Baby means a change in shopping priorities

In my wallet is a voucher worth Dh300 to spend on anything from any shop in Marina Mall. It was a birthday gift from a few months ago, and somehow, I've still not indulged in an impromptu shopping spree to make use of it. This past weekend, I figured it was time to spend a little money.

I never had a problem before in spending money; it came quite naturally to me. It helps that I am so able to suspend good sense and turn a blind eye to inflated prices: I am not known for my self-control. Which is why Mr T was so shocked, in a worried sort of way, when I ended up leaving the mall empty-handed.

I blame being so out-of-character, of course, on this pregnancy. Not too long ago, there was no one to think of but myself when it came to shopping, save for the random times when a gift was in order, or Mr T had done something nice and deserved an unexpected present. Otherwise, shopping was always all about me.

Instead, shopping now comes with a hefty amount of guilt and self-doubt that I did not intentionally sign up for. There is a lot of over-thinking now when it comes to where the money should be spent.

Should I buy a pair of towering heels that don't even fit my swollen ankles? But will I wear them later, or will I still be exhausted, chasing after a child in flip flops and week-old clothing? And if I were to retain my shopping habits, will I have enough money for the child's needs? How is everything supposed to work now? Do I deprive myself of the trinkets I want (and sometimes, truly believe I need), and instead spend my money on my child? Is that would a good mother would do?

The fun was taken out of shopping. Buying myself something new felt wrong. I had reached a stalemate; the Dh300 voucher was weighing down my bag, a burden I had not accounted for.

Babies don't really need all that much, I'm told: clothes are outgrown in no time, toys are discarded and found lacking in comparison to a set of keys, a mobile phone, or a piece of paper. But what is too much, and what is too little?

Then there's the other side of the conundrum, the fact that I take pride when my husband and I look and dress well, and would want the same for any child of mine. The baby's outfits have to be pristine, unique, cute, with matching shoes. I understand, of course, that shoes are not a necessary requirement for survival (especially for a baby who doesn't even walk yet), but what of a mother's sense of pride and satisfaction?

And wouldn't I be a better mother if I were a happy mother, sporting a new dress and a killer pair of heels? With a gurgling baby also sporting a new outfit and an extra cute pair of pretend shoes?

The only solution I could come up with – with Mr T's help of course – is to allow him to take over all my personal shopping needs, and then hope that the baby will be kept in a steady supply of beautiful gifts.


World Cup qualifier

Thailand 2 (Dangda 26', Panya 51')

UAE 1 (Mabkhout 45+2')


Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg
Tuesday, April 24 (10.45pm)

Liverpool v Roma

Wednesday, April 25
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid (10.45pm)

Europa League semi-final, first leg
Thursday, April 26

Arsenal v Atletico Madrid (11.05pm)
Marseille v Salzburg (11.05pm)

Brief scoreline:

Liverpool 2

Mane 51', Salah 53'

Chelsea 0

Man of the Match: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne reforms stamp duty land tax (SDLT), replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:

Up to £125,000 – 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; More than £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak extends the SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget until the end of June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

June 2021: SDLT holiday on transactions up to £500,000 expires on June 30.

July 2021: Tax break on transactions between £125,000 to £250,000 starts on July 1 and runs until September 30.

Seven Winters in Tehran

Director : Steffi Niederzoll

Starring: Reyhaneh Jabbari, Shole Pakravan, Zar Amir Ebrahimi

Rating: 4/5


Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

How much of your income do you need to save?

The more you save, the sooner you can retire. Tuan Phan, a board member of, says if you save just 5 per cent of your salary, you can expect to work for another 66 years before you are able to retire without too large a drop in income.

In other words, you will not save enough to retire comfortably. If you save 15 per cent, you can forward to another 43 working years. Up that to 40 per cent of your income, and your remaining working life drops to just 22 years. (see table)

Obviously, this is only a rough guide. How much you save will depend on variables, not least your salary and how much you already have in your pension pot. But it shows what you need to do to achieve financial independence.


Company profile

Name: Tabby
Founded: August 2019; platform went live in February 2020
Founder/CEO: Hosam Arab, co-founder: Daniil Barkalov
Based: Dubai, UAE
Sector: Payments
Size: 40-50 employees
Stage: Series A
Investors: Arbor Ventures, Mubadala Capital, Wamda Capital, STV, Raed Ventures, Global Founders Capital, JIMCO, Global Ventures, Venture Souq, Outliers VC, MSA Capital, HOF and AB Accelerator.

Most Read
Top Videos