Managing household expenses like a boss

Managing household expenses like a boss
Plan the groceries you need on a weekly basis so that you know what you need to buy and can buy in bulk to save money.

Dubai - Here are some easy-to-follow insider tips to help you manage and reduce your annual household expenses like a pro.

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By Bana Shomali

Published: Sat 27 Apr 2019, 4:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 28 Apr 2019, 5:20 PM

Your journey as a professional woman has been amazing, and along the way, you have unlocked many achievements. You're enjoying your exciting and busy lifestyle and look forward to all the new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in your career. Your peers at work respect and recognise your management skills. But have you ever thought about how you could run your home like you manage your business? Once you take a closer look, you will see that the process of managing your home expenses is very similar. Here are some easy-to-follow insider tips to help you manage and reduce your annual household expenses like a pro. 
Rental rates
Let's begin by exploring ways to manage rental rates as it is the largest home expense for most Dubai residents. With residential rental rates on the decline, it has become easier to get better value for money, which is why a lot of Dubai residents have been upsizing their homes. You can also leverage lower rents to renegotiate your current rent with your landlord. If that's not an option, then you can consider moving to a lower cost area in the newly developed suburbs of Dubai. 
The key to tackling your grocery expenses is to be organised and do proper planning, just like you do at work. Plan the groceries you need on a weekly basis so that you know what you need to buy and can buy in bulk to save money. Some supermarket chains also offer loyalty cards, which can be used to save a lot of money in the long run. That said, do keep an eye open for deals and promotions at other supermarkets. You should also take advantage of the fact that now you have many options to shop online. Online apps and websites allow you to find the best deals and you can even set a schedule so that basic supplies get delivered every 2 to 3 weeks. 
Daily commutes
Whether you have a car or use public transportation, you should consider saving money on you daily commutes to work as it makes up a large portion of your household expenses. As a car owner, you should try to reduce fuel expenses by moving to a home that's closer to your workplace. This step would of course depend on the availability and affordability of apartments near your office. The shorter the commute, the less you'll have to spend on fuel. Other ways to save money include avoiding Salik toll gates, whenever possible, and improving fuel consumption by not idling and accelerating too much. But you can save even more money by considering options like carpooling with your colleagues, using the Dubai Metro and walking as much as you can. 
Utility bills
Another big home expense you should keep in mind is the cost of utilities. To tackle electricity bills, switch off your air conditioners, fans, lights, and appliances when you are not using them. Another way to cut down electricity bills is to keep your ACs serviced and consider running them at 24 degrees or higher. You can avoid water wastage by running washing machines and dishwashers only when they are full, keeping taps off when they are not in use, and watering your garden late at night or early in the morning.
Cell phone, Internet and TV services
Being a professional woman, you can easily assess your current services and packages to see if they match your exact needs, and compare the various options available to you to make an informed decision. Some easy tricks to cut down cell phone bills include using bundles that offer talk time at discounted rates and selecting packages that provide free international minutes or more internet data, depending on your needs. You can also cut down the cost of home internet and TV services by downsizing your monthly package and selecting the most affordable home internet option. If you signed up for more TV channels than you need or your preferences have changed, then should consider dropping the ones you don't watch anymore.   
Finally, ask for help
We understand that as a professional woman it might be difficult for you to do everything yourself and you might need help to take care of some of your household chores like cleaning and laundry. Doing so will also make it easier for you to make more time for your friends and family. While booking home services like cleaning and maintenance, consider signing up for long-term recurring bookings and doing comparison shopping, which can help you save a significant amount of money. You should expect to pay Dh6,000 to Dh36,000 every year for cleaning services and budget between Dh2,000 and Dh6,000 for an annual maintenance contract.
The hectic routines of professional women in the UAE often leave them feeling exhausted at the end of the day, especially if they have kids, so it's useful to have a simple plan to keep household expenses under control. These tips will certainly help you navigate the challenging process of managing multiple household expenses like a boss.
The writer is the co-founder of Views expressed are her own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.

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