Money Saving Tips from Barclays
Saving money is neither an art nor a science; rather it is somewhere in between and to do it successfully requires both dedication and hard work. Getting into the habit of saving regularly is easier than it sounds, especially in a country like the UAE where the tax position is favourable and residents enjoy relatively stable income levels. In this environment, finding the incentive to save can sometimes be difficult. However, it’s important to look to the future and to consider how you will fund your future plans – whether that be buying your dream home, putting your children through university or building a nest egg for your retirement.
To start you off on your savings plan we’d like to share our top ten savings tips:.
- Make an Effort to Save
Start by making a conscious decision to spend less. This may sound simple, but the willingness to save is the pole around which your entire saving plan revolves. Review your spending habits and try to make every purchase a ‘considered’ purchase. For example, before signing up for a newspaper or magazine subscription, ask yourself: “Do I really need to have newspapers and magazines delivered?” Make every penny, dirham and fil count!
- Getting Started
Take your last bank statement and credit card bill and do some number crunching. Review your monthly expenditure on essentials such as utility bills, food shopping, car costs etc and sum it all up. All other spend then constitutes your monthly expenditure on non-essential items - an amount which many people will find surprising!
- Debt Control
Credit card debts are some of the heaviest debts that consumers carry. You can save a lot of money every month if you make it a rule to try and pay off your outstanding credit card balance every month. Some debts, like mortgages, cannot be eliminated completely. However, it is good practice to try to accumulate as little financial debt as possible. No debt means no interest - and no interest can mean considerable savings in the long-run.
- Open a Savings Account
Once you understand your expenditure and have decided where you can make cutbacks in future you can begin the process of choosing a savings account. Barclays offers a range of different types of accounts designed to support your individual savings plans. For example, if you want to save regularly consider a Barclays Savings Account. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to leave your savings in your account for a longer period and watch it grow, then choose an account that offers you a good fixed interest rate, such as a Barclays Term Deposit Account.
- Set Saving Goals
Psychologically speaking, saving can be a tedious process which is plagued by temptation and the impulse to spend. For that reason it’s good to set yourself some savings goals at the outset. This doesn’t have to be the amount you want to save – how about reminding yourself of what you are saving for? You may find this helps with your motivation to keep on saving!
- Set Spending Priorities
This is linked to making ‘considered’ purchases and managing your expenditure on non essential items. For example, you can save a lot of money by planning meals in advance and bulk-buying. Buying generic ingredients instead of prepared foods, and eating-in rather than eating out will certainly help your savings to grow. In fact this simple principle of setting rules for non-essentials - and sticking to them - is the very foundation of saving.
- Set up a Standing Order
By saving money on a regular basis you will quickly build up a store of reserves and feel prompted to save more. You can do this by setting up a standing order for your current account, so that a designated amount of cash goes straight to your new savings account as soon as your salary is paid each month. Setting up a standing order will not only force you to save on a regular basis, but will also remove the temptation to use excess cash for spending.
- Take Advantage of Sales
The UAE is famous for its shopping festivals and sales. However, before buying make sure that the sale really is a sale – and not just a promotion to actually get you to spend more! Offers like "Buy 1 get 1 Free", "50% off" and “Special Packages” etc can help you save a ton of money. If you are a Barclaycard holder it is also worth regularly checking our latest card privileges. You can save on dining, leisure and entertainment attractions just by using your Barclaycard.
- Ease up on the Non-Essentials
If possible, cut down on the essentials. In UAE telephone bills drain a lot of money from your pocket. Calling home for an hour each week can cost you anything from AED 400-500 per month. You can save a lot simply by trying to make all your international calls during off-peak times.
- Insurance Essentials
When in the UAE go for the inexpensive car or home insurance. Insure your assets for the short run. This will not only help you plan your savings, but will also help you avoid entangling your funds in assets that are losing their value.
- Making a Personal budget
All these tips are valuable to getting you on your way to saving, but none can match the importance of establishing a personal budget. Setting up a budget is the cornerstone of any saving strategy and is essential for both families and individuals. Once you have a budget, you will be able to monitor your income and expenses, and identify areas where you can cut costs and make savings.
To help you keep track of your savings we recommend that you register for Online Banking so that you can easily keep track what’s going into, and out of, your account each month. Online Banking from Barclays also allows you to download your statements into formats for Microsoft Excel or Quicken Money, so you can easily plan and create your own graphs and spreadsheets to help visualise your savings.
Open a savings account today to kick-start your savings plan: