Your Facebook timeline is probably full of sunny snaps shared by your friends enjoying their holidays the world over.
But behind the smiles of many expat parents, summer has been a logistical nightmare, balancing holidays in-between work and summer camps, not to mention endless entertaining and the obligatory ‘tour of duty’ to see relatives overseas.
Director of her.finance
Gaenor Jones believes a few ‘new school year’ resolutions might help get finances back on track:
With children now returning to school after the holidays, there is no reprieve for mums and dads struggling to cope with the mounting costs of term fees, new school uniforms and of course the long list of expensive extracurricular activities. But there are a few ways you can help to ease the financial burden on your family.
Tip 1. Cut back
Does your child really need to have their week filled with extracurricular activities? Many parents find themselves spending in excess of AED 10,000 per term to keep their children active, which is fine if money is no issue. Perhaps sit with your child and get them to choose one or two activities that they are most passionate about. Very soon, the fine weather will be upon us and thankfully the garden, park, and beach provides fresh air, exercise, and fun, all for free.
Tip 2. Downsize
Lose the rose tinted glasses for a moment and ask yourself if the villa you’re living in is really necessary? Post-summer is a great time to browse the market and see if you can potentially save your family a significant monthly outgoing on your rent.
Tip 3. Take advantage of your credit card
A healthy relationship with your credit card has many advantages. Used correctly, you can earn valuable points towards your flights home. However, if you find you’re struggling to clear credit card debt, you may need to review your financial portfolio to ensure you are living within your means.
Tip 4. Budget
Choose a cheaper supermarket. Cut down on staycations and brunches. Avoid takeaways (and if it’s not too old-school, pack a lunch for work). To quote a famous super market, every little helps.
Tip 5. Make a sacrifice
Manicures, pedicures, treatments, expensive salons, personal trainers and gym membership are all part of the expat life. But if you’re financially squeezed, it’s worth totting up the amount you spend on your lifestyle and working out if there are alternatives.
Tip 6. Get some expert advice
Take a moment to remind yourself why you became an expat in the first place. Most people move overseas with the aim of saving money and building a secure financial future. If that’s not the case for you, it might be an idea to seek financial advice.
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An adviser can assess your circumstances and help you build a detailed financial plan, that takes into account the ‘here and now’ as well as the future. Make sure you check with your local financial authority to ensure your chosen advisory is regulated and offers complete transparency. For example, Her.Finance, which is part of the Globaleye family, utilises an innovative online tool called the Globaleye Valuation Service (GVS) which brings together all your finances and policies in one user-friendly dashboard. It gives you up-to-the-minute information about how your investments are performing, including all your other assets like property, cash, pension, and insurances.
If you’d like to learn more about managing your money, click here
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