Money & Me: Dubai’s Detox Delight owner embraces the vegan way

Nicole Junghaenel owns and manages Dubai-based Detox Delight, a delivery service offering vegan detox treatments and juice cleanses. The German, 35, has lived in the UAE for 12 years and has two sons, aged six and eight.

How did your upbringing shape your attitude towards money?

I had a really sheltered upbringing as I grew up in a small town of only 400 inhabitants in the south-west of Germany. From a young age I was able to manage my own money; I had holiday jobs, travelled and was still able to save enough to do all I wanted to do.

How much did you get paid for your first job?

I had lots of holiday jobs as a kid and during each school break I worked somewhere different. My first was when I was six and had just started school. I delivered a weekly local newspaper to all the households in my town with the help of my parents who helped me to carry the trolley as it was way too heavy for me. I was super-proud when I got my first “salary”, which was 10 Deutsche mark at that time. It’s important to teach the same values to my two boys and when we go to Germany in the summer, they have little duties to do to earn some pocket money. My first real job after graduation was at a bank, where I also got my finance degree.

Are you spender or saver?

Both, but in a good way. Mostly I save money but if I really want something I also don’t mind spending, especially when it comes to holidays. I also spend on food products in Dubai that are good quality and taste great.

What is your most cherished purchase?

My favourites are brands like Stella McCartney. She is vegan herself and produces handbags that look like leather but are completely vegan – I like the high quality of her products and her passion. The last Stella McCartney handbag I received was this summer as a birthday gift from my husband.

Have you ever had a month where feared you could not pay the bills?

No, that has never happened neither in business or my private life, as I am really good at taking care of my finances and always try to have a plan B at hand.

Where do you save your money?

It’s usually in a good old bank account; I follow the basic principle of spending less per month than I earn.

What has been your best investment?

That’s easy – my business. I always dreamed of running a business and making a difference to people’s lives. Although it’s not always easy being self-employed, I am still convinced it was a good choice and I can’t wait to see what the future holds as I have way too many ideas but not enough time.

What do you most regret spending money on?

Rent, as it’s ridiculously high and the money disappears year after year.

What financial advice would you offer your younger self?

Well done. I wouldn’t change anything and I try to teach my kids the same values I have.

Do you have a plan for the future?

Yes, but with the world changing drastically year by year I am a little in limbo sometimes on what to do. We always used to have a two to three year plan ready and then it changed. Now I decide to make the most out of each month, week and day – this has become my motto. I do hope, however, that one day I can find a place to live, grow my own fruits and vegetables and live self-sufficiently. Maybe a farmhouse with a small vegan hotel for people that want to share the passion.

If you won Dh1m, what would you do with it?

I would put half into the bank and go on a world tour with the rest to visit all the places on my bucket list such as diving in Micronesia, exploring in Bora Bora, hiking in Hawaii and petting a koala bear in Australia.

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