The 12 Days of Christmas – the cost of recreating it in the UAE

It’s the time of year for seasonal cheer and goodwill to all men so for a little fun I’ve put together something a little different. It can be tough to decide what to buy for your significant other, particularly when they seem to have everything, so sometimes you just need to be creative. Most people know the song The Twelve Days of Christmas so to show someone that they really are your true love you could go all out and recreate it!

Here is your guide  to how to find the appropriate gifts for all 12 days to your beloved. This is the UAE so we just have to do things a little differently but if you really want to impress the love of your life this Christmas here’s how you can do it, and most importantly what it is likely to cost you.

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Tax information for British expats – the Personal Allowance

The UK has a progressive tax system and so the rate of tax payable increases as income increases. All UK residents have a Personal Allowance which means that the first part of their income is free from UK income tax.  For the current tax year this is £11,850 and from 6th April 2019 it will increase to £12,500 but you need to be aware of a change in the system.

The Personal Allowance is also available to people who are not resident in the UK provided they are a citizen of a European Economic Area (EEA) country, which includes all British passport-holders. It also applies to anyone who has worked for the UK government at any time during the relevant tax year.

There is however a change in the way that non-residents, expatriates, claim this allowance which has not been widely publicised so if you are UK non-resident for tax purposes and have income arising in the UK, such as rental income, you need to read on.

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Seasonal Spending – hints and tips for a happier Christmas & New Year

As we head rapidly towards the end of 2018 the prospect of Christmas and New Year is daunting for many due to the cost of the celebrations. With Christmas being as much a cultural as a religious event for most people, and New Year being a party time too, this article is all about some hints and tips for budgeting at this time of year.

The holidays are a time when people want to splash out but it is all too easy to get carried away with all the advertising, tempting shop displays, and the associated pressure to make everything perfect.

The cost of living in the UAE is higher than ever and with many people having concerns about expenditure, and even job security, there are ways to cut back but still have a good time.

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10 tips for dealing with debt in the UAE

It is sadly all too common for people to get into debt whilst living in the UAE, for multiple reasons, so this article is designed to give you the steps to work through to deal with any debt problems you may have.

It is really important that this is dealt with as non-payment of monies owed is a criminal issue under UAE law and can lead to serious consequences.

These are the steps you need to take to get back in control and to deal with the banks.

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UK Autumn Budget 2018 – the facts for expats

This is just the second UK Autumn Budget and unusually it was on a Monday, the first time since 1962.  Budgets are normally on a Wednesday but that would fall on Halloween this year so too much of a gift to headline writers.

This is the last Budget before Brexit and not too much was expected as the UK Government is dealing with complicated Brexit issues although there will be a Spring Statement that can be upgraded to a full Budget if deemed necessary.

This article is a brief overview of some of the main points with particular reference to any changes that have relevance to those living outside of the UK. The UK press will cover many points in detail but much of this is not directly relevant to expats so this article focuses of the relevant points for us. Continue reading

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How to save money on your currency transfers

Most expats have a need to move money between currencies and it makes sense to find a way to do this securely, easily and where you can save money.

The online services offered by retail banks are rarely competitive and even if they do not charge a fee they make their profit on the poor rates of exchange offered – but there is a better way and you don’t even need to leave your home to get much better value for money. And all savings are good, right?

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Credit cards – friend or foe?

Credit cards are a fact of modern life but are they friend or foe? Should you have one, or are they to be avoided?

When used sensibly and responsibly they can be a useful tool with benefits but too often they are used to support a lifestyle, the balance is not repaid in good time, and they become a very expensive burden.

This article is a quick look at both the pros and cons of this type of consumer debt.

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