How To Save Money For Hajj
Hajj is a sacred pilgrimage many Muslims decide to make at some point in their lives. Travelling from your home to Kaaba in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is a significant journey that adult Muslims are required to make at least once in their lifetime.
But Hajj (and Umrah, a similar pilgrimage that can be made at any time of year) is an expensive undertaking if you live in the UK. You may need to plan months or even years in advance to save and pay for the travel and pilgrimage costs.
In this article, we’ll explore how much Hajj costs, and how to save money for Hajj.
How much does Hajj cost from the UK in 2024?
5Pillars reports that Muslims intending to perform Hajj from the UK will have to pay between £6,455 and £14,034 per person. So while the pilgrimage is an important rite for Muslims, it’s also an expensive one.
You can save money by arranging your Hajj pilgrimage yourself, rather than going through an organised Hajj agency. But this has its own complications and expenses — hotels in and around Mecca are expensive and booked many months in advance, and you’ll need to meet the criteria for obtaining your Hajj visa from the Saudi Arabian government.
How much money do you need to save for Hajj?
If you’re booking your Hajj pilgrimage through a Hajj agency, all your major expenses will be paid in advance. So you’ll need to save the required fee before you book (usually around £6,000 to £14,000, depending on the length and comfort level of your package).
You’ll also need some extra cash to take with you for day-to-day purchases. It’s often recommended to take around 500 Saudi riyals (just over £100) in cash, plus an additional £40-60 per day in pounds sterling (you can withdraw or exchange this at a better rate in Saudi Arabia).
If you’re organising your own Hajj pilgrimage, here are the average costs for all the major expenses:
- Accommodation — £1,000-£3,000 for one week in a mid-range hotel
- Flights — £600-£700 (return from London Heathrow to Jeddah International Airport)
- Ground transport — approximately £1,000 for all routes (including service charge and transport costs); alternatively you can hire your own vehicle
- Hajj visa — Free for first-time pilgrims; SAR 2,000 (approximately £420) for subsequent visits
You’ll also need to think about food costs, insurance costs, and spending money.
If you’re doing Hajj for the first time, you may be able to perform the pilgrimage for less than £3,000. But be aware that this takes a lot of organisation well in advance, and you may need to sacrifice comfort for cheaper rates. You’ll also need to prove you have the finances to support yourself (and anyone travelling with you) while in Saudi Arabia.
How to perform Hajj on a budget
Here are four tips for doing Hajj on a budget.
1. Organise your own pilgrimage
Organising Hajj by yourself is often cheaper than going through a Hajj operator or agency. However, you’ll need to do a lot of research to find the best rates, and book early to make sure you have accommodation and transport. These services get booked up well in advance.
2. Look for cheaper Hajj packages
Travelling with a Hajj organiser is less of a hassle than organising your own pilgrimage, but it is more expensive. You might be able to offset some of these costs by getting quotes from several different agencies or organisers, or opting for cheaper economy rates over more expensive luxury packages.
3. Perform Umrah before Hajj
Umrah can be performed at any time, so there’s less demand for Umrah services at a specific time of year. That means it’s often cheaper to perform the Umrah pilgrimage than Hajj.
Some Islamic scholars say it’s compulsory to do Hajj if you do Umrah, as this proves your financial and physical ability to perform the pilgrimage. So bear in mind that performing Umrah before Hajj may bring more financial commitments in future.
4. Travel as part of a group
You can often save on flights, accommodation, and transport if you book and travel as a group. If others in your family or community are planning to perform Hajj with you, consider booking together so you can all save money.
How to financially plan for Hajj
Here are five ways you can save money for Hajj to make this financial and religious commitment a little easier on your bank balance.
1. Start or join a rotating money club
A rotating money club (also known as a kamiti, hagbad, ayuuto, or gameeya) enables friends and family to put money into a community fund, which is then redistributed equally among the club members. This approach can help you keep your Hajj plans on track.
If you’re planning to travel as a group, consider setting up a money club for those you’re performing Hajj with. This can keep you all accountable and ensure you all have enough money to make the pilgrimage together.
2. Make a budget
Creating a budget is one of the simplest ways to save money. Sticking to it is the hard bit, but if you’re vigilant about your spending and can avoid dipping into your savings, this will make it much easier to get enough money for Hajj.
3. Open a dedicated Hajj savings account
Keep your Hajj savings separate from your emergency fund (and, more importantly, your disposable income) by opening a separate Hajj savings account. This can help you resist the temptation to take money out of your Hajj savings for other day-to-day expenses.
See how to find and open a Sharia-compliant savings account in the UK.
4. Start saving early
It can take months or even years to save up enough money to do Hajj the way you want to. So if you’re planning to do the pilgrimage in the next few years, start thinking about saving now.
You might want to put away an extra £10 a month to get your Hajj fund started, or channel any work bonuses into your Hajj-specific savings account.
5. Explore additional income streams
If your budget is already pretty tight, you might need to make a little more money before you can start saving for Hajj. Consider one of these 34 ways to earn more money to kickstart your Hajj savings.
Use Bloom to make contributions to your Hajj fund
Bloom helps you put money away for the things that matter most to you. Many Muslims aim to do Hajj at least once in their lifetime, and using Bloom to manage your rotating money club can make this a little easier. See how Bloom works to find out how we can support you and your family to take this important pilgrimage.