Dubai/ Abu Dhabi/ Fujairah: Money is the root of all evil, or so the saying goes.
When faced with designer products do residents tend to buy them on impulse, or do the majority think several times before buying things they do not really need?
In a recent Gulf News poll, it was an equal tie of 50 per cent between those who said they spent more than they needed and those who did not.
City Talk took to the streets and asked residents whether they spend more than they need and if so what impact this has on their lifestyle.
M. Ali Al Dalati, a Syrian public relations account executive, 22, said: "Do I spend more than I need? I'm really not sure or at least I don't think so. By the time I get off work it's usually too late to do anything, and all I want to do is get home and rest. But when I do buy things, besides food and drink, I like picking up books and clothes every now and then. I think what I buy is the result of my lifestyle and therefore it only complements it."
Sheryll Balagtas, a Filipina sales representative, 30, said: "I used to be very fond of food so I would spend quite a lot on that. I would always buy large amounts of everything, but that has all changed since I had children. Now I only spend on what we need."
Mahmoud Mahadeen, a lawyer from Jordan, 32, said: "I spend more than I need whenever there is an investment opportunity. Apart from buying accommodation and other necessities I spend money on leisure and extracurricular activities such as travel, sport and shopping. My lifestyle has not changed that much from the way it was before coming to the UAE."
Ryan Al Saudi, a graphic designer from Jordan, 26, said: "The temptations are too good to leave, so yes, I do spend more than I need. I mostly spend a lot on going out, clubbing and on restaurants. Spending more than I need to is part of my lifestyle. I know that I should change the habit one day, but I won't be changing it at the moment."
Vera Schnor, a German store manager, 36, said: "Whenever I see shell-beaded necklaces, I absolutely have to buy them, regardless of how many I already own. I also love buying decorations for the home, but I'm not worried about my spending habits because my husband also benefits from them as well. Otherwise, I only spend on the things I need and always try to control my spending habits as much as possible."
Filipina Gemma Velasco, a beautician hardly has time for herself due to her demanding job. However, when she does have a few hours to spare, she goes shopping for jewels, specifically gold.
"Like any other woman I love to shop for clothes and shoes, but my weakness is jewels. The reason why I find it interesting to shops for jewels, is because they are of value, and whenever I go back home, in case of an emergency, I can simply sell the jewels I have collected all along. I don't see my spending as something bad, on the contrary it has a positive effect on my lifestyle because it helps put me in a good mood, I become a happier person altogether."
Saif Obaid Moaili, a UAE national official from the Emiri Court, 45, said: "It is true that there is a small segment of the population who can afford to throw money about but most people are struggling to meet their basic needs as prices of food and clothes have rocketed in recent times, so how can people afford to spend on luxury items? Me, and many others I know, are now more aware of our spending and will think deep and hard before buying non-basic items such as mobile phones or electronics."
Ahmad Hassan, a photocopy mechanic from Egypt, 29, said: "Unfortunately, the only overspending I'm guilty of is on telephone cards to speak to my family back home. Like many low-paid people in this country we don't have the luxury to overspend on consumer products because we can barely make it on our salary especially with the current rise in living expenses."
Harris K., an Indian electrical engineer, 27, said: "I have to be very careful with my money because I have family responsibilities, so overspending on unnecessary items is not an issue for me. Only once every few months one can afford to purchase an expensive mobile phone or a fancy item of clothing. Maybe if my salary goes up then I would like the opportunity to spend more of it."