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Getting Rid of Your Debt Quickly… And What to Do When You’re Free

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A research estimates that every American owes over $7,000 on their credit cards alone, and the average overall debt loan per person is over $15,000. Moreover, every college graduate is already burdened by loans crossing $35,000 when they leave college. Do the stats surprise you?

Most of you owe debt amounts worth thousands of dollar. And every month, you pay an interest over the money borrowed – interest that adds over time. So why not pay off all the debt as quickly as you can? Once debt free, you neither would have to pay any monthly payments nor any interest amount.

Sounds tough? How’re you going to pay off your loans? Difficult as it may be, if you’re determined, you can take a good a control over your financial situation. We’ll share some amazing tips with you that allow you to pay off your debt soon, and then we’ll talk about what you should do once you’re debt free.

1. Pay more than the minimum amounts

This is a tip that applies to your credit cards, student loans and other personal loans. Considering credit cards, the average balance of any individual is around $15,000 as we already mentioned at the start. If the APR is 15%, it means that the minimum payable amount to the bank is only $625, which you’ll be paying back in around 13.5 years. Isn’t that too long? Plus, let’s not forget, it will take longer for you to pay off the borrowed amount if you continue to use you credit cards for other purchases during this time.

Rather than paying the minimum amount, your monthly payments should be as big as you can possibly afford. This will help you save thousands of dollars in interest and let you pay off your loan much faster. But before you utilize this tip, reach out to your bank and ascertain there are no penalties for prepayments.

2. Try out the snowball method

The snowball method is a popular strategy for paying off your debts, which is again based on paying more than the minimum monthly amount. List down all your debts starting from the smallest one, which is the one you’ll be tackling first. Use your excess funds and pay off more than the minimum amount for the smallest debt. For your other larger debts, you would still pay the minimum amount.

Now when you’ve paid off the smallest debt, you can go onto the next debt on your list and start paying more than the minimum amount for that one. In this way, you can continue to pay off all the debts one by one. As your small balances disappear, you free up more dollars which would allow you to pay off your bigger debts more quickly. The basic goal throughout is to use up all your extra money for the debts, beginning from the smallest one, until you’ve paid all of them.

3. Try to increase your income streams

How many income sources do you currently have? If you’re only doing one job, how about indulging in other part-time businesses or ventures so as to earn more money. Doing so will give you more control over your finances, making it easier for you to become debt free.

Ponder over your strengths and see how can utilize them. Create an account on websites, like Upwork, where you can work as a freelancer in a diverse range of industries. And even if you aren’t a technical maestro, it’s absolutely okay. You can still babysit someone, mow yards or take on a cashier job at a local store. So earn some extra money and use it for paying off your debts. And once again, do this through the snowball method which we’ve already discussed.

4. Create a bare bone budget… and stick to it

One of the best and most effective ways to pay off your loans is to cut down all your expenses and spend only on the bare minimum that is required. As tough as this can be, it is all one of the fastest ways to become debt free, and definitely worth a try for improving your financial situation.

You can create a bare bone budget that will allow you to reduce your expenses as much as possible and live only on what is absolutely necessary. Since all of you have different needs, your bare bone budgets will also be different. But one common thing would be the fact that the budget would be devoid of luxuries like eating out or watching movies. Avoid all unnecessary spending, and use the amount you safe for paying off your debts. By the way, when you’re debt free, you can revise your budget and increase your spending, but only as much as your income allows you to. Don’t take on more debt to satisfy your cravings and desires.

5. Sell off items you don’t need

A simple way to get some quick cash that you can use to pay off loans. Go through all your belongings and set aside the things that you really need and use regularly. Now sell off all remaining things and then use the money to become debt free. The easiest way to sell items is probably a garage sale. But if you aren’t allowed to conduct one in your neighborhood, you can sell online on various websites like eBay.

6. See if you can get a lower interest rate on your credit card

What’re the fees and interest rates on your credit card? And how much money goes into them? Generally, these amounts are on the higher side, often eating up a large portion of your spending. But sometimes lenders can budge and revise your rates, if you’ve got a good credit history and have made timely payments. So talk to your credit card provider and try negotiating more favorable terms.

7. Negotiate your bills

Did your credit card provider not agree to lower interest rates? Don’t worry – try and negotiate your other monthly bills now. Yes, you can talk to your utility providers, and they’d usually be more than willing to offer you a better deal. Begin with your satellite TV and cable service provider because they are usually the most eager to negotiate. Prepare yourself for the meeting, find out about rates offered by other service providers and then present your case. What if it doesn’t work out? You’ve still already done your research, right? Switch to a provider who offers a lower fee for a similar package. You can also negotiate your internet bills in a similar manner. And by the way, bundle your internet and TV bills together if you haven’t already done so, because you can get better rates when you choose the same provider for both. Also try your negotiating your medical bills, insurance premiums and rental amounts.

