Why Do Currency Rates Fluctuate?

Currency rates can change from one day to the next, rising to an all-time high one day and plunging to a new low the next. If you have some experience with investing, you may have a good understanding of what makes a stock rise and fall, but what exactly causes a currency to shift?

Currencies are bought and sold on flexible exchange rates, which means their prices fluctuate based on supply and demand in the market. High demand for a currency and a shortage of supply will lead to a price increase. But there are other factors that affect supply and demand. These include:

Monetary Policy

A country’s monetary policy can have a major impact on its currency’s exchange rate. In fact, central banks may use monetary policy as a way to stimulate the economy and drive demand for the currency. This is achieved by increasing or decreasing benchmark interest rates and/or decreasing the money supply.

When a country’s money supply increases, more of the currency is available and the cost of borrowing decreases.

The benchmark interest rate is the cost of borrowing money. Low interest rates encourage people and businesses to take out loans. Spending this borrowed money helps the economy grow. But if there’s too much money in circulation and the supply of goods and services does not increase, prices may start inflating.

Economic and Political Conditions

Ask any forex broker and they’ll tell you that the region’s political landscape and economic state greatly affect a currency’s exchange rate. Currencies from countries with stable political climates and economies generally have higher demand, which leads to higher exchange rates. Investors would rather put their money into a predictable investment. That’s what stable political and economic conditions offer – predictability.

Unstable political and economic conditions can hamper demand for a currency and lower exchange rates.

Economic indicators, like trade balance, gross domestic product, housing starts and unemployment rates help investors gauge the health of a country’s economy. Similarly, political unrest and global tensions can destabilize a country’s political climate. On the other hand, a new government that suggests strong economic growth and stability can help boost exchange rates due to higher demand.

Rate of Inflation

4 Money-Saving Tips for Digital Nomads

Traveling is a major expense, and when you look at the United States, people often forgo saving for retirement and save for traveling instead. Over 50% of Americans don’t have a retirement plan – scary.

Vacation doesn’t have to be expensive.

A lot of people are living the dream: traveling, working and living a nomad lifestyle. It’s an attractive way to live, and these individuals have tips on how anyone can start socking more money away for retirement and traveling more often.

1. Plan to Cook Your Own Food

Food is a major expense, and the average person will spend $378 on food along during an international trip. Add in kids and a spouse, and that bill swells much higher. Save the money and plan to cook on your own.

Preparing your own food over a 12-day trip costs just $42 versus $378 spent on eating out. That equates to more than 75% savings on food. Of course, you may want to indulge in pizza while in Rome or drink wine in France, and you should. But, be cautious about eating out for every meal if you want to save money.

You could even extend your trip by a day or two if you chose to cook for yourself.

EatWith is another great option that allows you to eat with others and save money. It’s a neat way to see how others live and experience some great food along the way. Some of the site’s users are professional chefs, so you’ll be able to enjoy delicious food, too.

2. Share Your Experience with Others

There are people all over the world who are willing to help make your travels more fun, less expensive and authentic. Hotels, especially in high tourist areas, are overpriced. Airbnb and Couchsurfing are two great options that allow you to stay in inner cities and not in a traditional hotel or bed and breakfast.

If you choose this route, you’ll want to find verified profiles and hosts that have good reviews.

3. Be Cautious with Excursions

Cruises always find a way to pull passengers into excursions. Travelers often want to fill every minute of their travels doing something. The problem is that a $90 excursion doesn’t allow you to view some of the best activities a city has to offer.

Be cautious when booking excursions.

It’s fine to go on a safari or do another fun activity, but don’t book excursions back-to-back. They’re often overpriced and will take up too much of your valuable time.

4. Seek Out a Travel Advisor

Travel advisors are often disregarded. A lot of times, people take the DIY route, choosing to use Expedia or a similar site to book their vacation. But travel advisors are very helpful, and these professionals can help travelers:

  • Receive free upgrades
  • Save money on accommodations
  • Receive special promotions and credits

Booking online doesn’t provide you with all of the benefits that a travel agent has to offer. American Express claims that the average vacation costs over $1,100 per person or $4,400+ for a family of four, or C$1,425+ – C$5,700+.

