As Qatar becomes an increasingly expensive place to live, some expats have begun to question whether they can continue to afford living here.
Still, while the costs of food, housing and school tuitions may be unavoidable, there are ways to maintain some savings. In a two-part series of articles for the Telegraph, I offer several suggestions to keep spending in check, including:
- Making use of all available discounts when eating out by seeking discount clubs, books and websites – like Qgrabs, The Entertainer and Voucher Clubs;
- Timing big purchases like a second-hand car for the end of an academic year, when many expats leave Qatar for good;
- Being wary of reductions in the value of car insurance coverage as your car ages – this can make buying an old car a false economy in the event of an accident;
- Looking for credit cards that offer free air miles to save money on flights;
- Offering to extend your home rental contract in return for a lower, fixed rent over a longer period of time;
- Taking a trip to the seasonal farmers’ markets with friends to save money by buying produce in bulk, then splitting it up;
- Making full use of the second-hand market in Qatar, which is always busy due to the high turnover of expats here. Online groups like Buy It, Sell It, Swap It, Qatar on Facebook, classifieds on Qatar Living and garage sales are sources of many gently or barely used items;
- Planning to buy expensive items like clothing, children’s shoes and speciality foods while traveling outside of Qatar, to save on costs (depending of course on baggage allowance); and
- Grouping purchases with other people when buying from international stores that ship to Qatar, so you can share delivery costs.
Have you figured out some ways to save money while living in Qatar? What ideas would you add?