One of the reasons why many expats, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), prefer to work in Saudi Arabia is because of higher salary, as compared to how much they earn in their home country. This enables them to save and send more to their families back home.
Speaking of salary, there are many things expats can do to stretch their budget a little further — thus allowing them to save even more. Keep on reading for some money-saving tips!
How to Save Money as an Expat in Saudi Arabia
Whether you are a newcomer or you’ve been staying in Saudi Arabia for quite a while, learning how to save is always a good and wise idea. Here are some suggestions on how you can manage your money better while living and working in the Kingdom:
1. Look for accommodation that fits your budget.
There are many types of accommodation in Saudi Arabia, based on housing type and location. Some employers/companies also include housing allowance for their workers.
Keep in mind, though, that your monthly rent should not exceed 25 percent of your monthly income. That’s the general rule of thumb when it comes to renting. If you are currently paying more than this, then consider looking for more affordable accommodation.
2. Pack your lunch.
Making your own lunch is not only cheaper than eating out, but healthier, too! You can personally check the ingredients and how your food is prepared. Besides, most offices have a microwave oven, so you can easily heat your packed meal during lunch time.
3. Learn how to DIY (Do-It-Yourself).
Most of the furniture we buy need to be assembled at home anyway, so we might as well learn how to DIY! This can also apply to other things around the house: washing your car, repairing leaking faucets, basic carpentry, and so on. Think of how much money you’ll save!
4. Avoid credit cards.
Unless you are super-disciplined when it comes to spending, we suggest you avoid credit cards altogether. Yes, credit cards are convenient, but they could also lead to unnecessary spending. If you are really serious about saving money, use cash instead, so you can monitor your expenses more closely.
5. Compare premiums before getting insurance.
When it comes to getting medical insurance, car insurance, and other types of insurance, do some research first. Check out souqalmal.com for various insurance comparisons.
6. Take advantage of deals and bargains.
7. Use reward cards.
Almost every store has a loyalty program these days, so you might as well take advantage of them! Saudi Airlines, Landmark, Virgin Megastore, and more — all of them offer the chance to earn points and rewards for every purchase.
8. Buy (and sell) second hand items.
If you have a limited budget, buying second hand furniture, cars, and other items is the way to go. Websites like Haraj and Friday Market are focused on the buying and selling of second hand items. That’s right, you can sell things that you don’t need or want anymore, too!
9. Look for hotel and restaurant deals.
If you travel frequently, be sure to have The Entertainer, in booklet or mobile app form. It’s got fantastic deals on hotels and restaurants, including “buy one get one” promos. Awesome!
10. Plan your trips in advance.
Before you take a weekend trip or vacation out of town, don’t forget to download a map so you won’t get lost. Book your hotel and check out restaurants in advance. Make a travel itinerary of your destinations. This way, you can prepare your budget accordingly and avoid spending money on unnecessary things.
These are just some of the things you can do to save money while living and working in Saudi Arabia. In addition, here are some tips for shopping safely, especially during this time.