Cutting these expenses down and paying off debt or putting away money for retirement is a smart financial decision.

Financial planning step by step – how to secure your future

Tough times can come when you least expect them, so being prepared and having an already developed plan in mind will prevent you from putting the life quality you have been used to at risk. Financial security is one of the things any individual should focus on from an early point, and while you might not be able to control everything, there are a few steps that will allow you to ensure the financial stability of your future. Because information is key in this department, getting some pointers on the topic will simplify things for your considerably. Here are the tips you should make sure you don’t overlook when trying to handle financial planning demands by the book:

Reduce expenses

While it’s perfectly normal for you to indulge in the occasional personal treats, whether it’s a vacation or a brand new electronic, you should start analyzing your regular expenses, and reduce them wherever is possible. The best way to do that is by determining your wants and your needs, and reassessing the money you are currently spending on your “wants”. Get rid of everything that is wasteful or unnecessary, any purchase that can easily be cut down needs to go immediately. A gym membership that you never use, a mobile plan that includes more perks than you would actually need, magazine subscription, TV channels you don’t watch are only a few examples of things you can eliminate. The amount you will be saving at the end of each month will surprise you. Also, try to avoid dining out that often, or shopping for items that you can easily live without. Whenever you are on the point of purchasing something, ask yourself this question: Do I really need this?

Set smart short-term goals

Instead of trying to take care of a large financial issue, and thus stressing over it without any clear power of solving the matter anytime soon, set short-term, manageable goals instead. Paying off your credit card debt, contributing to your insurance plan, covering a part of your mortgage – these are the types of things you should focus on rather than trying to find miracle solution on boosting the amount you have in your bank account. Also, try to establish if your saving goals as smart ones, by keeping them realistic and trackable – this is the only way you will be able to actually achieve them.

Acquire various insurance plans

Spending your excess income insurance can save you from potential future inconveniences. Whether you face an incident that leaves you unable to work, something happens to your property or your lifestyle brings you into bankruptcy, having a backup plan that you can resort to will prevent you from facing a major lifestyle downgrade. Nowadays, companies are able to offer you a wide range of insurance plans that can suit your specific needs and requirements, customization possibilities being available. If you don’t already have an advantageous policy in check, this is the time to pursue one. However, you should collaborate with an expert that can advise you on a policy plan that would fit your particular situation best. If you are worried you might be dealing with an insurer that doesn’t take your own interest into account, you can always resort to a people search tool on a lookup website to ensure yourself that you are not putting your future financial security in the hands of an unreliable person, or are not dealing with a potential scam.

When financially sound – consider taking a small risk.

While keeping all the money you manage to save in the bank might be a safe choice to make, if you want your future to be abundant in wealth, pursuing one or several investment opportunities is the wise thing to do. After you have already reached a place where you can call yourself financially sound, and there, and have a bit of money to spare, looking for ways to generate more income from the money that you have managed putting aside could mean a far brighter monetary future for you. Multiplying your current financial holding is possible if you go ahead with a smart investment. Whether it’s buying stocks, trading cryptocurrency or investing in a friend’s business, the right choices in this department could mean a wealthy and prosperous time to come. However, never invest amounts that you could afford losing, all the risk you will be taken should be wise and well-documented ones – there are many appealing investment trends circulating at the moment, you just have to discover what these are and seize the opportunities that arise.  

Become financially literate

Saving and making the number in your bank account grow doesn’t have to involve hard work, sometimes, you just need a different perspective on things. Financial investment as well as management are long-term endeavors, and that means that the most important thing is to get into the subject of personal finance a bit deeper and thus increase your odds of meeting your goals both in the present and in the long future. If you have always had problems in this department you should consider following a course on the matter, or attending a few seminars. Books and articles are also being written on the topic regularly, so you simply need to educate yourself in this department properly. Whenever you have the opportunity of acquiring some new insights on the matter, don’t hesitate to do so. Becoming financial literate can be easier than you have thought, just make this a priority as soon as possible.

Proper financial planning can prevent you from dealing with monetary challenges in the future, which may affect your quality of life. Don’t take any changes, can be prepared with more than enough time in advance by using the right strategies to your advantage. These are the steps that you should consider takin, so analyze each one with precise care, and try to make the most out of the information. Financial freedom is possible is you pursue the right choices in this direction.

