Lost your job in Dubai? Reduced salary? Don't panic, we've put together some financial do's and don'ts that can make a huge difference
2 March 2021| Last updated on 12 April 2021
Weather through this period of unemployment with these steps
In a city where expenses can get high and where failure to pay off debts can result in severe legal consequences, losing your job in Dubai is possibly one of the most stressful things to experience as an expat.
During these trying times, there are a lot of people who have seen their salary reduced, or worse yet, have lost their jobs.
Here, we take a look at some ways to save money when you don’t have much — or anything — coming in the bank.
1. Cancel or freeze your subscriptions
There are heaps of subscription services that can look like small trims from your budget. But if you’re really determined to save money, it's best to stop or at least pause these subscriptions.
Music, TV, and movie streaming services, gym memberships, and monthly subscription boxes... you can swap these out for radio, checking out materials from your local library, or borrowing from friends.
You can probably also get by with just one streaming service.
2. Tap into your rainy day savings
Hopefully, you've managed to build up your emergency savings, set aside some funds for a rainy day, or were saving for another goal such as a car or new phone.
Unemployment in Dubai is the right time to tap into those accounts.
3. Budget, budget, budget
If you no longer have an income, or your salary has been reduced, it’s all the more crucial moment to have a budget.
Keep track of every expense, no matter how little, and look back on where you've been spending the most. It will help you know where you can cut back and where spending can be eliminated, such as unnecessary luxuries or extras. This way, you can slow down the rate of which your money trickles out of your account.
4. Find a side hustle or part time job
It likely won't be the same as your usual monthly salary, but having a part time job in Dubai can really make a difference on the amount of money you have during unemployment, especially when you're relying on your savings.
Plus, a side hustle or two may help you assess your career goals and think about whether you want to change your career path.
Part time jobs are also typically flexible, so you'll still have plenty of time in your day to job hunt.
5. Collect your end-of-service and other final payments
If you’ve been laid off, speak to your ex-employer in Dubai about your last pay slips and end-of-service benefits, and how you will receive it.
6. Notify your bank
If you have a loan in Dubai, expect for your accounts to be frozen.
This is the case even when changing jobs, as the salary is always tagged as a final payment by your employer. So make sure not to be caught off guard and left with no access to any funds.
The best course of action is to simply talk to your bank, explain the situation, and try to come up with an agreement about your payments.
7. Look for 0% interest or low-interest rates
Now that you’re tightening the belt, it's tempting to place purchases on your credit card.
It's best to avoid spending with a credit card, but if you really must, then try to look for credit cards with low interest rates, or 0% interest in the first few months.
8. Eat from home
Cooking your own meals is obviously a lot cheaper than ordering food or dining out. With millions of recipes out there, you might even enjoy it more, too.
Take the time to assess the inventory of your fridge, freezer, or kitchen pantry. Work out your true needs, not just wants or what you think you need, so you can plan your meals around them.
9. Work out a payment plan for your rent
If you recently lost your job, or your salary has been reduced, maintaining your usual rent could be one expense you can't do right now.
Landlords in Dubai obviously want to avoid a situation where no rent is being paid, so it's recommended to speak with them so you can both work out a payment plan, with the assurance that you will eventually cover the money.
Alternatively, if you live in a shared home and are really strapped for cash, consider temporarily moving in with a close friend or relative.
10. Do it yourself
There's no need to spend AED 50 to AED 120 to go through a car wash in Dubai, when you can wash the car yourself. The same applies for paying someone to clean your apartment, or change the oil in your vehicle, etc.
If you have the know-how to do it yourself, and you were paying for these services to save time and effort, now is the time to cut back.
You have plenty of free time, so you can always start using these paid services again when you've found a new job in Dubai.