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3 ways to save money on your fixed cost in Dubai

A penny saved is a penny earned.  Saving money is the most straightforward way to accumulate wealth and you can start today. There are proven ways to save money, but you first need to be aware of the main costs of Dubai residents in order to determine how you can maximize your savings. The biggest costs are housing (including utilities), education (if you have children) and transport. Wouldn’t it be nice if you know how to save money on these costs? 

I will provide you effective ways to address each type of cost in separately. By tackling the biggest hitters first, you can get the greatest impact on your savings . It’s not easy to change your routines and get out of your comfort zone, however you must think about your future retirement, education planning for your children and your financial security. This will all improve significantly if you have more cash left over every month in your bank.

Housing

Rents are going down in Dubai, that’s a fact. With more new supply coming in and weaker employment growth, we see opportunities for tenants to reduce their costs. There is a steady growth of new supply of units coming in the market the coming years, which means that this will put even more pressure on landlords to reduce their rents. 

It is highly recommended to start scanning the rental market in your current area and other areas months before your rental contract comes up for renewal. This will allow you to get a better understanding what the current prices are. If your current rent is more than the market price you can negotiate with the landlord that you will stay in his property, but only if your new rental contract is according to the lower market price. In case your landlord is not realistic then you should find another property in the same area (sometimes even the same building) or another area where you can make a cost saving on the property without compromising too much on your housing standards. 

Education

When you have a child who is less than 3 years of age and one of the parents is not working, they can take care of the child full-time without a maid, nanny or nursery. In case both parents are working then a nanny can be employed, and you can choose to have her live with you or outside depending on your space and convenience between you and the nanny. This will be more cost effective than a nursery and it is initially less stressful for babies to grow up in a home environment. You can put a free ad on Dubizzle for a nanny or recruit one from an agency.
If the children are 3-4 years old, a significant number of employees in Dubai can get education allowance as part of their contract  and use this to subsidize their schooling costs. I would recommend the nursery from 3 years onwards. See here a list of all the nurseries in Dubai and their prices: http://www.dubaifaqs.com/nurseries-dubai.php 
You can save money if you compare them with each other and take the quality of staff, location and accessibility. The rates are not all the same. Some nurseries start at AED 6,000 and others charge all the way up to AED 62,500. Get quality day care for an acceptable price.    
For children 4 years and older, it helps to negotiate on an education allowance. In lower school it is important that parents start comparing schools with each other not only on quality, location but also on the school fees. Here you see a comparison for school fees 2018 for each grade: https://www.edarabia.com/dubai-school-fees/ 
We see big differences between school fees starting at AED 2,538 all the way up to AED 103,325. Dubai is not necessarily known as a top tier schooling destination, therefore lofty school fees might not be proportional to the quality of education. Furthermore, schools can in many cases be profit driven, and gains made off fees are not necessarily invested back into students.

Transport

Educate yourself about cars and the mechanics behind them. Don’t let people fool you by being not aware of what you are buying. Do your research ahead of time and list your top requirements that you are looking for (for example engine, aesthetics, reliability, space, cost of spare parts). When you buy your next car you must be do it with a strategy on your mind. Negotiate over the Internet. Sure, you can go to a showroom to look for a car and test drive it, but not everybody is good at negotiating. Take out the face to face power that sales people have over you. Bargaining over the email or phone might be much easier. Put dealers against each other. Start a bidding war, this will reduce your price. If you buy your car financed, get the best deal before you buy the car. This will allow you to come with a viable option in your hand and ask the dealer if he can give you even a better deal. Focus on negotiating the car price first and then move on to the additional features, for example extras in the car, free insurance and other things.

For people like me who don’t drive a car, you can be smart about utilizing the metro. Use a NoI (blue card) membership this will reduce your monthly cost compared to the silver card: https://www.nol.ae/ 
Another efficient way of getting around is with taxis, Careem and Uber. They save you parking money, gasoline, time, stress, fines and car insurance.  

Do you have other smart ways to save money?

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