When your salary arrives at the end of each month, it can be tempting to celebrate by hitting the shops and wasting money that would be better saved.

Fun though splashing the cash is, it can lead to worries about whether one will be able to enjoy a wealthy retirement or instead be hard up and miserable in later life.

A recent survey in London found that nearly half of the people in the city did not have a pension and just 40 per cent had long-term investments such as property, shares or savings to pay for their retirement.

Gulf News took to the streets and spoke to a cross-section of Dubai residents to find if they too were struggling to put money aside.

Sonia White, 37, a housewife from the Philippines, said that she and her husband save about 25 per cent of the household income.

Impressive though this may sound, it is just half as much as the couple managed to put away when they lived in Saudi Arabia on a similar salary.

White said that the expense of bringing up their two sons, along with the high cost of living in Dubai, made it hard for the couple, who own homes in the United Kingdom and the Philippines, to save a lot. "When you add up all the costs of living here, it's difficult," she said.

Ashraf Hossam, 33, an Egyptian salesman, said rising costs, particularly in petrol, food and rent, made it difficult to save.

However, he said despite being expensive the UAE was still a good place to live because it was "safe and peaceful".

"If you have some happiness but don't save money, it's still worth it," he said.

Rami Azmi, 32, who is also a salesman from Egypt, said he too was struggling to plan financially for the future.

Azmi said he does not own a property or have a pension and has not managed to save any money during the 12 months he has spent in the UAE.

"It takes a year to stabilise yourself in Dubai and now that that's done I'm hoping to save 20 to 25 per cent of my salary.

"It is hard to save here. Although it is tax-free, you have to spend 30 to 40 per cent of your income on accommodation and on top of that there is the cost of running a car," he said.

Unlike many Dubai residents, South African insurance broker Mark Filby, 31, did not come to the UAE for financial reasons, but instead moved here for the work experience.

Having said that, he is still keen to save and would prefer to be able to put aside more than the 10 to 15 per cent of his income that he does actually save.

"Rents are going up by 20 to 30 per cent each year, but salaries aren't going up by the same amount," he said.

Vicky Taylor, a British office administrator who is aged "over 50" said she and her husband save about 15 per cent of their joint income.

The couple own a property in the United Kingdom and Taylor said she was reasonably content that they were saving enough for their old age.

However, she said that her husband took a pay cut to come to Dubai so although salaries are paid tax-free here, saving was not always easy.

"The lack of tax does help but costs of living are going up all the time," she said.

Mohammad Ishaq, 31, a courier from India, looks after his money and saves between 50 and 60 per cent of his salary, putting the spare cash into a bank account.

Happy though he is with this figure, he said if he marries it will become very hard to save and he will struggle to survive on his salary.

"It is becoming more difficult to save with costs like rent and petrol increasing," he said.

Robert Khoury, 37, from Lebanon, who works in banking, is a great saver he puts about 75 per cent of his pay into overseas stock markets and bonds.

However, Khoury, who has lived in Dubai since 1998, used to save 90 per cent of his income before rising costs took a large bite out of his salary.