How to Make the Most of Your Money

Depending on the situation that arises, there is not always money available on-tap as you need it. Oftentimes, you must make do with what you have now and stretch it accordingly. This means finding ways to get your cash to last longer by getting better deals, being a creative thinker with solutions, and finding ways to do the impossible.

Here are some ways to make the most from your money in life.

Online and Offline Discounts

If you’re a discount hound, you can sniff out a real bargain when you go shopping. It doesn’t matter whether you’re shopping online or offline because many retailers now offer discounts either way. They often have discount coupons found on their websites to print at home, at work, or in an internet café. Also, magazines sometimes have inserts with coupons that you can collect to save money at the checkout without needing a higher income to do so.

More Travel Money for Less Upfront Cash

When you’re wanting to go away on a holiday trip abroad to see the sights, getting the best deal via Currency exchange Canada is a smart way to go. You can obtain better foreign exchange rates compared to what the major banks offer. This is because of the sheer volume of foreign currency trading that an online foreign currency operator does and due to their having lower fixed operating costs too. Their lack of an expensive series of branches removes a layer of costs to their business, savings that go directly into their customers’ pockets.

You can spend more foreign currency and still not be out of pocket. Enjoying a greater amount of what’s available locally while away and not worrying about the extravagance brings more pleasure on a trip too.

Waiting for Sales

As a consumer, you can strategically wait for regular or irregular sales that come around. This works for items which aren’t consumables and when you can afford to wait on a lower price. For Amazon Prime customers, their recent Prime Day is a good example. After Christmas sales is another.

Another form of sale is discounts on low-traffic days like matinees at the movies. With supermarkets, they have loss-leaders to attract shoppers into their location. You can take advantage of this intentional sale on select items to base a meal or two around them and use the supermarket’s strategy to your benefit.

Make a growing list of the things that you want and note the best place to buy these items. If you want to take the extra step of noting down the regular price for each item, then you have a source of comparison when discounts start being offered during sales season too.

Being smart about money is all about putting it to greater use. This means getting a better rate when changing money before going abroad, finding the best deals online or strategically waiting for the absolute best pricing before purchasing big ticket items. It all makes a difference to getting more from less whether you’re a big earner or earn less every month. Everyone has this option to spend carefully and use every tool at their disposal to get their money to work harder.

3 Ways Overcoming An Addiction Can Save You Money

While we all have things that we spend a little too much money on for our own good, those who are suffering through an addiction might be surprised at just how much their habit is crippling them financially. Although some of the costs are common knowledge and easy to track, other costs might come up that you’ve never even thought of. So to help you find even more reason to kick those bad habits, here are three ways that overcoming an addiction can save you money.

The Actual Cost Of Fueling Your Addiction

When speaking about addictions, it’s a given that you’re going to be spending money to keep getting whatever it is that you’re addicted to. But for many people, they don’t want to think about what that cost truly is. According to Addictions.com, the average drug user spends between $8 and $83 dollars on their drug of choice per day. When you’re looking at the lifetime amount of money spent, it can come up to more than $16,000. And if you have an addiction that’s more expensive or more intense, your overall cost can be astronomical. If you cut all that cost out, you’d be able to save more money than you’d even know what to do with.

Costs Associated With Addiction

In addition to the cost of your drugs, alcohol, shopping, gambling or other addiction, there are also plenty of costs that are associated with that addition but aren’t necessarily directly spent on funding your addiction. According to Constance Brinkley-Badgett, a contributor to AOL.com, these costs include things like treatment for your addiction, loss of productivity or promotions at work, and more. These associated costs are often money that you don’t necessarily pay out of your pocket each day like with fueling your addiction, but they can hinder you from making or keeping the money that you would have earned.

Health Care and Insurance Costs

If you allow yourself to get too far into your addiction that it’s harming your body, you’re going to have lot more costs that you’ll need to take care of in order to keep yourself alive and functioning. According to DrugAbuse.com, these costs include things like higher premiums on health insurance, more time spent at doctor’s offices or the hospital, and paying for legal fees associated with any problems you have with the law. Depending on your personal addiction and your experience with your health, these costs can make it nearly impossible to live a normal life. But if you didn’t have to worry about them, you could finally achieve your financial goals.

