At some point or the other we all have pondered over where we are going wrong with our money. The search for the answer always comes down to making bad choices and excuses for not sticking to our budgets and financial plans.

We have provided a few real life stories, suggestions and tips from residents making decisions with their money.

Fighting temptation

“I can’t resist when I want something”, Sameena, mother of two kids explains. “It doesn’t always have to be something expensive but simple things too such as the idea of getting coffee and croissant in the morning. Until I don’t buy it, it annoys me” Sameena goes on to add, “Such a small eating habit costs me an average of AED 460 a month. Therefore, it’s not just about paying attention to your big spends but also your small temptations which add up.”

The visiting family

Many of us moved here from our home countries. As a result, our friends and family from back home visit us constantly especially if you have a big family. You can’t blame them either, UAEs appeal is hard to resist. However this also means unexpected costs we have to incur. Jumana a working professional explains, “my family and friends visit me all the time especially during the holiday season. Its great being the host but this also means that when I go out with them, I end up paying the whole bill as I feel bad. I now budget in these costs in my financial plan for the year to avoid any surprises.”

The emotional shopper

It’s not just women who are familiar with emotional shopping but men as well. Anish who recently moved here couple of years ago has been a victim of such form of spending. “I lived in India my whole life and when I moved here, during festive season I would get home sick. To make myself feel better, I would end up spending money on things I didn’t need and reminded me of home such as handmade, Indian, embroidered cushion covers. I now avoid malls during festive season and make my wife do all our holiday shopping.”

Overpaying without reason

From time to time we all have to the tendency to overpay on things without valid reason. We can easily avoid certain costs yet we end up spending anyways because it’s a hassle. However if you keep an account of these small costs, you will realize how much you can save yearly. As Ernest, a single businessman living in Dubai puts it, “my house and work are both located at walking distance to a metro station but I choose to take a cab to work and back home. This cost can be an average of 30 DHS per day but because I am just too lazy to walk or stand during the metro ride, I end up spending unnecessary money. What’s worse is because of traffic, I would reach home faster with the metro.”

Spending before earning

It’s a common mistake that many of us suffer from. We always account in the money we will get before we even get it and as a result end up spending more. As Ernest, a single business man puts it, “I recently opened up a new office and got carried away with decorating it. I didn’t even realize that I was spending all this money before my business can be up and running and making me some money. My advice as a business owner is first buy the essentials and slowly build upon decorating your office as your business starts to generate some profits.”

Taking time for granted

People keep saying that time is every fleeting, yet that realization never sticks in our minds. Before we know it, years have passed and we have saved little from our income. Take the example of Sara, a twenty something working for a couple years. As she states, “after graduating I was excited to make my own money and have the financial freedom to buy things I wanted. But before I knew it years passed and I saved almost nothing. When people around me started talking about paying for their weddings or financial investments they had made, I realized I was well behind in the race to save for my retirement or big life events. Now I have learned to control my urges to spend and save a pre decided amount every month.”

Listen to people around you, and how they have used or abused their income. There are some valuable lessons to learn especially with regards to your surroundings. In fact paying attention to people who are bad with their money will give you some insight on how not to make the same mistake as them.