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Pocketful of Dirhams

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Pocketful of Dirhams

The National

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Alice Haine has all the answers to your personal finance questions. Learn about saving, investing, managing debt and much more. Join us every week on Pocketful of Dirhams, a new podcast by The National coming straight from our news room in Abu Dhabi. Make sure to subscribe and follow us on your favourite podcast app so you can stay up to date on our latest episodes.
 
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Almost everybody has dreamt of one day winning a life-changing amount of money. For most, however, it remains nothing more than that: just a dream. But for Junaid Rana, a 36-year-old Pakistani driver who grew up in Dubai, that dream became reality when he won Dh50 million ($13.6 million) after entering a Mahzooz weekly draw last month. He’s gone fr…
 
“Money doesn’t grow on trees” is an expression we have all heard at some point in our lives. It might be something our parents told us or we tell our own children when they demand things that are too expensive. The transformational coach and yoga teacher Esra Ogut, author of Money Does Grow on Trees: The Myths We Create and Live By, says the revers…
 
If there’s one lesson that the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s that being financially secure during times of uncertainty is crucial. This includes having a financial safety net to protect against job loss or other unforeseen events, as well as saving and investing for the future. But money skills continue to lag, according to a 2019 financial…
 
Video game players have discovered a lucrative side hustle – earning cryptocurrency by signing up for play-to-earn games. One of the most popular play-to-earn games is Axie Infinity, which allows players to accumulate tradable cryptocurrency coins. In fact, it’s become a financial lifeline for many gamers who have lost their jobs in countries such …
 
Building up an emergency fund to ensure you are protected against any financial surprises is one of the golden rules of personal finance.But once that emergency fund has hit its target of about three to six months’ of your monthly expenses, what should you do with the rest? While many choose to invest their money to grow their net worth over time, …
 
Over the past 18 months, the world has changed more than anyone could have predicted. The Covid-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill, shutting businesses, schools, offices and shopping malls, and confining millions to their homes for long periods of time. While many saw their incomes dwindle or lost their jobs altogether, others boosted th…
 
Numerous studies around the world are indicating that a four-day working week can be successful, leading to an increase in productivity and happier, healthier employees as the work-life balance improves. Governments and private companies in countries such as Spain, New Zealand and Iceland have been experimenting with a reduced working week without …
 
The UK’s property market experienced a mini-boom during the pandemic with house prices rising 8.5 per cent last year. This was in sharp contrast to Britain’s wider economy, which was hammered by the fallout from the Covid-19 crisis as the country endured a series of lockdowns. While a stamp duty holiday helped to propel the market upwards, easier a…
 
Trust is key in any relationship, but when it comes to your money you need to be sure the person offering you advice is 100 per cent reliable. The relationship between the UAE financial advisory sector and resident investors has been dented in recent years due to the mis-selling of expensive savings, investment and life insurance products. A number…
 
Interest in trading has surged during the Covid-19 pandemic, with retail investors flocking to platforms such as Robinhood and Etoro to buy and sell stocks. With time on their hands during movement restrictions and extra money to invest after a series of government stimulus packages, retail traders around the world have embraced the "gamification" …
 
If there is one lesson the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us, it is to be financially prepared for once-in-a-lifetime events. In a world where living beyond our means and being in debt has become the norm, setting up a financial safety net to protect our personal finances during economic downturns, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, can be difficult for …
 
As the popular saying goes: money does not grow on trees. But wealth can grow through careful money management. While getting on top of your finances may seem like an insurmountable task for some, taking control and being consistent will help you turn a time-consuming chore into a habit you actually enjoy. From tracking your expenses to following a…
 
It’s hard to pick up a newspaper these days without some reference to cryptocurrencies on the pages. But for some, the world of crypto assets and Blockchain technology seems like another language. Since Bitcoin was first created after the 2008 financial crash, cryptocurrencies have multiplied, along with their value. While the rise and fall of cryp…
 
While the start of 2021 was bleak, with the world still in the grip of a pandemic that had already ravaged major economies, the outlook now is more positive. There is a sense of hope, thanks to rapid progress on the vaccination drive and coronavirus restrictions easing once again. The global recovery is backed by huge levels of monetary and fiscal …
 
The topic of salaries can be a sensitive subject between couples, but what should spouses do if their partner earns more or less than they do?There are a number of issues for couples to be aware of in this situation, such as some partners believing they deserve a bigger say in shared finances because they earn more, which could lead to resentment.F…
 
Consider this: You’ve just received a promotion and a pay rise at work. But what plans do you have for that extra money? Will you save it – or will you spend it? For some, saving is the obvious way forward because they are happy to live within their means on their old salary and anything extra is a bonus to secure their financial future. But for ma…
 
