer card, thus lowering the cost of borrowing and clearing the balance more quickly. Predicting your monthly costs in Dubai is relatively easy, provided additional impulse purchases aren’t made as a reward for strict budgeting.

As regards actual investments rather than just regular saving, the best advice is to tread cautiously, taking into account the overall world economic environment. In 2017, European and global markets may be affected by Brexit, the Trump presidency and the Chinese asset bubble as well as major countries’ interest rate adjustments and their effect on global currencies.
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