Are financial decisions easy?

After much thought, I decided upon embarking on the second innings of my entrepreneurial journey. The path that took me to reach where I am today hasn’t been a cakewalk. At times an experience alone can unknowingly pave the way for us to take certain decisions. But were those experiences always easy? Well, not really as you would soon find out.

As much as I love venturing outdoors, summers in Dubai literally force me to stay within the limits of my perfectly air conditioned home. Being an avid fitness enthusiast, this means visiting the gym regularly. That day at the gym I was politely reminded about the impending renewal of my annual membership. As I was about to swipe my credit card, the manager informed that the loyalty programs’ benefit of my card entitled me for a complimentary renewal. Needless to say, I was overjoyed hearing this but right at that moment it struck me that all these years I have been burning a hole in my pocket unknowingly. Had I been aware of these benefits earlier, I would not have had to shell out such enormous amounts of money. I would have instead used my credit card to the best of its potential. The banker in me felt a bit cheated for having lost out on a potential savings opportunity. I realized that perhaps I wasn’t the only one carrying unexploited credit cards in their wallets.

The next instance was at the Dubai Airport, my husband was traveling and forgot an important document. Of course, I rushed to the airport in peak traffic and handed over the car to the valet. Once I handed over documents and bid adieu to dear hubby it was time to redeem my car by paying fee. I was pleasantly surprised to see my parking ticket because it offered complimentary valet parking on the credit card neatly tucked in my clutch. I had a feeling of déjà vu.

Haven’t we all faced situations similar to this? Whether we end up using all the benefits or not is a prerogative best left to the person concerned. But we must be aware of what our credit cards can offer as additional benefits apart from only paying bills and taking care of shopping trips.

It wasn’t the only time I realized my mistake and one such experience literally pushed me to the brim of my patience.

Like most expats in the UAE, we sacrifice a lot to realize the dream of building a house back in our home country. We stretch our limits to save each dirham. After my husband and I had finished finalizing the deal of our dream home, we religiously kept paying the pre-EMI. At that point, little did we know that we were in for a rude shock. Almost 2 years down the line, our loan officer informed that we had only been servicing the interest and not paying towards the loan principal. This essentially meant, we had lost out on substantial savings. To top it all, we realized that this was definitely avoidable. Coupled with these experiences, I wondered if my ignorance about the importance of proper investment decisions could affect my long term financial management.

For the uninitiated, it is always a challenge to take the smartest of financial decisions.

Especially in our 20s and 30s, when we have to decide about various financial needs like car loans, home loans, personal loans, etc., it definitely helps to have a portal that compares and assists with our financial decision making.

With a career in HR spanning over 17 years, I have met people from all walks of life seeking a simple, transparent and trusted friend who can help us with financial planning. Somebody who can read the fine print, compare various products and help us chose the best, not necessarily the cheapest. This triggered the inception of SoulWallet, an unbiased and comprehensive comparison portal for the financial products like Credit Cards, Personal Loans, Home Loans and Car Loans and more. At SoulWallet we have earnestly tried to create a virtual friend who helps make financial decisions with confidence.

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