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In 2017, I moved from Tampa, Florida to Arlington, Virginia to join my boyfriend for what I thought was going to just be a casual adventure with my best friend.

What it turned out to be was a $187,000 debt payoff, soul searching expedition.

In short, I had a terrible car loan with tons and tons of negative equity ,student loans that I ignored for a long time, a mortgage and a small medical bill.

The most terrifying part- at the time of realization, I didn’t have a job.

Flash forward to now, I have paid almost everything off. The only thing I have left is $13,000 $4,000 of my $40,000 student loan. Which, according to my plan, I will have paid off in May 2019.

So, if you are swimming in an ocean of debt and are feeling completely overwhelmed and hopeless- I have been there too! And I want to help you.

There are a few things you need to do:

  • Step 1- List all of your debt
  • Step 2- Create a plan that works for you
  • Step 3- Set small goals
  • Step 4- Find a support system

 

Step 1- List all of your debt

It is not a great feeling if you have $12,000 worth of credit card debt, a monster car payment or (if you were like me) a massive student loan repayment.

This is by far the hardest and scariest part- so if you are able to get this part done, you’re in a better position already.

Here is an example of what my list looked like:

 

debts

amount

current repayment/ month

student loan

40000

0

mortgage

95000

773

car loan

50000

663

credit card

1500

35

total

186500

 
   

To be honest, I knew I had all of these debts but when I added all of it up together, I realized that I had a much bigger problem than I realized. I also knew that if this could happen to me, it could happen to anyone.

Now, I’ll admit, I did have a day or two where I wallowed, felt sorry for myself and was in an absolute panic. Then, it was time to do something about it and the only thing to do was to create my new action plan.

Step 2- Create a plan that works for you

Everybody comes from a different situation, so there is not a “one plan fits all” suggestion that I have but I do have some suggestions to get your mind thinking.

  • Look over your budget ( if you don’t have one, now is the time to make one- here is a free template of mine if you need help) and see what/ where you can cut back
  • Do you have someone that can help you? I was lucky enough that my boyfriend, Denis was more than willing to help me by covering our rent and living expenses while I pay my debt back.
  • If you need to still make more money, what are some side hustles you can do? I am all about the side hustle- I am a teacher and currently bring home about $2,400 a month. I side hustle an extra $600-$700 a month in order to make massive loan repayments.
  • Is there anything you can sell? Decluttering is my favorite thing to do. If you don’t use it, sell it!

So my plan of attack went like this:

  1. Sell house- thankfully it appreciated in the short time I owned it, so I made money off the house.
  2. Take the money from the house to come upright on the car and then sell the car
  3. Use the rest of the house money to pay off the credit card
  4. Attack student loans ←- this is where I am currently.
Step 3- Set small goals

Having a hefty goal is admirable but realizing that your lofty goal needs to have a few pebbles along the way so that when you’re in the middle of the lake, you can take a moment to look back and celebrate how far you have come.

Most people who run marathons don’t just wake up one day and decide to run 26.3 miles. They build up to it. They run for a mile for a week, 2 miles the next and they increase their goals are they go.

 

We seem to be fine with settling physical goals, relationship goals and even career goals; but when finances come into play, all goal setting ideas seem to get muffled a bit. We see the debt that we owe, the pennies that we earn and then just turn into a flustered mess.

Financial goals are the same as any others- you need to work in small celebrations to keep you going!

For example: I have been working on paying off my monster student loan. I started with roughly $40,000 in the hole.

I was a classic mess of constantly deferring payments or making minimum payments.

Finally, after almost a decade of running from my problems’ I decided to take it head on (with the help of my boyfriend, Denis).

Flash forward to now- February 2019 and I am planning to make my final payment in May 2019.

So, how have I done it? It’s simple- baby steps.

Once I committed myself to really doing this, I have put every single extra dollar that I could toward my loan. Anything from unexpected birthday money, bonuses at work and tax refunds all went straight to the loan.

Then, it seems all at once, the debt has just slowly started to disappear- and it is an amazing feeling!

Step 4- Find your support system

So paying off debt sucks. Doesn’t sound great but it is the truth.

Getting your glorious paycheck on Friday and then having to turn around and pay all of your collectors to be then left broke at the end of it is not fun at all.