To show you just how beneficial it could be to quit your addiction, consider using the information presented above to show you just what you could be saving financial while you’re saving yourself physically and mentally.

How much can you expect to save working and building your own home?

Ask this question to a number of builders and you’re likely to get very different results and many varying answers with different price amounts.

This is question that many people have though as building a new house is one of the largest amounts of money most people will spend, besides of course just buying a new house that is already built.

Firstly though why would you consider building your own place instead of just buying a new one? This comes down to a question of your finances and what can you afford. Of course if money is no issue and you have an abundance of wealth we’d suggest not going through all the obstacles that are almost certainly going to occur. There’s a reason why builders do make good money when building new places and one of the reasons is they get paid well because they are pretty much professional problem solvers. Even with the best possible planning and organisation you are bound to run into many unexpected problems. This raises the next question.
Is it worth the headache of organizing and going through all the drama that comes along with a new build?

This depends. Realize that you may likely save a considerable amount of money if you do build your own place, that is if you do take into consideration the correct the amount of time for the build and stay within the budget.

To do this you are going to need to be very proficient in the following skills.

Great management skills

If you think you can organize all the tradesmen that are required to build a new home from start to finish such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters etc you will save a considerable amount of money. Organizing the overall management of a build from start to finish will save you the cost of the role of the person who is assigned to oversee all the tradesmen who are required to take on the build. It’s important to note that this role rarely requires any physical labour and is more of a finger pointing role. In saying that it’s most likely at some point on the project you will be expected to work physically for one reason or another.

Taking this managerial role on you will probably save anywhere in the vicinity of between fifteen to twenty five percent. When you consider a new build may cost in total of one hundred thousand dollars saving the average of the above percentage you should save around twenty thousand dollars.

What if you were to complete the work of the trades people

Firstly if you are going to do any work yourself you must make sure that you take care of your personal safety first. One of the reasons that trades people get paid well is because their jobs are dangerous and do involve an element of risk.
If somehow you were able to complete all the work from the tradespeople this would save you considerably more than just taking on the management role. Building your own place from dirt to door knob would most likely save you around forty to sixty percent of the total builds overall cost. To put this into perspective you would be looking at a saving of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars if your new build was estimated at three hundred thousand dollars.

Seriously though the chances of you being able to complete all the job of the tradespeople is highly unlikely and even if you were able to learn and complete all the skills it would definitely take you a considerably more amount of time.

Wrapping up

A new build is not something that should be taken lightly. It’s a very serious lengthy task, especially the physical side of doing to the labour. Even in taking on the managerial role don’t expect to be able to hold down a normal forty hour week and still be able to oversee the whole build.

 

What You Need To Do Before Buying Cryptocurrency

Most people today know at least some things about cryptocurrencies and understand that there is a huge earning potential associated with them. The truth is that we might very well be looking at the future of money. Since the potential is so high, buying cryptocurrency does seem to be a very lucrative long-term investment. This is completely correct but there are many things that should be known about this before a purchase is made.

If you are a beginner crypto investor and you want to buy, here are some things you absolutely have to do.

Learn All You Can About Cryptocurrency

You cannot successfully invest in stocks if you do not understand how they work. The same thing applies to cryptocurrency investments. Most people that buy crypto coins do not actually know anything about them. This lack of knowledge leads to making bad choices. For instance, this is a market that has a very high volatility. It is normal for prices to go down really fast and then recover. If you do not know this about cryptocurrency you are tempted to quickly sell in order to cut your losses. After a couple of hours you might end up seeing prices go back up so you lose investment money without a necessity to do so.

Fortunately, there are countless websites that teach you all you have to know about cryptocurrencies. Allow yourself as much time as you need to understand what the coins are and how the market works.

Learn How To Avoid Scams

Due to the popularity of cryptocurrency there are now countless scammers that try to take advantage of people that do not know what they are doing. This is mostly prevalent through ICOs. Before you buy anything or invest in something related to crypto or blockchain, you need to understand how ICO scams work and what is needed to avoid being scammed.

