While I was/am building up my newest blogging business, I wanted a way to earn some extra income in a way that would mesh with my lifestyle and not take too much time away from my primary focus and pursuits, which is blogging and writing books. I had no idea how to go about developing a low-maintenance income stream, so I put the question out there in the universe and pretty soon answers came my way.
I love being a mom. Having kids is always expanding my knowledge and viewpoints as I listen to them talk about their interests. That’s how I stumbled on this particular income stream. One of my sons had been telling me about Bitcoin and various cryptocurrencies and recommending that I look into them as potential investment opportunities. Not knowing much about the crypto market, I dragged my feet and kept putting it off, busy with other things in my life. Then Bitcoin surged from around $3000.00 to nearly $20,000 in just a few weeks time. That got my attention. Nowhere on earth can you find a stock or muni-bond that gives 600% increases in a matter of months! Nowhere!
Deciding I had delayed long enough, I signed up for a Coinbase account. Little did I know that decision would lead to me becoming a minor-league day trader, making an average of $50 a day from a simple set-it-and-forget-it trading method I developed to fit my lifestyle.
I love a good side hustle and enjoy working and making money, but I know I can only focus on a limited number of things at a time. So I wanted to try some trading to see if I could earn a little income, but I didn’t want to spend all day staring at my computer screen to do it. I needed to simplify the process to the absolute minimum amount of work so that I could keep blogging for you fine folks! 🙂
Once I got logged into my first real exchange, I was delighted to discover that you don’t have to be sitting by your computer, waiting to hit the “buy” or “sell” buttons. The exchanges allow you to place “bids” and those bids will sit in the computer system until the market rises or falls into the price range you predetermine. For example, the market can be trading a certain currency at $250.00 USD per coin at 8 AM. I can tell the computer that if the price falls to $175.00 USD then I want to buy one coin. Once I place my bid, I walk away. The computer does the rest of the work for me.
I set my buy bids as low as I think the market will go in a day. It’s all guesswork, but I’ve gotten a feel for it since I started trading, and more often than not, I’m right. Some days the market is unpredictable and I adjust my bids midday to accommodate the current trends. I usually buy some coins at or near the market lows for the day so I have some good prices to work with.
When I have some cryptocurrency in my account, I look at my buy prices and calculate what a nice but reasonable profit margin would be. I also check what the market highs have been for the last few days and weeks. I guesstimate what I think the market will yield, then I set sell orders in the exchange system. Like the buy orders, sell orders can be automated too. You choose your price, enter instructions into the system, and let the computer do the rest. I go back to writing blog posts, doing housework, or sleeping. When I wake up, I’ve usually made a sale or two. Let me tell you, it’s NICE to wake up to profits almost every day.
Sounds amazing, right? Almost too good to be true? I know! That’s why I dragged my feet for so long and didn’t get involved, despite my son’s urging. (He wanted me to buy Bitcoin years ago when it was less than one hundred bucks a share. Don’t I feel like a fool now!)
Plus, there was the question of how much money I would need to start with. If you’ve seen the prices of some of the popular cryptocurrencies you may be thinking, “I don’t have $15K to spend on one Bitcoin!” Not to worry! On most exchanges, you can buy and sell any quantity of a cryptocurrency up to the third decimal place. So you can buy .001 of a cryptocurrency if that’s all you want or can afford.
Not all the currencies are as pricey as Bitcoin. There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies being traded on the various exchanges. Some of them are valued at less than a penny, so you can afford to buy and sell hundreds of them a day with a $20 bill. Truthfully, at times I prefer to trade with some of the “penny” cryptocurrencies. Their value can fluctuate by 100% in a day, doubling your money if you buy and sell smart.
Another aspect I love about crypto trading is that the markets are open around the clock, and trading is worldwide. This makes it possible for people with a 9 to 5 job to trade in their off hours. In fact, trading is most active during the evening and night in the US. I assume this is because the countries on the other side of the world are awake and actively trading. The Asian countries have embraced cryptocurrencies more so than the US. Trading gets hot when they come online. For this reason, I make sure to set my bids before I go to bed. If the market experiences some nice fluctuations overnight, I wake up to some great “fills” and an account balance that’s bigger than yesterday.
So that’s how I make around $50 a day with a few simple clicks. Some days I make even more, but those days are balanced out by the ones when the market is less active and my profits are lower. It’s not money I depend on, but it’s nice to have the bonus income. As a middle-aged mom and housewife, I never would’ve guessed I’d venture down this path. I don’t fit the stereotype at all! (Yes, I’m talking about all those millennial guys with their man-buns and facial hair living in mom and dad’s basement day trading for beer money.)