8. Consider transferring balances

Another strategy that you can try out if your credit card provider doesn’t agree on lower rates. Balance transfer options are quite common, and if you do some research, you can even find an option that allows you to avail 0% APR for around 12 or 15 months. There may be a small fee involved, usually around 3% of the transferred amount, but then this is still a good option. In the long run, you do get to save money which you can use for paying off your debts faster.

9. Combine your debts

Debt and credit combining or bill combining allows you to simplify all your bills by combining all your debts into a single monthly payment. Not only is the loan easier to manage, but you can also get a lower interest rate. The option can be availed for multiple debts, multiple creditors and multiple payments. All these bills are settled through a debt management program, after which you pay a single payment every month for the next 3 to 5 years. When you pay off all your debts with a new single loan, you enjoy several benefits such as lowered monthly expenses, better cash flows, greater savings and reduced stress. Before you sign up for any program or loan, it may be a good idea to discuss all possible debt combining options with a financial advisor.

10. Use up your bonuses or raises

Did your employer reward you with a bonus or a raise this year? Or maybe you got a tax refund. Whatever kind of extra money that you get, avoid spending it on anything unnecessary. Instead, use it for your loans, paying more than the minimum amounts.

11. Get rid of your expensive habits

Are any of your habits too expensive and take up a significant portion of your monthly spending? If you’re in debt, you should try and get rid of all your costly habits. Figure out how you’re spending money daily and then evaluate if these purchases are actually worthy or not.

Drinking and smoking are habits that you should definitely quit, not only to reduce your expenses, but also to improve your health. If you eat out frequently, avoid that as well.

12. Avoid using credit cards

When you are aiming at paying off your debts sooner, you should completely stop using credit cards so that you don’t increase the owed amount. Seems hard? Leave your cards at home rather than keeping them in your wallet. If you do have to use them for an emergency, then make sure you pay the full amount the very next time so that no interest is added. Another option could be to use a debit card, which funds the transaction from the amount in your bank account. You’re only using your own money so you don’t add onto your debt.

Now that you’re debt free

Act on our advice, and you’d be able to pay off all your debt. And when you have achieved this goal, what do you do next? Here is what we suggest.

Treat yourself

Because you really deserve it after all those efforts at successfully minimizing your spending to become debt free. So allow yourself to relax, but don’t do anything too lavishly.

Revisit your budget

Until now, you were paying off all your extra money for eliminating your debts, but now that the goal has been achieved, you can utilize the money for something else. Think you’ve been burning yourself off at work? Take a vacation then. Or you could use the money for a home improvement project.

But whatever you do, come up with a proper financial plan. And this plan shouldn’t be based on borrowing more money. Because if that’s the case, there wasn’t any point in becoming debt free.

Increase savings

Since you’re debt free now, you can think about increasing your emergency funds. If your savings accounts are already impressive enough, then maybe you could start saving for a new car or down payment if you live in a rented unit.

Boost up your retirement accounts

How much money have you set aside for retirements so far? Come up with ways to improve your retirement plans. You could either increase your monthly contribution or sign up for a different plan.

Keep in mind that if you increase your contributions by a mere 5% or 10%, they will all add up in the long run, and become significant when you retire.

Consider alternative investments

Because some extra income is always desirable, right? Invest your savings in a new project or venture. You could enter the real estate market, the stock market or any other industry. It all depends on the amount that you’re willing to put in. Whatever you choose, analyze the risks and come up with effective mitigation strategies.

Establish a side business

You can even establish a side business if you have enough time and entrepreneurship skills. Go about it correctly, and if you’re lucky enough, there may not be a need for you to work any longer.

Keep following our blog for more great financial advice.

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Cardano Price Up And Down Amidst SundaeSwap Launch

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The price of Cardano (ADA) surged and plunged on the same day, starting with the excitement around the launch of its first decentralized exchange, the DEX SundaeSwap, then following the downtrend of Bitcoin.

SundaeSwap’s Wins And Failures

ADA’s price had been up around 10% in the last week tied to the launch of Cardano’s beta version of its first decentralized app (DApp) SundaeSwap, a decentralized exchange (DEX) that allows token staking and aims to “decentralize not just the access to financial services, but also the core business model itself.”

“We are launching with a Beta label because, while the DEX’s smart contracts have been fully audited and the DEX will meet all industry standards for security, the implementation of fully decentralized governance will not be immediately possible due to existing transaction size limits on the Cardano blockchain.”

SundaeSwap’s launch entails the inclusion of its utility token SUNDAE, which offers holders the availability to vote on the governance protocol, plus trade, strake and lend coins. The token’s price will be determined by the community as prove of its goals towards decentralization.