Set Up News Alerts

When you buy cryptocurrencies you have to be aware of what happens in the market. This is why it is highly recommended that you set up news alerts before you buy your very first coin. Everything that happens in the industry can lead to price fluctuations. You can easily take advantage of this if you know what is happening.

For instance, let’s say a government issues a bill that legitimizes the use of a specific cryptocurrency. In this case you can be sure that value is going to quickly go up. It is a sign that you can make a good investment when you buy. However, if you learn about this after a couple of days, you will not make a profit since the market already stabilized itself.

Final Thoughts

Cryptocurrency investments can be highly lucrative but only in the event you know as much as possible about them. Holding crypto coins is generally the best possible solution for most people, especially beginners. As you do this, you can always keep learning. Start with low-risk crypto investments and then move on towards those that can be more profitable but that are riskier.

5 Signs You’re Ready to Be Your Own Boss

Plenty of people fantasize about being their own boss, but not everyone can pull it off. Some people might love the idea of independence, but the day to day aspects of running a business for themselves would drive them crazy. On the other hand, if you possess some of the traits below, you could be ready to start your own company.

You Don’t Love Interviews
If you don’t love interviews, that’s the first sign you’re ready to be your own boss. Some people thrive on interviews; some would rather skip the niceties and get down to business. After all, the quirky interview questions don’t matter, what matters is how well you do your job. If you’ve ever sat restlessly through an interview, thinking, “This is a waste of time. They should be asking me about that, not this,” then you might be ready to be your own boss.

You Always Finish What You Started

Some people love to flit from task to task, but anyone ready for a manager’s role always gets the job done. Without fail, whether a project is for work or just for you, you never push a deadline back. That kind of attention to deadlines is what will save you in the business world, and it’s important to take that mindset with you everywhere.

You Love Efficiency

To succeed as your own boss, you need to prize organization and efficiency. If you love finding the shortest way to your goal, that’s a good sign that being your own boss is right for you. Efficiency is a big part of getting the job done well. As an example, let’s take a look at a classic be-your-own-boss job: being a landlord. When you own a rental property and gain a profit-per-unit every month, you can pay off your investment and make an income monitoring your properties, so it’s an excellent way to become your own boss. Being a landlord can be a lot of work, however, and using landlord software would be the perfect shortcut to save you time, energy, and stress.

You Don’t Complain; You Take Action

Some people love passing the buck to someone higher up. When something goes wrong, they eagerly point fingers, trash-talk the manager, or blame the company system for what’s gone wrong. Even if in reality, the manager or company system may absolutely be to blame, you know that complaining won’t do any good. Instead, you look at the problem and see if there’s a solution you can personally find. If there is, you go after it. That kind of attitude will get you far in the business world and far in your own business.

You Deal with The Truth
If you’re ready to be your own boss, then you deal with the truth: not necessarily with what people want to hear. If you like to surround yourself with yes-men or only tell people what they were hoping to hear, then you’re probably not ready to be your own boss. The truth can be messy, but a good boss knows that the truth is always important. If your business is failing due to a bad personal habit you possess, you should value the employee who steps forward and tells you what’s what. The truth might sting, but it could save your business.  

What You Need to Know About Monero Wallet Android + Monero Wallet iOS

Ever since the cryptocurrency Monero made its way into the market in 2014, it has been taking the crypto industry by storm. And it’s easy to see why: Monero is one of the safest, most private cryptocurrencies currently available. With an ever-expanding ocean of phone-based applications and mobile-ready browsers now before us, Monero is finally ready to take a well-positioned dive into the tech-centred waters of Android and iOS. 

Monero: A Primer 
Monero is a decentralised, user-operated digital cash. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Monero is completely untraceable. All transaction information, including funding amount, point of origin and destination are all automatically obfuscated upon sending. As such, many users — both individuals and businesses — use this cryptocurrency as an alternative to ones that are traceable. 

If you’re still confused about what Monero is after reading that last paragraph, you may wish to think of it in terms of cold hard cash. Just like that fiver in your pocket, Monero can be transferred amongst individuals or businesses — say, for example, from you to the till boy down at the fish and chips shop — without any identifiable information being exchanged and with no way of tracing the transaction. 

