How to save money in Saudi Arabia

Hello everyone,

Did you plan your budget before your move to Saudi Arabia? If so, how did you go about it?

How do you save money in your day to day life? Do you find there are any areas where you can't cut costs?

Do you have any tips about saving money in Saudi Arabia? For example, getting the best deals on accommodation, grocery shopping and dining out, the best value transportation, etc..

Are there any apps or websites that have helped you to save money?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


That would be helpful for the newcomers as well.. I'll be following the responses...

Actually - I am lucky that my bank SABB gives me options to create many sub accounts. So I have fixed an amount which goes into that sub account once I received my salary or incoming payment.

So different sub-account are like house rents, future saving etc

So rough I have calculated that every month I need Sr  xxxx to live on (like fuel, food, eating out, mobile etc)

Therefore I am left with a certain amount in the current account and I stick to that and do not touch the other accounts.

For deals, you could download many apps that post different offers from the market like Lulu, Hyper etc. In addition to this I use Cobone and Souq.

you don't need to live in  compound, you can live anywhere in Saudi Arabia, unless you're so  ambitious.

Mobile Apps can help you but it's more of a change perspective. Depending on your income, make realistic goals on how much you can save per month. Determine your monthly expenses like house rent, food groceries, transportation, etc and try to minimize or cut from there. For example by looking and moving to a cheaper apartment, skip the restaurant and fast food and buy veges and cook dinner at house, don't take the expensive taxi-walk or buy a bicycle or ask a friend who can give you a free ride or get a cheap 2nd hand car. Warren Buffet says not to put all your eggs in one basket-once you save more, don't spend it all with cars, gadgets and luxuries and extravagant lifestyle but living a simple life. Once you saved already, get out being an employee and start having your own business and be an entrepreneur. Good luck.

People who save money in KSA only those who can live a miserable life. They cannot eat anything they see and like to try, they cannot reside on reasonably good houses on good neighborhoods, they cannot buy decent cars, they cannot buy classy clothes, they cannot buy expensive toys to their children, they cannot travel abroad for summer holidays, they cannot buy fancy hardware for their houses (e .g. Automatic Washers, Large Screens TVs, Dishwashers, Large Microwaves...etc.), they cannot put their children on high class schools...etc.

I have done most of the above stuff during my 46 years in KSA. Although I have invested most of my money for my children's education and they got degrees on medicine from private schools and colleges, but now I cannot afford to buy a decent house to my family and neither have enough savings for my retirement. Well, maybe I was a bad planner and hopped for the best in the future and did not expect things will get worse with the time on that fast!

Maybe you will say that my children will support me when I get old and retire, but no one can guarantees his children will support him in the future, especially if they are planing to immigrate to western couturiers as the country they have born and lived in all of their lives put them in narrow corner where they cannot live in it anymore!

So, it is your choice and up to your priorities if you plan to make money from your work in KSA.

Good luck with your savings!

Good Day

I came to Saudi in 2008 and i didn't focus or stick to any budget but few years back i started to focus and stick to budget and to a system to save money to pay down payment for a home in Canada , so my plan was to transfer amount of money every month no mater what or no mater what happened and this was working just perfect because the month i got too much expenses and i had to send the same amount every month made me to reduce my expenses and cut off some of the no need thing , no i reduced my out side activity like restaurant and malls and shopping i just go with the need rules more than wants rules , plus before i go grocery i chek the offers from tamimi Panda and danoub carefour ) plus every time i go out always remember that i have to stick to my budget and stick to my monthly transfer .

anyway if you need any help or support i will be more than happy to help


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I may add, you need to plan, plan, and plan from the first day you are in KSA. However, the following may help while you plan:

1. Put a number of years you need to spend away from your country, in KSA.

2. Specify the size of savings you want to have at the end of your decided time in KSA.

3. Put a budget for your income, expenditure, and savings on monthly bases.

4. Make monthly adjustment for you budget as needed.

There are two Critical Success Factors (CSF) for this plan to succeed:
1. Be strict to meet the requirements of the planned budget.

2. Don't be too emotional and too flexible towards your family excessive needs.

3. Transfer the saving money every month to your abroad account to make it a bit difficult to draw money from. In this way you will be forced to manage your life with the money you have allocated for your daily expenditure.

4. Don't be too stingy, because that my fire-back on your family's look to you (if they live with you in KSA). But also, don't bee too generous, as that will make you sorry for the money you have spent with no objective reason.

Good luck.

Best place for save money.but depends on priorities of each person and too the income
.since for me our most expense include education grocery rent and some on kids stuff.

Hi Priscilla,

I was in a rough situation with I moved to Saudi Arabia. Finances shattered, I already plan on how to spend my earnings here. Sadly, it didn't go as planned. The problem is not the unprecedented expenses that came but me not sticking to my budget.

I recently cut my food expenses by preparing my own meals rather than buy from food shops. Prep meals for 3 days or the entire weekdays also help cos it will refrain you from buying fast food which aside from costly is most unhealthy. One area where I am working with is transportation. I currently spend 16-24 SAR for transport daily (Uber from flat to office, from the gym to flat and some destinations). I can actually walk from my flat to office cos it's near but I am too lazy to wake up early in the morning. lol

I am using Dollar Bird app to track my expenses, it helps in some way but controlling your finances is the best way to save. A friend of mine told me that when you can control your emotions, you can control your finances. It is true, especially on shopping. Impulsive buying/shopping can impact your finances.

I hope this helps.


I relate to this man. I feel you.

i am currently woking in saudi arabia. my company provides free accomodation and transportation. for 5yrs working here in KSA, here is my tips on how to save money in saudi arab.

1. Plan your budget.
2. Do not go buying impulsively.
3. Always wait for "SALE" (as there was always have).
4. Buy only what you need and less what you want (as possible).
5. Keep control of your self (your budget).

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