New Year, New You: 9 Easy Money Tips To Start 2024

Is saving more money part of your New Year’s resolutions? Here are 9 money saving tips to help you.

What better way to begin 2024 than a list of simple and easy-to-implement money saving tips that will help you save more towards accomplishing your goals and improving your finances? 

It is no longer news that many people in the UAE find it hard to save money. Consequently, they end up: 

  • Living from paycheck to paycheck
  • Being overwhelmed by emergencies
  • Unprepared for retirement
  • Having no assets, etc. 

Since financial health is a big component of mental, social, and physical health, your resolutions for 2024 must include getting hold of your finances and saving more money for emergencies, retirement, and asset acquisitions. 

To help you, we have provided a list of 9 saving money tips and tricks that you can easily implement in 2024. Following these tips can help you kickstart your journey to sound money management. 

[Do you want to save more money and better manage your finances? Download Maly to enjoy automated savings tools and multiple prepaid cards that will make saving and money management easier.] 

1. Create a monthly budget

Any list of money saving tips that doesn’t begin here can’t help you much. 

The only way you can increase your savings is to get a hold on how you are spending your income to begin with. 

You might have heard a lot about the importance of budgeting. Well, if you have not started yet, here is another reminder that you won’t make much progress in 2024 without creating a monthly budget that will guide your spending. 

“Lack of a working budget” is one of the top reasons why people in the UAE find it difficult to save, said Damodhar Mata, a financial advisor in Dubai, in an interview with Khaleej Times. 

The 50/30/20 rule is still one of the most popular and easy-to-use budgeting systems. It requires that you spend 50% of your income on your needs (food, electric bill, clothing, car insurance, health insurance, etc.) and 30% on your wants (streaming services, cell phone subscriptions, gym memberships, eating out, travel, etc.) while saving the remaining 20%. 

By implementing this simple system in 2024, you will gain control over your finances and start saving towards your goals.

You can also use excel or budgeting apps to keep track of your expenses and compare them with your budget. 

50 30 20 rule Maly

2. Save before spending

Saving 20% of your income consistently looks easier said than done. You have probably been in a situation where you ended up spending what you wanted to save. In a global consumerist culture like ours, you are not alone.

This is where many have found Warren Buffett’s advice – “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving” – very helpful.

Warren Buffett quotes

Damodhar Mata also offers the same solution to the temptation to spend your savings. According to him, you should transfer the amount you want to save every month from your checking account into a savings account or a systematic investment plan. 

Money management platforms like Maly are making this easier in the UAE. With Maly, you can set up an automated system that will deduct a certain amount from your income on a certain day (preferably your payday). 

Automations like these can help you overcome the temptation to overspend while helping you prepare for the future. 

3. Go shopping with a list

money saving tips

“Check your kitchen shelves to see what’s needed and always make a list. Then shop once a week for your meals. Less shopping means less spending. Planning means less waste.” 

This is one of the easy money saving tips provided by the Ministry of Finance

There are two parts to this. 

First, don’t go shopping without having a list of things you want to buy. Why is this important? It will prevent impulse buying. When you go to a grocery store, you will always find something that will be good to have. But the more important question is whether you need it to begin with. 

A shopping list provides clarity, allowing you to distinguish what you need from what is exciting to you in the moment. 

Of course, there are situations where you only realize you have under budgeted when you get to the market. This is a mistake that should be corrected and it’s to be distinguished from impulse buying. 

Secondly, the less frequent you go grocery shopping, the less you spend on transportation. Making each trip worth it through effective planning is better than making multiple trips to buy a few items. 

A related point is the advantage of buying goods in bulk. When you buy in bulk, you save on transport costs from frequent trips and you will also enjoy discounted prices (compared to buying from retailers). 

Finally, if you are in Dubai consider shopping in one of the seven budget supermarkets that provide quality products at affordable prices. 

4. Maximize shopping festivals and discount sales

money saving tips

The Dubai Shopping Festival will run from December 8, 2023 to January 14, 2024. This is an opportunity to “enjoy unmissable daily shopping deals.”

If you have saved money for some luxury or big-ticket items, you can use this period to buy them at a lower price. 

GITEX, which will take place in October, 2024 is another opportunity to find cost-saving deals on some of these luxury items. 

In addition, be on the lookout for discount sales by individual stores and see if there is anything you have planned for that can be scooped for a lower price.

You can also identify online stores that reward users with cashback, gift cards, free delivery, among others.  

An important caveat here: The fact that something is being sold at a discounted price does not mean you can afford it. If your savings is AED 10,000 and the product is AED 20,000, you can’t afford it. But you also can’t afford it when it is being sold for AED 18,000 (at a AED 2,000 discount). 

Resorting to debt or spending beyond your budget just because there is a discount sale is not a great choice. Debt on consumer goods is bad whether it is for AED 10,000 or AED 8,000. 

According to Mata, the allure of discounts is one reason for overspending. “Thanks to the discount galore and lack of a working budget, some consumers tend to overspend on unnecessary items.”

In summary, don’t buy what you can’t afford just because it is being sold for a discount.

5. Cook at home most of the time

money saving tips

The sixth of our money saving tips for 2024 is to start cooking at home. 

