4 Ways to Save on Valentine’s Day

February 14th, a day of love that comes around once a year.  It’s a time to celebrate the love of your life, or in your life, but the celebration of that person can sometimes get quite expensive.  There’s flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals, dinner, gifts, etc.  Add them all up and a random Wednesday can easily turn into a $250 event.  Listed below are 4 ways to save on Valentine’s Day.

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4 Ways to Save on Valentine’s Day

Go To Dinner A Day Other Than Valentine’s Day

Many couples prefer to go out to eat for Valentine’s Day, but most of your nicer restaurants tend to have set menus that often carry a high price tag.  Try celebrating at your favorite restaurant the day before or after.  You can usually order from the regular menu and avoid the preset and inflated Valentine’s menu.  Valentine’s Day this year happens to fall on Ash Wednesday.  Many couples will decide to celebrate the day after due to the start of Lent.

Bring Your Own Bottle of Wine to Dinner

A cheap bottle of wine at a nice restaurant will easily be anywhere from $28 to $35.  See if you can bring your own bottle and pay a corkage fee instead.  Corkage fees tend to be much cheaper than purchasing a bottle from the restaurant, and you can bring the bottle that will go perfectly with your meal.  A nicer $80 bottle at the restaurant will typically sell at a local store for half that.  So in essence, you can drink an $80 bottle with your meal for $40 + corkage fee (~$10).

Send Flowers Differently

Waiting until the last minute to order flowers can be a costly mistake.  Local and national flower company’s often raise the price of delivery the closer it gets to the date you want it to deliver.  They also charge additional money to get them not only delivered on Valentine’s Day, but early during the day.  Instead, opt to have the flowers delivered to the office of a loved one a day early.  By doing that, the flowers can be present for the entirety of Valentine’s Day and you will avoid additional charges.

Order Gifts Ahead of Time

As like any other holiday, planning can be the key to saving money.  Ordering gifts early can help you not only save on shipping but also gives you time to find the best deal.  Some companies will offer free two day shipping just before major holidays, but often times won’t accept other promotional codes.  Additional charges on shipping can also add to your Valentine’s cost.  For example, a friend recently had to pay an extra $9 for two day shipping where it could have been for free had he planned a week earlier.

Conclusion

Whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day or not, the holiday is one that many people love, or dread, each year.  If you are celebrating, then I hope you are able to use these 4 ways to save on Valentine’s day to put a little extra money in your pocket at the end of it.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

 

Kawhi Leonard’s Net Worth

When it comes to great NBA teams, the San Antonio Spurs are often included in that list.  The Spurs are consistently among the top teams in the Western Conference year in and year out.  They have made 20 straight playoff appearances and have won five NBA Championships during that time.  A great part of their success is their head coach, Gregg Popovich, but top players have helped contribute throughout the years.  One of the top players on their current team is Kawhi Leonard.  Prior to this season, Leonard had led the Spurs in scoring the past three seasons; however, injuries have plagued the star this year.  The 26 year old should be able to return before the end of the season.  If he does, the Spurs have another great shot of going deep in the playoffs.  Kawhi Leonard’s net worth currently sits at $20 million.

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Spurs’ Star Kawhi Leonard

A first round selection in the 2011 NBA draft, Leonard has spent the entirety of his career in a Spurs uniform after being drafted by the Pacers.  Currently in his seventh NBA season, Kawhi has been steadily improving his stats each and every year.  Last season he averaged a career high 25.5 points per game.  Because of his stellar play, Kawhi is more than deserving of his current NBA contract which is worth over $94 million for five years.  This massive contract has helped give rise to Kawhi Leonard’s net worth.  Currently in year three of five for his contract, Leonard’s contract includes a fifth year player option worth over $21 million for the season.  Chances are he will decline this fifth year option.  What this will allow him to do is instead is to be able to sign an even larger and potentially longer contract.  If Kawhi does decide to play out the remaining two years of his contract after this season, we can expect Kawhi’s net worth to double to $40 million.

It tends to be very easy to assess a player’s offensive ability; however, Leonard is known for his defensive prowess as well.  He has received the Defensive Player of the Year award twice and has been named to the NBA All-Defensive team four times in his short career.  He also helped lead San Antonio to an NBA Championship during the 2013-2014 NBA season and was named the Finals MVP for his performance.

The 2017-2018 season has been a rough one for Leonard thus far.  He has only played in a total of nine games and will miss many more.  He is expected to return to play before the end of the season due to a thigh injury he has been battling.  The Spurs currently sit in third place in the NBA West and should be able to make their 21st straight playoff appearance.  Fortunately, it appears that Kawhi will be able to join them and try to lead them to another NBA Championship.