While the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and work, it has also accelerated our switch to using contactless cards and e-wallets to pay for goods and services. Millions of people have opted for cashless payments since global lockdowns came into force in March last year amid concerns about the spread of infection through bank notes and …
 
It’s been more than a year since our 2020 travel plans were disrupted because of the Covid-19 pandemic – and many of us are keen to get back in the air, visit family or take a well-deserved holiday. With vaccination programmes now in place in many countries around the world and travel corridors opening up, it's time to start planning our summer vac…
 
The UAE property market is buoyant once again after changes to mortgage rules and new visa programmes for expatriate retirees and foreign investors boosted sentiment in the sector. Dubai property transactions hit their highest level since 2010 in the first quarter of this year, according to ValuStrat. The positivity in the market is encouraging man…
 
It’s all very well to keep your personal finances to yourself when you are single. But what happens if you continue this habit when you are married? Financial infidelity can have a devastating effect on a marriage and create huge trust issues between couples if one of them is not honest about money. From hiding purchases to having a secret bank and…
 
When a group of debt experts sat around a conference table at The National’s office in Abu Dhabi five years ago, they never imagined the discussion would help to ease the debt problems of hundreds of UAE residents. At the time, banks were inundated with borrowers unable to repay their liabilities because they could no longer take on fresh credit fo…
 
Becoming a millionaire is a dream for many – to have the financial freedom to never worry again about paying bills or living from pay cheque to pay cheque. But reaching that $1 million mark is easier said than done. It takes patience, discipline and a "millionaire mindset" to reach your financial goals.It’s also about having a long-term investment …
 
While saving and budgeting are important habits to teach children when they are young, financial experts say generosity and gratitude are also essential components of financial literacy programmes. Understanding the importance of giving back can lead to positive affirmations for children, making them feel as though they can make a difference in the…
 
The Covid-19 pandemic has weighed heavily on millions of workers around the world, with many either losing their jobs, being furloughed or having their salaries cut. While a number of UAE employers reduced their staffing budgets last year to remain operational, the latest salary report by global recruitment consultancy Hays paints a more positive p…
 
Teaching your teenager how to manage their money may not be as straightforward as you think. Personal finance only forms a tiny part of the curriculum at school, with teenagers often relying on their parents to learn vital lessons about managing money. But with teens sometimes resistant to anything their parents have to say, they may choose to ask …
 
Vouchers, coupons and discount codes – there are many ways to cut the cost of dining out, spa treatments and entertainment in the UAE. While coupon websites such as Groupon or Cobone offer daily deals, apps such as The Entertainer present buy-one-get-one free offers as well as percentage discounts.Other options include VoucherSkout, Repeat and Helw…
 
NFTs – or non-fungible assets – have been making waves in the investing world after digital artist Beeple sold his Everydays: The First 5,000 Days artwork for an eye watering $69.3 million at a recent Christie’s auction. There’s no arguing that alternative investments, such as collectables like cars, antiques, autographs and long-lost letters penne…
 
While last year’s coronavirus lockdown in the UAE led to drop in demand for real estate across the country, there are signs the market is recovering particularly in popular areas and for higher-end homes. Some residents are hunting for properties with gardens or more space as the work-from-home trend continues, while demand for short-term rentals i…
 
While great strides towards gender equality have been made over the years, crucial issues remain. In the world of personal finance, concerns include "the gender wage gap" and that many women looking to invest are underserved by the male-dominated financial services sector.According to the World Economic Forum, it will take women 200 years to achiev…
 
New research by YouGov has found that more than half of UAE residents have cut non-essential spending over the past six months, while 77 per cent will continue doing so in the future.That’s no surprise considering the global economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused widespread pay cuts and job losses as businesses closed and millions o…
 
Relocating to another country is always a challenge when you factor in finding a new place to live and work, securing school places and shifting your finances along with the contents of your home.Some might think moving to their own country would be easier, but former Dubai resident Simon Cahill, a chartered financial planner and partner at London-…
 
One of the biggest personal finance concerns many people have faced over the years is dishonest advisers selling complex, high-commission financial products to unsuspecting investors that can lock them in for years.Amber Waheed is one of them. The Dubai-based business strategist and author of the recently released The Great Fraud Fightback lost $80…
 
One of our biggest financial milestones in life is buying a home. From saving up for a deposit to applying for a mortgage and having it approved is a dream come true for millions around the world. Buying property is also one of the best investments we can make – even if it doesn't appreciate in value, it still means that we are paying ourselves rat…
 
