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5 money saving tips for the summer

It’s no secret that the costs of living abroad can rack up quickly especially during the summer months. Every day feels like a holiday, and the lovely warm weather makes you want to do crazy things like play truant from work and turn Thursday into Beach Day – even when your wallet says no.


Whether you’re on summer holiday or gearing up for one, these tips will help you stretch your dirhams.


Track your spending

We’re far more likely to be aware of our own spending – and curb it – when we pay close attention to our habits. Start by writing down what you think you’re spending, then see how closely reality matches up. Once you know where your money is going, you’ll know how to save money. Of course, every region and budget is different, but you’ll likely find a few categories to easily cut back on.


Budget your heart out

If your budget isn’t doing the heavy lifting for you, you may need to simplify. The minimalist 50/30/20 budgeting system works wonders. Keep your essential costs like food and rent to 50% of your income. Limit your fun money (aka your discretionary funds) to spend on booze or clothes or Netflix to 30% of your income. The remaining 20% goes right to your savings accounts or debt repayment plan - hey presto!


Become a tourist

We’ve made a home out of our adopted country – even if temporarily – so, as expats, we kind of abhor the idea of being tourists. But, touring your own city is a great way to get to know its ins and outs, and a surprising way to save some dough. Sign up for free (or cheap) attractions or tours. Make of a list of all the places you’ve been meaning to see and go check them all out. Since you’re a tourist, be sure to carry a camera and take a lot of photos!


Revel in the community

When you’re tired of the tourist life, shift into the local scene. If you are living in a bigger city, take advantage of the ‘pay what you wish’ or ‘public days’ at the museums and galleries. Ask your neighbours and colleagues about the hidden gems you haven’t yet stumbled upon. If there’s a holiday or festival, get involved! Check out the community events and local group classes; many are free and it’s a great place to learn a new skill, meet new friends, and have yourself some fun.


Dine out for lunch

Eating out adds up fast. Of course, skipping the restaurants altogether is a surefire way to save, but if you’re in need of a few fine culinary treasures, limit your dining out to lunchtime hours. Lunch tends to be the least expensive meal, and many restaurants often serve the same portion size as dinner, meaning you’ve got leftovers at a great value!

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