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Friday Faves: I bought a king size bed

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Good morning Loves and Happy Friday.

This is the first weekend we actually have space to relax and enjoy our apartment.  So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.  Especially since our king sized bed was delivered Thursday afternoon.  I’ve never had a king sized bed in my entire life so I’m really looking forward to laying in bed watching Netflix.

Have a great weekend and enjoy these good reads from our friends:

Money After Graduation – What do you do when you can’t afford to follow your dreams?

Young and Thrifty – Can You Trust Your Financial Adviser?

Broke Girl Rich – Stuck in Neutral

So Over This – Self-Employment Is Not For Everyone

My Alternate Life – Fall Decluttering

Photo from Flickr

Cryptocurrencies: Reasons You Shouldn’t Ignore Bitcoin

If you’ve tried stocks, forex, and options, and you’re still not satisfied with with your investment returns, it might be time to take a look at cryptocurrencies. What the heck is a cryptocurrency? You’ve probably heard of one before and never realised its classification: Bitcoin.

What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency that’s based on an advanced algorithm that attempts to control the total or absolute number of Bitcoins in existence while also creating an opportunity for speculators who want to “mine” Bitcoins.

Like the gold rush of yesteryear, this new rush is for a commodity – a virtual commodity. It’s a new class of money that has seen its ups and downs but is still alive and kicking. If you spend enough time on Google, you will probably read about the failures of the system more than you’ll read about its successes. The incident with Mt. Gox is probably the most famous, and a blemish that Bitcoin fans and supporters often shy away from.

At the same time, Bitcoin has come under fire from regulators who want to control the cryptocurrency to make it safe for everyone. So far, regulations focus on the exchanges, controlling how they operate. This provides legitimacy to a sceptical investment audience that, until recently, didn’t know what to think about investing in Bitcoin.

GABI’s Capitalisation On Bitcoin

The Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund is the first regulated investment fund that invests in Bitcoin. If you’re looking for a way into this arena, this is your ticket. The fund hopes to introduce the world to a safe way to invest in Bitcoin. Rather than buy Bitcoin yourself, you can buy into a fund which will manage transactions on your behalf. It’s still unclear whether the fund will take advantage of investing in trading platforms, because investing in Bitcoins directly seems to be the most profitable avenue right now.

Problems With Bitcoin

Bitcoin isn’t without its problems. Even with current regulations, many regulators and traders still point out the obvious fact that the currency has no physical commodity backing. While exchanges are regulated, the currency itself is not, and may never be.

Forex traders, for example, benefit by working on stable, secure, platforms like the Metatrader platform, where brokers are regulated and currency exchanges are standardised. With Bitcoin, so such infrastructure exists yet. But, companies like GABI hope to change that.

If it can pull this off, it will help lead the way in making Bitcoin an accepted worldwide currency that’s used for more than just underground purchases of drugs and other illicit products and services.

How To Invest

Many experts, like James Rickards and Jeffrey Robinson, advise against getting into mining for Bitcoins, especially now that the easy pickings are gone. Instead, they recommend investing in the companies that process transactions or investing in a fund that manages the buying and selling of Bitcoin.

That way, you have a layer of protection between you and the actual Bitcoin market. It also simplifies the process of investing, as you can invest in a currency you’re familiar with, like the pound, and let professionals manage the logistics of the exchange.

Alex Fletcher has kept an eye on bitcoin investing since the early days. A passionate writer, he likes to let others know the latest currency investing news and options. You can look for his helpful posts on a variety of blog sites today.

5 reasons you don’t need a car

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Good morning Loves.  I don’t actually have a car, I used to but I sold it and that was the best financial decision I ever made.  I bought a brand new Honda Civic in 2007 and I sold it three years later with less than 30,000 miles on it.  All that to say I didn’t use the car a lot; not only that but I didn’t need it.

