A whopping 41 percent of the people who work in the Middle East have no savings, according to a new Bayt.com survey of almost 12,000 professionals in the region.
The results of the MENA Saving and Spending Trends poll showed that only 18.3 percent of those surveyed manage to save between 1-10 percent of their household incomes.
About a third of those surveyed spend up to 40 percent of their income on rent or mortgage. A third spend more than that. For 40 percent of respondents, food ranked as the second highest expenditure. Transport, travel and clothing accounted for almost a quarter of costs.
The current distribution of expendable income suggests that in the first half of 2011, the majority of respondents are spending on essential items only, with very little being used towards entertainment and the purchase of non-essential goods,” said Amer Zureikat, VP Sales at Bayt.com.
“This correlates with earlier data gathered by Bayt.com, and suggests that the current costs of living exceed the salaries received by most professionals in the MENA region.”
In the past year, the cost of food, transportation and clothing have all risen in Qatar. Only rent remains comparable to this time last year, according to the consumer price index released by the Qatar Statistics Authority.
According to the Bayt.com survey, almost 44 percent of those surveyed said they were not investment-savvy, which could negatively affect their retirement plans.
“Our poll shows that there is a definite need for investment education in the MENA region, as there is a significant portion of the population unaware of the available options in the field but showing a willingness to learn more, presumably to increase returns on savings and possibly retire before the age of 60,” concluded Zureikat.
What about you guys? Are you saving money while working on Doha?