There’s a lot of content that goes viral on popular short-form video app TikTok these days. Think pranks, dance challenges, lifestyle tips and even the trolling of former US president Donald Trump thanks to a merry band of K-Pop fans and Tiktok teens. But there’s one surprising sector that Gen Zs and millennials are also embracing: personal finance…
 
While the Covid-19 crisis has decimated the finances of some people, it has been kinder to others. Some have lost jobs or had their incomes slashed, while others have managed to retain the same wage level and actually build up a healthy savings pot because restrictions have prevented them from spending. So, how should the young handle their new Cov…
 
Investing your money is a tricky business, particularly when the financial markets are trying to factor in a global pandemic. Wild swings in equity prices can cause emotional reactions, with some investors buying or selling without thinking about the long-term implications. While an army of DIY investors in the UAE now adopt a long-term approach by…
 
The UK left the European Union on January 1, more than four years after the country voted to leave the economic bloc in a 2016 referendum. Britain’s exit from the EU comes at a very challenging time for the country’s economy. Not only are businesses adapting to a raft of new rules from the trade deal, they are also enduring a third national lockdow…
 
After soaring 300 per cent last year, Bitcoin’s value is still on the rise, as investors pile funds into the leading cryptocurrency. The prices of many other digital coins have also increased sharply, as cryptocurrencies experience a mini boom. While some analysts are making wild predictions about Bitcoin’s price rising as high as $400,000 from its…
 
The coronavirus pandemic came as a surprise to us all, making 2020 one of the most challenging years of our lives. From a financial point of view, it has hurt some but benefited others. For those who lost their jobs or had their incomes reduced, it has made the last 10 months a struggle. For others who managed to retain their salary, movement restr…
 
For many, 2020 will be a year they would rather forget. Whether the pandemic affected their health, their families or their finances, its effects will be evident for some time to come. Investors across the globe also suffered a rollercoaster ride in 2020, with markets experiencing some wild swings over the course of the year. And while some people …
 
Like many parts of the world, the UK property market has experienced a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs as it absorbs the effects of Covid-19. While there was a total halt in transactions at the height of the pandemic when the country first went into lockdown, the second half of the year saw mortgage applications and transactions surge on the b…
 
Over the past few weeks, the UAE has seen a number of legal and immigration changes that will have a big effect on life in the Emirates. Among them is a very significant expansion to the UAE’s golden visa scheme, which offers a 10-year residency visa to expatriate workers in certain professions. So how does the visa work? How do you find out if you…
 
The UAE government has embarked on one of the biggest overhauls of the legal system in years. Among the changes are amendments to family and personal law with new regulations covering divorce, couples living together and other areas affecting people’s daily lives. From a personal finance perspective, however, one of the most interesting changes cen…
 
With life expectancy rates rising rapidly across the globe thanks to advances in healthcare and better living standards, many of us will get the chance to celebrate our 100th birthday. But the financial implications of hitting such a milestone mean that the concept of traditional retirement is fast disappearing. After all, can we really afford to f…
 
As the world waits for the outcome of the US presidential election, investors have every right to feel nervous. Last week saw global markets spiral downwards on the back of uncertainty about the election result and heightened restrictions across Europe due to a rise in the number of coronavirus cases. Some analysts say that political risk is now a …
 
For Generation Z - those born between 1996 and 2015 - brushing up on personal finance know-how is something many carry out through financial apps or by watching videos on YouTube. With boosting financial literacy levels a key aim for governments across the globe, and the world still gripped by the devastating financial effects of Covid-19, there ha…
 
The coronavirus outbreak has infected more than 40 million people worldwide and damaged economies, industries and employment levels. But women are being disproportionately hurt by the economic fallout of the crisis. With sectors that typically employ women, such as retail and hospitality, badly affected by Covid-19, women’s jobs are 1.8 times more …
 
There are numerous asset classes you can invest your money into – from stocks and bonds to exchange traded funds, mutual funds, gold, art, cryptocurrencies and more.But one of the favourites, particularly in the UAE, is property – mainly because it is a tangible asset. Investing in real estate is sometimes considered a more solid and secure investm…
 
For people new to the world of investing, buying stocks can be a scary concept, particularly during periods of extreme volatility. But according to SimplyFI.org, a non-profit community of personal finance and investing enthusiasts in the UAE, investing does not need to be complex at all. It says the process can actually be quite simple and you can …
 
Sending money to family members in your home country is something many UAE residents do on a regular basis. But as the world struggles with the effects of Covid-19 and some people have lost jobs or experienced a salary cut, actually having the money to transfer is an issue in itself.With so many of us now focused on keeping costs down, what is the …
 
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