Organising your finances as an expat in the UAE

Published:  27 Jun at 6 PM
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Tagged: UAE, Study Abroad
A recent survey undertaken by a credit car provider and the UAE’s Al Etihad Credit Bureau examined expatriates’ savings habits.

Many expats who find themselves in a job with a more than generous salary and perks often don’t provide for their long-term futures by defining the difference between wants and needs. The study showed almost all respondents were saving, with 59 per cent happy with their nest eggs, but just 23 per cent expressed confidence over their financial futures. It would seem that basic budgeting isn’t a necessity for the majority of expat professionals, nor is looking ahead to retirement.

Creating a spreadsheet identifying your monthly income stream and essential expenditures is straightforward, and tracking each transaction for the first month before totalling each column gives an exact idea where your salary is going, including to your savings. From this, you can easily identify your monthly discretionary spends – classified as wants – against the essentials of your chosen lifestyle. From there, it’s straightforward to identify where you could make more savings.

Expats living and working in the UAE mostly fund big-ticket items such as a car or apartment via loans from local banks. Keeping records will ensure you don’t miss payments due as this could affect your credit record. The next step is to decide how much you can save on a monthly basis rather than just squirreling away what’s left at the end of each month. Opening a separate savings account and transferring an exact monthly amount is the best way forward, as it ensures funds are easily accessible in the case of an emergency without impacting your monthly budget.
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