Tax-free income may not always leave you enough to save or send back home unless you know how to live carefully amidst a lot of expenses.
Save money in your home
The weather in Dubai can sometimes burn a hole in your pocket if you’re not careful about energy bills. Here are simple ways to cut down on energy usage and ensure your home is running as efficiently as possible:
- The period from 12pm to 6pm every day, is the time slot when power charges are higher than other times of the day according to DEWA. So reduce your appliance usage at that time.
- Keep your AC at 24 degree Celsius. That is the most cost effective option in the UAE.
- Make sure your air-conditioning unit is set to “auto” rather than the “on” mode, as this will regulate the room temperature more effectively.
- Don’t just switch off your appliances when you aren’t using them, actually switch off the power or unplug them to eliminate standby use.
- Only water your garden in the morning or late at night.
- Change your lightbulbs to be more energy efficient.
- Wash your clothes at 30-40C only. That will help keep your electricity bill in check. Also, don’t press “go”’ until you have a full load.
Add a dual flush button to your toilets. Toilets account for 30 per cent of all indoor water use, so fit a dual flush button to save on wastage.
Install aerators on your water taps. This is a clever way to reduce water consumption by forcing air into the water flow, without disrupting water pressure.
Save money on transportation
- Don’t warm up your car for too long. Because we live in the UAE, we really don’t need to warm up our cars for longer than 30 seconds. Any more time, then you are wasting fuel.
- Don’t always have your AC on: Now that the weather is getting better, consider switching your AC off and enjoying the fresh air when you aren’t driving on a high way.
- Buy petrol early in the morning or later in the day, because the weather is cooler earlier in the day, the petrol is therefore denser. As temperatures rise, the density of the petrol is lower and you get less of it when you pump. So pump it early on, and it slightly expands in your tank as the day gets warmer.
- Don’t brake too hard. Braking too much wastes petrol and wears your brake pads out faster. The best way to reduce the firmness of your breaking is to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you, so that you don’t have to hit the brakes.
- Drive steady. As much as everyone in this country loves to speed, if you’re low on petrol, slow down and drive steady. Don’t accelerate too quickly, because that wastes petrol.
- Turn off the engine when you can. If you have the chance to switch your engine off, do it. Whether waiting for someone outside, or if you just need to pull over somewhere. Keeping your engine on will majorly waste petrol.
- Close your windows on highways. You may think that switching off your AC and driving with the windows open will save gas, but an open window, on the highway specifically, increases resistance and costs you fuel in the long run, so keep your windows closed whenever possible. You want to make your vehicle as aerodynamic as possible.
Save money on groceries
- Use a small trolley cart. Using a big trolley cart will give you the need to fill up the cart and that’s how you end up buying unnecessary items.
- Check the price per unit. This is the best way to compare prices. Not all large packages or bulk items offer the best price. Checking what each unit costs, will give you a better idea on whether to buy the ones on sale or in bulk.
- Check the bottom shelves. That’s where all the generic items are usually placed. These generic versions, are cheaper than the famous big brands that we all know, and sometimes taste the same. Well- known retailers are charging product makers to put their items at eye level.
- Plan your shopping itinerary. Supermarkets and giant grocery stores have professionally designed inviting aisle patterns that entice you to buy things you aren’t planning on eating. The shopping path forces you to walk past products on aisles. Staple items such as meat, dairy products, breads, and essential household items are usually located in far corners or the opposite end of the entrance.
- Stick to your habitual grocery list. After you have chosen the most cost effective groceries and planned your route to save time and money, the next time you go shopping, try to stick to your list of to-buy items until you form a habit.
- Ask the butcher’s help. If you know how to cook the basics, then you’ll know exactly what portion of fish, beef or chicken meat to buy in your house. Instead of buying repackaged premium cut meats, ask the butcher for cheaper cuts or larger cuts, that usually cost less than the ones displayed right out front.
- Thaw your own food. The deli marks up the prices of already thawed meats, which are ready to cook straight away. These are actually the same items you find in the frozen food section. Save your money and buy frozen meats instead of room temperature.
- Eat before you shop. Never ever do your grocery shopping before mealtime or when you feel hungry. Take our word for it.
- Review your receipt for errors. You may not always notice this but blunders happen at the cashier section all the time. Keep an eye out when you pay for your groceries to make sure that no double punches are made while checking out and always review your receipt.