ADIB statistics show that may UAE residents are finding it difficult to manage debt
UAE residents are keeping better track of their personal finances than they were four years ago, with fewer living outside of their means, according to newly released data from Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.
In its ‘moneysmart index’ – which is based on periodic surveys of 1,300 residents earning over AED 10,000 a month – ADIB found that 56 percent of respondents keep ‘very close track’ of their finances, up from 52 percent in 2014.
Additionally, the statistics show that 38 percent of respondents said they had a good idea of how much they spend, compared to 37 percent in 2014. Only six percent of those queried said they pay no attention to how much they spend, down from 12 percent in 2014.
The statistics also show that 57 percent of UAE residents have money left over after paying their expenses every month, up from 55 percent in 2014. Approximately 40 percent of respondents said they have little left after paying their expenses, compared to 36 percent in 2014, while only 3 percent said they spend more than they earn each month, down from 9 percent in 2014.
More than half – 51 percent – of people said they save most months, a significant increase from 2014’s 24 percent. Conversely, the percentage of people who say they never or rarely save fell from 14 percent in 2014 to 5 percent in 2018.
More people, however, are finding it difficult to manage debt, with 48 percent saying they sometimes struggle to make monthly instalments, compared to 31 percent in 2014. Many bank consumers are not aware of the rates they are paying, with only 59 percent saying they know the rate on their personal finance and 55 percent saying they know the rate charged by their bank card.
“It is encouraging to see that more people in the UAE are looking more closely at managing their finances and savings,” said Phillip King, ADIB’s global head of retail banking. “However, it is clear that people would benefit from debt management advice.”
“We’re keen to get the message out that however much you earn, careful budgeting can help you to put some money aside every month,” he added.