Easy tips to cut on your monthly spending

Cutting costs here and there doesn’t make you greedy, it simply makes you reasonable. Everyday, you spend more than you should, and pay the price at the end of the month. Globaleye looks at the simplest step you can take to reduce your expenditures.

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The electricity bill is the first place to look at. Even if you don’t realize you’re overspending, you probably are. Many items in your household are likely to continue to consume energy when you are not using them. Basically every single item in your house that displays a digital clock is consuming. Now ask yourself: do you really need to see the time on your microwave or DVD player? Of course unplugging all these devices can be time consuming, which you don’t want either, but simply using various power strips that you can turn off when you’re not using them could mean saving a significant ammount when the electricity bill comes.

Talking about needless expenditures, look at other items you’ve got at home. It’s the 2010’s, and if many things around you seem natural to have around, you’ll realize that you don’t need them anymore. For instance, when was the last time you used your landline? Chances are you take most -if not all- your calls on your mobile phone, so why not just get rid off it? On a similar note, do you really need cable TV? Of course it’s great to sit on your couch and surf between hundreds of channels, never finding something you actually want to watch, but why not take a look at the many alternatives out there? Netflix or Hulu can be much better alternatives, or Itunes and Amazones if you rely mostly on your laptop.

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Another easy and quick way to cut costs is to pay a bit more attention to the deadlines for payment: it may seem obvious, but everybody misses a due date once in a while. Of course it’s not the end of the world, but a few fees here and there can quickly add up. There are a bunch of bill tracking system and apps that you can use today (think Mint and the like) and make sure you never loose money on a late payment again.

Finally – and this may sound like grandma’s advice right there – when was the last time you packed your own lunch? Wherever you work, chances are you’re nearby a cafeteria and a bunch of restaurants, but even the cheapest option for ready-to-go meals are much more expensive that a decent home-made sandwich. If you think you don’t have the time to prepare lunch everyday, think of taking a couple hours to cook big during the week end – a massive salad or chili can have your lunches covered for days.

If all these advices sound a little obvious, just give it a try for a month and see if put together it doesn’t make a difference. We assure you it will.

The Must-Knows to Buying Property

Thinking of buying a property in the UK? Before doing so there are some essential things you should think about before diving in headfirst; such as is this for personal use or are you looking to make a profit? Depending on which of the two is your intention, Globaleye has put together a list of 10 things that will help you in preparing for buying a property and to make sure you have your financials in order so you can make the most of this investment.

1. Before you buy the property, you must distinguish if this is a home for yourself, or is this an investment? That being said, is this something that you are looking to rent out, and/or eventually sell as the property value rises? If you’re looking into renting out the space, the first thing you should do is establish the property under an LLC so you can get better tax write-offs and you will not be personally liable for anything that may happen on the property.

2. If your intention is to rent out the property, know who your target market is i.e. type of tenant. If it’s a house, then think about focusing on families, rather than college students because you’ll probably have to end up spending quite a bit on fixing damages to the house due to rambunctious parties. If the property is a condo, think about long-term versus short-term residents and what kind of professional you want to rent – is this person a struggling artist who may have trouble paying on time, or is this someone with a career who’s dependable.

3. Before jumping into anything, have your funds in order first and have a plan as to how you’ll pay off the property. Perhaps you have enough capital on-hand to pay upfront, or maybe you’ll have to apply for a mortgage. Also factor in how much rent would cover the mortgage and other property taxes. But at the moment, now is the time to make a move with UK interest rates at an all-time low.

4. Keep in mind if you might have any taxable income from the rent, and if any other taxes might be applicable.
5. Have a budget and stick to it. Don’t end up paying more for a property than you’ve planned and budgeted, and certainly don’t take a lower rental rate because the tenant is a nice person; management fees, repairs, maintenance etc will add up quickly

6. Look at the property multiple times, at different points in the day – perhaps there are trains that run by late at night or a bar that gets loud after a particular time or day of the week. You should treat this as a long-term relationship that you won’t just jump right into until you’ve gotten to know the place and would be prepared to live there as if it were your own home.

7. Take property management serious; will you have a friend simply check-in on the place, or hire a management company? If you’re going to go with a real estate company, what are their fees and how reliable are they? Remember that bad reputations from an agency can also reflect badly on the property and hurt your investment.

8. Have a lawyer make sure everything is in order. It’s important that you have insurance, proper licenses and certificates for being a landlord. Have all of your contracts for tenants drawn up by a lawyer and notarized when it comes time to have it signed so you’re covered if an eviction needs to take place.

9. Plan for a ‘rainy day.’ What if the property is vacant for a period, are you still going to be able to pay the mortgage? And if so, where is that money going to come from? Hopefully not from your savings.

10. Think long-term, how long do you plan on hold on to the property and if it’s not forever, what contingency plan do you have in place to sell it and make sure your investment has the right amount of return you were looking for.

