Image Credit: Gulf News

A. SALARY RANGE: Dh2,500-Dh5,000

Age: 28
Profession: Event Management 
Nationality: Indian
Civil status: Single
No. Of kids: 0
Income: Single income 

Salary breakdown: 

Remittance – 43%
Food – 12%
Leisure – 7%
Utilities/Car – 10%
Savings – 10%
Telecommunication / Clothing – 10%
Donation – 8%

How do you feel about saving? 

“I actually follow a strategy in saving according to Warren Buffet: ‘If you buy something which you don’t need, you will have to sell something which you actually need to compensate the loss.’

“For me, regardless of how big or small your salary is, it’s all about how you manage it. My two strategies in handling my salary or money:

• You as a person should manage the money, don’t let the money manage you. What I mean is, plan your shopping as per your needs. Don’t plan as per your wants. Buy things which are at the top of your priority list not as per your wish list.

• Pretend your salary is always 10% less than what you actually get. That 10% should automatically go to your savings account. Preset the standing instructions in your online account where it deducts the 10% as soon as the salary is credited. This way you don’t feel like utilising this saving.

In the end, live life happily with what you get. Always try to look for opportunities where you can build good relationships with people. And definitely help the needy. What you spend on them will always come back in various forms.”

B. SALARY RANGE: Dh5,001-Dh10,000

Age: 45
Profession: Customer Service Agent
Nationality: Asian
Civil Status: Married
No. of kids: 2
Income source: Single income

Salary breakdown:

Rent/utilities 15%
Food 10% 
Transportation 10%
Tithes /Charity 10%
Remittance 5%
Clothing/telecom 5%
Loan/payables 45% 
Savings 0%

How do you feel about saving?

“I feel bad as I cannot save even a single dirham. I’m giving myself  one more year to be able to save even 5%. I don’t have the capability to save as of today because my income is still negative because of my payables.”

C. SALARY RANGE: Dh10,001-Dh15,000

Age: 49
Profession: Accountant
Nationality: Filipino
Civil Status: Married
No. of Kids: 4
Income: Double

Salary breakdown:

Parents: 8%
Share in family expenses: 16%
Food, clothing, utilities: 25%
Insurance: 8%
Kids’ allowance: 16%
Investment: 27%

How do you feel about saving?

“I feel happy and secure. We treat our investments as our savings. My husband does stocks and I take care of our investments in real estate.”

D: SALARY RANGE: Dh20,000 and up

Age: 39
Profession: Regional sales manager
Nationality: Indian
Civil Status: Married
No. of kids: 1
Income: Double

Salary breakdown:

Loan for House Construction in India: 28%
Rent: 15%
Utilities: 5%
Phone bills: 3%
Kids’ school fees: 6%
Car loan: 9%
Remittances to parents in India: 5%
Remittances to India for Savings: 5%
Groceries: 6%
Clothing and others: 3%
Leisure/eating out: 5%
UAE Saving Scheme/Non liquidity asset: 3%
Maid salary: 4%
Petrol/Salik: 3%

How do you feel about saving?

“Savings definitely give a feeling of security. When we don’t save, we feel helpless in times of need. Having said that, luckily when we are short of cash, we have credit cards to manage the situation. I personally don’t think that having some liquid cash is the only way of saving, I believe in committing to a loan I have taken upfront for investments is also a form of saving as it gives a sense of accomplishment. In the last 18 years of my UAE career, I have always opted to take a lumpsum as loan upfront and invest in real estate in India and then repay the same. Thus I commit myself to a certain amount every month which is actually my savings in a way!”