“Preparing home cooked meals saves money, helps control portions, is a way to eat healthier and potentially reduces the risk of having allergic reactions,” according to The National. “It is also a great way to bring the family together for meal preparation and to dine with that wholesome family time feeling.”

The Ministry of Finance also supports this idea: 

“We also have unbelievable choices when it comes to eating out in the UAE but, if saving is your goal, you should limit these to real treats and only when you can afford them. Instead, invite friends around for a relaxed evening with simple food, laughter and your warm hospitality.”

With the increase in cost of living, cooking at home most of the time and eating out only occasionally can be a good way to reduce expenditures and save more money in 2024. 

If cooking every day will be stressful, you can also consider cooking large quantities of various meals on a weekend and then stocking them in the refrigerator.

Furthermore, we can apply this tip to the whole DIY (do it yourself) movement. 

If you have the know-how and time, you can save money doing things (changing your car’s oil, fixing the kitchen sink, etc.) that would have required you paying for the services of an expert. 

Setting up your DIY workout program instead of paying for gym memberships is another example. 

6. Reduce utility or electric bill

money saving tips

Reducing your utility bill can also be a great way to save more money in 2024. 

Below are some tips for achieving this, according to the Ministry of Finance: 

  • Wash your clothes on a low temp or cold water cycle, and only when you have a full load
  • Take shorter showers
  • Put your AC on a timer and maintain the temperature at 24°C. This is the most cost effective option in the UAE’s summer heat. According to DEWA, power charges are higher between 12pm and 6pm, so watch consumption during this time of day.
  • Fix any dripping taps
  • Install energy-saving LED light bulbs
  • Switch off lights
  • Water your garden in the early morning or at night

Below are some other tips: 

  • Reduce room temperature by 1%
  • Avoid putting appliances on standby power as that can consume 5% of electricity
  • Clean your AC filters regularly
  • Take your appliances for regular servicing to reduce power consumption
  • Use a programmable thermostat for better control of temperature
  • Use curtains, drapes, shades, awnings and reflective materials in summer

7. Renegotiating rent or mortgage

The beginning of the year is another good opportunity to consider renegotiating your rent or mortgage. 

Monthly rental or mortgage payment is often the most significant item on many households’ budgets. Therefore, saving money here can be a great deal. 

Most people in working personal finance will advise that you should not spend more than 30% of your monthly gross income on rent or mortgage. 

If you are currently spending more than that then you should consider your options. 

Though renegotiating monthly rent can seem like building a castle in the air, you will never know if you don’t ask. You can also consider incentivizing the landlord by offering to pay six months upfront (from your savings), for example. 

If renegotiation does not work, then it might be time to consider changing your house. This will be stressful and it will cost you money but in the end, the cost saving from a lower monthly payment will make it worth it.

With mortgage, renegotiating is often easier since it means you will be paying for a lower amount but for a longer period. Hence, there is already an incentive for the lender. You will pay some fees for renegotiating but reducing the strain on your monthly budget is worth the fees.   

8. Sell unwanted things

There is no reason to stuff your house with items you no longer need when you can sell them for some extra cash. 

Apart from getting cash for them, you will also free up space and make your home more comfortable for everyone. 

So, as you transition into a new year, do a thorough house cleaning and list all those items you are no longer using. 

Time Out Dubai has a list of ten ways you can sell your second-hand items in Dubai (including social media and online stores). 

9. Keep track of your spending with multiple cards

The last of our money saving tips and tricks is about avoiding overspending by improving your money management. 

To achieve this, you can break down your monthly expenses into well-defined categories, allocate money into each category, and ensure you don’t overspend on that particular set.

For example, you can divide your needs into groceries, transport, utility bills, housing, etc. You can also do the same for your wants. 

The goal here is to track the exact place your money is going so you can better control your spending. 

Maly has made this process easier with its Multiple Visa Cards solution.  

This allows you to create prepaid visa debit cards for each of your expense categories, load funds into each card from your account, and then put a spending limit on each card. 

For instance, if all you want to spend on eating out is AED 200 for a month, you can create a visa card for that category, transfer AED 200 into the card, and also put a $200 spending limit on the card. 

The goal here is both to help you better monitor your spending habits and also to ensure you are not spending beyond your budget. 

Maly can also help if you are looking for where to start saving money. It does this through its savings cards. 

You can fund these cards through automated savings (money automatically deducted from your account at your instruction), transfer from your bank accounts as well as daily purchase round ups (if you purchase items worth AED 19, you can round up to AED 20 and save the remaining AED 1). 

Each savings card can be directed towards a different purpose. You can use one for an emergency fund and another for money you are saving to make downpayment for a property.

You can also create savings plans and set savings goals for each of your saving cards so you can have a specific target you are working towards. 

[Do you want tools that will make it easier for you to save in 2024? Sign up for Maly to automate your savings, round up your daily purchases, and use multiple prepaid cards to manage and control your spending.]

Takeaways

  • These money saving tips should improve your life in 2024.
  • Financial health is important to mental, physical, and social health. 
  • Some  easy money saving tips you can easily implement include creating a monthly budget, saving before spending, renegotiating your rent or mortgage, cooking at home, among others. 
  • If you are looking for where to start saving money, consider Maly savings cards. 
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