July 24, 2024
'Tax-free income in UAE results in higher take-home pay': Irish expat on how to manage money wisely - News


Kelly Short Mc-Cullough on how she built a relationship with money

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By Melanie Swan

Published: Thu 11 Jul 2024, 2:24 PM

Irish expatriate Kelly Short-McCullough is the director of home healthcare at NeoHealth in Dubai. At 42, she has developed a symbiotic relationship with money. She says true wealth “extends beyond monetary assets”, “it encompasses relationships, health, and personal fulfilment”. Here, she tells us about her future plans.

How would you describe your relationship with money?

I am grateful for the opportunities and security that money provides. I recognise the privileges that come with financial stability.

How do you think this relationship was formed?

We didn’t have very much growing up and my mum worked two jobs to make sure that she could provide for us, so my relationship was formed watching how hard she had to work for it.

If you had to write a letter to money, what would you say?

You are a tool that enables us to fulfil our needs, pursue our dreams, and secure our future. Your presence brings security, comfort, and opportunities for growth. However, sometimes our relationship can be complex. The pursuit of you can lead to stress, anxiety, and even conflict. There are times when I feel overwhelmed by the pressures associated with you –- the need to earn more, save more, and spend wisely. Yet, despite these challenges, I recognise your importance and value. You provide the means to support my loved ones, invest in experiences, and contribute to causes I care about. You are not just a currency but a symbol of hard work, perseverance, and achievement.

Who has taught you the most about financial management?

My working life has taught me about money management. In most of my roles, budgeting and managing profit and loss has been a part of the role, and I treat my personal and business money management in the same way.

What has been the most profound experience you’ve had so far in relation to money?

Having divorced 10 years ago, I found myself in a situation where I had to support my two children by myself. Not being able to rely on a second income meant that I knew I needed to budget properly, and this is when the cashflow [plan] was created.

How do you think living in the UAE has changed your relationship with money?

Living in the UAE has had a significant impact on my relationship with money due to several factors unique to the region.

One of the attractions of living in the UAE is the absence of income tax. This can result in higher take-home pay compared to countries where income tax is levied. As a result, we have more disposable income to allocate towards savings, investments, or discretionary spending. The UAE’s dynamic economy and business-friendly environment can present opportunities for career advancement, entrepreneurship, and wealth accumulation. Expatriates benefit from higher salaries, lucrative employment packages, and access to diverse investment opportunities.

What is your long-term goal which is pegged to your finances?

To retire comfortably and be able to purchase a property back home.

What’s your biggest financial regret?

The purchase of an off-plan property which we thought would increase in value, but the quality wasn’t there, and we just got our money back.



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