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.

3 Ways To Save Money On Car Repairs

At one point or another, everyone who owns a car is going to have to get some type of car repairs. Having work done on your car can happen for any number of reasons, with the most common usually being wear and tear or damage being done. But while most people know that they’ll eventually have to repair something on their car, car repairs aren’t a common thing that people regularly save for specifically. Because of this, most people are looking for any way that they can save themselves some money once these repairs do become necessary. To help with this, here are three ways you can save money when you need some car repairs done.

Use Your Warranties

While it might feel like you’re spending a little more money right now, Marcie Hill, a contributor to The Penny Hoarder, recommends that you get and use any warranties you can get on your car, car parts, or even labor. By spending more now, you could be saving yourself a lot of money in the future when you need these type of repairs again. Especially if you can get a lifetime warranty on things that you’ll need done on a regular basis, like wheel alignments, springing for the warranty could be very worth it to you in the long run.

Always Get Multiple Estimates

Even if you’ve found a mechanic or other repair shop that you’ve liked in the past, Alan Henry, a contributor to, recommends that you always get multiple estimates on any work you’re needing done on your car. To ensure that you’re not getting fleeced, take your car to the shop without telling them exactly what’s wrong and what you need fixed. If they come up with the same conclusion that the other shops did but can offer you a cheaper price, you may want to go with that shop. However, just be sure that you’re not getting a cheaper price simply because they’re offering you an inferior product or service. Once you have your multiple estimates, you may be able to do a little negotiating to get the price you want at the shop you’re most comfortable with.

Just Fix The Dents and Dings

If you get in a car accident, even if it’s just a small fender bender, you’ll likely have some dents or dings that you need to get taken care of. According to Paul Marchesseault, a contributor to, many auto body shops will end up repainting and clear coating your whole car after they’ve sanded down the parts that needed to be fixed. One way you can save money in this area is to find someone who specializes in just fixing the dents and dings. This might be someone who works for a car dealership that readies pre-owned cars for resale. By literally just fixing the dents and dings, you can save a lot of money on the overall cost of repairs.

For those looking for ways to save some money, consider using the tips mentioned above the next time you need repairs done on your car.

3 Key Ways to Invest in Real Estate Properties for a Diversified Portfolio

Diversifying an investment portfolio is the key to withstanding market volatility. Real estate is a key investment because land is limited.

Construction rates are rising, cities are becoming more densely populated, and prices for real estate are rising.

A diverse portfolio reduces market risks, but there’s also diversification of the same asset type. What does this mean? Invest in different forms of real estate to keep a real estate portfolio as diverse as possible.

  1. Crowdfunding Opportunities Allow for Vast Portfolio Diversification

Crowdfunded real estate projects are a thing. Projects often want to raise $50,000 to $3 million, and these properties can be anything, from apartment buildings to shopping malls. Returns vary greatly, but a $10,000 investment often yields $700 to $1,200 for a year investment, and this figure can rise to $5,000 – $10,000 for investments of three years or longer.

Fundrise is a key option for simple real estate investing as is Realty Mogul.

Annual returns for Fundrise are 8% to 11%, depending on the investment. Realty Mogul seems to be more exclusive, yet members are granted access to exclusive listings that allow for opportunities not available in a normal investment portfolio.

  1. Luxury Property Rentals and Flipping

High-end investors are experiencing a rise in the number of luxury property rentals and sales. Access to these properties is often only reserved for exclusive, rich investors. Social media has changed that..

@Luxury_Listings is a prime example being a social media account that turned into a global platform which has sold $80+ million in luxury properties.

The world’s most desirable properties are listed by bringing together the top 1% of real estate professionals worldwide. The platform even has a exclusive off-the-market listings for interested investors. The leading real estate platform on Instagram, Luxury Listings gives an insider glimpse into the world of luxury property to over 1.5 million followers.

These properties can be held and sold over the long-term, or turned into high-end rentals that provide a monthly income to the owner. Exclusive properties provide buyers with options that they can’t find anywhere else in the world.

  1. Invest in Well-Known REITs

Real estate investment trusts, or REITs, are a great way to invest in real estate, and the fund worries about the diversification. You are investing in different trusts, which may include apartment buildings or shopping malls or anything real estate-related.

Vanguard’s REIT ETF (VNQ) is often recommended to novice investors because the REIT is focused on the US market, and they buy into many of the largest public companies.

The fund invests in several of the largest REIT companies, including Public Storage (PSA), Simon Property Group (SPG) and Prologis (PLD).