To me, cryptocurrencies were an incredibly foreign concept at one time, something those crazy young people were dreaming up. Nowadays they’re becoming more mainstream. Many of the cryptocurrencies have solid companies with amazing business plans behind them. They’re offering valuable services and inventing new, better ways of doing business.
I truly feel they’re going to continue to grow and become the wave of the future, which is why I took the leap and began investing and trading. If you’ve been hearing about cryptocurrencies lately and finding yourself curious to learn more about them, I invite you to sign up for my 5-day email series for total crypto newbies that goes into more depth than I can share in this one blog post. I am not a crypto expert, but I am willing to walk you through the basics and answer the questions that most newbies will have. In the emails, I share about:
- The exchanges I use and the benefits and drawbacks of each one
- What’s involved in signing up to trade
- How to transfer money into the exchange, and pay the least amount of fees
- The different ways to trade and the benefits and drawbacks of each
- How to trade for free and avoid those pesky commissions
- And much, much more!
Sound interesting? Just use the signup box below to request the lessons, and I’ll add you to the course and get the information rolling your way!
In the meantime, you may want to get signed up at an exchange or two. The process takes a couple days to enter all your info and get approval. Here’s a list of the exchanges that I use:
All the exchanges are free to sign up and set up an account, so if you’re interested in exploring the inside of the exchange and getting a better feel for the user experience, go for it! You can click on the “Exchange” link and view the trading board even before you log in.
So that’s my guilty secret. I’ve been trading cryptocurrencies. And I love it! Don’t judge me, join me!
Before I let you go, I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t take a minute to give you a speech and offer some basic common sense advice to guide you if you choose to walk down this path. So here goes my speech in my sternest mom-voice.
1. Never trade with money that you can’t afford to lose.
If you need to buy groceries, pay your car loan, or make a cell phone payment, do that first. Wait until you have some spare cash to work with. The crypto market will still be there tomorrow and next month and next year. Don’t spend money you don’t have.
2. Accept that there are no guarantees.
When you break it down to the bare essentials, trading is a game of chance. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. The rules are the same for any asset, whether that’s a house, a car, or stocks and bonds…you want to buy in at a good price and sell at a better one. You can get burned flipping houses. You might trade in a functional car for a nicer used vehicle only to have the engine clunk out on you in three weeks. You could invest your savings in a mutual fund, only to watch the stock market plummet and your investment shrink to a fraction of its initial size. It happens.
The crypto market is a particularly wild beast. Values can fluctuate 30% or more in a day. Did you hear that? 30% is not unusual at all. And you don’t know for sure which way it’s going to go, up or down. So you could come out way ahead, or way behind. Anything’s possible. So before you go into it, know and accept that investing in any asset comes with risks. You play the odds and do the best you can, but no one has a crystal ball telling them the future.
3. Do your homework.
You will have to go through a learning curve before you get a feel for the markets you trade in. Take a week or two to watch the market closely before you make your first trade. Read up on the coins and the concepts behind them. Not all crypto currencies are created equal. Study the seasoned investors and learn from them. There are tons of YouTube videos and articles on trading techniques.
4. Ease into it.
Don’t jump in tomorrow and throw all the money you have at one coin in one bid. Putting all your eggs in one basket can end in disaster. Start small and slow. Invest 10% when you think the price is right. Watch the market for a bit. Invest another 10% when conditions look promising.
5. Practice patience.
Once you start trading, there’ll be times you make a bad call and you have to hold that asset for a while until you can sell it at a profit. Waiting is part of the job. You’ll be more successful if you can step back from any emotion and work with logic and patience. Over time, you get a better feel for the highs and lows and you don’t make as many mistakes.
6. Don’t depend on the money.
Since there are no guarantees and the market is always changing, you’d be unwise to consider this guaranteed income. I never count on it. I let my gains accumulate and when I have a nice sum, I may pay off a loan or go on a vacation or something. Maybe I’ll invest it in cryptocurrencies I want to keep long-term and put it toward my retirement. What I won’t do is count on the money flow.
7. Don’t get addicted.
Trading can have the same allure as gambling. After a few months of trading, I can see how people might become addicted to it and go into overdrive. Set firm boundaries about how much you can invest. If you have any concerns about becoming addicted, have an accountability partner who checks in with you. If you find yourself getting out of control, cash out of the market and walk away. It’s not worth tanking your whole life to earn a few dollars trading.
Whew! Speech over. Glad we got that out of the way. Happy trading!