The majority of Saudi nationals save less than 10 percent of their monthly income, according to a survey by Souqalmal.com, a Middle Eastern price comparison website.
Expatriate Arabs living in Saudi also find it difficult to save, with 42 percent not saving anything and 12 percent admitting they don’t know how to save, the survey found.
Six out of ten of the Saudi national respondents said they are putting less than 10 percent of their monthly salaries into savings.
Out of those, two thirds claim they don’t save anything, and 20 percent claim they don’t know how to save.
The best savers in Saudi Arabia are expat Asians, with 40 percent saving more than 30 percent of their income, followed by Western expats with 37 percent of those putting aside 30 percent of their income.
“The biggest issue I think is the education of how to save, tools to use to help budget and realizations that we all need to be prepared for the future,” said Ambareen Musa, founder of Souqalmal.com, commenting on the survey results.
Musa explained the issue further saying, “Saudi Arabia has one of the youngest [populations] in the world, and in the range of 25-30, saving is usually not at the top of mind.”
“While enjoying a good quality of life now is important, saving adequate amounts for the future is even more so, and that is not only for a rainy day or for our retirement, but to be able to more easily invest in a house for the family,” Musa added.
Almost 55 percent of savers in Saudi Arabia rely heavily on simple bank accounts to keep their cash. According to Souqalmal.com, this indicates a lack of awareness of available investment options. Around 10 percent of savers in Saudi Arabia were said to choose property investments. However, this rate is still low compared to 32 percent of UAE residents investing into property, Souqalmal said.
A previous Souqalmal report found that 4 in 10 individuals in the UAE save less than 10 percent of their monthly income, according to a survey of 900 respondents. Out of these, half claim they don’t save anything at all. Expat Arabs seem to find it harder to save, with 32 percent not saving at all and 12 per cent admitting they don’t know how to save. They are closely followed by UAE nationals, with 30 percent saying they do not save at all.
The best savers in the UAE appeared to be Western expats, with almost half of them saving between 10-30 percent of their monthly income, followed by expat Asians with one third of them saving within the same range.
Around 40 percent of the UAE population also relies heavily on simple bank accounts as a place to keep their money, a similar proportion to Saudi Arabia.
Investing in stocks was the least favored option for respondents from both countries. Only 7 percent of Saudi Arabian nationals and 8 percent of UAE respondents chose the markets as an investment choice.