So I think that I am a chilled out person who rarely gets angry. But something recently made me extremely angry and disappointed. DrupalEurope was the event I was looking forward to attending and it would have been my first ever International Conference. So totally excited, I submitted my session about how someone can be a community leader and can organise a DrupalCamp in their city/ town/ state or country. The session was based on my experience and learnings from the DrupalCamp Goa which I led along with my team early this year.
Voila, after a few weeks I received an email stating that my session got selected for DrupalEurope. It was a big deal for me as that was my first session submission and session acceptance.
But sadly I had to step back and inform the organisers about my inability to attend the conference.
So here is the thing. I rarely depend on anyone whether it is the organisation I work with or people around me to help me out as seeking favours is just not me - but this was personal, a big learning in disguise. Due to my sheer inability to sponsor myself to attend the DrupalEurope and deliver my session opened my eyes wide open.
I introspected, retrospected and concluded that I am doing my finances wrongly and I am not putting too much thoughts (i am but still) in allocating the budget for activities which will lay different levels of impact on my life either personally or professionally.
So, here I am, having a budget allocated specifically for *unexpected activities* which will have profound impact on me either personally or professionally. A fixed percentage of 20% of my earnings will go directly into it.
Academia holds another 20% as I believe that in your 20s you should invest significant amount of money in educating yourself.
So yeah, as a reader - besides my rant, I urge you all readers to have this kind of budget for yourself as well.
That one thing can prevent situations like that.
GoPro cameras are amazing!
They are best friends of every traveler cum photographers - human beings who are hybrid combination of both worlds - which means they have their set of unique requirements from the camera like the camera should be sturdy, strong ( enough to withstand sudden drops ), is water proof, records videos with lesser shakes, is light and small, supports time lapse ( travelers these days are in love with them ) and this list keeps on growing.
We love the quality of the pictures it takes. The video stabilization is excellent. User friendly. 4K video recording is the most awesome feature in this camera.
Some more benefits:
- Its like your palm size , can be fit into your pocket as well.
- Control it with one button situated at top (for taking pictures, recording videos) or by voice command as well ( Say - GoPro Turn Off like commands ).
- Perfect companion in tight and crowded places where you can use it easily and put back into pocket .
- Video capture , image capture , time lapse and other features like image burst all included with ease of use.
- in built mic and if you want to buy external mic like rode and all buy a extension ( usb c to Audio jack connector )
- it really helped us shooting Videos for Workouts , travelling, vlogging and all hassle free.
- easy to use , simple to understand and no such fancy settings like Dslr .
One recommendation - Always get the official GoPro accessories as the original accessories have such a great quality that you will be proud of your choice. Yes, there are cheaper options available and they may look equally good but you never know when your GoPro falls down from the accessory. Then the loss would be in multiples of the savings you did by purchasing accessories of inferior quality.
Ever seen the Vloggers recording videos while walking/ trekking - most likely they are using the Official GoPro Handler which is light and easily portable. Check more details by clicking here.
Ever thought of going for Scuba Diving and recording the videos of Corals, fishes and whatever marine life you will discover in the deep sea? You definitely need a Dive Housing for that.
This is a great accessory for the Bicycles and other vehicles where there is a pole like structure. This is highly rated accessory and great for bicycling enthusiasts.
Memory Card is critically important
Since the video files and photographs clicked byGoPro are in high resolution, therefore the file size is massive as well. But since memory cards are usualyl having 20Mbps speed, you must buy Memory Card which has A1 sign on that and has Class 3 which are one of the fastest classes of Memory cards and which makes the process of recording videos using GoPro faster.
This is a must buy for every GoPro owner.
Credit Cards are shamed by many, are pointed out as the trouble magnet. They surely have ability to destroy one's financial resources / wealth only if the possessor is not careful and thoughtful about one's expenses.
Credit cards are just like liquid cash waiting to be used whenever the possessor desires to be used "thoughtfully". For credit card companies there are two types of customers - 1) Someone who pays on time 2) Someone who doesn't pays on time ( delays the payment / pays only the minimum amount due ).
While the former class of customers are sort of liabilities for the lender as they aren't earning much from them ( except the annual fees and the commission on the sales which vendor pays to the lender ) but latter class of customers is their cash cow.
The more the customer delays / defaults on credit cards payments - the more the lender earns ( 30-50% per annum ) which is massive interest along with the late fine, destroyed credit history reports and the annual fees of the credit cards are just bonus for the lenders.
