Saudi workingwomen: We don’t squander our wages

JEDDAH: The question where Saudi women spend their salaries has been on the minds of many people, especially since single women live with their parents and hardly have any costs. However, the fact is that Saudi women pay for their education and transportation, and other day-to-day costs.

“Ever since I started working, my father stopped giving me an allowance and I have to pay for everything on my own except rent and food, of course, but when it comes to shopping and paying my phone bill it all comes out of my pocket,” said Sarah Adeeb, a 26-year-old banker.

“I also pay for my holidays when I go with my friends. I pay for flights, hotels and other things. It’s not like my father is poor or tight-fisted, but he is teaching me how to spend my money in a smart way and how to take care of myself without relying on others,” she added.

According to Mona Siraj, managing editor of Sayidaty magazine, having a savings account is essential for a workingwoman as she is then able to put a part of her monthly salary into this account for the future.

“It’s been a long while since I asked my father for money. It’s taken me a while to organize myself financially. Now I spend my money on my car, my driver’s salary and mobile phone bills; I sometimes contribute to costs at home and I also pay for my own luxury items,” Siraj said.

“I do all this and after I’m done with my monthly expenses, I put whatever is left in my savings account; you never know when you need it,” she added.

Fatima Mohammed, a 26-year-old part-time student, employee and corporate translator, invests her money into her education.

“A big chunk of my monthly salary goes toward my university fees in the UK since I’m also doing a long-distance course to obtain my MA,” she said. “Another portion of my salary goes toward shopping and eating out with friends.”

Not having to pay bills or any commitments makes some Saudi women spoil themselves with expensive clothing and cosmetics.

“I’m a shopaholic and I spend a lot of my income on designer clothing and handbags. I also like to go for cosmetic treatments at spas every once in a while,” said Maha Wali, a 28-year-old marketer.

“It’s like investing in your beauty; it’s a type of therapy to be honest. I always feel good after buying a good dress or a bag or even just having a facial at the spa,” she added.

Other Saudi women contribute to household costs such as rent and paying for groceries.

“I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth and my father has always had money issues. I think it was when I started teaching that my father was relieved because I gave up all my salary to help him with rent and groceries, especially since we needed a new car after the one we had broken down,” said Khadija Ali, a 27-year-old schoolteacher.

“I sometimes want to act like girls my age who have new and expensive stuff but it feels much better to give back to my family who needs my help,” she added.



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