Date Archives July 2019

Are credit cards a blessing or a curse?

The moment you start getting your first paycheck and setting up your bank account, you find yourself bombarded with credit card salesmen trying to make you sign-up for one. 

For the most part, they are free, so you say, “why not?” 

But then again, you find yourself approached by some other banks who want you to sign-up for their credit cards as well. 

“With our credit card, you get miles, you get free access to airport lounges, you get special discounts and offers, you get to pay now for specific merchants and install the payment in 6 months with 0% interest rate, you get, you get… and then you get some more.”

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How exactly hard is it to say “No”?

A few weeks ago, a colleague mentioned two things he likes about me. One of them is my ability to say, “No.” 

My response? 

Flattered. If you know me, you would know how much I like compliments, but then again, which girl doesn’t? 
Although flattered, I wasn’t really sure if that was a good thing, of course in other people’s opinions, not mine. I know I do say “No” when I want to say “No” and it does come easily to me. Perhaps it’s because I like to put myself first. Some people call that “selfish”, but if my well-being is “selfish” then be it. 

While I know I can say “No”, I witness a lot of people who say “No” with all their body and heart, but yet, still do whatever someone else has asked them to do. In some negotiations, from the bottom of their hearts, they don’t want to do it, yet they do. 

The scenario below may sound familiar.

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The reason I bought ice-cream, chocolate, and honey I didn’t want

Just to be clear, I love ice-cream, chocolate and honey. 

– Ice-cream makes a good day beautiful
– Chocolate is practically an addiction to me
– … And I use honey either for my avocado smoothie or my morning oatmeal

That doesn’t negate the fact that I have bought those items when I didn’t need them at the time.
Sometimes it’s just about maintaining a healthy diet and staying slim. 

In an earlier blog post when I started the #savingmode journey, I spoke about how I bought ice-cream even though I didn’t want to. Well, I wanted the red-velvet ice-cream, but it wasn’t there. I just bought ice-cream because I was given so many samples to try. It wasn’t a calorie justified decision. 

I didn’t know why though I bought the ice-cream anyway.

But now I do.

I also didn’t know why I bought the peanut milk chocolate at the supermarket, even though I promised myself to only get dark chocolate to stay, well, “healthy”. 

I didn’t know why did I buy two jars of honey while I was on a tour in Georgia. I mean I am not having any home-made breakfast while I am on vacation.

Why did I make those purchases even though at the time I didn’t really want to? 

I just found out.

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This is how we get tricked into buying expensive “stuff”

The principle that Sharon used in her letter with her parents is called “human perception, the contrast principle”, where the order of how things are presented to us affects our perception on the way we see things and the difference between them. 


You hold a glass of water at room temperature after holding a hot glass, you will perceive it colder than it actually is. 

You hold a glass of water at room temperature after holding a cold glass, you will perceive it hotter than it actually is.

It basically explains every time we got intrigued to buy products/ services just because they say it has been reduced from AED 1,299 to AED 899. We think we got a good deal because we have “saved” so much money in this deal. Our brain has set the baseline for the produce as AED 1,299, the higher price, and so we place a high value on the product. When we see AED 899, we immediately think we just saved AED 400. In reality, though, we actually just spent AED 899. Whether or not we had this budgeted for our purchase is not the primary influencer in making us think it’s a good deal… or making us buy the product. 

Perhaps your budget was only AED 700. You would be thinking, “Technically speaking, that “great” deal is AED 199 more than my budget, but then again I just saved AED 400.” 

In this scenario, you didn’t save AED400. You just spent AED 199 more than my budget. 

Our thinking process deceives us into thinking it’s a good deal. 

Ok, maybe I could be confusing you here… so to set the ground clear, let’s answer this question:

How do marketers trick us into buying expensive products?

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