We asked the experts, they told us how to save dosh. Job done
1 If you are regularly transferring money between currencies don’t assume they will do you a good deal. Look around for a specialist bank, or an exchange centre, some of which might even do it over the telephone and save you a whole lot of cash.
2 If your journey passes three Salik tolls (maximum) each way, five days a week, that works out as Dhs480 a month. If you allow yourself a little extra time to do a slightly longer route, say 20 minutes and 20km a day, you could save Dhs23 a day and Dhs460 in a month.
3 This is a make-money-after-you’ve-spent-it-all tactic. Scour your house for everything that you bought on impulse and don’t use. What do you need a PDA for when you have a Blackberry? Has your baby started walking and left you with a pram in near mint condition? Collect all the stuff you don’t need and put them for sale online.
4 Keep an eye on Time Out every week, our listings sections are full of deals and offers that can help you save dough. We’re regularly giving away completely free gifts from cupcakes, to exercise classes, to desserts and more! The Time Out City Card is also worth a mint. Apply for one (for free!) and get up to 50 per cent off food and drink in various restaurants and spas, with more deals being added all the time.
5 If you have investment and insurance policies, how are they paid? It is quite common in the UAE to pay these by credit card or standing order, both of which have charges. Instead, pay by cheque. Write them about 6-12 months in advance, and it will cost you nothing. Even bills can be paid this way. Oh and cut those credit cards now!
6 Consider subscribing to cable TV and renting more DVDs. Pairing that with takeaways will save that Dhs800-1,000 a month you spend on eating out. You can find affordable cable subscriptions under Dhs100 (with the most expensive being Dhs300) per month or rent DVDs from Al Mansoor Video at Dhs100 for 15.
7 Alywyn Owen, an independent financial advisor, (www.dubaifinancialadvice.com) will review all your small print – your life assurance and health care cover – for free, to make sure you’re getting the best deal. If you’re satisfied with what he does, he charges henceforth.
8 Most hypermarkets including Carrefour and LuLu send their deals of the week to your doorstep. Scour their offers that week and buy only when the offer is on, and in bulk (with items such as shampoos, soaps and tissue).
9 Apart from whatever accounts you may have here, save your money in an offshore bank. Think of it as a virtual money box, in a safe haven outside of the UAE. Even if you move away from Dubai, you can then keep saving into it for as long as you wish.
10 Talk to your colleagues at work and find out if you can set up a car pool as this will cut down on fuel, Salik and car parking fees. Agree not to talk, if you’re not a morning person! You can contact Alwyn Owens at www.dubaifinancialadvice.com and James Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org
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LH Aug 09, 2009 10:32 am
I have found that Hyper Panda at Festival City is the cheapest place to shop, so the slightly longer drive outweighs the massive difference to how much I have left in my pocket at the end of the month!
Tania Aug 05, 2009 10:17 am
Just a few extras that make a huge difference - we have had to cut down a lot the last couple of months to get over a rough patch without using credit cards and with the advice of my housemaid (the thriftiest person I've ever met) I have been able to save at least 60% on my food bill.
I stopped going to our small grocery store in our community centre every day - where I was spending at least AED1000 per week + a regular large Geant shop. I now go to Lulu hypermarket for most things (or whichever sells my favourite things on special), I buy frozen meat which defrosts quickly in water (no more food poisoning) and I cook the meat in a slow cooker so it turns out very nice. I use a lot more arabic recipes, eg machboos, many of which are inexpensive to make. Chicken mince is delicious and can be used in stirfrys as well as many other recipes with fast cooking. I then freeze portions and use them as convenience food. I stopped buying meat slices and keeping them in the fridge where they were spoilt after 3 days. I freeze them in sandwhich bags now, 5 sheets in each and defrost as needed. I make my own baby food and all biscuits and cakes are homemade. I go to the supermarket once per week and buy A LOT of local fruit and vegetables. I get strange looks from the vege counter staff.
The result is that with a bit of planning, my shopping for a family of 5 + maid averages around AED 450 per week including diapers for 2 children and other household items.
That beats any of the savings I've seen on here! And on top of that we feel so healthy and my kids are more willing to try new foods. I hope others will benefit from this advice also!
Penny Badminton Aug 05, 2009 10:10 am
Do any other these two guys have proper qualifications to provide advice?? I know UK advisers have to have a basic certificate, but professional adviser have more than that.