Which is why finding someone, somewhere to turn to for encouragement is vital.

Because as much as you hear that paying down debt can be invigorating- it can also feel frustrating and lonely.

Especially, if you don’t know anyone else who is going through the same circumstances. (Or you might but because people are shy to talk about money, you might not know about it)

Lucky for you, there is an amazing whole interconnection of people all over the world that are going through the same exact thing you are! Same fears, struggles and feelings.

If you are serious about your debt payoff, then I would like to invite you to the community that has helped keep me accountable and a positive attitude about my payoff journey. It is such a nice and refreshing feeling to talk to other people (even if they are just internet friends) about common goals and interests.

To be able to share that you made a massive payment or you have hit  a payoff milestone and have other people celebrate with you- is an incredible way to help reach your goals.

Until next time.

 

The post Do you have a plan to pay [off] your debt? appeared first on Chain of Wealth.

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I get it – money can be a hard thing to learn how to manage.

I wrote this post about a year and a half ago when I started out on my soul searching trek to becoming debt free.

Picture this: 28 years old and faced with the pure torture of having to tally up ALL OF MY DEBT.

At the end of that spreadsheet was a terrifying number: -$187,000.

Close to $200,000 in debt at 28 years old. The best part about it- I thought I was pretty good with money.

This was the start of my new life.

Now- just under 2 years later, I AM DEBT FREE.

I am not saying these ideas below are the ONLY thing I did to help pay off my debt, but it did help cut back some of my random costs to allow me to put more money toward my loans.

I hope it helps you out too!

I have talked to tons of friends about the struggle of having a “career” yet they are (for the most part) completely broke after rent, student loan repayments and utility bills.

Thankfully, I have learned new passive income ideas that anyone can use to save thousands, but here are some awesome strategies you can start using today.

Read on to see how I have been saving money and slashing costs on almost everything.

I have listened to other podcasts talk about money and the hosts ask questions such as:

How much money should you have in your bank account?

It’s a good question to ask- the answer varies on the person but the struggle is – what if you don’t have extra money to keep in your account?

If you are dead broke- investing in stock markets, mutual funds, real estate, IRAs, 401(k), the terms and conditions are so overwhelming. 

PS- If you’re looking for an awesome 401(k) guide, our friends over at Budget Kitty created this epic article.

Chances are, you are like me and most other people- you don’t mean to but are pretty good at wasting your money.

In years past I have wasted so much of my hard earned money on junk- you know, the stuff that is found at the bottom of a drawer or behind something in a closet six months after you bought it.

Hopefully-

We all can be a little more thoughtful on how we spend our money and start putting it towards important things like student loans (don’t feel bad- almost all of us have them) or trips that you want to go on, or the event that seems like it will never happen, retirement.

 

Extended warranties- the trap

If you have ever bought anything that costs more than $1,000- you can opt to purchase the extended warranty.

Now, I know that when plunking down $1,300 for a new TV and the extended warranty on a new car seems tempting; but the reality is, that it is pretty unlikely that your new item will qualify for whatever the warranty covers in the allotted time that it is promised. 

I would rather save the “warranty” money in an emergency fund and take my chances.

Coffee- money dripping from your wallet

Everyone knows that going to coffee shops all the time is expensive.

Honestly, for how much I love coffee, a daily “fancy” coffee habit for me would be out of control.

(I also consider this related to having a few cocktails, but I touch on that a bit later.)

These are our favorite weekend fox mugs- aren't they cute!?

Fact: If the average person stops to get a coffee on their way to work for $6 a day, that’s $30 a week on watered down coffee, doesn’t sound terrible, right? Or approximately $130 a month.

Multiply that over a year and you’re looking at about $1,600.

To put into reference sake, that is more than a round-trip ticket to South Africa.

After adding the figures up between both of our coffee addictions, Denis bought a really nice espresso maker and coffee bean grinder so we could make great coffee at home.

I know what you are thinking… I’m not spending $1,000 on a coffee maker.

I know, and I totally get it.

I actually said the same thing when he mentioned it to me.

Then, we added up our combined coffee purchase and the purchase would have paid for itself in six months.

Seemed like a reasonable buy at that rate then.

