Cryptocurrency Is The Next Buzz Word To Know

If you’d have asked me six months ago what cryptocurrency meant, I would have had no idea.  I probably would have ventured a guess that it had something to do with Bitcoin.  That part, as it turns out, is true.  Lucky guess on my part.

To be honest, I still don’t know much about cryptocurrency, but I know that it’s taking off.  I don’t have enough knowledge to explain what it is or what the benefits and risks are beyond a passing conversation, so this article won’t do that.

But I will tell you that it is something that people should know about.  Here’s why:

Cryptocurrency Is Digital

Everything is digital these days.  You can do everything online.  Take a picture and it’s instantly available and on the cloud.  You can converse with friends, family, or complete strangers.  If you need to buy something, you can take care of your needs all through a digitally connected device.  When you need a ride, you can get that, too.

See where I’m going with this?

Everything is available through your digital fingertips, so it sort of makes sense that a digital currency system would evolve.

Cryptocurrency Is Not Online Banking

Image courtesy of Pixabay

One thing that always confused me when I heard about Bitcoin, which is the first cryptocurrency (though there are no many more) was that I couldn’t figure out how it was different than online banking.  It turns out that it’s an entirely different thing altogether.

Your typical banking website is a platform that gives you information based on your currency that’s used.  In other words, it’s giving you information about the transactions.  The transactions themselves are using currency.  Cryptocurrency is now a real thing.

Cryptocurrency Works Because It’s Secure

In order for a currency to be a real thing that people will actually use, it has to be secure.  This holds true with the good old American dollar, for example.  Banks keep your dollars safe.  Gold that has value in proportion to the dollar is kept safely guarded.  People demand that currency itself be secure before they trust using it.

So is the case with cryptocurrency.  Since it’s digital currency, all of the security is also digital.  You won’t see a security guard keeping watch over your cryptocurrency.  The security comes from terms like blockchain and wallets, information of which I just can’t squeeze into this article.  Thankfully there are lots of resources out there, from investment articles to contacting experts such as Brock Pierce of Blockchain Capital.  If you’re really interested in taking your knowledge of cryptocurrency to the next level, there are some great resources out there.

The Bottom Line

There are a million more facts about cryptocurrency.  There’s a lot to learn about how you use it.  Or how you invest in it (just like you can invest in other currencies).  As with anything financial related, go ahead and get familiar with it before you use it or invest in it.  I’d suggest learning more now because one way or another, it looks to be making a place as part of our everyday world.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

5 Side Hustle Ideas to Make Extra Cash

If you’re like most Americans, you think that your paycheck isn’t large enough and your bills are too large. Unless

Image from morguefiles courtesy of Domas

you can demand a raise, you might think that you’re stuck, but there are dozens of different ways that you can earn some extra money on the side. Getting a second source of cash can completely change your finances.

Uber Driver

If you haven’t heard of Uber by now, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past several years. Just in case you don’t know what it is, Uber is essentially a taxi service, but it lets just about anyone be the taxi drive. You use your own car, and people looking for rides can use the app to find a driver.

One of the best parts of being an Uber driver is that you only drive when you have the time. That means that any weekends when you have nothing to do, you can hop in your car and start earning some extra cash on the side, it’s as easy as that.

There are a few requirements that you’ll have to meet before you can be an Uber driver, but most people shouldn’t have a problem qualifying. You have to have a 4-door sedan that can seat at least 4 or more passengers, have a car that was built in 2001 or more recently, has in-state plates, and the car must pass their vehicle inspection. As long as you meet those requirements, you’ll be able to drive for the Uber service.

How much money that you make is going to depend on where you live and how much time you devote to driving. There are a lot of people that make a sizable second income by driving in the evenings and on the weeks. If you live in a city that has a lot of popular events, like concerts or sporting events, capitalize on the people coming into the city and make sure that you’re available to drive on those nights.

Etsy

If you like to make some hand made goods, then Etsy is the place for you. You can turn your crafting hobby into a source of extra spending money. Etsy will allow you to create a shop and start selling your goods in a matter of minutes.

