One of the surest ways to achieving your financial aims and objectives is to invest as much money as you can into productive investment vehicles like your retirement fund and other savings vehicles. However, it can seem a herculean task to find enough money to put away.? Are your struggling to come up with funds for investment? This piece looks at some ways to squirrel away money that you probably haven?t explored.
Use Coupons More
There is a growing group of people in the UK who take advantage of coupons in their shopping. Perhaps the most publicised example in recent times is the case of Holly Smith who was able to pay for ?1,200 worth of items in a shop by using coupons. You may not be an extreme couponer like Holly Smith but if you are able to save ?400 a month through coupons, that?s an extra ?5000 for your investments.
Take Advantage of the Sharing Economy
The sharing economy is alive and growing.? You may not feel like renting out your room on Airbnb and may be too busy to work as an Uber driver but you can still take advantage of the sharing economy. You can share storage space or meet other people who would like to share the costs of travel. If you are currently paying for an office space alone, you can find someone else willing to share and keep the extra money away.
Review the cost of your energy
If you think you are paying too much, then consider going with new suppliers. On average, you can save up to ?200 a month by just switching your energy suppliers.
Reassess your debt
You could be paying more interest than you should on your debt. Reassess everything and pay off what you can completely right away to save money on the interests. If you can?t pay off all the debt, especially on your credit card, you can consider moving to a balance transfer card if the balance transfer fees make sense.
Sell your unwanted items online
eBay allows you to list 20 items for free every month. Take advantage of this and sell any old or unwanted items. Use PayPal to receive money to ensure you are protected. You can also consider selling on classified ad sites. With this option, you can declutter your space and STILL make money that can go to increasing your investment pots.
Don?t buy any items you can get for free online
Are you thinking of buying a new dining set or a new TV? Someone nearby could be thinking about downsizing or upgrading and therefore looking to ship out theirs, in perfect condition.? Freegle and Freecycle are perfect places to look.
Although this year has been a pretty insane year for cryptocurrencies and no doubt 2018 will have a few surprises left in store, we already have our eyes set on 2019. Although not as eventful as the previous year, which saw heavy-hitters like Bitcoin and Ethereum skyrocket in value, prompting a global gold rush and quickly making cryptocurrencies one of the most talked-about global news items of 2017, we can definitely look back on this year as one to remember.
While the values of some of the most heavily-mined currencies have cooled off and stabilised somewhat, others have exploded in value. What has defined 2018 so far is how much cryptocurrency mining, trading and spending has become incredibly diversified and democratized. There are now hundreds of different kinds of currencies in wide circulation, and the dominance of Bitcoin now finally seems to be under threat. More and more vendors, brokers and service providers are accepting crypto as a legitimate form of payment, and it seems to be well and truly on the path towards mainstream normalization.
If current trends continue, 2019 looks set to be one of the biggest years for cryptocurrencies yet, and their presence in wider society will become ever more prevalent. Let’s take a look at what 2019 may hold for cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin has had a funny ride these last twelve months. From increasing over 17,000% in value over the course of 2017 to petering out and basically flat-lining for much of 2018 whilst still retaining market dominance, few people know what to expect for the year ahead. Pundits have pretty mixed expectations, with many actually claiming that Bitcoin is well and truly due a renaissance, and could experience a rebound in 2019 which makes the 2017 gold rush look like child’s play.
This may well prove to be true, and there are many factors to suggest this might be the case. The intense interest in Bitcoin and increasingly frenzied mining activity across the globe means that eventually, as supply lowers, Bitcoin could very well bounce up again. However, reports of this happening next year seem rather optimistic.
Firstly, at current rates, the global Bitcoin supply looks unlikely to dwindle that quickly. Secondly, and more importantly, the proliferation and meteoric rise of competitor cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Zcash and Ethereum?has already diverted demand away from Bitcoin, and will probably do so much more in the year ahead. 2019 may very well be the year that Bitcoin is knocked off the perch.
As previously touched upon, the market for cryptocurrencies is becoming much more diverse and dynamic. New ones are created every day, and out of the more than 2000 e-currencies currently in existence (as of August 2018), almost half of those were created in the last six months alone. Most of these sink into irrelevance and worthlessness, but an increasing number are rising in usage and value every day. This means that cryptocurrency?stakeholders will become more competitive to stay on top.
