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Managing Your Debts


Prioritise Your Debt

We understand how stressful it can be when you have limited income at your disposal but you still have debts & bills to pay. It can be hard to prioritize those debts, but if controlled well – it will help you prioritize.

When you are financially secure, you are less stressed & confident about what the future holds. On the other hand, financial insecurity may lead to stress that affects all aspects of your life – from personal to overall health & wellbeing. To be in control of your finances, you need to first be in control of your financial wellbeing. Your financial wellbeing is influenced by your financial concerns & plans which is predicated on your wants versus your needs.

There would be parts of your monthly expenses that are an absolute need, and items that would be nice to include but are not a necessity. While everyone’s needs are different, we all come out from circumstances that affect our personal financial concerns and thus affect our financial planning. Factors that influence your personal financial concerns are Family Structure (Single versus Marital Status & Dependents), Health, Career Choices and Age.


Financial Proficiency

Regardless of how much you make, it is imperative to equip yourself with sound knowledge on financial proficiency. One needs to develop their financial intelligence & secure their finances for the future. It’s a transitional challenge which may take months to years to move from the current situation to a desired state. Being financially intelligent means you understand and make calculative decisions about financial matters. You are taking into consideration your personal finance, investments and the volatile economy. Irrespective of your age & income group (low, medium & high) one needs to have adequate knowledge on key concepts, tools and data. Analyzing & interpreting financial information can help you make current & future decisions pertaining to investment strategies, managing risks, saving and spending. In order to develop this skill set, you can educate yourself by reading books, articles, blogs or watch related videos or you can seek help from financial professionals. Just by developing this skill set, you are now in control of your finances securing your financial future enabling yourself to make more informed decisions.

Some debts may be more important than others. Prioritize the debts that need your urgent attention & workout a plan that suits you to address the other debts. Consider making payments initially to the highest priority debts especially debts that have legal implications. This needs to be actioned at the earliest for you to focus on other aspects that need your attention. For example: Mortgage or Rent payment, Personal/Car loan payments followed by water & electricity payments. After all, You need those lights on! It's tough but there are options available & we are here to help you out.

Initial savings & budgeting for the future can seem stressful but having a fixed monthly goal can be assuring. It can help you visualize a promising future. So if you’re wondering how to boost your savings, here are some overall tips on financial wellbeing:

Budget Planning


Create an Accurate Monthly Budget to Keep Track of Your Spending

Tracking your expenses on a regular basis, at least for 30 days – that’s income vs monthly expenditure. It will give you a clear picture of where your money is being utilized. There are non negotiable bills that have to be paid on a regular basis.. There is no denying that. However, listing it all down on a spread sheet helps you prioritize the mandatory bills & understand what is left post payments.

There are fixed expenses that are less likely to change from month to month. For example :Mortgage or rent, utilities, insurance & debt payments. What you can work around is your variable expenses – like food, clothing, entertainment, travel etc. Sort these variable expenses into needs and wants that can help you establish your budget plan. You may want it, but ask yourself the question – Do you really need it?

From the variable costs that you manage to save, you can now put this towards a savings goal & do this diligently from month to month. Monitor your progress regularly & make adjustments, wherever necessary.


Reduce the Limit on Your Card


Cut Back on Your Rental Expense

The cost of living in the UAE varies depending on the emirate and area in which you reside. For instance, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are considered expensive emirates compared to others in the UAE. Expats living in these areas typically allocate a significant portion of their salary towards rent alone. If you find yourself paying high rent, consider downsizing to a smaller house or apartment in another area or emirate where rental costs are lower.

Your monthly expenses depend on several factors, such as your location, household size, employment status, personal preferences, and lifestyle. Regardless of your monthly expenses, following the above steps can provide you with a clearer understanding of where your money is going and opportunities to save.