Report on the Middle East Economy

After reviewing last year’s final quarterly report, HSBC, like so many other organizations in the gulf, had a good year. The company reported a 25 percent rise in profits in the Middle East branches alone, attributing the years success to a great deal of spending on the government’s behalf to improve infrastructure, growing real estate values and stable oil prices. The spike on spending on infrastructure, especially in the final quarter, was attributed to preparation for the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, which should continue to help drive the market and economy, and Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure spending.

The specific numbers of profit of HSBC from the Middle East, alone, was $1.6 billion US; that’s up from $1.35 billion the previous year, an impressive declaration in the European bank’s annual report. This steep rise contributed to HSBC’s global banking and market division having the top increase, growing over 50 percent to $869 million in profit.

The bank estimated the economic growth rate in the region had achieved 4 percent, which was boosted by a shift in Saudi Arabia’s fiscal policy and a great deal of the Gulf kingdom spending large amounts to build up infrastructure. All while the extremely volatile political situation in Egypt hampered economic growth in the 2012 to 2013 fiscal year, holding growth at just 2.2 percent and creating a large deficit of around 15 percent of the total GDP.

Stable oil prices hovering between $100 and $111 per barrel also helped stimulate grown in the Gulf. This, along with an economic upturn in the UAE, which had suffered from hits in the real estate market, helped boost the economy in the Gulf region. That, and surprisingly inflation remained down, even with demand rising and less than ideal fiscal policies allowing too much room for shifts.

However, while the profits for HSBC are good, they still didn’t meet the expectations analysts had, as such estimates were $2 billion over what was actually made. This is attributed to failed cost-cutting measures and revenue that shrank from previous estimates.

HSBC has the most success in the Asian markets, and because of this they’re turning their focus to such markets that are proving to yield the most profits for them. This is largely in part due to heightened regulations and fees in other markets, which is why it makes more sense to leave such markets that incur too many operating costs, cutting out profits. At the moment costs are over the 50 percent of revenue estimate, and return equity is not meeting the expected standards.

Dividends for the fourth quarter will reach 19 cents a share, bringing the grand total of dividends this year to 49 cents a share. Over the past year the total share price has dropped 5 percent.

Positive news is that costs drobbed from $42.9 billion to $38.6 billion, which is good progress, but at around 59 percent, it’s a bit high from the original target of low, to mid-50s.

Overall, HSBC and the Gulf region’s economy are in good shape and are expected to continue on the up turn in the next fiscal year.

Living in Saudi Arabia: Expat Guide From Globaleye

Not far ahead from Globaleye offices in United Arab of Emirates, Saudi Arabia has the largest economy throughout the MENA region; with an enormous amount of oil exploration and production, along with more industries growing from the oil industry and a plethora of contracts, the Kingdom is becoming an even bigger destination for foreign workers. While the rule of law can be a bit of a culture shock for British expats, as it adheres strictly to Islamic law, once knowing the customs and lay of the land, it’s quite simple for British expats to live in Saudi Arabia and live a comfortable life while holding an excellent job.

Employment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Saudi holds over a quarter of the world’s oil reserves, which means that most jobs available for expats are centered around the energy industry and contracts to build infrastructure stemming from it. Yet, surprisingly a large amount of people are working within the services industry (approximately 30 percent) due to a growing population and demand with a flourishing economy. Foreign investment has always been sizable in the country, but a new boom of building up infrastructure is taking place; telecommunication networks, power grids and new exploration for natural gas are what’s fueling this economic boom. On top of that, the government of Saudi Arabia is trying to recruit people with technology backgrounds, healthcare experience and teaching to come work in the country. Though, it’s important to know that as an individual you are not eligible for a visa, rather, a company based in Saudi must apply for you.

Local Customs and Culture

After moving from the UK, one can easily experience culture shock, as religious law is strictly enforced, encompassing every part of life. Segregation by gender is commonplace and for western women, can be a shock and difficult to get used to in public places. Also, inappropriate dress, public displays of affection and drinking in public are punishable by law, so make sure to be well acquainted with the laws as to not end up in trouble unnecessarily. After getting used to the slight shift in lifestyle, it’s surprisingly comfortable and easy to get along.

Planning Your Financials

Like the UAE, one of the perks of working in Saudi Arabia is your income is tax-free. On top of that, costs of basic consumer goods, food and petrol are drastically cheaper than in the UK, which is one of the many contributing factors that’s bringing so many expats to the country.

But after basic cutting of costs, saving and pensions come to mind; unfortunately, foreigners are not eligible for Saudi’s generous welfare system. However, there is a particular pension a majority of British Nationals use in Saudi Arabia, known as the QROPS pension. QROPS allows expats to legally avoid UK taxes while also having pension funds being managed in the Riyal, Saudi’s currency. Tax planning is an absolute must as the chief reason for working in Saudi is the tax incentives; smart investing and pension planning are imperative. Though, QROPS can be complicated and it is important that you fully understand how it works, talk to an advisor at Globaleye today to find out more on how to save.