Tag Archives: Money

My life will never be the same again

* by Mark

As I wander down the path of my life I occasionally pause to look back at where I have come from. Picture the scene, a moonscape stretching out before you, only the small rocks and boulders breaking the seemingly endless expanse of nothingness. As I gently swing around to continue I find myself at the base of a steep incline. Climbing up the incline I am accompanied by a chorus of rousing strings that echo through my mind reaching an emotional crescendo as I crest the top and see before me…. a large black obelisk. I approach cautiously and touch it and at that exact second a realisation washes over me that my life will never be the same again.

What on earth, you may well wonder has me so worked up that I can wax lyrical on a Sunday afternoon. The answer is easier than you would expect in short I finally sat down and started to investigate this phenomenon called “crypto-currencies”.

I first heard of this thing called Bitcoin around a year ago I thought to myself, bitwhat? My initial thoughts run along the lines of “That will be useful for nerds, geeks and those unable to stop playing the latest crazy multiplayer game in the internet”, and went about my life unaffected.

Evidently psychologists’ claim that a person needs on average “5 touches” before curiosity takes over and research begins. Well I must have hit that target because I found myself doing just that, researching.

That was about four months ago and it has led me down the rabbit hole to a world of subjects that I have never considered before. Money is everything in our modern world, have it and you can live like all those perfect people in the magazines and on TV, don’t and you can fade into obscurity until the grim reaper himself tracks you down. Yet given the all consuming totalitarian control money has on our lives it is staggering just how little we know about it. Even the fundamental question “what is money?” is extremely hard to answer once you actually start to think about it.

Yet within Bitcoin and the Blockchain it is based on is a tool, like the internet, or even computers themselves that if adopted by the masses will change the world, and I would like to think for the better. Imagine a money supply by the people for the people that is devoid of the control and manipulation by anyone, anywhere, no matter how important they are in the world.

I urge you all to start with Youtube and search for an introduction to Bitcoin. I warn you, it will probably melt your brain at the beginning unless you have grounding in finance, banking or economics. However like all new concepts and ideas it takes a little while to get to grips with it but as the fog of confusion lifts and the reality sets in then you will find yourself smiling and then you find yourself dreaming.

I intend to write a series of article for you all as I love you so much and like a born again evangelist I feel a compelling urge to spread the word about this potential future of mankind. I shall start as an introduction and cover a range of subjects to add context. Hopefully it builds up as a parts work into a comprehensive guide for you all.

Oh and if you’re wondering, yes I have joined the family and I have opened up an account, in fact here is the QR code for my account:

BitCoin QR Code

If you know about Bitcoin already, good for you, then you know all you have to do is scan the above code and enter an amount an click send. Then no matter where you are in the world, nor what time of the day or night it is, I will receive the sent sum within seconds for a few pence in transaction fees. How else could you do that?

Anyway I hope you have read this far, and more so your imagination is peeked, as mine is.

I will write more on this soon.

Have you heard of Bitcoin?

Would you be interested in this new form of global trading?

Do you use Bitcoin or another crypto-currency already? If so please share your stories with us.

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#SmartBuy – Kitchen Roll and Dog Poop Bags

When it comes to shopping and saving money we all have our tricks. I would like to share with you two of mine… just to start with…

Actually this post was prompt by an overheard conversation that a dog owner is not going to clean up after his pooch because poop bags are too expensive… what a lot of rubbish!

Poop bags when bought in a smart way cost almost nothing!

So what is my secret? – get a superstore own brand nappy bags. They come in lot of 300 and cost around £0.30 – £0.35 for the lot – bargain isn’t? That’s much cheaper than buying bags which are advertised as a dog poop bags. Really what’s the difference? A bag is a bag! And with a nappy bag you can have a nice bonus as in most cases they are scented, you see… only benefits 😉

Nappy bags make perfect dog poop bags

Nappy bags make perfect dog poop bags

Second item on the shopping agenda is a kitchen roll.

Now sure if you use them in your household, but we sure do. We didn’t use to as Mark always wants to find ways to save the trees, so we were just using a proper fabric kitchen towels like a J cloth and a dishcloths but with the arrival of a Newfie in the house we kind of have no option… life without a stack of kitchen roll is just a nightmare when you own a gloopy dog.

