I arrived in Dubai with great expectations of financial security for my family and myself. It really did not take that long for me to realize that my expectations had quickly dissolved into a pile of debt that I was not equipped to deal with.
It only took me weeks to find myself in a situation that I did not even think was possible. You see without planning and discipline with your finances debt can either creep up on you or hit you over the head like a sledgehammer. The latter happened to me.
It is possible to improve personal finance situation. However, I needed to dig deep and find out how it was possible to improve my personal financial situation.
In my early life in Dubai, I attended a financial literacy seminar to gain the knowledge needed for me to lift myself up from financial ruin. I later became a member of the institution. You see it is of the utmost importance we do what is ever possible to ensure we achieve our financial goals short and long term.
Since then I started to make a new route in my life applying what I’ve learned. I had to do something to change my financial “status.”
I started to work my way out of the situation by working overtime if it was available. Sometimes I would work over to show my boss I was a worthy employee, but also it kept me out of my room where I would be running my own air-conditioning and using my own electricity. When your back is up against the wall, you need to be creative.
I am on my own now and the only person who could save me is I! I read books and researched financial awareness just about every waking time I could. I will share with you what I needed to learn in the shortest space of time in the hope you do not make the same mistakes as I did.
Here are the secrets that I found when I started changing my attitude on saving money.
1. Pay yourself first
What do I mean by this? I mean every time you receive a salary first take a percentage of it and save it. You could decide to start by saving 15% each month, but be sure to maintain the 15% and then increase when you are able. It is important that when your salary increases you also take the 15% of your increase and save this also. After the first year, it is normal we only get one salary increase per year, but be sure to maintain always your percentage of savings for your future. This is one of the best secrets to improve your personal finances.
2. Set financial targets and save
Without a financial target, it will be easy for you to stray off course with your planned savings. Make a target for your savings and stick to it. Your target can be whatever you wish but I suggest you make a target you can achieve, do not target saving 50% of your salary, it is not achievable unless you are the CEO. Reasonable targets will see your savings grow and keep you motivated.
Let’s say you want to save $1,000 for 12 months then you simply divide 1000 over 12. You are going to save $83,33 per month which is doable.
3. Do not just invest in your future, buy it!
At this point of improving personal finance, I want you to consider the following: you need to purchase certain things while away from your family and home country, this is just a fact that none of us can get away from it. However, we all understand we need to buy clothes, toiletries, load balance for mobile phones etc.
However, you also need to buy your future. None of the small things you buy on a weekly basis will give you the security you need later in life. Remember discipline is a key element of your future, start buying it now!
4. Create an account for automatic savings
Now you are on the financial improvement journey, ask your bank to offer an account for you for savings only. When your salary hits your current account, have the surplus cash transferred to your savings account. When you take a statement from the ATM, the only cash available to you is what you have in your current account. Set aside a small amount of cash for savings.
You could save a lot of money by doing this over time while you are working.
5. Do not just save to save, save to invest
So now, you are saving money from your salary every month you need to consider some options. How much do I need to save before it is enough to consider investing and making my money work for me? It is a good question to ask. Save as much money as possible say over a twelve months period, at the need of the 12 months look at investing. Seek financial advice from your bank and then approach brokers and make up your mind if you want a safe investment or a slightly risky investment. For the best returns, a combination of both works best.
It was written by uncle Grant Cardone on his blog post, he said.
The only reason to save money is to invest it. Put your saved money into secured, sacred (untouchable) accounts. Never use these accounts for anything, not even an emergency.
6. Eliminate your debt
Improving personal finance is well within your grasp. It goes without saying that eliminating debt is of paramount importance. Refer to your plan and get rid of the debt. It is like a millstone around your neck and until you get rid of the debt, your financial situation will be safe and secured.
7. Avoid impulsive spending
I have mentioned earlier that you would need discipline to improve your personal finances. We all want that nice watch or fashionable shirt, but what you want and what you need are two different things. Keep this in mind and understand why you and your family are enduring being apart. It is not for you to have a good time rest assured.
You can avoid the impulse spending by simply beating it. Trent Hamm wrote on his blog that you can beat the urge to spend with a few strategies.
8. Wait for big sales
From time to time, we need to spend a little on ourselves and for our families for our own sanity. However, when you know Christmas and birthdays are coming up, plan for these events. All across the UAE shopping malls are always having knocked down price sales. Buy your Christmas and birthday gifts at these events and save cash. Your family will not think any less of you.
9. Wait for cash back sales
This is a terrific way for you to save cash. All across the year, online shoppers are offered cash back on sales. Even buying fuel many garages offer cash back to your credit card for using their products. Search online for cash back offers and two for one offer this will save you money.
You can signup with Ebates, this site offers $10 cash back when you shop online. May it be hotels, apparel, plane tickets etc. Sign up here to start saving by receiving cash back. You can also pick the image below to sign up.
10. Avoid unnecessary spending
I need to reiterate that you are working overseas for a reason. There is no good reason to overspend, be it on a restaurant or night out or gifts for your family even without special occasions. Keep referring to your financial plan and understand why you have a financial plan. You need to maximize your savings potential.
11. Invest in your knowledge
One of the best ways to get a pay increase or bonus is to continue your education. There are many colleges in the UAE. Enroll and find a course that will enhance your skills and make you more valuable to your employer or in the marketplace. Knowledge is power and cash!
12. Invest for retirement
So many overseas workers do not focus on the target. At some point in our lives, we will need to retire either because we cannot continue the strenuous workload or we are forced to retire by labor laws. When this day comes, you need to have put yourself in a position where you can retire without worry. You need to look at the best investments for retirement planning to grow your money.
Look at pension schemes with reputable companies. Ask for financial performance projections so you know what to expect. Ask to see the investment portfolio so you know where your money is going. You also need to know about early withdrawal penalties.
Improving personal finance should be at the forefront of your mind. The streets of Dubai are not paved with gold but if you are sensible and disciplined then you can secure a good life for you and your family in the future.
Financial planning is the key to your savings, if you do not understand how much it costs you to live against how much you are earning then you are falling into the trap of financial disaster. Be prudent and frugal with your new way of life and reap the benefits when you most need the cash.
Do you have other secrets other than the secrets stated above? You can share with us below.