“The Sundae Token is a utility token central to the healthy operation of the SundaeSwap DEX. We are focused on building the most useful decentralized exchange protocol we can, in line with the decentralized ethos that we all believe in. As part of that, we strongly believe that this protocol doesn’t belong to us, the company who wrote the software, but to us, the whole SundaeSwap community.”

They explained that at the protocol’s launch, 7% of the community supply of the token would be “locked by the DAO into a smart contract called The Taste Test,” and added that at the end ten days, “all of these tokens will be used to create the ADA/Sundae liquidity pool, establishing the initial price for the token.”

Not long after trading on the DEX started, users were dissatisfied about congestion on the net, orders pending over hours, and failing transactions. SundaeSwap’s team had already warned about this possibility ahead of the launch.

CEO Mateen Motavaf addressed the complaints in a bolds and cap message that said “IF YOUR ORDER IS ON-CHAIN, IT WILL BE PROCESSED ORDERS ARE FAILING DUE TO CONGESTION, PLEASE BE PATIENT”.

The team had written on January 8 “We want to inform you all that while orders may take days to process, everybody’s orders will be processed fairly and in the order they were received.”

They remain confident that “the protocol can meet the normal day-to-day load once things settle down.”

Cardano’s Scalability

The Cardano roadmap is currently focusing on several updates to optimize and scale the network, hoping to achieve faster transaction and adopt the layer 2 Hydra solution.

Its partner company Input Output just announced a promising scaling update that is supposed to increase Plutus script memory units per transaction to 12,5 million. The first change is supposed to take effect on January 25.

“Improvements in Memory/CPU parameters for Plutus remain one of 11 ways that Cardano intends to scale in 2022. Other paths include block size increase, Pipelining, Input Endorsers, Node enhancements, on-disk storage, sidechains, Layer 2 Hydra scaling solution, Offloading computation and the Mithril solution.”

– Input Output

Issues aside, Cardano has already grown stronger in its competition with Ethereum, recording a higher trading volume at times and lower fees.

Related Reading | Cardano Enters The Basho Stage: How It Improves Performance

Bitcoin Behind Cardano Crash?

Today, Bitcoin fell around 10% to under $38,000. At the same time, the total market cap fell bellow $2 trillion.

Analysts have alleged before that Bitcoin rules over the health of the crypto market, thus its downtrend could affect other coins like ADA.

Many enthusiasts were expecting a bullish trend for the Cardano coin hoping for its price to reach $2 amidst future optimizations and SundaeSwap’s launch, but this setup has been spoiled.

The SundaeSwap launch pushed Cardano toward a surge of 7.5% from its day-low price of $1.32 to $1.42, then stabilizing at $1,40. Then, following the crypto market’s downtrend, ADA decreased to around $1,20.

The general downtrend of the market followed the general worry over a more hawkish Federal Reserve, expecting higher interest rates. It also happened in parallel to Russia’s announce of a crypto ban.

ADA trading down at $1,2 in the daily chart – Source: ADAUSDT on TradingView.com

Related Reading | Cardano Hits Bottom? What You Should Consider Before Rushing Into ADA

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Market May Be Suffering But Bitcoin And Ethereum Will Pull Back Stronger, Bloomberg Analyst

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Bitcoin and ethereum

Bitcoin and Ethereum have led the market in the recent downturns that have rocked the market. These two digital assets are no doubt market movers in their own right and as such, uptrends or downtrends begin with them. It has raised concern among investors who believe that the market is finally heading into a stretched-out bear market. However, not everyone believes this as some believe the current downtrend is only temporary.

Mike McGlone On Bitcoin And Ethereum

Mike McGlone is one of the leading Bloomberg analysts. Focused on the financial market, he authors a newsletter that shares his thoughts around various markets, including stocks and the crypto market. McGlone is currently one of the people with the most optimistic view of the market despite the various dips that have rocked the space. Most especially on the top digital assets in the crypto market.

Related Reading | Solo Ethereum Miner Hits The Jackpot With 170 ETH For Mining A Block

McGlone who was on The Wolf of all Streets podcast shared some interesting thoughts on the market, putting the analyst at an overall bullish position for bitcoin and ethereum.

BTC down to $38K | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

The analysts point to the correlation with the stock market. This, he explains, is getting ready for a pullback and when this happens, bitcoin and by extension, ethereum, would benefit from this correction.

“Here’s my prediction: the markets pull back,” said Mike McGlone. “We finally get a 10%, maybe 20%, correction in the stock market. All correlations are one, which is usually the way it works. Bitcoin comes out better off for it. Ethereum, potentially too.”

This pullback though is only reflected on the top two cryptos which McGlone expects to recover after this.

