LifestyleTips & Guides

7 Unusual Ways You’re Wasting Money in Dubai



You waste everything – left, right and center

50 fils might not seem like much, but you’re missing out on the pleasure of having a rattling coin purse because you always leave small change behind. This also applies to the loose change you’ve got in foreign currency after returning from a trip. How many times have you flung a quid to the corner, without realising that’s five delicious dirhams waiting to be taken to the currency exchange? And it’s not just money – it’s also that little splash of shampoo or dollop of toothpaste leftover at the bottom of the container. While we’re on the subject, it’s time to grow up and just eat the first “ugly” slice of bread too!


You take a taxi to the supermarket around the corner

While we can totally relate to showering and then sweating up our clothes in the sun, that’s no excuse to exclusively restrict yourself to being chauffeured around. There are a bunch of people in Dubai that claim to ride the bus, train and tram “ironically”. Dubai’s various modes of public transport are immaculately clean, highly air-conditioned and chicly designed. Invest in a trusty little NOL card and commute to the next brunch you go on. You’ll skip the nightmare that is Dubai traffic, inhale gorgeous sights of the city and save yourself enough money to buy another cocktail.


You think early bird discounts are pointless

Early bird discounts are not to be taken lightly. These offers could save you a sizable chunk of money and stress. This could apply to everything from tickets to a flight or a concert. It even relates to your commute in the morning. Inflated rush hour rates aren’t fun for anyone, so maybe take off to work ten minutes earlier than everyone else and watch yourself save a small fortune.


You don’t pack yourself an office lunch

Skip the overpriced sandwiches you get at coffee shops, and pack yourself a deliciously indulgent office lunch instead. Pinterest and Buzzfeed are teeming with brilliant recipes for everything from mason jar salads to five-minute pizza. There are multiple benefits to this: weight loss, routine, discipline, kitchen creativity and finally, saving your pennies. If you’re on a tight workout schedule but aren’t reaching your goals, your high calorie lunch might be to blame. If you aren’t reaching your budget goals either, packing your own lunch could save you 200-350 dirhams a week!


You don’t carry your own water bottle


Marine life is dying because of all the plastic in the ocean and landfills are being saturated with all the plastic waste in the region. A sneaky Aquafina at the gym and a jumbo Masafi at lunch is hurting the planet and your wallet. In addition to this, if your bottles roll around in the sunshine – you could be consuming a concerning amount of dangerous carcinogens. Here’s how to fix this issue: Invest in a personal water bottle. This could be glass, metal, plastic or wood. Local stores like Lakeland and Ikea have some sensible options – say goodbye to 25 dirham restaurant water!


You don’t actually cook the food in your kitchen

It’s all well and good coming home with the entire supermarket in a bunch of plastic bags. But that’s nothing but a waste if all they’re doing is growing mould in your fridge. If you’re into fitness, you’ll be familiar with how paramount meal prepping and planning is. This applies to people looking to save money too. Grab a notebook and scribble down a rough meal plan for the week. Diversify one ingredient, so that every meal doesn’t need a unique set of ingredients. If you’ve got a big family, install a chalkboard so that everyone can chip their ideas in and save money.


Your credit card is your soft spot

Dubai is like a candy store and we’re like sugar-crazed kids when it comes to unnecessary purchases. When an underwater aquarium, IMG Worlds theme park, one of the world’s largest malls, the tallest tower in the world and seven-star restaurants are a 20 minute drive away – it’s hard not to swipe your credit card all over the place. But you could be shooting yourself in the foot, racking up an enormous credit card bill. Practice a little forward thinking, and live on a practical budget. Aim to save anything between 20% to 30% of your monthly income and you’ll be holidaying in the Caribbean in no time!

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