Now, we hardly ever  never go out for coffee.  We invest in a little bit better of a whole bean and drink our lattes in our Pjs in bed (which is amazing when it’s cold out)

In fact, if one of us does order a latte or cappuccino at a coffee place, we are often disappointed most of the time because it tastes watered down and we can make nicer ones at home.

If interested in having an espresso machine and coffee bean grinder, this is the one we have and it is fantastic. It is great for morning coffee and entertaining friends when they come over.

Also, it makes great hot chocolate.

 

Hotels are on the way out

Why pay tons of money for a room and a bed that you probably aren’t going to be spending much time in?

Rather use Airbnb. It is MUCH cheaper and it helps your host earn a little extra cash. (It’s a win/win in my opinion)

For example: when I Airbnb hosted, I would rent out a private room with floor to ceiling windows, full kitchen and private bathroom for $80 a night- I feel like this is a steal!

On the flip side- the hotel one block away rented a smaller, moldy smelling room with a stiff bed for $150. 

Again, it is a win/ win for the host and the guest. 

 (if you’re thinking about hosting in Airbnb- check out this course to help you set up the best profile.)

Also, if you’re host is there, it is a perfect way to get the local hangouts and tips that typical tourists don’t get- thanks private tour guide!

If you’re looking for other money making ideas, check out that article by our friends over at Breaking The One Percent.

Get interested in your rates

Even the words “interest rate” make me tired.

Unfortunately, it’s something you need to pay attention to.

I know lots of people, myself included, got their first, basically everything when they were leaving to go to college- student loans, credit cards maybe even a car.

All of these things come with interest rates. Since you were probably like most other Americans, at seventeen or eighteen you didn’t have any credit or really care about it.

Now that we have quickly approached “real” adulthood, it’s time to get it together and negotiate some lower interest rates.

I go into this in detail in my Crafty Credit Course but for a quick briefing, here’s how it works.

In short-

When you are considered “new” to a lender, they feel like you are a risky customer, therefore give you a high interest rate.

Now, you are approaching your next decade, have job and are a lot more responsible than you were at eighteen. You have earned your way to get low interest rates, but they don’t just happen. Like many things in life, you have to ask or in business terms, “refinance.”

Here are is a list of things you might want to consider refinancing: 

I have done did a really good job at making minimum payments or deferring my loans altogether for the past seven years. (I didn’t get it all paid off, but I did my best. $20,000 down in 2018.)

Update: As of March of 2019- all my loans are paid off!

It wasn’t until late in the game that I learned that I can refinance my loans for a cheaper rate.

For example, now at almost 30 years old with great credit, I shouldn’t be paying 7% on my loan. I decided to refinance with Credible. If you are looking to refinance get an extra $200 towards your loan if you sign up here.  

 If you bought your car when you were young, or did not have great credit, you probably got nailed for a high interest rate. Now, if your score has gone up, try to refinance the loan so that you can get a lower interest rate.

Just like student loans, shop around for a card with a low interest rate and always pay your card off in full each month.

Side note- if you are responsible with your credit card payments- I highly suggest you check out credit card gaming. I have gone on many trips for free with credit card points. 

Check out the Chase Freedom card to earn 3% cash back if you’re interested. 

  • Whenever possible, put down as much as you can when buying a house. If you only put down the minimum amount, you will be paying something called PMI or Personal Mortgage Insurance. This is costing you thousands of extra dollars when buying a house.
  •  
“Sign up- it’s FREE”

I cannot tell you how many times I have signed up for a “free trial” that turned out to not be free.

Free trials are great but make sure you actually cancel the subscription if you’re only using the service for a short period. 

Every year millions of people forget to cancel their subscriptions and waste hundreds of dollars without even realizing it.

Here are some steps to see if you’re paying a bunch of monthly $5 or $10 fees:

  1. Check your credit card statement. Chances are if you are not actively looking at your statement every month, there is a chance a little $5, $10 or $20 a month fees could be creeping around and you don’t even notice it.
  2. Call (or go to the website) and cancel it.

That’s it. Two steps to save you potentially hundreds of dollars a year.

