Robinhood Investing App Adding No-Fee Cryptocurrency Trading

Image result for robinhood appRobinhood, the app that allows you to buy and sell stock without any trading fees, has announced it is going to start allowing you to buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum as well without fees. Read the writeup at TechCrunch.

Click here to learn more about Robinhood Crypto.

If you’re interested in joining Robinhood, and getting a free share of stock like Ford, Apple, or Sprint, use this link: http://share.robinhood.com/geoffrv5

NOTE: I will also gain a free share of stock if you sign up with this link.

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Get $10 in Free Stock from Groupon and StockPile

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Stockpile is an online investing site, that will allow you to buy percentages of stocks. For instance, you can buy 7.5% of a single share the Vanguard 500 ETF (Symbol: VOO), which is presently at $260.24 per share as of the time of writing this post.

Via Groupon, you can get $20 of stock for just $10. And, if you use a promo code, get it for even less. Unfortunately, previously they allowed you to get 2 of the $20 for $10 deals, and 2 of the $10 for $4 deals. Now, you can only just get one single $20 for $10 gift card. However, that still at least $10 extra in free stock.

Also, you can do what I did, and ask your friends and family members to purchase for you, and have them “Give as a Gift” to you, and pay them back for the cost, so you can get even more than $20. You can also transfer your money out to your bank and invest elsewhere afterwards if you’d like, or, keep it there, and keep buying more stocks… whatever you’d like to do.

Here is the link to the Groupon for $20 for $10 from StockPile

Don’t have a Groupon account? Then use this link to sign up for one!

Disclosure: The Groupon Link is a referral, and I get $10 to use with Groupon if you sign up using my link.

Tax Donation Item Value Estimator

It’s that time of the year again… your W2’s and 1099’s, and a host of other tax-related forms are coming in the mail. As of right now, it may seem like its a long way off, but its just over 2 months away (63 days to be exact). This is the point in time when I start to break out in cold sweats, thinking about getting everything I need together and to my tax guy in time, and not the day before they are due.

Part of that process each year, is figuring out how much all of the items I’ve donated to charitable organizations (The Salvation Army, Goodwill, Savers, etc.) is worth, so I can get that to my tax guy. So, as I started pouring through receipts, I was looking around for my printed list I’ve had for years, and could not find it. I did a quick search, and found the list I normally use, and started looking through it.

Here is a list of different lists available out there:

I however wanted to have a searchable list… I did some looking around on the interwebs, and didn’t find anything. I got sidetracked from my taxes, geeked out, and made a website and an app available through Google Play app store, Donation Estimator Smile

It is by no far a complete list as of yet, I am constantly updating the backend database. Give it a download, check it out, and let me know if you find it useful! It is also available as a web site here: http://varosky.mobi/donations/

Frugal February

frugalWhat is Frugal February? Well, it is a way to help change habits, or, make better ones. It happens over the shortest month of the year, so it is the easiest to do. Frugal February is a notion to curb your spending habits… just for one month. There are so many things you can cut from your daily life that are not necessities, and you can end up saving a lot of money doing so. Try to live as cheaply as possible – again, only for the shortest month of the year. Some examples of this challenge are:

  • Stop eating out
  • Eat only what you have (I always have the pantry stocked with dry and canned goods)
  • Stop going out for drinks
  • Stop, or limit, the amount of times you buy your daily coffee (make it at home and bring it to work)
  • Stop exercising your Amazon Prime membership
  • etc.

I heard about this challenge last year from my fiancé…we didn’t quite get to it. But, over the last year I have been changing my spending habits, better watching my money, saving, and starting to invest, so we are taking on the challenge this year. At the end of the month, I will tally how much we usually spend on groceries, coffees, and eating out – and then dump that into savings or one of my investment accounts (have that money work for me, instead of someone else).

I usually keep the pantry stocked with dry and canned goods – not that I am any sort of die hard apocalypse prepper or anything, I just like to make sure in the event of a prolonged emergency, my family can have enough to get by for a couple of weeks…just in case. To that end, we are planning on not eating out, going out for drinks, buying coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts on the way to work for the month. We did do a pre-February shopping trip to shore up on some staples, like eggs, bread, butter, and a few dry and canned goods, and inventoried everything we had. We then sought out recipes, and planned out our meals… not extensively, but, enough to know that we’d be good to go. So much so, we soft launched this challenge in mid-January.

Other than being the shortest month of the year, it is said that it takes about 3 weeks of doing something to form or break a habit – February is exactly 4 weeks this year. So it’s habit forming, plus a bonus week. If you are still catching up on bills from the holidays – now is the time to save more and put those bills to rest.

I’ll post an update of our progress at the end of the month!

Are you doing Frugal February? What are you cutting out? What are you expecting to save? Comment below!

Investing 101

Image result for investing confusionJust a quick little post today, very busy with my day job, but a comment from a friends on the Books of Face today reminded me to post this up here.

Investing can be confusing. Especially if you maybe just have a 401k which you contribute to automatically (set it and forget it investing for most people).

I found a great series of short articles which gives a great short and simple overview of investing, and covers topics of compounding interest, types of investments, portfolios, and diversification.

So, if you’re interested to learn a little bit more about investing, I urge you to check out this article at Investopedia: Investing 101: A Tutorial for Beginner Investors

Acorns

scrat-ice-age-wallpaper-25-cool-wallpaperOne of the first things I did once I finally decided to start saving for me again was… investing.

At the time, I didn’t have much free cash. Still paying down a mortgage, still paying lawyers, buying furniture, paying down debt, and paying bills, re-building up my life, I couldn’t do much.

I wanted to save, and not only that, since my savings account interest rate was a deplorable 0.01%, I actually wanted my money to do something. That is when I found Acorns. Named like the squirrel hording nuts to eat over the winter when there is snow everywhere and no food source is available to supply more nuts… save them.

Acorns is micro-investing. It’s free to sign up. And you will get $5* for signing up while they are running a promotion. Here’s the cool thing, you link one or more accounts to the service like credit cards, bank accounts, etc., and it will monitor the transactions on each. It will then round up your transactions to the next dollar, and the difference gets deposited to Acorns. When you hit $5, it is invested.

So if you buy a coffee for $2.49 with your debit card, Acorns takes that $0.51 cent roundup and transfers it from your main linked checking account. This goes for any linked account, but it always transfers from your main linked checking account (which you specify). So if you buy gas with your credit card for $33.91, Acorns will transfer the $0.09 roundup from your checking account. Easy, huh, and you really didn’t have to do anything? It’s like Bank of America’s Round-Up savings, except in this case, you are investing it, and it’s making more than 0.01%. A lot more.

You can withdraw at any time without any fees. The only fee is a $1 a month service charge. Once you have hundreds or thousands in there, $1 is not much at all for what it does for you. I have been using the service, and dump a little extra in when I can, and using their Aggressive profile (there are several portfolio types, from Conservative to Aggressive). Since I am trying to make as much as possible, and since this is money I am trying to not even think about, I went with Aggressive, and it has earned me about 5% over the past year and a half of using the service. That is my money working for me.

So, give it a chance, and see if you can store away some additional Acorns to save for yourself.

*FYI – Both you get $5 and I get $5 once you invest some money into Acorns if you use my referral link.