This is a time of year when many of us incur a great deal of expense. Not only do we spend money on gifts and food at Christmas, many expats also travel to their home country for the holidays.
The point of this quick post is just to remind you of a few ways in which you can save some money, not only during this month, but throughout the year.
The Entertainer Books. Many people will be familiar with these books with contain vouchers, usually on a ‘buy one get one free’ basis for cafes, restaurants and activities. You only need to use it a few times to recoup the cover price. If you haven’t bought your books for 2013 there is an ongoing offer to buy online and receive a discount of 10%. http://www.theentertainerme.com/
Loyalty and discount cards. There are quite a number of these and I believe the better ones include Airmiles, Amber, Time Out and hotel cards for places you frequent regularly. Some give you discounts on purchases, on meals, of room stays or you can accrue point that you can redeem for all manner of items. You may end up carrying around a few extra bits of plastic, but at the end of the year you might have earned enough points for a night away, to buy something for the home or have saved hundreds of Dirhams on meals and drinks.
Vouchers. A number of publications have voucher offers that you redeem for a specific period. Whilst most won’t be of interest to you, it can be worth checking the various sites in case something comes up that you do want. There are a number of group buying sites operating in the UAE. The downside can be that if an offer is very popular you can be limited regarding the dates you can use them and it is suspected that many never get used and expire.
Currency transfers. I would venture to suggest that most expats in the UAE transfer money between currencies at some point. Many people make an online transfer from one bank account to another, but this is rarely the most cost effective way. Many banks charge a set fee and even if they don’t they tend to offer uncompetitive exchange rates, which are rarely disclosed on their websites.
You can get better value for money by using a currency exchange house. These are different to the companies with high street outlets and offer particularly competitive rates for larger transfers, although the rates are also good for smaller payments and regular transfers. The system I recommend is quick, easy, secure and regulated. See this earlier post on this site and contact me for specific details without obligation. Save money on currency transfers
Bank account and credit cards In the past it has been almost impossible to work out which is the best account for you in the UAE, but now you can access information via the Souq al Mal website. This offers information from over 20 banks so you can see if you are getting the best value. The site provides detail of interest rates, fees and also loyalty and benefit schemes.
Contents cover Not a way to save as such, but if you have a fire, flood, or break something valuable then this could represent excellent value for money and is certainly cheaper than paying to replace everything yourself. Full details on this recent post Contents insurance
Be smart with your money and take advantages of easy and painless ways to spend a little less.