Sunday, April 15, 2018

Stash Invest: A Great Way to Get Started in Investing


I have been using the Stash Invest app for almost a year now. It's a great platform for new investors and takes away a lot of the barriers to investing. They say you can start investing with as little as $5, but considering you have to pay $1 a month for accounts under $5,000, it is too little to get any benefits out of it. The biggest feature they offer is the ability to buy fractional shares.

Let's start by talking about fees. For a standard Stash account, you will pay $1 for accounts under $5,000 and then 0.25% a year for accounts above that threshold this may sound like a lot, but you have to realize there are no trade fees. The best thing about no trade fees is you can let your money hit the market as soon as you get it instead of having to wait until it makes sense financially allowing you to take full advantage of your money.

They also provide a lot of valuable information. This is much more relevant as you are starting out, but they helped me not overreact during the correction earlier this year and to learn about things like dollar cost averaging and how dividends work. It's a great added benefit and they are very high-quality posts, but you can also find all of the same information elsewhere.

Stash Invest allows you to start investing very easily. In fact, it can be quite addictive. The thrill you get from seeing the money in your Stash grow really makes it fun. The longer you spend with Stash you worry less about the little ups and downs looking for long-term gains instead. 

Currently, my favorite investment is Robots Rising. I have always loved robotics and found it interesting to have to opportunity to invest in them. You can learn more about this investment here.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries



I am a big fan of saving money on things. It's often better worth your time-saving money rather than making extra money because any money saved is tax-free. There are many ways to save money on groceries, but some methods I use are printing online coupons, adding coupons to my savings card and using rebate apps that give a discount for buying specific products.

One straightforward way to save money on groceries is printing online coupons. My favorite place to print coupons is Swagbucks because at the time of writing this they currently offer 10 cents extra in the form of Swagbucks when you redeem and an additional 2 cents just for printing them. For most people that should more than cover the cost of printing allowing you to keep more of the savings. It's also easy to find reasonably high-value coupons on things like cat food and dog food. I've even used coupons as high as $5 off.

The next best thing you can do is add coupons directly to your savings card. At Giant, for example, you can add many of the coupons you would see on Coupons.com directly to your card. That way you don't even have to bother with printing them. The nice thing here is that you don't have to worry about printing cost and can add any coupons you think you might use. The only drawback here is that if you find at higher value coupon somewhere else you usually can't use that instead of the digital version, so it's worth checking your print coupons before activating them.

Finally, you can save money through cash back rebate apps like Ibotta. I have been amazed by how much money you can save. This is how it works before you go shopping you activate any offers you may like. They even have any brand offers and sometimes any item offers. Then you purchase the items you activated, you can even scan them to ensure they are the correct item. Last you upload your receipt and may have to scan the items. After a little while, they will deposit the money to your account and you can redeem for PayPal or gift cards once you reach $20.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

3 Apps that Pay you to Workout



There are a number of apps that will pay you to work out. The majority of these apps will pay you simply for walking and chances are if you have a smartphone its already counting those steps.While the length of time to cash out on most of these apps is quite long you are getting paid for something you should be doing anyway.

1. Achievement
I have been using this site for a couple of years now. This app allows you to earn rewards for simply linking your health apps. It can be difficult to know exactly what apps qualify, but I find with only a couple apps linked the earning are quite reasonable. The payment threshold is only $10 so for allowing them to passively track your health data you get an extra $10 every so often. You can also complete short surveys in-app to earn extra points.

2. Sweatcoin
This is the app pays you to walk outdoors that everyone's been talking about lately. It's a great app and actually has the potential to pay quite well. At about 10K steps outdoors a day you can get about $50 a year. Pretty good for just walking. This app has an interesting twist to it where you can upgrade to higher earning limit tiers using the Sweatcoins you earn. It's actually a pretty good deal even if you only max out a few days out of the month.

3. Earthmiles
Earthmiles allows you to earn credits by connecting your health apps. While this app has large rewards store it mostly offers discounts on different health and wellness products. I like the feel of the app and it's easy to use, but don't quite feel as rewarded as by the other apps. I am interested in seeing where this app goes in the future.

Want to learn about more apps that pay you to work out?  Check out this post on 10 apps will pay you or save you money!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Why I use Bing for Web Searches and News?


I have been a big fan of Bing. I started using them mostly because of Bing Rewards which has now become Microsoft Rewards. Obviously, I appreciate the fact that they pay me to use them, but other reasons include their beautiful background images and easy access to top news.

Let's start with Microsoft Rewards. They will pay you a small amount for each web search which amounts to about half a penny a search with limits of up to about 15 cents a day on desktop and another 10 cents a day on mobile. They also have little quizzes and activities that pay a bit more. This may not sound like a lot, but it gives me at least an extra $5 a month for reading the news and searching the web. Things I do anyway.

As far as the search engine goes it's not bad. When compared side by side, Google may be slightly better, but I really love the interface. I normally don't have an issue finding what I am looking for. The Mobile app has great features. It allows you to see nearby gas prices. You can see local restaurants and browse movies. It even has a built-in barcode reader if you want to compare prices when shopping or scan QR codes.

I also like the interface for browsing the news. Which happens to also count as web searches for rewards. You can browse through top news based on headline images and clicking each brings you to a web search on that topic. It also has an option to search news based on categories, so if you want to see just tech news you can look just under that category.

Looking for other ways to make money check out this post 10 Apps that Pay you or Save you Money

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Smart Kitchen: Wi-Fi Connected Cook Tops


I've always imagined smart homes moving toward talking appliances. While you can't yet talk to these cooktops they do have some interesting features. Including inductions heating, Wi-Fi, flex zones, and Bluetooth.

First, they offer induction cooktops which have the advantage of not only heating food and water faster they don't get hot without a pan on them in case you turn on the wrong burner. If you are interested in an induction cooktop I would recommend checking out this article by Consumer Reports.
The interface is beautiful and looks very futuristic. It allows you to control it with the touchscreen or using removable knobs, which also makes cleaning easier. It even has a virtual flame feature so you can visually confirm what is heating. 

This Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled cooktop also allows you to monitor and control it from anywhere. While it doesn't seem like an earth-shattering feature it does allow you control things without being right next to it. Personally, I think it should be Alexia enabled and allow voice controls, but we will probably be there soon. Learn more about this Samsung model here

Check out how technology is affecting the environment here.

Stash Invest: A Great Way to Get Started in Investing

I have been using the Stash Invest app for almost a year now. It's a great platform for new investors and takes away a lot of the b...

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