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Thursday, January 04, 2018

Saving Tips for OFWs in Saudi Arabia to Counter Effect of VAT

The imposition of 5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) in almost all goods and services in Saudi Arabia affects all people living in the country, even Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and other expat workers in the Kingdom.    With the imposition of the VAT, the electric bill is said to increase threefolds, along with vegetable and fruit products prices that will hike up to 40 percent, dairy products, and petroleum products are also rising that resulted to fare hike in public transport.    These things are affecting thousands of OFWs working in the Gulf Region.
The imposition of 5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) in almost all goods and services in Saudi Arabia affects all people living in the country, even Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and other expat workers in the Kingdom.


With the imposition of the VAT, the electric bill is said to increase threefolds, along with vegetable and fruit products prices that will hike up to 40 percent, dairy products, and petroleum products are also rising that resulted to fare hike in public transport.

These things are affecting thousands of OFWs working in the Gulf Region.
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We cannot change the fact that VAT-free living in Saudi Arabia is gone. But as an OFW we can always do something to limit our consumption and expenses to lessen the effect of VAT in our way of living and eventually to save.

To save money on your electric bills, switch off or unplug any chargers or appliances you do not need. It is because even if appliances are in standby mode, still they are using energy just by being plugged in.

The following are some "Koryente Tipid Tips" to consider to reduced your electricity bill
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Another factor that has a big impact on OFWs in Saudi Arabia is prices of food products. So here are some saving tips when buying or doing groceries;
1. Always go with a list. Before going to the grocery store, prepare a list of everything you need. You may get it from your weekly menu. Check what is lacking in your kitchen or refrigerator and make sure you are not forgetting anything. When doing a grocery, stick to that list!

2. Plan out a weekly menu. This is the best way to make sure you or your family have something to eat. With this, an OFW may buy groceries once every two weeks. 

3. Do not when you are hungry. Sound common tip but this is true. When we are hungry we want to buy all food we see. We end up spending a lot more. But when you eat a good meal first, you will be more likely to stick to your list.

4. Have a Budget. Know exactly how much you need to spend and stick to that limit. If you do not know how much you can spend, you will spend too much without knowing it.

5. Pack your Lunch or Snacks. Canteen food or snacks is convenient but a big waste of money. Practice buying food and make your own lunch and snack to save!

6. Do not waste leftovers. Wasting food is wasting money. Cook what is enough for you or for your family. If leftover cant be avoided, serve it for the next meal.

7. Stock-up when there is a sale. Sale items can be a great deal. If it’s an item you normally use, buy a bunch of them. Just make sure you can consume it before the expiration date

8. Don’t buy junk food. Or buy as little as possible. Junk foods give you a zero nutrition. Choose fruits and veggies instead of healthy living abroad.

9. Drink Water. Sweetened beverages are taxable in Saudi Arabia so choose water, it is much better for you and much cheaper compared to iced tea, sodas and other types of soft drinks.

10. Cut back on your restaurant eating. Yes, it is expensive and eating at home is more nutritious than eating outside.

 

Aside from electricity and food consumption, OFWs in Saudi Arabia may feel the pain of 100 percent increase on dependent's fee from SR100 to SR200 starting July 1, 2018, and would reach SR300 by July 1, 2019. There is also the possibility that dependent's fee will hit SR400 in 2020. 

As an OFW in Saudi Arabia, you may consider sending home your dependent family living with you in the Kingdom to avoid this fees and have extra savings for the future. Although it is hard to be separated from your family, this is a decision you have to be made sooner or later.

OFWs in Saudi Arabia will also feel the pain of more than 100% increase in fuel prices. Due to this, fare hikes in taxis and other public transportation is also increasing. OFWs can avoid this by limiting their "gala" or outdoor activities that require riding on public transport.


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