Some subscriptions you may have but not realize:

 

  • Spotify, Pandora or any other music apps
  • Old magazine subscriptions. I haven’t ever been a magazine prescription kind of girl, but whoever Rebecca was that lived here before me is still paying for her magazines.
  • Credit checking websites: Ironic, isn’t it? Forgetting that you’re paying to see if you have good credit. It’s almost comical.
  • Pet insurance: I know it sounds sad, but if you no longer have your pet, don’t forget to cancel their pet insurance.

If you are not good at managing your own list of subscriptions, I suggest that you download Truebill.

This is an app that takes care of cancelling unwanted subscriptions, lowering bills and refunding bank fees for you.

Buying Bottled- It hurts more than just the environment

Bottled water is a love/ hate relationship for me.

I love bottled water as much as the next person but I see it as a total waste of money.

I only buy bottled water when there is no other option and I am desperate.

I usually use water right out of the sink in a reusable water bottle. This is much better for the environment as a report from ABC NEWS stated that 1.5 million tons of plastic is used to package water annually.

That is a ton of toxic chemicals being released into the atmosphere. 1.5 million tons- that’s just from water bottles!

Furthermore, it can take anywhere from 450 years all the way to 1,000 years for a bottle to decompose.

Holy..

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Sam was a typical guy trying to side hustle some extra money using the spare bedroom in his home.

After weeks of listing his room on multiple websites, he got little to no bookings.

The few people that did show interest were either not the cliental he was hoping to attract or the people would fall off and cancel last minute. This left Sam feeling very frustrated.

He knew that there were ways to make money using short term rentals and that he must have been going wrong somewhere.

One day, while talking with some work colleagues, he learned that they were also finding ways to make money by renting out their spare bedrooms.

The only difference was that their businesses were booming and his was not. 

So naturally, he asked for some pointers-

They referred him to me.

Here’s what happened after one month:  

Sam signed up for my course, Hosting Your Pad in February with an early access code. Here are his results as of the beginning of April.

·       In March his occupancy increased to 87% from 23%.   

·       Earned $1,000 in extra income

·       Five-star review from both guests.

It was the best month he had with short term rentals by far.

To see a course teaser video click here 

The first thing Sam changed was the look of his profile. With the days of visual marketing at an all-time high- pictures need to be perfect. After all, this is how your guests are going to see your place for the first time: first impressions matter- always!

To ensure that your home is portrayed in the best light possible, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Obviously, making sure the place doesn’t look like a pigsty is first and foremost but after that, what is the next thing to do?

Lighting the space.

Lighting is important for many different reasons. 

 

Just like when taking a picture of yourself you want it to be bright with no shadows. Same goes for your home; dark pictures are not ideal for showing off what you have to offer.

When capturing what your home looks like, try to make the pictures as bright and open as possible- nobody wants to pay to come and stay in a dark cave.

Choose a day where it is bright and sunny to take the photos. Open the curtains all the way. If there is a lamp in the picture, be sure to turn that on as well.

Having a well-lit place will make potential guests feel like they know what your house looks like and gives the impression that it is comfortable and clean.

Take pictures of your whole home, not just pictures of the room they will be in.

This is the exact reason why hotels and apartment websites list pictures of every aspect of their property. People want to see what amenities are offered, how spacious other rooms are and even what is in the surrounding area.
Bottom line: you want to make your guest feel as if they can’t wait to stay in your home.

Safety is your priority.

The first concern for most people who are renting out a portion of their home for a short term is safety.             

Popular questions that seem to be slight concerns are usually regarding theft and damage; and rightly so. This is your home and your stuff. You are considering short term renting to make extra money, not have to replace everything you have.

Luckily, on most sites like Airbnb, they have all-encompassing security details. You can choose how secure you want your guests to be. As the host, you have the option to only take guests who have positive reviews, have their identification as well as their credit card information on file as extra safety precautions.

With those regulations and a fair price point, you are likely to keep any unwelcomed personalities from staying with you.  

If by accident, something does get broken, many companies have insurance to help cover costs of damaged items.

Finally, another big question often asked is how to rank and appear higher in search results on the booking platform.

Sam used some of my super-secret hacks that I shared in Hosting Your Pad to help boost him to the top of the list. I discovered these tricks to appearing high in the search after a few months while I was doing some research hosting my first guests. I was happy to pass along the tip to other hosts who are busy working their way up to Super Host status.

That’s it!