2018 has already seen some foreshadowing of what is to come. Some crypto inventors and providers are offering incentives to encourage people to mine and trade in their coinage rather than a competitor, such as by offering free coins. This isn’t exactly a new tactic, and online platforms have been using it to encourage use and traffic since the dawn of the Internet. You can see similar incentives offered up by similarly lucrative sites such as online casinos, with platforms such as Oddschecker?offering thousands worth of free games to new users. The extent to which such tactics will proliferate among increasingly competitive currency brokers remains to be seen, but expect to see plenty more of it in 2019.
Gigawatt to Terawatt
It seems that everyone is a dedicated miner these days. So far this year, enough energy has been used up by Bitcoin mining technology alone to power entire countries, and the usage doesn’t seem to be abating. Cryptocurrency mining is obviously a highly lucrative business, and lots of individuals and organisations have invested considerable sums and tech into mining those precious coins. The result of this has potentially catastrophic consequences for the environment, since it is so incredibly energy-intensive.
The widespread nature of mining means that already, hundreds of Gigawatts of electricity is being used in mining, and this looks set to rise considerably in 2019. Prepare to see this become a global political issue, as frustrated activists, communities and politicians begin to take notice of the hugely wasteful nature of cryptocurrency mining on such a massive scale. This may ultimately lead to greater regulation of cryptocurrencies by governments across the planet, and the consequences of this would obviously be profound.
One of the best things about the rapid normalization of cryptocurrencies is that vendors and entire industries have responded in kind. Compared to just a couple of years ago the ways in which you can spend coins in your cryptocurrency wallet have changed exponentially. You can now buy a cup of coffee, plane tickets, cocktails, clothes and mobile phones with various kinds of cryptocurrency, not just Bitcoin.
The big prediction?for next year is that while this liberalization will continue, what will change is the scale of purchases you’ll legally be able to make with your cryptocurrency. Expect to see large-scale commodities such as houses, businesses, stock portfolios and even public contracts available for purchase by cryptocurrency. As the value of single units of various coins continues to climb, sellers will likely move increasingly further away from cash transaction towards more unregulated e-currencies.
This is especially true in an increasingly globalised world in which the wealthy are more dedicated than ever to see their assets move smoothly around the globe. This is not to say that e-currencies will become the sole preserve of the ultra-wealthy, but that the 1% will certainly be using it more frequently in major transactions, both as a means of ensuring smooth transfers of capital and avoiding scrutiny.
Gold Rush 2.0
Although we predict Bitcoin may have had its’ day, look out for the next ones down on the league table. Although the close(ish) rivals in terms of value such as Ethereum and Zcash?may not be too close to Bitcoin in terms of value, we expect this to change. At least one of the other most-valued currencies will almost certainly see an explosion in value next year, triggering the kind of frenzied gold rush we saw for Bitcoin back in 2017. This will inevitably be followed by the bubble bursting and a crash in price which may be more or less dramatic than that experienced by Bitcoin, but plenty of people will have cashed out long before then.
Some Currencies to Look Out For
Of course, it’s always worth looking at which outliers could become big crypto players in 2019. It’s impossible to make any solid predictions here, given the speed and volatility of the market, but if you’re looking for some ones to watch that may not be on your radar, here goes!
It undoubtedly looks like it’s going to be a highly eventful and volatile year for the entire cryptocurrency industry, which will have a wider impact on economics, politics and culture across the globe. While none of these predictions are certain, one thing that is for sure is that the value and prevalence of these currencies in our lives is only going to grow. If or when it comes down is another story entirely, and not one that we’ll see an answer to anytime soon. 2019 will be the most interesting year yet.
Contracts for difference (CFDs) offer an increasingly attractive alternative to financial investors instead of physically investing in stocks, commodities, indices and bonds. A CFD is a derivative form of financial trading. Investors that wish to ?buy? or ?sell? a CFD place an order with a broker. This order is a binding contract to exchange the difference in the value of the asset from when the order is placed to when it is closed.
There are many positives of CFD trading for both experienced and beginner financial investors, providing you mitigate the potential downsides. Here are our six key benefits of CFDs for financial investors that can give you a leg up when starting out in the world of investing or provide a new dimension to your existing portfolio.
