How much I saved in Saudi

The contract said I’d work nine and half months in Saudi for $40,000 total. After exchange rates and wire transfer fees, it turned out to be a little over four grand each month. I walked away happy with that.

In the United States, that’s not an extraordinary salary. It’s kind of average, really. The key to this working so well was not in how much I made but in how much I saved.

While I was there, I got to travel. I visited Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar, India, Kuwait, Ethiopia, and the UAE. All of those trips were funded by Saudi money. I got to visit them for cheaper than if I’d tried to visit them from the United States. And even within Saudi, I traveled, something I couldn’t have even done from the States.

Still, all that travel ate up the majority of my expenses for the year. Groceries and ultra cheap restaurants were like the only other two consistent expenses. Transportation came with the job. So did my housing. So did health insurance. So did the gym, the pool, and a some other fun that kept me roughly occupied.

As a result, walking away from Saudi, I saved roughly $30,000, like 75% of my gross salary.

When I first landed, I thought I might be able to save more. And if I hadn’t traveled as much, that might have happened. All said and done, though, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Considering that I had about six weeks of paid time off during the nine a half months, it’s more like I made closer to $5,000 each month for eight months of work.

So it worked out. It worked out, but I’m still going home.