After completing Hosting Your Pad and taking into account a few of the tips I just shared above, Sam was able to make an additional $1,000 in one month on top of his regular salary job by only renting out his apartment to two people.

UPDATE: Since taking the course, he has been able to increase his price per night and now earns on average $500 a week by renting out his spare bedroom.

Sam said that the money he invested in Hosting Your Pad easily made up for itself after just one guest.

What could you do with an extra $1,000 a month? Would it help you pay off some debt, save for a vacation or boost your retirement savings?

Have you already started short term renting your home but are not seeing the results that you were hoping for?

Go ahead, leave your thoughts or comments in the section below.

Want to learn other side hustle ideas? Check out these posts! 

Ultimate Airbnb Guide

5 FAQ about Airbnb

Interview series about side hustles

17 Hacks to Save A Buck in 2018

The post How One Guy Used His Short Term Rental Property To Generate An Extra $1,000 In One Month appeared first on Chain of Wealth.

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The Magnet Technique: Attracting Visitors to Your Website

Have you recently started a blog? Or are you thinking about starting one?

One of the things that I was most unsure of when I started Chain of Wealth was how to get people to my website. After a few weeks of basically no traffic- heavy research started to take place.

It was then that I discovered what I like to call the Magnet Technique.

The Magnet Technique isn’t something that is brand new, in fact it’s something top bloggers have been using for years.

One of the biggest problems that new bloggers face (and yes I fall into this category), is getting new traffic to their website or what I like to call “traction”.

Let’s be honest, it sucks working so hard on your site if nobody sees it!

Today I’m going to show you how you can attract completely free traffic to your website: just like a magnet.

I know SEO is a huge part of getting organic traffic to your blog, but there is another tool that you can put in your box- social media.

Now, I am kind of a hard sell when it comes to buying things online. When I learn about an online course, I think it over for days, thoroughly read through countless reviews and triple check to make sure it’s not a scam.

With that said, I have taken a few that were fantastic and I can honestly say that I don’t know where I would be (or my blog) if I hadn’t taken them.

But before you plunk down money for a course that you are not exactly sure what you are getting, here is my honest review on 2 Pinterest courses that I have recently taken.

First being Pinterest Presence and then The Perfect Pin

Now I know what you’re thinking- Pinterest?? For a personal finance blog?

As I said earlier, for a long time, Denis and I had trouble figuring out how to drive traffic to our blog. We learned about SEO, we thought we produced great content (some posts over 5,000 words) and tried to make our site user friendly- not to mention, the hundreds of dollars we paid to Google and Facebook on their ad platforms but we were still falling short with (embarrassingly) low visitors to Chain of Wealth.

Through our struggles, we learned what a powerful tool Pinterest is.

Below,  is a screenshot at our progress on Pinterest after taking both courses. We started out from nothing, so with only a few weeks of what was learned, I think it is a huge improvement.

I have used Pinterest for years- DIY projects, recipes, quotes, cute animal pictures… but do people go on Pinterest for a personal finance blog? I was skeptical at first, I’ll admit.

The answer: Yes, people do look for personal finance tips on Pinterest. To date, Pinterest is a huge contributor to our monthly views.

Basically, any niche you are in, there are boards for you to join.

Now surprisingly enough, I stumbled upon both courses by complete accident (as I have done with most of my great discoveries)

Here’s the thing with online courses: You can Google your way to trying to find out how to do something, and you’ll probably (after some searching) come to the right solution.

However- a well-structured course can save you tons of time by learning tricks from the Pros that you won’t find in a regular search.

So with that:

Pinterest Presence by Kristin Larsen

I learned about Kristin Larsen’s Pinterest Presence course before I even really started blogging.

Kristin had very kindly accepted to be one of our first guests on Chain of Wealth; agreeing to be interviewed before we even picked a date to launch the first podcast episode. (You can hear her interview here) In researching her personal finance blog, I was so inspired.

As I read her posts and then chatted with her on the podcast, I decided to give it a try.

Thank goodness I did! Below, you will see the results in my Pinterest just a few days after taking her course. That was a HUGE jump for Chain of Wealth and seeing this just motivated me to learn more.

Again, this was my first Pinterest course. It costs $197, but it is so worth it.

