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Earning a tax-free salary – making it work for you

Most people who decide to work in the Middle East do so based on the excellent tax-free salary on offer.

For South Africans this often means you are earning 2 or 3 times more than at home.

The first things people want to do is pay off debt, save for education, housing or a car.

Yet, so often we hear of people returning with none of these financial goals achieved.

So what happens to all that hard earned cash?

It is easy to get carried away when you see large amount of cash coming into your bank account.

Suddenly all those things that have been out of reach are now possible to own. Phones, iPads, designer clothes, jewellery, Weekends away in nice hotels.

Before you know it you are spending what you earn and forgetting the goal of working in the Middle East.

Then it’s time to go home and reality hits – a smaller salary and lots more bills to pay.

So what do you do to avoid this trap.

  • Before you leave for overseas check work out how much debt you have.
  • Then commit to paying in extra every month to clear it.
  • Its great having the gadgets and fancy clothes but they depreciate as soon as you buy them. Buy only what you need not what you want.
  • Allow an amount to spend on treats and choose them wisely
  • Be in charge of your own money. I have lots of stories of wives coming back to finds their husbands have been spending all the money being sent home instead of paying the bills.
  • Get independent advice from your financial advisor. Be wise with this advice – you know what’s best for you.

We know there is the temptation all around you but keep in mind how great it will feel to be debt free!


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We find jobs for registered nurses in the Middle East and the UK.

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