Car payments are very expensive

BF and I live downtown in a big city and we bought the car for the sole reason that we didn’t have one.  We quickly learned that the benefit of the car wasn’t worth the $800 cost.  Yes you read that right.  With the car payment, and insurance costs along with the gas and parking expenses we were paying $800 a month for our car.  I admit it was nice to have when we wanted to take a weekend road trip to Boston, New York or Toronto but the overall benefits weren’t worth the monthly expense.

You can take the less convenient route

Some days I miss my car; I miss it when I have to walk home in the rain, I miss it when I need to get somewhere really quickly and walking there is going to take me more time than I’m actually going to spend at the destination and I really miss the car when I have a lot of groceries to carry.  Although the convenience of having a car is nice, I just can’t justify the costs and other headaches that come with the car.

There’s a cheaper option

I liked having the car over the last two weeks because we needed it for a specific purpose, it was super convenient to drive around town and the neighboring suburbs going to Target, Wal-Mart and grocery shopping.  The entire two week car rental only cost us $360 plus $140 in gas and $30 in parking; that’s a lot less than the $800 we were paying when we had the Honda.

Think about the environment

I’m a very impatient person and there’s nothing I hate more than wasting time.  I don’t like sitting in a traffic jam with the car running or sitting at a red light waiting for my turn to turn left.  Not only is it a waste of time but it’s also a waste of gas and it’s incredibly bad for the environment.  As I sit in a car with the engine running, not moving I can’t help but think about all the pollution I’m sending out into the air as well as all the money I’m wasting on gas.

It’s OK if you need it for a specific purpose

Don’t make the same mistake I did and buy a car just because you don’t have one and think you should.  With our move October 1st BF and I rented a car for two weeks.  Our new apartment is a lot bigger than our previous living space so we knew we’d have to run a lot of errands to run such as groceries, furniture and household supplies.  It was really nice to have a car over the last two weeks but at the same time I was happy to return it Sunday night.

Photo from Flickr

Your dream kitchen isn’t far off

If you are a foodie or you love cooking or just love good interior designs at home, either ways you must be planning to create that dream kitchen. A good kitchen is an essential part of the house and therefore there is a lot of thought and planning that should go into it. The planning has to be intricate and comes into life progressively as it passes through the various planning stages. There are several factors that one has to bear in mind, the important ones being design, finance, construction consultants and periodic renovation checks.

At the preliminary level, of course design seems of paramount importance. Advanced modular kitchens not only aim to look stunning but are space efficient and convenient. The most popular design, keeping these three factors in mind, is the triangular setup. With the cooking station, cooling station and baking station being placed at the three vertices of the triangle. The design also depends on whether you are building your kitchen from scratch or renovating it. And in the latter case what is the extent of the renovation? It is always a good idea to borrow expertise from an architectural draught person. They can help you maximise you floor space and working station, and spare good advice on material, design feature. The essentials of a good design are based on the pivotal idea of optimising on light, heat and other energy sources.

The next move would be to appoint a good builder as he/she would be responsible for bringing the idea into life. See, you need to like your builder because if you don’t get along well together the task gets more uphill. You need to be open to critical opinions, be it good or bad. The builder should have good experience as that makes him all the more reliable. And finally the overall work ethics that includes their presentation, mannerism, dressing and the way they talk.

You would be obviously worried about the budgeting bit therefore that is another aspect which requires a lot of calculations.  For the basics, like building charges and consultation charges, go for Fixed Price Quotes and save yourself from the hassles of haggling. But when it comes to the more luxurious bit of your kitchen, ply ware, utensils and electronic ware, why not explore online?

Making purchases online has several benefits, some of them being saving money, saving yourself from the hassle of going through stores after stores to find the perfect thing and having the hugest collection of everything, just a  click away. Also when it comes of budgeting, sites like Chameleonjohn.com offer coupons that can add to your savings and ease of shopping. Coupons available at ChameleonJohn are particularly handy in buying decorative pieces for your kitchen as they have a huge array retailers enlisted with them.

As the process progresses and you see your dream kitchen shaping up, please be wary of certain risks especially if you are still occupying the house while the renovation is going on. And welcome home the new beauty.