Other Cryptos May Not Fare Well

Talking about other cryptocurrencies, the analyst took a more bearish stance on them. The positivity displayed in the podcast towards top coins bitcoin and ethereum did not translate to the rest of the market which he does not expect to fare well despite the pullback.

Related Reading | Ethereum Fee Averages Remain Above $30 Despite 35% Drop. Price Pump Incoming?

McGlone especially focused on dog coins which were arguably the winners of 2021. The craze which saw various meme tokens with no utility whatsoever soar to billions of dollars in valuation was referred to as “stupid” by the Bloomberg analyst.

“The rest of the space, we do have to admit, the speculation you saw in the dog coins last year was indicative of this. It’s just stupid and we’re going to tell the story to our grandkids,” he said.

Even for a digital asset like Solana which had a largely successful year, McGlone did not seem excited about it. He lumped SOL in with the dog coins, which he said were the riskiest of assets. “The bottom line is they are the riskiest of assets,” said McGlone. “There’s massive speculation. I mean the dog coins and even in things like Solana,” he added.

Featured image from Bitcoin news, chart from TradingView.com
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Opera’s new launch Web3 Crypto Broswer Is All Set For Your Device

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Opera's new launch Web3 Crypto Broswer Is All Set For Your Device

Opera, the famous email browser, has introduced a beta version of its web3 crypto browser. The new beta version is more than just your average internet surfer. Along with features such as a built-in cryptocurrency wallet and shortcut for quickly switching between different crypto exchanges. They have also added decentralized apps support.

Web3 Crypto Browser

Opera Web3 crypto browser supports both cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. It can function in an environment where digital currencies are accepted and store your funds securely for use on the web or when making transactions through NFC templates (Sony).

Blockchain is a decentralized solution that reduces the need for third-party verification by providing trust in transactions through digital signatures. Furthermore, the blocks of this network are spread all over the internet, so it’s tough to hack.

Related Reading | TA: Bitcoin Dives Below $40K, Why Bulls Could Struggle In Near Term

Blockchain is the future. It’s been implemented and tested against major corporations that have seen its potential for revolutionizing their industry.

The blockchain is like a security system to store and transmit data. It’s challenging for anyone else to view what you’re doing on this decentralized platform because all copies are identical, making it super safe.

Nowadays, blockchain technology finds itself being used not only by those seeking anonymity but also transparency. Whether you’re an artist wanting domestic creatives’ rights protected.

Web3 Browser Features

The new Opera Web3 Crypto Browser allows you to explore the emerging world of decentralized web apps. Right now, it’s mostly an online home for crypto enthusiasts and strange blockchain applications with sometimes interesting tokens on them.

The future of Web3 is here! With the Opera browser, you can now enjoy a decentralized internet where everything you do will be rewarded with tokens.

This foundation for mass adoption has been developed by an innovative company that understands how important security and privacy are in today’s world-a place without those two essentials would surely lead us into chaos.”

In an official announcement, Opera stated:

Too few of the web browsing experiences offered today have been built with the intention of putting Web3 centerstage and making blockchain technologies understandable and easy to use. With the Crypto Browser Project, we have set out to change this and starting today, we are inviting the blockchain community to join this mission. If we are to take Web3 beyond great ideas, we need to craft products that embrace both crypto enthusiasts who understand the space and those who are only starting and want to explore it. Our belief is that the world of blockchain needs a fully dedicated browsing experience.”

The crypto browser is a new way to make trading cryptocurrency easy and seamless. It allows users who don’t want the hassle of third-party solutions like Coinbase or Bitstamp to trade their coins right from within opera without worrying about losing private keys on babysitting Platforms that are known for security holes.

Total crypto market cap shows a decrease of 3% on daily chart | Source: TradingView.com

Crypto Corner is a unique browser extension in the Web3 crypto browser that contains the most topical and essential crypto news.So you never miss an update on new decentralized applications again.

Blockchain Technology Future

The Web3 project is not new. Do you remember The HTC Exodus 1 phone? It was an ambitious collaboration between many companies, including the well-known crypto wallet and Opera browser, but never saw completion.

The future seems bright for blockchain and cryptocurrency. Some people think it will be one of the most critical networks in our digital world.

Related Reading | TA: Ethereum Nosedives, Indicators Show Signs Of Larger Downtrend

In contrast, others worry about its environmental impact or how quickly these technologies grow saturated with data storage capacity as they are currently doing now due to their popularity among users worldwide.

It is too early to say that blockchain will never succeed. Technology still has many developing stages. We need time for its full potential to unfold before making any conclusions about whether or not this new invention can revolutionize the way we live our lives entirely.

Web3 Crypto Browser Available Versions

Try out this new browser that is so far available for Mac, Android, and Windows. The iOS version will be released soon.

Featured image from Pixabay, chart from TradingView.com
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