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May 2017 Costs

Before even looking, I know that May's costs are going to be hard to swallow - I've travelled from Dubai to Europe twice this month for running events and, on top of that, I've paid for our Dubai-London-Dubai flight tickets for the summer. Well, I may as well bite the bullet and see what it looks like:

On the face of it, it's not looking too good. Our total costs in May were £4,662 ($5,755) which was much higher than our budget of £3,700 ($4,567). If I look at the average monthly cost, it is much the same story, with an average cost of £4,837 ($5,970) which again is much higher than our budget.

However, looking at it a bit more closely, it perhaps isn't so bad. Two things in particular stand out:

The first thing is that, as I've said before, Dubai is expensive, and it isn't where we will spend most of our retired life. Once we relocate away from Dubai, to Europe or North America, I'm convinced that we will significantly reduce the following costs:

  • Groceries - our grocery bill is currently for three people and it will reduce to two when our son goes to university in a few months. Also, the cost of groceries in Dubai is high, and we'll save 20%-30% at least in Europe or North America. So, when we relocate and Sam goes to uni, I think we will reduce this monthly cost to £500 ($617). A saving of £353 ($435) compared to the current monthly average cost.

  • Electronics & Accessories - the average cost is showing as £199 ($246) a month. We don't buy much of this sort of stuff normally, and I suspect it will reduce to half this amount by the end of the year which will be a saving of £100 ($123).

  • Going Out & Coffee Shop/Casual Dining - this is the one that continues to shock me as our average monthly cost against this is £792 ($977). I think this will reduce when we are living in Europe or North America, but I'm not sure by how much, so I'm not going to assume any saving for now.

  • Cleaning & Gardening - the average cost shows £138 ($170) a month. We've already cancelled the cleaning service and the garden service will finish in June. This will therefore be a zero cost going forward.

  • Cable TV and Internet is also really expensive in Dubai. I just did a quick internet search and can get this for half the cost or less once we relocate, which will save us £71 ($87) a month.

  • Adding these together, the total savings that I think we will achieve when we relocate away from Dubai are £662 ($815), and this ignores any savings on Going Out & Coffee Shop/Casual Dining.

The second thing is that we are not doing so badly if I look at the costs before holidays. Before holidays and my overseas running events, the monthly average cost to the end of May is £3,415 ($4,216) which is less than our budget. We do need to have some money for holidays, but in future we will not spend anything like the amounts that we have had this year as I don't normally do overseas running events and we will have our apartment in France from next year which will mean our holidays will start to be quite cheap.

So, taking these things altogether, I'm thinking that our costs once we relocate from Dubai might look more like those in the table below - I hope so, as these show that the costs can come in within our target budget:

The focus for us is to make sure we get the savings that I think we will get once we relocate away from Dubai, and also to enjoy our holidays, but to not spend too much on them (which should be possible once the apartment in France is built).

Sorry, lot's of numbers in this post, but it is about costs, so I guess that is always going to be the case.


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