There are plenty of REIT options, and with a widely diverse holding, these REITs are less susceptible to market fluctuations and risks.

Schwab’s U.S. REIT ETF (SCHH) and iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF (IYR) are also great options. There are a wide range of REIT options, so choose one that has a portfolio that is diverse enough for your risk appetite.

A mix of rental properties, long-term holdings and short-term holdings will often provide the best outcome. Rental properties offer income-generating assets, while long-term holdings will provide value over time to the portfolio.


Tokenization and Transactions: The Future Is Now

“An Update To Our Privacy Policy…”

“Yes, This Is Another GDPR Email…”

“Improvements to Our Privacy Policy & Privacy Controls….”

Email, the 40-year old plus technology, still dominates our communication. Nearly everyone has an email address, is signed up to a mailing list, and has probably spent the past week being bombarded by companies scrambling to comply with, the now implemented, GDPR. On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a regulation passed in European Union (EU), is a law that enforces the protection of data.

GDPR requirements send a global message that extends well outside of the EU to all businesses. It provides consumers with a reasonable justification for any personal data a business has stored or collected, getting their permission to keep it, use it, and, in the absence of that, delete it!

Businesses collect information from prospective consumers across geographical borders, and store this for reasons from marketing to completing transactions. Strict compliance to this regulation is cause for concern for all businesses, large and small.

As a small business owner, odds are repeatedly stacked against you and your business’ success. Your business relies on legitimate inquiries from prospects, sales and orders from purchasers online. Websites are the cornerstone of most business operations today, which is why this regulation is a challenge for all businesses.

What was common practice for businesses in the past, will no longer cut it: the ‘boilerplate’ privacy policy and “click to Agree” wrapper technology. The GDPR is, like many important, well-intentioned social shifts shaping our ‘new normal’, which comes with the severe pendulum swing that can hit businesses hard.

Facebook and Google have already been saddled with lawsuits that seek fines with a combined total nearing 8.8 billion USD. For a small business, a regulator, or unhappy customer, could easily deal a death blow. The future looks bleak just a few days after the official GDPR date. In reality, it could be a gift, especially for small businesses.

Some technology innovators started digging into the technology behind BitCoin. It’s called “blockchain”. A few are already delivering tools that are the answer for compliancy, and (wait for it), bonus! How to run a smarter streamlined business!

‘Tokenization’ for Transactions

Blockchain technology has massive potential. The myriad of possibilities for individuals and businesses to handle transactions on the blockchain, is dependent on what are called “tokens”. Put quite simply, a Token (also known as a “utility token”) can encrypt all of the sensitive data often used in business transactions, like credit card numbers, and communications, etc., through randomly-generated numeric values. These values retain the record of, and access to, essential information about the data, effectively hiding it from ‘prying’ human eyes.

Numeric values (also called “hashes”), are stored, in precise sequence. They’re, linked to the blockchain, which is called a distributed ledger (also known as DLT “distributed ledger technology”). The DLT keeps a copy of the encrypted numbered “hashes” on any number of computers across nodes so many copies of the DLT chain exist and are constantly added to with “hashes” – this is known as the blockchain. Public key hashes are like IP addresses, while private ‘keys’ are held by the users – for accessing the actual underlying data.

What makes a ‘utility token’ more powerful than the oft-mentioned cryptocurrency token, like Bitcoin, is function. Cryptocurrency tokens have the singular purpose of speculation and transfer of funds. It’s done through the blockchain ledger, so no bank or credit card company is needed to transfer from one account to the other.

Utility tokens, on the other hand, can be used to run entire companies. They’re not only used for payments, but they can do everything required to process secure transactions. A significant bonus is that some of these tokens can replace the software small businesses pay for every month! The business gets privacy for their transactions, and the tools they need to operate, in one low cost system – that costs a fraction of what most companies spend on technology.

Tokens can be used to confirm who is doing the transaction, what has been done, and where the data is at all times. Only the users of the tokens hold the keys to unlock and view the progress.

Today, Large companies hold our data – so they hold all the keys. This is what is at the heart of the recent flurry of law suits.

A lifelong serial entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of BlockCerts Blockchain, Tim Vasko, is a treasure-trove of information regarding the intersection of technology, business, and global culture. Vasko believes that “…truly giving people and companies the tools they need, and ownership of those tools through blockchain, enables trust for all users. Tokens and blockchain, will define the next generation of business in an Open Structure, trust-based economy which is imbedded in every transaction”.