One of the best parts of Etsy is that it allows you to sell just about anything you can create. It has everything from jewelry and clothing to furniture and paintings. If you enjoy making anything, then you can put a price on it and put it on Etsy. There are going to be some small fees, but it’s still an excellent way to make extra cash.

Survey Sites

Maybe you don’t want to dedicate a lot of hours to earn extra money, but you still want to have some spending money in your pockets. One of the most popular ways is to join a survey site. These sites work with large companies to create surveys that they will deliver to customers and get the responses.

Companies are always looking to see what their target audience thinks of their products or services. With these survey websites, you’ll get rewarded for every survey that you complete. Each website is going to give you a different amount for filling out a survey. These sites are not going to make you a ton of money, but it’s a simple way to earn extra money just by clicking your mouse.

The best part is that you can do these surveys anywhere. You can do them on your lunch break, while you’re on the bus, or while you wait in the doctor’s office. Instead of sitting around waiting, you can make some spare change.

Make a Blog

Creating your blog can be one of the most fun side hustles, but it can also be one of the hardest. There are millions of blogs out there that people never make any money off of, but there are also people that make a decent wage by putting new content on their site. You can make a blog about anything. Find something that you enjoy talking about, think of an interesting way to package it, and then create your blog. You can make money by selling advertisement space or by partnering with companies to do sponsored posts.

It’s important to note that making money off of a blog is not going to be a “get rich quick” scheme. It may take a while, but it will be worth all the work.

Freelance

Freelancing is another side hustle that can net you some serious profits. Depending on what your skills are, or what you’re an expert in, you can earn just as much freelancing as you do with your full-time job. There are plenty of people that quit their day job to start freelancing instead. Find something that you’re good at, or that people need, and start doing extra work after you leave your job every day.

Making Extra Money on your Side Hustle

There are plenty of ways that you can make money. If you’re like most people, you aren’t going to complain about having more money in your bank account. Don’t let anything stop you from starting a side hustle and putting extra dough in your pockets every month.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Personal Finance Finesse: Leveraging the Third Paycheck Theory

There are pros and cons attached to getting paid bi-weekly, when twice a year you receive a third paycheck.  Most people budget on a monthly basis, accounting for two paychecks.  When this third paycheck comes around, it’s often money with no budget category!

It’s always a good feeling to get more money in the bank in some months when that magical third paycheck gets to happen.  But the wise will make the most of that sudden windfall scenario.

Here are some pointers on how to take the best advantage of that extra cash to improve your financial position.  This will include a quick explanation of how you end up with more money in certain months.  You’ll also get  some tips on how to get the maximum benefit from the boost to your finances.

Do the math

So how do you get that third paycheck?  Well, for bi-weekly payments it’s a pretty easy calculation.  There are twelve months to a year, right?  Most months see you getting two paychecks.  That works out to 24 paychecks we budget for.  Still with me?  But there are 52 weeks per year, meaning that you actually get 26 paychecks.  That’s two extra!

The obvious thing to do when working out your pay dates would be to say that you are paid every two weeks on a Friday.  So you get two paychecks per month, except for those months when the stars align and you wind up with three.

Making the most of the situation

If you sometimes find yourself stretched and need a short-term loan to see you through, you can view more from King of Kash on that score.  A good strategy to also consider would be to work out when those two magic months are coming and put aside the extra cash into an emergency fund.

If you only get a third paycheck a couple of months a year you definitely have to take advantage of the situation.  Put that extra cash to good use rather than being tempted to go and blow some of it on extra treats.

Saving your extra money like this is a really neat budgeting trick that is as painless as it is sensible.  Once you have your finances sorted and are used to being paid bi-weekly, you should be able to put aside that third paycheck when it comes.  Over time, you’ll build a nice cushion.

Pay down debt

Another good way of making the most of your opportunity would be to use the extra paycheck to pay off some debt.

Image from Morguefile courtesy of xenia

You can use this to pay down a credit card whose balance never seems to budget.  Or, wipe out a small loan payment that has a high interest rate.  If you pay something off completely, you’ll have the extra advantage of more cash flow flexibility.