In the course, Kristin goes over exactly how to set everything up as a business account. She has lots of videos that walk you through how to create pins, where to find images and easy ways to join group boards. Until Pinterest Presence, it never really occurred to me to join group boards or that there was a super easy way to schedule your pins.

Let me tell you, it is one of my most favorite things to be scrolling through Pinterest and see my own pins. Or the notification that comes through when someone else pins my stuff.

Top Reasons to take Pinterest Presence

Lifelong access to the course

Learn how to make rich text pins

Learn how to join (and get accepted to) group boards

Learn how to make a Pinterest schedule

E-mail Kristin with any question

The Perfect Pin: How to Create Viral Pinterest Images by BTOP

Like Kristin, I met Ben two different ways- both by accident.

I was emailing back and forth with Ben setting up times to have been on the podcast. (You can listen to the episode here)

Again, I’ll admit, I didn’t know a whole lot about Ben at first.

At the same time as setting up schedules, I would peruse the Rockstar Finance Forum and kept seeing everyone rave about this great Pinterest course The Perfect Pin. Intrigued, I checked it out. As I am sure you have guessed, to my surprise, I was buying Ben’s course days before we had planned to talk- all coincidence.

Here’s the main reason I signed up for his course: Ben is getting over 1 million page views a year all from Pinterest.

Another reason I purchased his course was because so many people in the forum recommended it- and since Denis and I have been trying so hard to leverage Pinterest to bring traffic to our page, we bought it.

Ben’s course is a quick and easy read. Honestly, I bought it, and planned to look through it quickly then go to the gym and read it thoroughly later. The next thing I knew, I was sucked in, missed my body pump class and was fully engulfed for the next two hours.

Top reasons to take The Perfect Pin

Learn how to make pins using Power point

Quick and easy to get started

Learn secret places to get free images

Lifetime access to the course

Wrapping it up

As you can see, either course (or both) can be used as a great resource.

Looking back, as a new blogger, I felt like there were so many different resources to use. One of the best and free resources are social media support groups- they are all over. Use them!

Support groups- are fantastic for getting new ideas, asking questions and sharing your proudest moments. Usually everyone on the thread is eager to help, friendly and the best part- it’s all free advice.

Other than support groups, there are a lot of great courses that you can pay for that are really fantastic.

I will continue to update this post and share any other courses that I have taken and find good use of.

If you’d like me to make pins for you get in touch with me! I use the strategies that are taught in both these courses. 

The post 2 Pinterest Courses Reviewed- How To Get Free Traffic To Your Website appeared first on Chain of Wealth.

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Top 5 Airbnb FAQ

There have been so many questions sent my way while Airbnb hosts are preparing for their first guest. I have been loving all of the questions! I thought to make everyone’s life a bit easier, I would shoot out a quick message to clear up any questions.

[affiliate name=”airbnb”]
What Do I Need?

As far as the bedroom, well…. you need a bed for starters. A nice bed with a warm comfortable blanket and pillow are needed. Little extra things such as a nightstand and a lamp are also highly suggested. I tried to make our bedroom feel as warm and homey as possible. I hung up a few pictures (mine were of popular DC attractions) to add some flare to the room and put some extra towels in the closet. I left some hangers in case they needed to hang anything up and an ironing board with an iron because a lot of our guests were staying for work related meetings.

As far as toiletries go, I had small hotel sized shampoo and conditioner and soap bars ready for them in the bathroom. We felt that this was a nice little extra something. We bought ours on Amazon- (you can find the kit here – It’s only about $40 so I highly recommend this!)

We did not have a TV in the bedroom for a few reasons. We figured guests would not be spending a lot of time in their room and we didn’t have an extra television laying around. However, if they would like to watch a TV show, we were happy to share our Netflix account in the living room.

How Does The Guest Pay Me?

This was my favorite part. I love waking up in the morning and checking my email and finding out that money is being sent to me for doing basically nothing. Once your guest has “checked in” within a few days, Airbnb will send you an email saying that your payment has been sent. Usually within the next day or so the money will appear in your bank account. (Make sure you provide this information to Airbnb)

There is no awkward exchange of money- it’s done the same way as ride sharing apps such as Uber (This link will give you a free first ride.)

Should I Be Home When The Guest Is There?

