Six surprising things you can spend your bitcoin on

One of the biggest stories of 2017 was the dramatic rise — and nearly as dramatic fall — of bitcoin, the digital currency getting traded by cryptocurrency enthusiasts and tech savants. Most of America watched in confusion as bitcoins went from being worth less than $1,000, to just under $20,000, to just over $10,000, all within the span of a year. For plenty of people, this sort of churn was baffling. 

It’s not as though your local grocery store accepts bitcoins for payment, so why are so many people suddenly willing to invest in this expensive cryptocurrency

RELATED: Check out 5 financial decisions that could haunt you for life: 

5 PHOTOS
5 financial choices that will haunt your money for life
See Gallery
5 financial choices that will haunt your money for life

Sitting on the markets sideline

While the stock market is soaring to new highs, half of Americans are being left out of the gains. Bankrate found that only 46% of adults have money invested and only 18% of the youngest adults are involved in the market.

While many people fear losing money, the true concern should lie in missing out a potential fortune. Over the long-term, a well-balanced portfolio will always come out with a net gain. With compound interest at stake, investing as early as possible is the smartest move. 

If you're not already in the stock market, now is the time to start. If you have a longer investment period in mind, it could make sense to take on more risk.

Not having a rainy day fund

There are so many things that can go wrong in life and someone who is smart with their finances will be prepared for anything. Expensive emergencies like a car breaking down or a medical emergency can happen whether you are ready for it or not.

Experts recommend your emergency savings be able to support you for three to six months. That's a conservative estimate for how long it takes to find a new job after being fired, for instance.

Having enough money in an easily accessible emergency fund prevents you from taking out loans in desperation or from going into debt.

Waiting to pay off debt

After investments and emergency savings, you may feel your paycheck dwindling. That feeling will only get worse if you don't pay off outstanding debts. 

From student loans to mortgage payments, debts are pesky. But the thorn will only get sharper over time if you ignore them.

A team of researchers writing in the Harvard Business Review this year suggested paying off the largest debts with the highest interest rates first. Credit card interest rates are notoriously high, so paying those off before going after more manageable debt, like student loans, may be a smart move.

If you're stressed out by debt, these strategies may help.

Not asking for a pay raise

Bankrate found that only 48% of working Americans got a bump in salary over the last year, and often because they aren't asking for it. 

Chickening out of a salary negotiation, especially at the beginning of your career, could cost you $1 million in lifetime earnings.

By understanding your worth and the value you provide at work, you can earn more every year and maybe even retire early. If your company won't give you that raise, it may be time to search for a new job where you are payed in accordance to your value.

Spending too much money

Overspending is a problem many people fall victim to, but you shouldn't spend all the money you make, according to Eric Roberge, a certified financial planner and founder of Beyond Your Hammock

"Spending right at your means, even if you don't go over and spend more than you earn, is like trying to take a race car up to 200 miles an hour with a warped wheel," he wrote in an article on Business Insider.

"If anything goes wrong — you hit a bump, you swerve, whatever — you're done. There's no second option when you're going full throttle in your financial life. There's no safety net."

Leaving room in your budget to save some of your earnings will set you up so you're not scrambling for money when you need it most.

In other words, learn to live below your means.

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

 

Since bitcoin was ostensibly created for the purposes of commerce, it’s currently more of an investable asset than a currency — and a volatile one at that. But that doesn’t mean some people aren’t willing to accept bitcoins as payment. For some enterprising business owners and vendors, taking part in the digital revolution is well worth it, and they’ve taken the leap into the future by giving customers the option to pay with the digital currency. In fact, you might find that the range of different things you can pay for with bitcoin has some entries that you would not expect. Take a look at this video from GOBankingRates to see some of the more surprising things you can buy using bitcoin.

Up Next: 7 Bitcoin Alternatives to Consider Investing in This Year

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Six Surprising Things You Can Spend Your Bitcoin On

Read Full Story