Tag Archives: money

Cryptocurrency

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency, in its simplest form, is just digital currency. It’s secured by something called blockchain, which is a ledger, or collection of transactions, available for everyone to see and makes it difficult to counterfeit since it’s distributed across a network of computers.

Basically, it’s like buying something from a store except everyone in a system with a computer can see your receipt, and anytime anyone else buys from the store, a copy of their receipt is also visible through every computer. If one of the computers changes any information on your receipt, it’d get cut off from the network, and your receipt would remain the same since other computers in the system have their own copy of the original. 

In reality, blockchain is being used for things like fund transfers, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT’s) and even food supply chains to keep track of suppliers, not random customer’s receipts, so there shouldn’t be any concern from consumers in that aspect.

The security provided by blockchain technology gives people peace of mind that their currency will not be stolen or counterfeit, both things that are important when it comes to digital currency.

If you’ve seen NFT jokes on social media, you know what I’m talking about. In fact, blockchain technology is what maintains an NFT’s value. The purchase of an NFT is recorded and the new owner of the token gets to say they own it, but people can still right-click and save the content that was paid for. NFT’s are a whole other thing with a whole set of issues that people have, so we’ll leave it at that for now.

It all seems pointless and you might be wondering how crypto gained its worth. In this article, I will be talking about Bitcoin specifically since it’s the most popular type of cryptocurrency right now.

What makes Bitcoin valuable?

Right now, one Bitcoin is worth $65,200 U.S. dollars. I don’t know about y’all, but that’s more than my family’s annual income. To help digest the idea of crypto, think of it as a limited resource.

People like gold, diamonds, and limited edition items because they are often scarce and difficult to come by. At the end of the day, gold and diamonds are rocks that come from the literal Earth and limited edition items are never a necessity, but their scarcity is what makes them so valuable. In order for anything to retain its value, people have to trust it will retain its value. 

If you have a digital file that represents a dollar, there’s nothing stopping you from copying that file as many times as you want to get more money, right? Wrong. This is why blockchain is important. It prevents the “Double Spend Problem,” which is the risk that digital currency will be spent twice. Since crypto is decentralized, no single person or organization owns or controls the flow of the currency. It prevents corruption, mismanagement of money, and takes away control from the government, which can technically prevent you from accessing your accounts at any time.

Bitcoin is a form of money that no bank or government can control and is an alternative to the current monetary system we have, so individuals have full control over their holdings.

Can you even buy regular stuff?

Yes! More and more retailers are accepting bitcoin to make a transaction. Microsoft, AT&T, Twitch and Expedia are all merchants that accept bitcoin, but there is a long way to go until more people begin to use cryptocurrency as their main form of payment.

I think people don’t fully understand how bitcoin can be accessed and don’t trust in intangible currencies because it almost doesn’t even feel real. Our credit and debit cards work because we exchange real paper money so that our banks issue that balance into a card that we can use almost anywhere. We’ve always had a middleman between the party paying and the party getting paid and crypto completely eliminates that middleman.

Personally, I don’t think people will accept cryptocurrency until they are educated about it and believe it’s better than our current system. Not everyone is going to like the idea for a myriad of reasons, but the world doesn’t wait for anyone. The dollar amount of one single bitcoin should tell you that. 

Many people have issues with the idea of embracing digital currency, but many are enticed by the promise of economic freedom, making this debate worth some more research for each person to decide.

How to start couponing as a college student

As a college student, I know how important it is to save money and stay on budget. One way I’ve been able to save money is by couponing for necessities like toothpaste, toilet paper and shampoo. If you want to learn how to save money, then here’s some advice on how to start couponing. 

Places to coupon 

My go-to places to coupon at are Dollar General, Walgreens and Family Dollar. All these places have big coupon communities on social media, so it’s easy to find deals each week posted online. 

They’re beginner-friendly couponing stores because they have digital coupons on their websites and apps. All you need to do is click each coupon on the app and enter your phone number at the store, then you’ll see your price start dropping. 

Digital coupons

When you think of couponing you probably think of that one show about extreme couponers and their giant folders full of paper coupons. Cutting out paper coupons and finding them around the city is definitely a big time-waster and not college student-friendly. 

Instead, I want to welcome you to the world of digital couponing. To start digital couponing, all you need to do is go to the store’s app or website, create an account and start clicking coupons. When you get to the store that allows digital coupons, like the ones I mentioned, all you need to do is punch in your phone number when told and your coupons will be added. 

How to find deals

When you open the app or website you will probably be overwhelmed by the amount of coupons available. Some stores may limit the amount of coupons you can have saved onto your account, so you want to make sure each coupon you clip matters. 

The reason I recommend starting with the three stores I named is because of their large couponing community. Join Facebook groups, follow TikTok couponers or follow Instagram couponers to learn about deals everybody else is doing for that week. 

In these social media communities, people will usually post the exact items they bought and post pictures of what coupons you need to save in order to get the price they did. This is probably the biggest advice I can give, so go follow some couponers on TikTok!

Best days to coupon

There is really no set day to coupon, you can go to the store whenever you have freetime. However, certain days do have better coupons than others. 

Dollar General has a $5 off when you spend $25 coupon that is only eligible on Saturdays. Lots of people stack this coupon with other coupons to get everything cheaper. Make sure you check if any stores carry coupons available for only certain days and that are stackable. 

Items you can coupon 

Popular couponing items are mainly household items and toiletry. Toothpaste, toilet paper, laundry detergent and air fresheners are the popular items you can get couponing. You use most of these items on a daily basis so it’s a good idea to stock up on them with coupons. 

Couponing may seem intimidating at first, but once you start doing it you learn quickly. This is a great way for college students to really save on things used on a regular basis, so go online and start couponing!

Feature image by Morgan Scruggs