This is totally up to you. We saw using Airbnb as a way to make extra money on top of our usual jobs. Therefore, we lived our life as we normally would. We would go to work during the day, grocery shop, cook (this was hard to get used to but we saw pointless to go out all the time when we were trying to save money)

The only thing we did not do while hosting was have friends over or do laundry (this was only because the laundry was in the guest bathroom)

How Do I Start/Update My Listing?

First, I am going to assume that if you’re reading this, you have at least looked through the Airbnb website, and if not, that’s totally okay. You can start now. I’ll walk you through it.

  • Click here to open the website
  • Pick what kind of home you have (apartment, condo, guest house or other)
  • Pick what kind of room you have for them (Do they get the entire place or just a room?)
  • How many people are you willing to allow?
  • What city do you live in?
  • Hit Continue
  • Now, the great thing about Airbnb, is they help you set your price.
  • Then, it will ask you if you have any personal belongs in the room. If you do, click “No, I keep my personal belongings here” It’s okay. We had some personal things in our closet- such as toys for my nephews and some extra clothes.
  • The next few prompts are pretty self-explanatory
  • If they are unsure where exactly you live, they will ask you to drag and drop the location of your house. Then click next.
  • Next, click all amenities offered. Just like a hotel, it lists what you have when people search for a place to stay.
  • Then it asks where all the spaces your guest can use. Be honest, if you say in your ad that they can cook or use the garage and then when they arrive they can’t, this can lead to a bad review. You wouldn’t want to go somewhere and plan cooking every night to save money then find out you can’t.
  • Then hit Finish
  • Step 2- set the scene- here’s where the pictures come in
    • Click the upload photo button
    • A box will pop up. This is where you have saved your pictures. Go through, click on the pictures you want to save

Pro-tip: As someone who is technology challenged- I’d save all my pictures on my desktop for easy finding.

  • Now, edit your description. This is where you can talk about how great your home is and why people should stay with you. We found that descriptors such as “luxury, epic, and incredible” were helpful to catching people’s eye.
  • Now give your place a name (For example we named ours: Luxury apartment near Rosslyn station)
  • Verify your phone number (this is to make sure that it is you signing up)
  • Click next
  • It is going to ask you about house rules, again BE HONEST. If you can’t take the smell of cigarettes, say it here.
  • Now review your guest requirements. This is where you can say what your guest needs to have on file with Airbnb to be welcomed into your home. (For reference, we asked for a government ID, email address, confirmed phone number and payment information)
  • That’s it! Then it goes on to tell you some more general information but for now, make sure that room is ready because people can start booking at any time! J

Pro-tip: In the Airbnb video tutorial, Denis gives an incredible pro-tip to rank higher in Airbnb searches so you can get more guests.

How Many Pictures Do I Need?

I’d say about 15-20 pictures. This is your most important part. This is what is going to set you apart from everyone else. You want to show your home in the best possible way. When you take pictures:

  1. Make your bed like your grandmother is coming over. Tuck sheets in. Make the blanket straight and crisp. Position your pillows. I can’t tell you how many Airbnb listings I have seen where the bed looks like it’s been slept in- Yuck.
  2. Take pictures during the day. Natural light will always make your room appear lighter and cleaner.
  3. Show the bathroom. People want to see where they will be taking a shower.
  4. Show living areas. Just like when you look at a hotel website, they show pictures of the pool, lobby, workout room- this is because people like to have a general idea of what to expect. Show off your living room, kitchen and flowers. After all, you work hard to keep these areas clean and looking nice (and alive).

Here are some examples of the pictures we used

That’s it for now. If you have any other questions or want to share your first (or second) hosting experience, I’d love to hear!

Also, there has been a ton of buzz going around about Cryptocurrency. Now that you have all this extra cash laying around, it is a perfect time to start thinking about investing. Check out Denis’ crypto article on how to buy Bitcoin and don’t forget to join Cryptoschool.

Also, be on the lookout- we have a THREE part podcast coming out where our interviewee, Dominic Florczak has made over $200,000 in cryptocurrencies- you won’t want to miss it!

Until next time, Chainers- catch ya on the flipside.

The post 5 Questions Everyone Is Asking About Airbnb appeared first on Chain of Wealth.