Grow Your Savings


Pay Those Bills on Time

To commence with savings, you would first need to tackle those outstanding debts. Remember - The more you push it for the future, the bigger it gets. It’s now combined with interest & fees getting you to an anxious state of mind. To get rid of debts quickly, consider using the 50/30/20 simplified budgeting method created by Elizabeth Warren which is explained as below:

20% to financial goals

Save 20% of your income. So, if you make AED 3500 a month, this would mean you can put aside AED 700 a month. In just a year, you would have AED 8400 worth of savings

30% to your wants

Use 30% of your income on your wants, i.e. your variable costs such as dining out, entertainment subscription services etc

50% to your needs

Use 50% of your income on your needs, i.e. your fixed costs such as rent, credit card bills, loan repayments, utility bills, food etc.


Build Up Your Savings – Even If It’s a Small Amount

Working on how much money to save every month is dependent on your lifestyle – aspects of your life that you are flexible to compromise. Once you have set your savings target, even if it’s a small amount – savings will become a natural habit & will help you stay consistent on building up a healthy savings account over time. A reasonable target to save could be 20% of your overall income, however you could start with a lesser amount too…whatever makes you feel in charge of your finances. You would derive this after you have assessed your current cash flow, that’s your monthly income coming in versus the monthly expenditures going out.

Re-think Your Expenses


Cut Back on Recurring Charges (Unused Subscriptions)

Companies make money off subscriptions that customers once availed free & then forget/ are reluctant to cancel. There are many subscriptions that you probably want but may not probably need. Very few people use their subscription services to the fullest. So, it’s more cost-effective to cancel any unused subscriptions now, rather than hold on for a time when you may supposedly use it.


Think Before You Spend

In a country like UAE, The word ’SALE’, ‘LIMITED EDITION’, ‘50-70% OFF’, ‘BUY 1 GET 1’ etc. induces dopamine hormone within us which provokes us into compulsive shopping even when you don’t need the item. So next time, you feel pushed ask yourself :

  • Do I really need this ?
  • Can I afford this?
  • Do I have the space for this ?
  • Will I go into debt/ further debt buying this ?
  • Is this an impulsive buy? Am I buying this just because its on sale?

Making more calculated choices about your spending gives you more financial freedom to make those splurges for the future. Start checking in with yourself today to make sure you revisit the above list of questions before you splurge.

We are positive that once you have gained control of your finances, you will certainly enjoy the financial freedom you always wanted.


Start an Investment Strategy

There would be months when you can afford to pay only for the rent, utility bills, debt payments & groceries; however we would still urge our customers to keep an ‘Emergency Fund’ available too.

We all have understood the need for one during the pandemic or recession times. With job loss, salary reduction – we have realized the significance of an Emergency Fund.

Once you have the Emergency Fund available, its time to initiate investments. The tricky part is understanding what to invest in & how much to invest in for which you can liaise with our financial advisors. How much you should invest depends on your financial situation, investment goal and when you need to reach it. It’s a good practice to start investing from young age, even if it’s a smaller amount as that acts as a solid return for the future.

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Why Investing Is Important

We all have taken active part in conversations relating to oil prices being cheap back in the day or how a product/service was cheap earlier but now it's not. This is because inflation erodes the value of money as years go by. By investing today, you can better combat inflation, increasing your chances of being able to afford the same amount of goods and services in the future that you can today.

Investing helps you make your money work for you because of compounding. Compound earnings means that any returns you earn are reinvested to earn additional returns. And the earlier you start investing, the more benefit you gain from compounding.

As we live in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world, like any other thing – investments too carry risk – it moves up and down over time. As investment is an individual choice, one needs to understand their risk appetite. Gauge how comfortable you are with the risk that you are taking & how much volatility you can handle.

A golden rule of thumb is not to put your eggs in one basket. Instead, diversify across various investments which will help reduce investment risk. This is why people prefer mutual funds or exchange traded funds or gold investments (digital or physical) rather than stocks and bonds. It is an individual choice.

RAKBANK has a team that’s able to provide you with assistance and also look at your options if you’re struggling to meet repayments on your debts.

If you’re a RAKBANK customer and you’ve missed a loan, or credit card payment, or you anticipate of missing one.. Please feel free to reach out to us on 600544049 to get a helping hand.

We’re here to help


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