So we got a Newfoundland and started buying kitchen rolls. It didn’t take long before we were wondering about getting some shares in some kitchen roll manufacturing company to help save some money… we needed it constantly and the rolls bought in your superstore don’t last for long… even the one advertised as extra long or as extra absorbent. So one day whilst at Costco Mark suggested that we get an industrial strength kitchen roll we got the one from Tork, you know those huge while rolls you see in every burger van or most likely in your place of work… I was not impressed with the idea as they are huge and bulky but I agreed to give it a try. OMG, this was one of the best decisions we have ever made regarding household items purchase. Yes, they are bulky and yes, they do not look so sexy but they last forever… and comparing their price to your standard superstore kitchen rolls they are ending up being less than a quarter of the price.

It may looks horrible but it works like no other

It may looks horrible but it works like no other

So here you have it, my 2 cents on how to shop smart and save some money during this crazy recession time.

Do you have any smart buy tips?

Smart Buy Badge

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Rebuilding society through microloans

With the digital age well and truly in full steam ahead mode now new opportunities, never before even conceived of, come into being seemingly daily. There was a time when investing in to companies was the remit for the well heeled city gentleman or the playboy millionaire who had nothing better to spend the money on, occasionally an entrepreneur would rise above the rest and make a fortune this way. For the rest of population it was the stuff of dreams and the movies, until the digital age brought the capabilities into your homes.

Rebuilding society  logo

Today there are websites like rebuildingsociety.com that allow anyone to invest small amounts of capital into a range of business opportunities, so now anyone can join in the business of buying and selling of companies.

After registration and setting up your account, you can peruse the extensive database of companies seeking funding. There is a wealth of information to enable you to make a very informed decision with your money. There is even a discussion board with each company so you can ask any questions that you may have before investing your life savings. There is an overview page telling you all about the company giving you valuable background about their aims and goals. There will be information on why the company has requested the loan and to what ends the money will be used, this is very useful if you are looking for a particular type of company to invest in or maybe you have strong views on what their plans are for the future and want to get involved.

First pit stop after you have had a brief look around the site would probably be in the invest menu where you can find the “How to invest” option. From this screen you can view the current investment requests. You will have access to their performance trends, their last two years company accounts as well as their Companies House report. Before a company can request a loan through the rebuildingsociety.com website they have to go through a credit check, if they do not have a strong financial position then they are not permitted to apply for a loan, helping ensure your position. The company is also required to offer some asset as security for the lenders. In the advent of a default by the applying company then rebuildingsociety.com will enforce the option on the security originally offered by the company.

At some point you will inevitably hit a knowledge wall, there is an abundance of information on the site from P/L accounts to risk management and bad debt and default ratios. And this is my point, if you do not have a back ground in financial undertakings or a reasonable understanding of business jargon you will quickly become confused. Thankfully at rebuildingsociety.com they have a whole section devoted to FAQ that you can read and improve your understanding. This section I must admit was gratefully received.

My earnings to date :-)

My earnings to date 🙂

I was given £50 to invest in the company of my choice. In the end after what easily filled an afternoon’s research I opted for M&P Cards Limited who are asking for a loan to help them set up a new flag ship outlet. Now not being the most financially technical person I must admit that I was swayed by the fact that Thorntons chocolates where involved kept my attention. Their accounts seemed to be adequate and there was no bad feedback of note so they seemed a safe investment. To date, I am £1.38 up on the deal. Now that is not earth shattering but as good as the banks at present or even better. Investing more would obviously improve earning potential.

With nearly 2800 registered users and in excess of £5million of funding pledged this site is set to grow and grow as more people get involved. It’s a wonderful idea and though the risks as in any financial dealings are present, because it’s all in micro payments you are never betting the house on your decision, unless you want to of course!

Lending Statistics

Lending Statistics

So check out their website and give it a whirl.

If your application to join is accepted you could very soon be investing in local businesses and with some luck and a good choice well on your way to fortunes as yet untold.

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