It might not feel like a major step when you pay a chunk off your credit card balance but the net effect is a good one as you are reducing your debt profile and saving some interest charges at the same time.

Put it towards retirement

The plain truth is that you can never have enough money in your retirement fund. So, putting your extra pay toward retirement savings is a very sensible strategy.

The general suggestion is that you need to save at least 10% of your income towards retirement.  In reality, you could use more in order to have a comfortable retirement.  This is even more important if you waited to start saving until your thirties (or later).

Reduce your monthly payments

If you pay your auto insurance and other insurance payments monthly rather than annually that can add up to a fair amount each month out of your bi-weekly wages.

You might want to consider using the third paycheck to pay an insurance policy in full.

This will free up more cash on a monthly basis when you take one or two annual financial commitments out of your monthly budgeting schedule by paying the amount due in one hit.

Take a break

If you don’t like the sound of using your third paycheck to improve your debt, you could consider planning a vacation.  Before you sound the alarms, let’s face facts that everybody needs a break now and then.  If you’ve gone on four vacations in the last year, maybe this isn’t for you.  But, if you have avoided a trip away, a mind clearing time away could be just the ticket.

Besides, if you pay for the vacation, that means you won’t be borrowing or adding to your credit card debt.  At the very least, you won’t be falling behind.

The third paycheck is not just a theory but a mathematical reality for many.  Make the most of that extra cash when it comes along if you are paid bi-weekly.

Aimee Pope is a financial consultant. She likes to help people manage their money better by posting on various family and finance blogs.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

7 Things To Do To Your Gas Grill

Ah, summer.  It’s here or right around the corner.  If you’re like me, then pulling out the grill is an integral part of the summer season.  I’ve always been someone who prefers a gas grill.  If you fall into the same category, here are some tips to make sure you’re ready for grilling season.

Check  Your Hose And Connections

The hose that carries the gas to the grill needs to be checked every year.  The hoses can crack, the fittings could come loose or crack themselves.  It’s important to make sure that you don’t have a leak.  Inspect the hoses for cracks.  To test the connections, use soapy water.  Put the soapy water over the connections and turn on the gas.  If any bubbles form, you have a leak.  If this happens, you need to replace your supply lines.

Inspect Your Grill Box

The grill box needs to be checked for any cracks.  If you find any, chances are it’s going to be time to replace the grill, or try to salvage a replacement box.

Vacuum Out Your Grill Box

Flakes of grilling sessions past will accumulate on the bottom of the box.  While many of these will burn off over time, it’s a good idea to clean the debris every so often.  A shop vac is a great tool for this task.

Check Your Gas Tubes

Our gas grill has three tubes inside that do the actual heating.  You want to make sure that these are working

Image from morguefile courtesy of ronnieb

properly.  One year, we had a spider build a nest inside one, and the line did not function properly.  If they need attention, refer to your instruction manual on how to disassemble the line for cleaning.

Clean Your Grates

We take off the grates and clean them.  This will remove grease and give it a fresh start to the season.  You can usually use a grill brush to keep them clear in between grilling sessions.  Depending on how often you grill, you may need to clean these monthly.

Check Your Gas Tanks

If you have a dedicated gas line, this may not apply to you.  But, we use propane and have 20-gallon tanks.  Check your supply at the beginning of the season.  We have two tanks, and try to keep one full at all times.  This ensures that you won’t run out of gas halfway through grilling up your favorite recipe.

Check Your Equipment

Grilling involves a lot more than the grill.  Make sure you have your full inventory of flippers, thermometers, brushes, basters and such at the ready.  Look them over and make sure they’re all ready to go.  The last thing you want to do is step away from your meat to have to find a needed accessory.

Nothing beats something fresh off the grill.  With a few minutes of easy work, you can make sure that you have a summer full of great grilling ahead.

Readers, have you used the grill yet?  What are your tips for a great grilling season?  Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.  Happy grilling!

 

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.