This is the most expensive age of your life

Every year of your life feels like the most expensive yet, doesn’t it? From the days of begging your parents for more money at university because your student loan’s run out, to adding yet another AED350 to your overdraft limit as a working adult, only the very most fortunate among us don’t have to worry about money.

Most of it gets sucked up by rent, bills and basic living costs, meaning we feel like we need to treat ourselves, and so blow the remainder of our paychecks on brunch, takeaways and shoes we probably didn’t really need.

But it’s important to put away money for the future too – particularly if you’re approaching the age of 31, as that is the most expensive age of your life, according to a new survey.

The research, carried out by credit check company ClearScore, found that this is the age many people start making important life decisions like getting married, buying a house and having children, making it the most costly year of our lives.

Of the 3,000 people surveyed, 27% of people said getting married was the biggest expense at that age, followed by buying a house at 25%, having a baby at 20% and going on a honeymoon with 14%.

Those are some expensive weddings people are having.

And how much will the average 31-year-old need to have saved up to pay for these expenses? Around AED218,650, the survey found, not including any money left over for supporting children or retirement. Great! What fun news!

With all these expenses, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn, therefore, that a third of 25-34-year-olds still rely on their parents for financial help.

Chief executive of ClearScore, Justin Basini, told Business Insider: “Many of life’s big milestones tend to happen very close together so we weren’t shocked to discover how much people were spending during their most expensive year.”

To help you save, we asked the experts for some advice.

Here’s Managing Partner of Arlo Associates, Lee Carey tips on how to save money in Dubai…

1. Start
“The general percentage to start saving with is 10 percent. Put away 10 percent of your salary each month and gradually increase this rate once you feel comfortable enough to do so. I’d also recommend that you speak to a reputable independent financial adviser. They can help you manage your finances and budget correctly for your future.”

2. Cost cutting
“Minimise all of your non-essential outings. Skip brunch every once in a while, cancel your subscription to those extra TV channels that you never really watch and opt to eat at home every now and then. I’ve found that one of the biggest reasons why people end up in debt is because they are constantly trying to impress someone else. By living beyond their means, people start putting expenses on their credit card. The problem with this is that people usually just tend to pay the minimum every month which not only takes longer to pay off, the interest rate means that you usually end up paying for more than you spent.”

3. Do your research
“For the latest deals on credit cards and loans, I use comparison websites like It has a great debt consolidation section and offers a number of facilities like loan calculators and more. They’re also really good at getting back you, all you have to do is fill in their “contact us” section.”

4. Patience is key
“A lot of people come to the UAE in debt already so, once they pay this debt off, they tend to focus on saving for their future. Interestingly, in the UAE, more and more people are understanding the importance of saving earlier in life. I’ve seen people as young as 25 set up retirement funds and actively save for their future. It is never too early to start saving for retirement. People often think that retirement is way off in the future. However, the earlier you start, the easier it will be to save.”

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