Use leverage to take your investment capital further
So many newcomers to financial trading believe they need tens of thousands of pounds behind them to invest and make sizeable returns. Thanks to CFDs, this is no longer the case. Many CFD brokers offer market leverage which can maximise profits, but also magnify losses if trades don?t go your way. With leverage, CFD traders are only required to deposit a small fraction of the full value of their trade. The deposit is known as the margin. For example, if a CFD broker offers a margin factor of 10:1, traders need only deposit ?100 to open a position worth ?1,000. The profit or loss that you make is based on your maximum exposure in the market.
Go ?short? if you spot markets in a downward spiral
CFD trading is extremely flexible as it allows investors to open ?sell? positions to make a profit on an asset even if its market is bearish. If you specialise in being able to predict markets that have peaked or are likely to retract in price, CFDs are likely to be a useful string to your trading bow.
A useful hedge against share portfolios
CFDs can also be a very useful risk management tool for those with traditional share portfolios. For instance, if you own shares in Barclays but the global banking sector is forecast to experience a turbulent time, by opening a ?sell? CFD on Barclays you can offset any losses incurred with your shares.
Simple and straightforward risk management
CFD trading can be pretty black and white in terms of your risk management. From the moment you place a CFD order, you can specify stop losses and profit-taking points to guarantee a risk-reward ratio. It?s important to note that some CFD brokers will charge you for setting guaranteed stop losses.
CFDs are an accurate representation of underlying markets
By their very nature, CFDs are designed to provide the most accurate representation of the genuine underlying markets. Unlike spread betting markets, whose margins are somewhat out of kilter with the underlying markets, to buy the equivalent of ten shares in a company on the stock market you will place a ?buy? CFD order of ten shares too.
Thanks to CFD brokers, even newcomers to financial investing can access tens of thousands of markets, from shares and commodities through to forex and bonds. The burgeoning cryptocurrency industry has also seen many brokers offer cryptocurrency CFDs on the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum. CFDs are also available 24/7, allowing you to trade out-of-hours prices even when the genuine markets close for the day.
Of course, although CFDs can offer exciting returns, it?s important to respect that the potential losses can also be magnified. Investors in CFDs can lose more than their initial deposit, but responsible traders can utilise the various digital trading platforms and tools available to manage risk responsibly.
As much as we?d like to, not all of us can turn up to poker games like high rollers ready to spend thousands of dollars on a whim. Sure, that?d be a lot of fun but as the average UK household earns?around ?68 per week?to spend on recreational activities, that?s simply not a possibility for many of us. On the other hand, you may have the extra money to invest but simply don?t enjoy the higher levels of risk and anxiety that can accompany high-stake games. Regardless of your reasons, nothing should stop you from playing poker if it?s one of your favourite pastimes. Instead, you?ll simply have to?play on a budget?and fortunately for you, we?ve come up with a guide on how you can do precisely that.
Whether you?re playing online or live poker, most games and tournaments require each individual player to buy a seat at the table. The amount charged is known as the buy-in and can differ in price significantly. For example, big, prestigious tournament events such as the World Series of Poker Main Event charge $10,000 while smaller affairs will cost a lot less.
In the world of poker, the terms low, small, micro and minor stakes refer to cash games that require a small buy-in. These low-stakes games will also require players to place far smaller wagers than what would be expected during medium or high-stakes tournaments, often ranging from pennies up to ?100 at the most. In live games, this can often mean that the prizes are far smaller than they would be in high-stakes games. Though, online there are still quite a few outlets willing to reward low-stakes players.
This is even true of free poker games and tournaments, which can be found all across the web. These games are perfect for anyone who has just entered the world of poker or those who don?t have the extra cash to invest in online games. Unfortunately, while these games are great value, more experienced players may find them a little testing as there will be a lot of newbies in there honing their skills. Still, if you think you can put up with this, they?re a great alternative to even the lowest of low-stakes games.
2. How Do Low-Stakes Poker Games Work?
If you?re ready to enter straight into the world of low-stakes poker, then there are tons of open seats just waiting for you to join. Upon entering, whether it be online or off, you will be asked to deposit your buy-in in exchange for a specific amount of chips. From there, the low-stakes game will proceed much like any other poker game, just expect the wagers to be a lot smaller than those in the tournaments you may have watched on TV or online.
