Savings Update February 2019: Legal Trouble, a Flight, and 69%.
The 2018-2019 school year continues to be great for savings. February was no different, coming in at a 69% savings rate, about $3,700. There were a couple expenses that were out of the ordinary, and some drops in expenses that helped balance that out.
The first expense was a fun one, my plane ticket to Georgia for spring break. Not the state in the US, but the country! I'm going there in April for a week and a half. It's my third international trip of the school year, joining Lebanon and the Netherlands. I've never been before, and I'm very much looking forward to it! Another cool thing is that it's relatively cheap there, and with the plane ticket already bought, it shouldn't raise expenses insanely high in April, which means I'll have 10 months with good savings in the school year instead of 9. The year continues to be on track for crushing my savings goal! There are potential rocks ahead, and that leads me to that other expense...
The way rent in Dubai often works, is that you pay for the whole year's rent in advance, not monthly as in many other places. It's not a system I particularly like, because it makes you store up a ton of money that you can't invest, it's inefficient. The other reason I'm not a huge fan of this system is one that came to bite me and a lot of other people real hard: fraud.
I can't be super specific because of the libel laws here in the UAE, but the company that contracts out the building I live in took off in the dead of night with a lot of people's rent money, including mine. Even though we'd paid for a year, the company didn't pay the buildings for the rent due in 2019. So, when 2019 came around, the buildings didn't have the money and wanted to kick us out, even though we'd paid. In my case, I'd paid until the end of May.
The cops got involved, they said the tenants could stay because they had a valid contract. But because the building is out a TON of money, they're trying to basically intimidate us into leaving so they can get paying customers in our rooms. I don't really blame them, but it's not my fault either. Long story short, the tenants banded together to hire a lawyer to fight back, and that was the other expense this month. I definitely could have lived without that extra cost, but it will hopefully be worth it to be able to stay until my contract is up on June 1. Fingers crossed!
If the legal process doesn't go our way, I'll have to move this month and pay double rent, which would cost me about $3,000 or so to get me to June, putting my savings for the year in a worse position than it should be. $3,000 isn't the end of the world, but it's a good chunk of a month's savings for me, and I don't want to give that up if I don't have to.
At least I have Georgia to look forward to!
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