Frugal is the new fabulous

Well it is in our house anyway, due to unforeseen circumstances at the beginning of the year I lost my job. To be honest the wages never really made a huge difference in our lifestyle I wasn’t dripping diamonds and driving a porche but they did allow for financial back up, less worry and extra treats, thank god I brought my Micheal Buble tickets first. However, It was more that it was mine, I earned them.

It’s just crap as now I’m having to rely solely on expat daddy to support me again. No biggy, we’re a team we’ve always shared everything we had from the get go but I hate that feeling “oh dear can I have your credit card so I can buy you a birthday present, and you’ll know exactly what it is as you’ll see the bill before your birthday”

Everyone has pre conceived ideas about what my life is like out here, they think I wake up in the morning, the birds and butterflies puts on my slippers for me……………..

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Image taken from google

Caviar for breakfast then I dump miss C head to the gym for hours stopping off to get my nails done before playing the doting mammy role on the school run only to dump my children in a play space or activity. The actually reality is I hit the snooze button too many times, wake up looking like this

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Shout far too much whilst getting ready for the school run, usher the boys out the door, wrestle with the wee girl to stop her going out the door, then I eat and drink my breakfast on the go whilst getting ready. Go about my day just like you, food shopping, errands, doctors appointments etc I look forward to picking up LPV and most of the time we have fun at home or with friends.

My life is the same as yours but just with sunshine, Ok so I don’t work now and luckily we are in a slightly better position out here than we would be if I was a SAHM in the UK or Ireland to deal with this. The fact is I would work full or part-time but the nursery fee’s out here are the equivalent to a private school at home, so when you ask when I’m going back to work the answer is when I can afford too.

Dubai attracted so many expats to come and live the tax-free dream and it still does and if you to get an awesome package then you will live the dream. However for most expats now, gone are the days of saving copious amount of tax-free earnings, the rising in rents, school fees, cost of living are far over taking the amount of money that’s being saved. If you want a decent house not in the middle of nowhere then you have to pay decent house money, if you want some anchor butter on your toast you’re going to have to pay 59dhs (11quid) for it. People stay here, us included for a better quality of life, the sunshine, the beach.

All this is made me think about money a lot, I am very aware that we are very blessed not to be living on or anywhere near the poverty line and NO I am not in any way comparing my life to anyones. However I think its disgusting in this generation there are still so many families struggling to make end meets, in what parallel universe is it ok to pay bonuses to VP’s CEO’s of companies and corporations when its employee’s are being laid off or being paid way below what they are qualified for or deserve?

So with thinking about money a lot I wanted to make some changes in our lives, I am AWESOME at spending money so it’s mainly me that has to change. I have started keeping track of everything I spend during the week, going to the shop for milk and coming out with a 100 pounds worth of other shopping isn’t going to happen anymore. I’m meal planning so each week we will buy only the stuff we need for meals, a major money saver is bringing expat daddy food shopping, he’s a stickler for the list where I like a kid in a sweat shop. This week we managed to cut our groceries from 1550dhs (300quid) to 900dhs (just under 200). We swapped supermarkets to the less high-profile ones and I’ve learnt to say No.

Of course I want to be shopping, getting my nails done, having the fancy car, who doesn’t? And I would love to start my own business and I’m hoping that these small changes will make that happen sooner but right now my children’s further is a lot more important.

Do you have any tips on money-saving? What works for you and your family?

6 thoughts on “Frugal is the new fabulous

  1. Rashelle says:

    Great post Tracey, I cannot agree more. I have learnt it’s not what you earn it’s what you spend. Tracking and meal planning will help. Also budgeting is a BIG one, honestly giving yourself set amounts for everything per month. Even down to entertainment. Use cash for everything it makes you more accountable. It’s working for me for sure and also include savings into your budget to. Will make you feel like you are achieving as well. Good luck with it all! 🙂 xx

  2. muminamerc says:

    I would be far better too at not wasting $$$ if I could do someone else to do the food shopping. Here the cheapest place sells also non food things which is such temptation. If i went to a pure food only supermarket it would be more money but no extras to spend on… I have also tried to cut down the number of things I throw away though. Meals at home I am ok with but buying things for the kids’ lunch boxes brings me down. Won;t tell you how much I just spent on UK chocolate seeing as they are going to stop the import of it here in US…. Aaaargh!!!

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