What’s In Your Wallet? 
Now, let’s take the analogy of the pound notes one step further. When you’re in possession of a fiver, you may want to place it in your wallet so you won’t lose it (for security) and so you’re able to easily count and retrieve it when you’re ready to make a purchase. Similarly, Monero can also be stored in a ‘wallet’ — that is, an electronic account that’s accessible only by you which is meant to secure and store your Monero coins. This is referred to as a ‘Monero wallet’. 

Just as you may have access to multiple wallets to store your fivers and tenners, there are also many types of Monero wallets available to store your cryptocurrency. Generally, Monero wallets come in two varieties, each with their own pros and cons. 
Local Wallets: These are wallets you’ve downloaded and stored locally, on your own personal computer or hard drive. Whilst local wallets can minimise some risks from web-based wallets, their features are often limited. Most reputable local wallets can be downloaded from Monero’s official website.

  • Web-Based Wallets: Unlike local wallets, web-based wallets do not need to be downloaded. They can generally be accessed from a web browser anywhere with an internet connection. XMRWallet, a recent addition to the web-based Monero wallet lineup, is one such Internet-based example.

Monero Wallet Android + Monero Wallet iOS: The Next Generation 
Recently, a new breed of Monero wallets has been appearing. These applications can be downloaded from the iOS App Store or on Android’s Google Play. Like web-based wallets, both the Android and iOS Monero wallet apps can be accessed virtually anywhere with an internet connection. Some of the features of Monero wallet apps on both iOS and Android include: 
Secure access to Monero coins from your own phone

  • The ability to send or receive Monero directly from your phone, with some apps notifying you when funds are credited to your wallet
  • The ability to check your Monero balance in real time

Monero wallet for Android and iOS may be relatively new, but the demand for such apps is already becoming noticeable. As Monero continues to gain traction in the cryptocurrency community, you can expect the number and demand for such Android and iOS apps to rise.

3 Financial Emergency Preparation Tips for Families

Are you prepared for a financial emergency? If you had a $500 bill come in the mail tomorrow, could you pay off the bill? If the answer is “no,” you need to take steps today to prepare for a financial emergency. Experts claim that an emergency fund is the right choice.

Suze Orman suggests that you have 8 – 12 months of your living expenses saved away for a financial emergency.

If you spend $3,000 on all of your living expenses, this may be $24,000 – $36,000. This is a large chunk of money that most people can’t easily accumulate. So, it’s suggested that you start small and try to build up your emergency fund $500 at a time. This means try saving $500 in the first half of the year and then $500 the next half of the year. Slowly and surely, your emergency fund will start to accumulate in value.

But if you needed to replace a roof, have a trenchless repair service performed or needed to have your transmission replaced, could you do it with just $1,000? No. You’ll need to follow the tips below to help your family prepare for an emergency:

1. Start a Cash Reserve to Pad Your Emergency Fund

The key most important thing you can do right now is build up a cash reserve. An emergency fund needs to be funded, and this fund needs to be easily accessible. You can keep the money in a savings account or any account that’s easy to access.

Add money in slowly, and you’ll quickly find that your savings account is increasing.

2. Take a Good Look at Your Debt and Reduce It

Consumer debt needs to be analyzed to find out how the debt can be reduced. The last thing you want to do is tackle consumer debt when you have a financial emergency and money is already tight.

This doesn’t mean not having a mortgage, but it does mean lowering your credit card balances as much as you can.

Bringing down credit card debt to zero allows you to alleviate unnecessary debt and helps you make additional payments to your student loans, car loan or mortgage loan. You can also take the money saved by not paying off credit cards and pay yourself (i.e. put the money into an emergency fund).

For example, if you pay $100 in credit card debt monthly and pay it off, put this $100 each money into your emergency fund to help it accumulate faster.

3. Keep Your Credit Cards Available

A lot of experts claim that you should cut up all of your credit cards when you’re done paying them off, and while this may be true for store cards, this isn’t true for all credit cards. You can utilize these cards during a financial emergency.

Say you don’t have all of the money to pay for a roof to be replaced. You can put some of the bill on credit.

While not ideal, this financial padding will help you and your family survive a financial emergency.