UBS Chairman Warns Against BitCoin: Insights

Bitcoin has surely been one of the greatest ‘newsmakers’ of 21st century. There is hardly anyone with access to any of the internet, tv, radio, or newspaper who has not heard about bitcoin. Bitcoins, which grabbed the attention of many, like Texas hold ’em, is still keeping its head steady, and continues to hit headlines even today. But, the latest news is not something sweet for bitcoin owners and enthusiasts. Not only that UBS chairman has warned against bitcoin frenzy, but also that its prices are stumbling. Speaking to CNBC at the 2018 Annual World Economic Forum meet, UBS Chairman Axel Weber, ridiculed bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, stating that “this is a speculative investment”. Though he didn’t mention any, there are reasons for him calling bitcoin a ‘speculative investment’.


“Bitcoin IMG_5303” by BTC Keychain is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The first reason being the volatility of its prices. 2017 has witnessed the prices of bitcoin skyrocketing from around $1000 in early months and reaching almost $20,000 by the last quarter of the year. Staying true to its character and testifying its volatility, the prices have come down to half within the first month of 2018. The volatility factor becomes much more evident when another fact is considered.  The prices of bitcoin, which started its journey from less than one USD in 2009-10 period, has risen and fallen, way too abruptly, many times, till it has reached the present limit.

The second reason why bitcoin can be called a speculative investment is that the bitcoin is not backed by any security or assets. There is nothing in the world, to whose value, the price of bitcoin can be pegged to. This is reinstated by the words of CNBC’s “Mad Money” host, Jim Cramer, “[Cryptocurrencies] ultimately don’t sync with the value of the thing they actually represent, or tangential equities like an Overstock … or a Square or AMD or Nvidia”. Hence, their value depends merely on the prevailing sentiment in the market. Their prices go up with positive sentiments and comes crashing down with negative sentiments.

Another reason why bitcoin qualifies to be termed a speculative investment option is that, those who are investing in bitcoins, in general, are not looking for an annual income from bitcoins in the form of dividends or interest payments, neither does the bitcoin returns any annual income. What bitcoin investors are looking for is merely an expected future price gain. And this is exactly what speculative investors look for. Backing this view is the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s definition of a speculator (in commodity futures) as “A trader who does not hedge, but who trades with the objective of achieving profits through the successful anticipation of price movements.”

There is no doubt whatsoever that both Blacjack and investing require lots of wisdom. Careful investment of time and money in Poker as well as good asset backed shares and securities are always known to return great rewards. But, as against the normal asset backed investments, speculative investments, though extremely profitable at times, are highly risky and are not ideal for ill-informed retail investors. As governments are preparing to regulate crypto currencies, any future investments in bitcoins should be done after giving a careful second thought.

Tax Efficiency Currency Spread Betting

When you start any sideline or freelance business, one of the most important issues to deal with is handling your income and paying your taxes. The differences are varied from country to country in how to pay your taxes and what income is even subject to being taxed. It pays to educate yourself about the best ways to shelter what income you can from the taxman, legally, of course. That knowledge and skill set may be the most valuable you acquire as you explore ways to trade online.

Spread betting is indeed free from capital gains tax in the United Kingdom. The trading practice is illegal in the United States, because regulators consider the practice to be as close to gambling as possible. Spread betting got its start in the sports gambling world, but it quickly migrated over to the financial markets, where intrepid speculators can guess on the price change of a particular financial instrument.

Let’s say that you want to speculate that the price of a mining stock index is going to rise from $1000 to $1400 by the close of trading. You can find a spread betting exchange and bet $100 per point that it moves.

When you get involved in spread betting it is important to note that this is a leveraged method of working in the markets. That means that you can only put down a portion of your position into an account in order to take that position on a bet. That could mean that you only risk $50 and make $500 but it could also mean that you risk losing $500 when you bet $50. The losses can exceed the bet.

Not only is spread betting free for cap gains taxes in the UK, you do not have to pay stamp duty or commotions on your winnings. That makes the idea of spread betting tantalizing. You can bank more of your profits from the practice than you could trading on other types of financial instruments. If you are in any way proficient at spread betting, you can benefit from the tax break and make a killing compared to other forms of financial investing.

It pays to understand how exactly spread betting works as well. The bid is what an investor or traders might offer to buy a security and the ask is what the market maker or broker is setting as the price. The difference between those two prices is the spread. Supply and demand. It harkens back to freshman year economics. When investors are super interested in a stock or product, the spread gets tighter and tighter. With computers algorithms getting better and better at matching buyers and sellers the spread is moving constantly. Being able to predict the movement can be a very lucrative skill to have.

While risk management in regular trading is such an important and complex topic, the same is true for spread betting. You want to be sure that you know how much money you have out there at any one time, so you can keep track of your orders and bets. Taking control of your risk profile is vital.

Day traders tend to be very good at predicting the movement of spreads, because they spend all day staring at screens and trying to determine where the bid tick is going. Watching it day after day can give an intuitive feeling to traders and investors that are always paying attention to the markets. So getting into spread betting can be an effective way to diversify your income stream, with the added benefit of avoiding capital gains taxes. Spread betters in the United Kingdom can be sitting pretty, if they are good at the game.