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Chain of Wealth by Denis O'brien - 1M ago
So, You Want to Buy Bitcoin?

First off, welcome to the world of Cryptocurrency!

You’re probably here because you’ve heard about the recent gains your friends have been making in the cryptosphere and want to get in on the action.

I, myself have friends who have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars because they invested at the right time.

But I totally get it: all the crypto-talk has your head spinning and you’re not sure who you can trust and you don’t want to lose thousands of dollars. Well, you’ve come to the right place, Chain of Wealth is an educational platform that aims to empower our audience. We run a successful Podcast & Blog and interview some of the most inspiring people in the world.

In this guide we will go through all the things you should do when you buy Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.

If you’d like to skip ahead you can register an account on Coinbase (do it now, I’ll wait).

That link will get you $10 for free of Bitcoin if you spend $100 or more.

Firstly, Understand What You Are Buying

If you take one thing away from this guide I want it to be that you need to understand what you are buying before diving in.

You also need to realize that the cryptocurrency markets are extremely volatile and you stand to lose everything you invest. Therefore, I recommend that you only invest money you can afford to lose.

A really good friend of mine who has a masters in finance recently contributed a guest post to Chain of Wealth and he dives into exactly what is cryptocurrency and how blockchain works.

It’s a fantastic article and I won’t dive into the specifics in this post, but I do recommend you take a look at it if you’d like some further reading.

 
So, How Do I Buy Bitcoin?

OK, you’re ready to dive in!

The way you buy crypto is on an exchange. Think of an exchange as a stock exchange, where buyers meet sellers. They agree on a certain price and a transaction takes place.

This is no different in the world of Cryptocurrencies.

There are many exchanges out there and as time has progressed some exchanges have become more trustworthy than others.

I recommend Coinbase as your first port of entry to the market. Here you can buy Bitcoin, Ethereum & Litecoin.

Coinbase has handled $50 billion in transactions, is supported in 32 countries and has served over 10 million customers.

Also, Coinbase has an insurance policy to cover you in case of a breach. They also keep 98% of the coins in offline storage which makes it very safe (see more on safety in our cryptoschool mailing list).

In short, it’s the easiest and safest way to get your feet wet.

Step 1- Sign up for Coinbase

In case you need the link again, you can sign up for Coinbase by visiting their website. (Use that link to get $10 of Bitcoin after spending $100!)

Once you’ve verified your email I strongly recommend enabling 2-factor authentication on your account.

This is to protect you from unauthorized access and I strongly advise you to take this security measure.

once you’re logged in, your dashboard will show the current prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin as follows:

Step 2- Funding Your Account

The next step will be to fund your account.

Coinbase makes it really simple to fund your account, it accepts bank transfers, Credit & Debit Cards, Paypal & Wire Transfers.

Personally, I have funded my account with both bank transfers and credit cards, however it’s up to you to decide what’s your preferred method to fund it.

You will save money on fees if you wait for a bank transfer to go through, however if you need to make an urgent trade, a credit cards might make more sense.

Credit card funding is instant and bank transfers take 4-5 days.

Step 3- Buying “Coins”

I use coins in quotation marks because you don’t need to buy an entire coin.

You can buy part of a coin.

One misconception people have is they think they have to buy an entire coin- you can buy part of a coin and it still has value.

As an example, if I wanted to buy $1,000 worth of Bitcoin, I would simply enter the dollar value of Bitcoin I wish to purchase.

Coinbase will then automatically calculate the Bitcoin value that you are purchasing.

You will notice that there is a weekly limit on how much cryptocurrency you can buy.

This can be increased by verifying your identity with Coinbase and also helps securing your account. This is done to prevent fraudulent transactions as forces you to build up “trust” with Coinbase.

If you hit Increase limits, you then have some options available to you.

You Now Own Bitcoin!

Pretty simple right?

This guide covered the basics on Bitcoin and how to buy it.

If you want to buy some of the other cryptocurrencies such as Ripple, you will need to transfer your Bitcoin to another exchange to do so.

If you’re looking for other critical basics such as what is a cryptowallet and how you can use it to secure your cryptocurrency (which I highly recommend doing). 

Were you able to buy Bitcoin?

Let me know in the comment section below?

The post How To Buy Bitcoin appeared first on Chain of Wealth.

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