Thursday, March 27, 2014

Making It Rain

     Hello my dear readers! I know I say this each post, but thank you so much for reading! Keep the comments coming. I live (and love) to hear them! Anything you would like to know ask me!

     I am not going to lie, the money I make here is good, really good, really, really good. This is the number one motivator keeping me in the country. There was one day that I was having such a bad day that I went and opened my payslip and everything was magically better. I make about twice as much as I did at home, don't have to do any extracurricular activities and it is not taxed.
       We get paid on the 25th of the month. If the 25th falls on a Friday then we get paid the day before. Our cell phones are linked to our bank accounts (actually your cell phone is linked to everything) and you get a text whenever you use your bank card. This comes in very handy to keep you in check when you are shopping because the amount you spent is displayed as well as your balance. Sometimes it can be a little annoying.  The same holds true about deposits. Trust me, on the 25th every teacher is waiting with baited breath for that text and when it come through ( this month it was at 9:15 am) I do a little dance, usually a combination of the running man and the Carleton dance.
       I thought you might be interested in what I do when I get paid. First thing is I pay for my car. I am renting a car for 6 months and that is my biggest expense I pay about 600$ Canadian a month for the car and insurance. I am at a remote school (about 100km/63 miles away) so I get a travel allowance of 425$ month so most of my car is covered. Gas is super cheap here running at 0.49$ a liter. Filling up the care doesn't cost. We also have a free van that takes us to school, so most days I do not drive.
    Next, I pay my bills. My cell phone runs me about 250$, that is a lot I know.  Communication is extremely important to me and I will pay whatever to stay in touch. Everyone has their weakness, some of my friends get their places cleaned by a maid once a month, some people have people to cook their food, others have every channel under the sun so they can watch American shows they love, my weakness is my phone.  
     I got an iPhone 5s in December on a one year plan that cost includes the cost of the phone as well as 9 gigs of data, 200 text messages and 800 calling minutes. Before you ask, yes I use 9 gigs a month, I told I have a problem.  Not only do I have a social media problem, some parts of my apartment do not pick up wireless ( my bedroom) so I have to use my data and not my wireless in these locations.  This brings me to TV and internet. I am not a big tv viewer and went with basic cable (it isn't too bad there are at least 4 movie channels that play all kids of movies, last weekend I watched Inception, Hairspray and Men In Black). I also have pretty fast internet. I also have access to a Nerflixs account that I watch on my iPad. That runs me about 150$. Electricity and water is super cheap I paid 35$ for two months! 
   After that is all said and done. I send about half of what I have left home. That can be anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending what I have to do that month (pay for vacation). I am currently working away at my debt and hopefully will have it all paid by September. I send my money home to my Canadian bank account through an institution called Al Ansari. It takes about three days for the money to get into my bank account and it costs about 20$ to send and 15$ on the receiving end taken out by my bank.
   I then do all the girly things that women love. I get a manicure and pedicure. I also get my eyebrows threaded.

      I also get my hair braided every two months. There is a salon owned by an Ethiopian woman and they do braids, weaves, perms, etc... I pay about 90$ to get my hair braided INCLUDING the hair. If they are not busy, two and even three women will be working on my hair at the same time. I have finished in as few as 3 hours.

   Of course I buy groceries and all that jazz. I pay no rent. I know that some of you are coming here so maybe this will help you make a budget. 

     Have a great weekend! 


  1. Thanks for doing a money post. I am headed there in August, and I am hoping to save money and travel, so this was nice to hear it is possible. Do you have any coworkers with kids there? Are they able to save?

    1. I have a few friends who have come here with their children. They travel and take their children on vacation. I am sure that they are saving because they don't have to up rent, yet depending on the age of your students school can be a bit pricey here so many teachers get their children homeschooled.

    2. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Do you know anyone with preschool-age children? I can't seem to find info regarding the average cost of preschool.

  2. Thank you so much for blogging! I am contemplating this journey soon, and I love to see how you can make it work for you versus the many complaints I have seen on some forums. I hope to reach out to you when I am certain of my plans.

  3. Great post! Very timely for me and the other August 2014 EMTs. I was just discussing this with my husband yesterday, so I'm sending him your way. Maybe one day you can do a "day in the life" post so we have an idea of how things go on a daily basis! Thanks so much and I'm glad you seem to be feeling better!

  4. Betina, I will definitely do a post like that when I get back from spring break. I will also do a weekend post.

  5. Your blog is wonderful. Thanks for the information and wonderful pictures. Very inspiring.

  6. I am also entering this exciting venture in August. I just love reading your blogs. need them coming just confirms I am doing the right thing. keep it up

  7. Thank you for sharing! It was very informative. Have you been to Spinneys? I love to bake and cook. I saw Spinneys on youtube and I am dying to visit and shop there with so much variety of food to choose from all over the world.
    I read that you are renting a car. Do you know anything about leasing a car?
    How much money would you estimate an expat would need o bring $2000-$3000. Is this estimate reasonable? or Does the expat needs more money?

  8. Spinney's has a lot of brands that we are used to at home, but it is a little more expensive that the local grocery stores. I think 2000-3000 is perfect I think I brought 2000 when I arrived and I was good until I got paid or at leaf my housing allowance.

    Not too sure about leasing a car, but I know a few people you have bought cars, I can asked them about it.

  9. Thank you for the information. I am so excited about coming over. As I type I need to get my booty up and get back to my purging and packing. But I enjoy reading about your experiences.

  10. Glad to see that you answer my hair question, that's always the problem about traveling finding a hair dresser for balk hair (braiding or relaxing). I am from Ottawa and planning the trip later this year with my 1 year old son and husband. We are island people... so glad to read all your blogs and life style changes which is very useful

  11. You are so awesome!!! You managed to answer the billion questions I had in one blog!! Thank you for taking the time to blog! :-)

  12. Hey just out of interest how much does your phone cost in AED per month? Did you pay a set up fee?? This seems like my kinda package - im moving out to Al Ain from the UK next month and any tips re this kind of stuff is a bonus :)