Indeed it can be a shocking situation for the customers who belongs to the class of "urban poor" - they are the not-so rich people trying to purchase luxurious services / latest gizmos and gadgets the moment they are introduced to markets. But they don't pay from their pockets but gets them converted into EMIs which are billed at 13-19% interest annually and furthermore to keep up with other EMIs and other misc. expenses, they just pay the minimum amount due of the Credit Cards to pass the time and destroy the little wealth they may have.
So are Credit Cards really that bad or they can be turned into an asset as well?
Well, in my case - I have been using Credit Cards for over 4 years now and I have never defaulted on any Credit Card Payment ever ( surely Credit Card Companies treat me as a liability as they aren't earning much from me ).
It turns out that Credit Cards can be seen as the asset as well for following reasons:
- Improved Credit Score ( CIBIL ) - If you have taken any loan / credit card in the past and you have been consistent in paying back the interest and principle amount then your credit score will keep on increasing and that basically shows that you are financially stable and you are less likely to default on future finances. Banks consider this as one of the major criterias while approving any sort of finance.
- Extra Savings on the purchases - Credit Cards offer you Payback / loyalty / reward points which can be converted into gift items / cash for making the payment of credit cards. Usually credit cards gives you points equivalent to .5 - 3% of whatever amount you spent. Treat it like extra discount you are getting for the purchases which are not offered any sort of discount. Every penny saved is penny earned.
- Leverage every single benefit Credit Card offers - Credit Card companies partner with restaurants, clubs, movie theatres and every segment of retail space so that consumers spends more ( no wonder we are in a consumers market and everyone is madly spending money these days in a hope to chase better lives ). Some of the common benefits include:
- Free movie tickets / buy one get another one free - These kinds of offer saves you 50% money which is good.
- Using their shopping portal earns you 10x reward points which means 2-3% additional savings.
- Free Airport Lounge Access - Every good lounge charges you INR 700 - INR 1500 for taking their services ( which includes a beautiful place where you can rest and wait for your flight, get unlimited food and soft drinks there ). Good credit cards gives you 2-6 free lounge access annually.
- Golf Club memberships - You can access some golf clubs for 1-4 times annually for free ( only available with good credit cards ).
- Convert reward points into airmiles - Some credit cards lets you convert the points into airmiles which basically means that you can fly to your desired location by just redeeming the airmiles and pay the tax amount.
- Use Credit Cards for medical emergency - while there are mediclaim insurances to take care of that, in any eventuality, the credit cards can serve as emergency cash when there is huge requirement of debt for some critical transactions. In many instances, you have to pay medical costs upfront and after approval only , mediclaim companies will reimburse the amount spent.
- Special Offers on many e-commerce platforms like Amazon - different websites partner with different credit card companies and they offer you interest free EMIs and instant 10-20% discount which leads to amazing savings. Use them whenever you plan your shopping. Waiting for discount seasons like Amazon Prime Day / Autumn, Winter, Summer Sales is a good idea and saves you a lot of money.
All major Credit Card companies ties up with e-commerce platforms which gives Credit Card Companies exclusive rights during the offer period to give cashbacks. This is indeed a great opportunity to leverage your credit cards and get upfront discounts which really leads to additional savings and pays for your credit card's annual fees.
Precautions one must take while using Credit Cards -
- As a rule of thumb, whenever you receive your salary, payback the entire amount due on your Credit Card(s).
- Never spend more than the amount you receive as your salary / total savings ( which you really want to exhaust ).
- Use Credit Cards as a tool to create a trail of expenses you do so that you can segment the categories where your money is actually going.
- Ask your banker to give you less Credit Limit. The more you get, the more you would be tempted to spend.
- Never be dependant on your credit card for fueling your lifestyle.
- Carry Cash when going out for parties as when you are drunk, you are more likely to spend money irrationally than when you are sane ( even then people commit financial blunder ).
- While opting for Bundled / Co-branded Credit Cards - always see if you have actual usage of the offers they are giving out to you. For example - only if you are a frequent flier then go for a Jetmiles credit card or about the BookMyShow cards - Opt them only if you are a movie buff and you buy a lot of movie tickets. ( Credit goes to Meruna for this )
When you are getting rid of your credit card because of any reasons - get a No Objection Certication / Closure letter so that there won't be any disputes in future due to CIBIL or any unforeseen circumstances.
- You are not saving much by spending more in order to avail discounts as you are actually spending more than you wanted to.
- You can negotiate with your credit card provider to forgo the annual fees. They can do that if you will negotiate or opt for the ones who are giving it to you for free.
Credit of this blog post goes to my NMIMS batchmates who discussed with me about pros and cons of having credit card. They are just brilliant.