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Back to Budget Basics

Back to Budget Basics

Let’s get back to basics. Budgeting seems to be a lost art and with credit card debt at an all-time high in the US at $930 billion, we could all take a better look at our finances and make some adjustments.

First start with your actual net income. Do you have one income and provide for your whole family? Do you work two jobs and have a side hustle? Do you receive child support? Be sure to think about any areas you receive extra income every month.

Once you have this established it’s time to list all your monthly expenses…utilities, mortgage/rent, car payments, student loans, credit card payments, medical bills, wifi, etc. Even the small bills! Don’t forget about Netflix, Disney+, and any other monthly subscriptions you have. These are easy to forget since we don’t think of them as a large expense but they still add up quickly. (This would be a good time to see if you even use all of these subscriptions. Anything you can cancel?) Estimate your monthly grocery spending as well. Also don’t forget bills that you may only pay quarterly or yearly. These may be your home insurance, car insurance, HOA fees, etc.

The end goal with a budget is to make sure you are not living over your actual income! Paycheck to paycheck is hard enough but if you don’t have a good grasp of where your money is going, it’s hard to get ahead. This may be a time in your life where the main goal is to prioritize “needs” over “wants” for a while. Set a 6 month goal for yourself that you will be disciplined and eat at home more, or cancel your tv subscriptions for a few months and find other ways to save and invest for the future and watch your savings grow.

Start your budget for one month and see if it needs any adjusting for the following months ahead. Take the time once a week to see how you are doing. Invest in yourself. Read and gain knowledge on saving and investing for your future. Set a reward for sticking to your plan. Since you’re eating at home more, maybe after a successful month you take yourself out for a nice dinner. Invite a friend to celebrate with you.

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Cryptocurrency vs Paper Currency

What’s the difference between cryptocurrency and paper currency? They definitely aren’t the same thing, but at the same time, the difference between them is less than what most people probably assume. In this blog post from the Noble Institution, we’ll look at what paper currency really is –and how cryptocurrency is both similar and different.

Early Paper Currency

Early paper currency took the form of banknotes. A banknote was simply a written promise from a bank to issue a certain quantity of gold on request. Banks issued so many banknotes that they would have collapsed if everyone had presented their banknotes at the same time –they didn’t have that much gold on hand!

Fiat Currency

Eventually, governments started to form their own banks and issue their own banknotes, a type of money known as “fiat currency” because it’s issued by government fiat. Once fiat currency existed, it was only a matter of time before private banks were forbidden from issuing their own banknotes. The government, just like the banks, did not really have enough gold to cover every banknote.

Modern Currency

In 1971, U.S. President Nixon abolished the connection between U.S. Dollars and gold. Ever since then, paper currency in the U.S. has been purely symbolic. However, it’s still the case that banks do not hold on to enough cash to cover all the money held in their accounts. Instead, they use that money for investments and loans, meaning that if everybody took out their money at the same time, the bank would collapse. Paper currency, like its predecessor the banknote, is more theoretical than real.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency simply takes this process one step further. Now that “paper currency” is mostly digital (existing only in the bank’s computer system!), it makes sense to create a truly digital form of currency. Cryptocurrency is purely digital, with no paper format all. However, it isn’t any less real than the money stored in your bank account.

The biggest difference between paper currency and cryptocurrency is that paper currency is issued by fiat from a government-controlled bank like the Federal Reserve. Cryptocurrency is decentralized, not issued by the government, and not stored in any bank. Instead, cryptocurrency is stored in the distributed blockchain ledger, which is protected from any unauthorized changes by advanced cryptography. In a way, cryptocurrency has brought back the old way of doing things, where currency was not issued or controlled by the government.

Contact The Noble Institution at 1-833-645-1535 to get started trading cryptocurrency today!

Cryptocurrency: A History

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that are not issued by governments. You can buy and sell things with cryptocurrency just like you can with regular money, and you can also invest in it through companies like the Noble Institution. Read on to learn more about the history of cryptocurrency!

Invention of Bitcoin

The first cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, invented by a person calling himself Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto claimed to be from Japan and to have been born on April 5, 1975, but both of these details could easily be fictional as “Satoshi Nakamoto” seems to have been a pseudonym.

Whoever Satoshi Nakamoto really was, he posted a paper with the title “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” in October 2008 on an email list about cryptography. Nakamoto claimed to have invented the first practical and decentralized digital currency. He released the software in January 2009, then handed over the source code for Bitcoin to a programmer named Gavin Andresen in 2010. Satoshi Nakamoto then seems to have stepped away from the Bitcoin project.

Blockchain Technology

All cryptocurrencies rely on the blockchain technology invented by Satoshi Nakamoto. A blockchain is a decentralized public ledger of transactions, updated automatically to reflect new transactions. This ledger is stored in a number of different nodes simultaneously, and no user can change the blockchain without all other users being aware of the change. Users are hidden behind digital “keys,” so it isn’t easy to find out who made a particular transaction.

Other Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin was only the first of many digital currencies. Bitcoin was followed by Litecoin and Namecoin in 2011, then by Peercoin in 2012. 2013 saw the release of Dogecoin, Gridcoin, Primecoin, Ripple, and NXT. Many more cryptocurrencies have been invented since then, notably Ethereum and Tether in 2015, Cardano in 2017, and Solana in 2020.

You can trade in many different cryptocurrencies these days, and there’s always the possibility that the cryptocurrency you invest in could massively increase in value.So, how do you get started with cryptocurrency? Contact The Noble Institution at 1-833-645-1535and we’ll show you how it’s done!

Cryptocurrency and Safety. IS Crypto Safe?