This is done through “smart contracts”, where there are endless possibilities. Businesses can tokenize their work and payments, while customers through Blockcerts, are assured they remain firmly in control of their own data.

Other players that are forming Tokens for basic data security Perspecsys (Symantec, and CyberSource (Visa).

Automating GDPR compliance, is essential.

Changing global regulations have the potential to spell trouble for any business. Without the deep pockets necessary to ensure compliance, tools such as BlockCerts, that provide tools for little to no cost to small business, or apps like Perspecsys and CyberSource solve challenges and are paving the way in making trusted transactions with privacy and security possible.

The GDPR is a new model that forecasts what the global market of customers expects.

Blockcerts appears to be ahead of the curve with over a decade in development. BCERT Tokens are expected to hit the market in late June.

BCERT Tokens are something Facebook and Google now have 8.8 billion reasons to wish they had in place. Now small business has a chance to be ahead of the curve.

Anna Recklovski’s experience with the hyped crypto-startup Profitcoins

If you had told Anna she would be dealing with cryptocurrencies a year ago, she would have laughed. Born in Germany but raised in America, she had seized the opportunity to study abroad and get a taste for living in her birth country.

Image: Anna in the “Olympia” park in Munich, fall 2017.

After graduating from Technical University in Munich, Anna was ready to tackle the world. She thought it would be easy to find work. Six weeks into her search, Anna wasn’t so hopeful anymore. Feeling defeated, she had to make a hard decision: Do I stay and tough it out, or should I grab a ticket back to the States?

The next morning, Anna got up early and went to nearly every shop to apply for a job. Two days later, she got hired at a café. Things were going well. She loved interacting with her customers and made a perfect cappuccino to boot. The only problem was that rent was due in two weeks.

While talking with one of her favorite customers, Jonas, she told him about her financial issues. Jonas was a day trader and offered a solution: Profitcoins.

Anna was new to cryptocurrency arbitrage, but Jonas assured her that she would be fine. He helped her sign up, and she started trading that day. By that Friday, she had made €100!

Profitcoins saved me from having to go back home. Super easy to use and safe, I’m pulling in about €600 per month right now, which has taken a ton of stress off my shoulders financially.”

Anna is now working at a hardware prototyping firm. Even though she enjoys a nice salary now, she still loves the benefits of cryptotrading. If it were not for Jonas suggesting Profitcoins, she would still be stuck at the café making mochas. Now, she is living her best life!

Smart Financial Choices Regarding Legal Processes and Maneuvers

Having to deal with the law, lawyers, or legal situations can easily get very expensive. That’s why, even if you didn’t enter into the position voluntarily, you still need to make smart financial decisions once you’re in the thick of it. That may involve some research and some logic.

A few examples where you want to make smart financial choices within the legal system might be if you’re dealing with a car accident, if you have to make loan repayments, if there’s a divorce settlement in your life, or if someone has initiated a frivolous lawsuit against you.

Dealing With a Car Accident

When you have to deal with a car accident, whether it was your fault or not, you need to think about money as a priority. Either you’re trying to get money, or you’re trying to keep someone from taking money away from you. Either you’re trying to pay a lawyer as much as possible to keep you safe and protected, or, you’re trying to pay a lawyer as little as possible and still get the best results. Even though you want the resolution to match the context, the financial decisions that you make still will alter the outcome.

Loan Repayments

After a certain amount of time, loan repayments may become a part of legal recourse. If a loan was due in a certain amount of time, and you can’t pay for it, what do you do? You may have to go to court to figure out how to extend the loan. If it’s someone who owes you money, you may have to figure out how to take them to court to get a settlement that’s better than nothing. Having a lawyer help you out in these situations generally leads to a better result.

Divorce Settlements

You may have an idea in your mind about what a fair resolution is in a divorce. However, the person you are divorcing may have a much different opinion. But you have to put into the equation how much you’re willing to pay a divorce lawyer to get more or less money moved in one direction or another regarding your ex. This may take a little bit of math on your part, but you need to make the end result worth the money that you put into it.

Frivolous Lawsuits

There are a lot of frivolous lawsuits out there. And if someone aims one at you, you may have to pay to protect yourself. Though this is inherently unfair that it costs you money to keep someone from tarnishing your reputation, you have to work backward from the desired result. If you are being slandered, ultimately the money and the resources will move your direction, as opposed to resolving in favor of the other party involved.