Cost of Living Report Reveals Surprising Findings

When you have a large family, personal loans become a real option as you juggle the family finances. More mouths to feed, a bigger car to buy, and higher bills to pay.

In the US, rising food, education, and housing costs have made the first 17 years of raising a family even more expensive. Interestingly, though, a US Department of Agriculture report suggests that families with three or more children save more money than those with just two. They spend as much as 22% less per child.

You’d think it would be the other way round. How do the parents run this tight ship but still provide plenty for their children?

  1. By buying in bulk, which allows them to save money on food, and by also making the most of special offers.
  2. By making siblings share rooms and, as they grow older, handing their clothes down to the younger brother or sister.
  3. By saving on private schooling and child care centers. Some offer discounts if the parents register or enroll both siblings.

Is this the same elsewhere in the world?

If we look at the UAE, the answer is yes and no. The good news for the UAE overall is that the consumer price index has fallen slightly towards the end of 2012. This has made food and soft drinks there a little bit cheaper.

The bad news is that it has increased in areas of expenditure such as housing, clothing, and transportation. In Dubai particularly, housing remains the largest single expenditure, but its booming real estate sector can’t meet the demand, which is pushing rent and house prices up. There are more options open to families who have the money to rent a villa or apartment.

Despite these increases, there’s still good news for expats. For instance, in Dubai and several other emirates, there’s no income tax to pay. You’d still have to pay this to the US Government, but if you register as a resident for tax purposes you can avoid it.

The other good news is that you can still save in terms of transportation. The UAE is one of the cheapest places in the world to buy a car, and the price of fuel is also low. Whereas you can curse the problems the UAE’s large expat population has created in the housing market, the demographics work to your advantage when buying a car. There are so many expats buying or selling cars that prices are more flexible. You could take out a bank loan and still be purchasing a bargain.

So having a large family in the US, doesn’t necessarily mean your personal finances will become unhealthy. Despite some of the extra expense, you can save on food, clothing, and even on the children’s education and daycare. This is different to the UAE, where economic events have brought down the cost of living cheaper in some major areas of expenditure, but increased it in others. Thankfully, the tax system and the role of fuel in the UAE economy still create room for saving there.

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