Money matters in finding the ‘one’
MANILA, Philippines — A credit card is like a reliable partner. It always treats you right when you’re in the mood for a movie or shopping, and you can always rely on it to foot the bill when you go out for dinner. But get the wrong one, and your incompatibilities will start to show.
Maybe your credit limit isn’t enough to meet your needs. Maybe you’re not getting enough out of it — you got loyalty points when you asked for mileage. Or maybe you can’t afford the interest rates and annual fees that it comes with.
Financial products such as credit cards, mutual funds, or home loans are just like serious relationships: you’re in it for the long-term. So you need to make sure that any financial commitment you make suits your needs.
Some of us are so daunted by the number of options out there that we end up going for something someone else recommends, or settling for whatever promotions the bank teller sells. But just ask grandma and she’ll shake her head and tell you that’s not the way to go.
Here are 3 tips on how to find the right partner for your needs.
Tip #1: Know yourself
The first step before committing to any relationship is to know yourself, your needs, and your goals. Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself before getting into it:
- First of all, evaluate your spending habits — how much do you earn, spend, save, and put away?
- Are you ready for a new financial commitment?
- Do you need this new financial commitment?
- What do you hope to get out of it?
Once you’ve evaluated yourself and your goals, it’s easier to paint a picture of exactly what you want in this sea of financial options.
Tip #2: Don’t commit blindly
Everyone who peddles financial services will tell you that theirs is the best. They will try to lure you in to switching loyalties with their discounted deals and limited-time-only promotions. But remember, just because something looks appealing, no matter what happens, do not fall in love at first purchase. It’s a trap.
Like any savvy matchmaker, you need to keep a level head. Do your research and look in the right places: check other product providers, ask your friends, take a look at the business section of local newspapers. The best and most efficient option is to check out neutral online websites that can compare and contrast different products for you — and that brings us to our last tip:
Tip #3: Collect and select
Always compare and contrast your options. There are literally a million fish in the sea when it comes to financial products and services, and there’s one out there that’s perfect for you. Yes, it will take a lot more time and effort. And yes, it’s worth it.
By using an unbiased website that can aggregate and filter products based on your preferences, you can easily see what’s in the market and what can serve you best. This will help you break down the options and allow you to ask the right questions and do more critical in-depth research for whatever financial commitment you want to get yourself into.
This is the main function of websites like GoBear, a metasearch engine that will show you what you’re looking for at a glance. All you need to do is input some basic information and it’ll sort it out for you.
Financial products, like partners, are complex. There’s a lot to them that you might be attracted to at first, but if you don’t do your research, you’re in for some big surprises. No one likes hidden expenses and interest rates. And most of all, no one likes a bad match.
So when it comes to making your next financial commitment, be patient, be diligent and always read the fine print. — Rappler.com