Dubai has a reputation for being an expensive place to live.
And rightly so. Between paying rent, keeping up with utilities bills and the maintenance cost of cars in UAE, it can sometimes feel like your monthly salary doesn’t stretch too far.
But whilst some lifestyle choices will require a pretty healthy bank balance (dining out in nice restaurants, cocktails at Buddha Bar, shopping at Dubai Mall) not everything needs to leave you out of pocket.
Here are 3 easy ways to be smarter with your money…
1. Assess how you are spending today
First, you need to look at where your money is going right now.
And unless you love spreadsheets (and no shame if you do!) the easiest, fastest and least confusing way to do that is via an app.
Financial tracking apps help you categorize your outgoings into different areas, such as entertainment, household (e.g. rent and bills), car maintenance costs, health and beauty, etc.
This will help you work out what you’re spending, where and why.
If you quickly notice that 40% of your monthly income is going on clothes, then maybe you should limit your trips to the mall!
But, surprisingly, this activity isn’t meant to make you feel guilty — far from it! It’s actually designed to empower you and put you in control. Because as soon as you are actively engaged with how you’re spending, then you can get better at planning ahead.
For example, if you know that the maintenance cost of cars in UAE is high and that your car needs servicing every 12 months, you can start to put aside a few Dirhams every month, to avoid the shock each time a vehicle inspection comes around.
2. Stop buying! Start subscribing
You probably stopped buying CDs years ago, right?
These days, having Spotify on your phone, in your car and around the house makes life so much easier — no more going to the store to find the latest release, no more switching CDs in and out of the HiFi, no more nasty scratched discs! How did we ever live like that?!
Switching to a Spotify subscription has also saved you a ton of money. How much does a CD cost at Virgin Megastore? AED 70? 100?
With Spotify Premium coming in at more than half that price — and offering unlimited music choice — it’s a far more economical way to listen.
So did you know that you can also benefit from subscription services in other aspects of your life?
You can rent luxury clothes for important events and even get the car you want, with just one all-inclusive monthly payment.
Now you might be thinking, “A car… by subscription?”. But think about it: why not?
With the maintenance cost of cars in UAE so high (plus down payments, plus fuel, plus insurance!) where’s the sense in buying?
Just like Spotify, car subscriptions, like Invygo, are hugely cutting down the cost of driving in Dubai. And making the experience easier and more flexible to boot.
3. Connect with your neighbors
You may be surprised to know that even in cities as big as Dubai, there are thriving grassroots organizations, connecting neighbors together to help save money.
Whether you choose to buy locally grown produce or join a pre-loved clothing platform, you’ll find that not only can you get a lot more bang for your buck, but you might meet some new friends along the way!
If you’re living in the UAE, life doesn’t have to cost as much as it does today.
Cut back on unnecessary spending, make use of subscription services and connect with your local community — you’ll soon start seeing results!