Just because your buy-in and wagering limits are small doesn?t mean you can?t win big though. In fact, many of the world?s top poker players began by playing low-stakes games, including Cliff Josey (Johnny Bax), Shaun Deeb and Chris Moorman. These players are known as ?grinders? due to their low-risk, tight poker playing style and each of them has managed to make quite a lot of money despite rarely dropping ridiculous amounts of cash on games.
As to whether you can do the same, according to 888poker, this depends on two things: your bankroll (the total you?re willing to invest in poker games) and your skill level. For example, say you?re looking to play?Texas hold?em,?then you will first need to find a game that your bankroll can cover and that your skill level is up to par for. When it comes to skill levels, this is entirely up to you and relies solely on self-assessment. The bankroll issue, on the other hand, can be calculated pretty easily: you should have at the very least enough money to pay the buy-in 25 times over. So, if you have paid ?50 to enter a game, then you should have at least ?1250 to spend in total. If your total bankroll is ?50, though, then you should be looking for ?2 buy-ins, which you?re far more likely to come across online than in the real world.
3. How To Find Online & Live Low-Stakes Poker Games
Speaking of where you?re likely to come across low-stakes poker games, if you?re looking to play live games, then your local neighbourhood may already have a games night set up that you can get involved in. Alternatively, you yourself may want to consider organising a poker night where anyone can join in with low-stakes, ensuring that you can have fun without having to break the bank.
As with most things these days, finding low-stakes poker games is significantly easier on the internet. In fact, there are few games that the iGaming industry hasn?t produced, whether you?re looking for low-stakes table games or high-stakes bingo. For penny-pinching poker players, there are so many low-stakes poker games that some even offer nano-limits, which are wagers smaller even than a penny sometimes. As we mentioned earlier, there are also a number of free poker games you can get involved in, though?be wary of our warnings if you?re an experienced player.
To find these games, the easiest thing to do is to Google, as we?re sure a seemingly infinite amount of games will pop up. As for which site you should choose to use, we recommend you practise caution. Don?t just go for the sites with the lowest stakes or the most games, always do your research to ensure that the site is licensed, that they keep up to date with the most recent gambling laws and have other features such as 24/7 customer support. You?re already playing poker on a budget and no one wants to see you lose out on an unlucky site.
After all, whether you?re playing low-stakes online or live with friends, the ultimate aim is to have fun. With this guide, we?re sure that you can do this even though you can?t live that baller, high-roller lifestyle of our dreams.
Of course, you?ll want to be a part of the other half who are getting ahead financially.
But first, you?ll have to learn how to save money. Fortunately, the financial experts at LendingArch are here to help and together we?ve listed 5 proven ways to save money.
Factor savings into your budget
Having a budget is essential for figuring out your monthly spending. Ideally, this should take into account your living expenses (like food and rent), but also necessities like clothes.
However, instead of calculating your balance after paying bills, why not turn saving money into a bill too? In other words, make it something that has to be paid every month just like any other bill does. Start at 10% of your paycheck and slowly increase it over time.
Save money for a goal
Saving money for a particular goal is a sure-fire way to keep yourself motivated.
Taking the kids to Disneyland; buying a new car; making a down payment on a home. For these goals, and any others, you need a plan. Consider how much you must save and for how long.
It?s also important to consider your short and long-term goals. With a plan in place and a little motivation, you can save money and reach your goal with ease.
Automate your savings
Once you?ve narrowed down your savings goals, it?s time for the hard part: actually saving money.
Automating your savings can help a lot as the money will be transferred before you get a chance to see it. Typically, your employer/HR department can help you split your paycheck accordingly.
Save your change
Did you know there are apps that help you save your spare change? In fact, one app in particular – Mylo – will invest your change!
It?s simple: you sign up for Mylo, link your bank account, and any purchases you make will be rounded up to the nearest dollar. The change will be invested in ETFs (Exchange-Trade Funds) and saved without you having to do anything.
The only catch is that you?ll have to pay a $1 monthly subscription ? a small fee for an effortless endeavour.
Take advantage of credit cards perks
Believe it or not, credit cards can actually help you save money – particularly if you use your card wisely and have the right type of card for your spending habits.
For example, as long as you pay your bill on time and in full, a cash back credit card can help build your savings. Look around and see what credit cards offer the best rewards for you.
While there are many ways to save money, these 5 proven money-saving hacks will help you start saving right away. Before long, not only will you understand how to save money, but you?ll be on your way to achieving your financial goals.
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