Save some salary before you spend
UAE savers are being encouraged to cut down on their coffee, switch off lights and shop for bargains in the sales as a major bank launches a new drive designed to get people into the habit of saving.
Leading lender Emirates NBD yesterday announced the launch of a financial education initiative in which it is calling on consumers to make a public pledge to put aside some of their income as soon as they are paid - before monthly expenses take a bite out of the amount they can put aside.
In a scheme the bank is calling ‘Pay Yourself First’, UAE residents are being offered the chance to share their determination to start saving on a facebook page in a gesture the bank hopes will help them “develop a smart saving habit”.
It is also promising to “empower” savers with “various tips to spend less and save more”. Among the advice already on the site is a warning that a caffeine habit can be a costly one. Coffee-drinkers who spend Dhs15 a day on their beverage are splashing out around Dhs5,400 a year, the bank warns. Add the interest and that bill could rise to Dhs80,000 ($21,800) over the course of a decade.
The ‘Pay Yourself First’ site contains online calculators designed to show consumers how much they fritter away on their own financial weakspot - be it eating out or retail therapy - and how much they could save by reining in their spending.
Many UAE residents have struggled to live within their means as the country’s economic growth provided new temptations - a 2010 report by global bank Credit Suisse said the average personal debt racked up by residents had risen by 400 per cent in a decade.
The Dubai Department of Economic Development recently published a survey showing half of Dubai’s residents don’t save any of their salary.