The Noble Institution offers our members the opportunity to trade in cryptocurrency, the exciting but volatile new type of currency based on blockchain technology. Considering how new this type of currency is, you might be wondering whether you can trade in it safely. This blog will seek to address that question.

What Is Cryptocurrency?

So, what is cryptocurrency? It’s a type of currency that isn’t issued by a government. It can be used to make purchases just like any other type of currency, but it isn’t printed like paper money. Instead, this new type of currency exists in the form of a distributed ledger called the blockchain. Whenever cryptocurrency is bought or sold, the transaction is recorded in this distributed ledger. Because the distributed ledger is essentially anonymous, you can buy and sell with a degree of privacy you wouldn’t expect in regular currency trading. However, this extra privacy carries some risk with it.

Hot Wallets

If the cryptocurrency you own is stored online, then it can potentially be vulnerable to theft by hackers, who are unlikely to be caught due to the anonymous nature of distributed ledger transactions. After all, your ownership of a Bitcoin is controlled by a password, and passwords can obviously be stolen. Most people keep their cryptocurrency in a “hot wallet,” meaning a digital wallet connected to the internet. Keeping your password in a “cold wallet” is a lot safer, although not entirely without risk.

Cold Wallets

A cold wallet can be anything from a USB device to a scrap of paper with your password on it. Either way, it’s “cold” as long as it’s not connected to the internet and therefore cannot be hacked. Of course, there is always the risk that it could be lost or stolen, in which case you would permanently lose access to your cryptocurrency.

How to Trade Cryptocurrency Safely

So, what’s the solution? How can you trade cryptocurrency safely despite the threat of hackers –and the risk of forgetting your all-important password? For many people, the solution is to do business with trading companies that follow robust security procedures. Research a company before you trade with it. If the company has a good reputation for online security, then you have minimized the risks as much as you can.

Contact The Noble Institution at 1-833-645-1535 to get started trading cryptocurrency safely today!

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Telehealth & Houston

Telehealth has become increasingly common due to the coronavirus pandemic, with some medical facilities even requiring patients to book their first appointment as a telehealth visit. While telehealth is especially popular in rural areas where medical care may be far away, it’s also quite common in urban areas such as Houston. This is especially true since the start of the pandemic, as people feel safer meeting a doctor without having to go into a hospital or clinic. At the Noble Institution, we help people book safe and convenient telemedicine appointments from the comfort of their own home. In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the existing options for telehealth in Houston.

Telehealth & Houston

Telehealth in Houston is available through Memorial Hermann, Houston Methodist, and the Kelsey-Seybold clinics, as well as through the Noble Institution’s telehealth division. At the Noble Institution, you can book an appointment by phone or through our website. Simply pick the option that is most convenient for you.

Memorial Hermann: patients of the Memorial Hermann Health System have several telemedicine options available, including Memorial Hermann eVisit, which is available seven days a week from 9am to 9pm. The patient fills out a questionnaire, and receives a response including a diagnosis and treatment plan, including any necessary prescriptions.

Houston Methodist: Houston Methodist offers both My Methodist and Houston Methodist Virtual Urgent Care. Virtual Urgent Care schedules eVisits from 7am to 7pm for a $20 fee, seven days a week.

Kelsey-Seybold: the Kelsey-Seybold clinics require patients to book a telemedicine appointment and be screened by a doctor before making an in-person appointment.

The Noble Institution: patients can book a telehealth appointment through the Noble Institution, which guarantees an appointment within 48 hours. For telehealth in Houston, contact The Noble Institution at 1-833-645-1535 or simply schedule an appointment on our website.

Telehealth & Texas

The Noble Institution is dedicated to staying on top of new developments in the constantly evolving healthcare industry. In the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most important developments is the expansion of telehealth, the delivery of healthcare services via video calls or other types of telecommunication technology.

With so many people feeling safer at home because of the pandemic, telehealth has rapidly become one of the leading ways to access healthcare. In this blog post from the Noble Institution, we’ll talk a little about telehealth in Texas, where the regulations may differ somewhat from other states.

Telehealth & Texas

The first thing you need to understand about telehealth & Texas is that Texas distinguishes between “telehealth” and “telemedicine”. Under Texas Medicaid regulations, services that require assessment by a medical provider, diagnosis, and treatment fall under the heading of telemedicine, while all other services are considered telehealth. In effect, this means that some services that would be considered telehealth in other states are referred to as telemedicine in Texas. Under the state’s telemedicine parity law, insurers are required to cover telemedicine as if it was an in-person office visit.

Eligible Providers and Services

Professionals authorized to provide telemedicine or telehealth services in the state include physicians, certified nutrition specialists, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, certified nurse midwives, dieticians, counselors, therapists, social workers, and psychologists. 

Telemedicine and telehealth services covered by Medicaid include consultations, outpatient visits, psychiatric diagnostic interviews, pharmacologic management, psychotherapy, data transmission, diabetes management, and hypertension management.

Changes Due to COVID-19

Telehealth in Texas has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a number of regulatory changes designed to allow the state to adapt to the disease effectively. For example, HIPAA privacy restrictions have been waived to allow patients to meet with their doctors via FaceTime or Skype, and physicians can receive equivalent payments for both telehealth and in-person visits through plans regulated by the state’s Department of Insurance. The Texas Medical Association has a page of COVID-19 resources, including up-to-date information on telehealth & Texas.

For access to telemedicine and telehealth in Texas, contact The Noble Institution at 1-833-645-1535 or simply schedule an appointment on our website. The Noble Institution will get you an appointment within 48 hours!